17 Ways to Display Empathy with Your Content

Updated: 5 March 2022

Displaying empathy is important in content marketing. An ability to connect with an audience on a very real level is fundamental to being successful as a content marketer. Knowing your audience and their pain points will ensure that you’re able to turn a “maybe” into a “yes”. Various influencers have spoken about ways to display empathy with your content. Below are some of their tips to build personal and authentic relationships with your audience.

Empathy is EXACTLY what most content factory spam blogs are missing: there’s no connection with an audience. And that’s because there’s no desire to really understand who the audience even is.

Lauren Lang

01. Identify Your Customer

It is often a very transitional moment when business owners first discover who their ideal client is. Business owners operate their companies for years without truly knowing who their ideal audience is, questioning why the sales process always remains so hard and why it never seems to flow.

Rebecca Patterson

02. Create an Empathy Map

An empathy map is a simple, easy-to-digest visual that captures knowledge about a user’s behaviours and attitudes. It is a useful tool to help teams better understand their users. Empathy mapping is a simple workshop activity that can be done with stakeholders, marketing and sales, product development, or creative teams to build empathy for end users. For teams involved in the design and engineering of products, services, or experiences, an empathy mapping session is a great exercise for groups to “get inside the heads” of users.

Jennifer Leigh Brown

03. Develop Marketing Personas

Marketing personas are a comprehensive “map” of your audience’s minds and personalities, helping you see the world from their perspective. By compiling these traits and distilling them down into different personas, you create a solid representation of the actual humans you want to attract.

Brian Wolford

04. Consider Your Personas When Formulating a Content Strategy

Remember, the name of the game here is cloning your customers, and the only way to clone them is to know them. Walk through this process. You don’t need to make it exceptionally complicated […] Yet, you do need to take the act of getting this information in order seriously, because knowing or not knowing your customer will surely make or break your business.

Patrick Campbell

05. Remember That It’s Not About You

How does the customer recognise themselves in your messages? Good marketing communications put the customer at the centre – solves problems, fulfils a need or (let’s kondo things up a bit) will spark joy. Features are secondary, pinpointing problems, needs or emotions give your product a purpose.

Deepa Mistry

06. Consider Your Audience Above All Else

Content marketing is about you. Your needs, your wants, your challenges and goals. It’s marketing that puts the audience first, by delivering informative, entertaining content that they actually want to see and hear. Content they even look forward to and love to share. And finally, content that eventually drives them to buy because they want to. Because they like you.

Tanya Graw

07. Converse with Your Audience

You have to be where they are, you have to know them, you have to be part of the conversation that they’re having; that’s the only way, you’ve got to build relationships with them, that’s the only way you really get to know people because your target audience is people and you’ve got to get to know them, you’ve got to show up where they are, find out where they are, show up where they are, and be a part of the conversation that they’re having, get to know what their questions are, what their issues are, what problems do they have.

Shondell Varcianna

08. Address Your Audience’s Problems

If you want someone to buy your product or service you’ll need to satisfy some sort of need – solve a problem. You can do that with your products so you can do it with your content. If you can’t do it with your content, you might have trouble convincing people that you can do it with your products or services.

Alex Ionides

09. Authenticity Means More Empathy

Authentic content marketing is about selling the human aspect of your business. It involves knowing your target audience, what they are interested in, and what they will respond to. The response aspect is what gives your brand engagement and increases your reach as more people share your content.

Charlotte Day

10. Encourage and Analyse Customer Feedback

Feedback is a powerful guide that can give your leadership team insights that chart a path forward for every part of a company – from product through UX and customer support. That’s especially important when it comes to customer satisfaction.

Elizabeth Wellington

11. Empower Your Customers

Empower your customer to achieve their goals. Guide them on the path with targeted, inside information. Highlight their successes. Ask for their feedback and prove that it makes a difference. By putting more power in the hands of your customers, you’ll keep them coming back for more.

Nadav Dakner
Image: Prezi

12. Understand the Logic of Emotion

The only thing that we value in our lives (either individually or collectively) is our experiences. Some of these are valued for their own sake, the others are valued as instruments for providing or enabling experiences. There are only two dimensions to experience: Quality and quantity. The quality of our lives is measured by the quality of our experiences. One kind of experience, maybe the most important kind, is our feelings. One kind of feeling is emotion. Thus, emotions are important. Is it important to understand things that are important? If the answer is yes, then it is important to understand emotions.

Bill Tomlinson

13. Practice Emotional Marketing

When you make an emotional connection with your audience, it’s incredibly easy to steer them to the desired outcome. You’ve formed an emotional bond, however brief and fleeting, that makes them open to ideas and suggestions. It creates a certain level of trust that’s virtually impossible to artificially manifest.

Neil Patel

14. Tell a Story

Empathetic storytelling can help us explore our needs and what it means to be us. Instead of pushing products, content marketers should use empathetic storytelling to identify and illustrate their audience’s unique conflicts in a format that makes sense. With a few steps, any marketer can create empathetic content to build stronger relationships with a more engaged consumer base.

Darina Murashev

15. Show Your Human Side

You have to accept you don’t know everything. You have to accept you’re not the expert on someone else’s perspective or lived experience (and) be willing to listen, even when you want to interrupt, correct, or dismiss them.

Leah Reich
Image: Bidsketch

16. Conduct Audits on Your Content

A well-executed content audit done on an annual basis can deliver big insights into your website’s blog and content marketing strategy that far exceeds its ho-hum reputation. Too often, we post something and then never go back to it again. Years later, it’s outdated, stale, and completely irrelevant. Good practice demands that we return to our content periodically to ensure that everything is as fresh and beautiful as the day it was released to the world.

Eric Siu
Image: Dreamgrow

17. Be Customer Centric & Profits Will Take Care of Themselves

I know it seems like it’s obvious, and these things should go together, but in chasing the numbers we sometimes forget the meaning that lies underneath. (As consumers) we want to be around people who understand us, whom we like and trust. We want to be able to do business with people who understand what we need, who ‘get’ us at a deeper level. We want to have relationships with them – and we are more likely to buy products and services from those who can meet our unspoken needs.

Daniel Murray
Image: FroggyAds

Summary

People in the know are adamant that empathy sells. If you’re unable to display this in your content yourself, it would make sense to employ the services of somebody who can as empathetic writing is really that important.

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