Empathetic content marketing or how to address sensitive times thoughtfully
Successful content marketing is about creating a connection between your audience and your brand. In everything we do as brands, context matters. Beyond the basic actions taken to protect employees and businesses during a crisis, brands can either help or hinder our collective experience. So when a cultural moment shifts as dramatically as it has in the face of COVID-19, it’s important that brands address the issue with tact, empathy, and mindful marketing.
Empathy, a necessary trait in business
Psychologically speaking, empathy involves the active attempt to emotionally understand what another person is experiencing. Being naturally social creatures, when we experience empathy we are more likely to engage in prosocial behaviors that benefit other people. Empathy is very important in the business environment now, as a recent survey from Business Insider revealed that 93% of employees are more likely to stay with an employer that demonstrates empathy. It’s about an empathy which starts with businesses not talking about their purpose and values but putting them into action.
At D-COMMUNICATIONS we talk a lot about having empathy—for each other, for our community, and for our customers. Empathetic content marketing can help you show your true character and connect personally with customers. Hence, it must serve the needs, bring utility & value and address the biggest pain points. When you sympathize with your audience, it becomes easier to acknowledge struggles and think critically about the best solutions. That’s why empathetic content marketing is such a powerful strategy for businesses for both business-to-business and business-to-client.
Even if every brand is different, here are some tips for addressing your marketing approach during a crisis by making the right choices and avoid serious mistakes.
Identify inappropriate communication related to the actual context
First of all, you have to audit what you have currently running in terms of campaigns and see what can be paused for the moment as it might not fit in with the whole picture. If some content is not appropriate, then you should prioritize and pivot on the idea that customer relationships matter the most. You can even focus on the next cultural moment – post-quarantine and try to determine what content will be most relevant and impactful then.
Pay attention to the visual message you’re sending
Evaluate the visual and written messages your brand is sending. Adapt the imagery and language to the actual context. This is why you have to avoid visuals of crowds or people touching, working in offices or at social gatherings out of the house. Also, you must pay attention to the marketing language that describes close interaction and reframe it, as they may be deeply scrutinized. Keep in mind that visual communication is powerful, as are the words we use.
Stay calm and send only balanced and informative content
Avoid focusing your messages on the crisis and try to stay informative and non-alarmist. Don’t add panic or fear to the existing, so be mindful of the overly dramatic language. To keep the kind note and balanced tone, a spirit of humility and empathy should be a filter for anything your brand says in the near future. Many people are not working during the pandemic, being worried; hence you should avoid brag about your success and capacity to deal with the crisis.
Communicate timely and with empathy
Surprise your clients and create a more real-time messaging. Be personable and positive; ask questions about what they are experiencing and how they’re feeling and dealing with the effects of the crisis on their business. Ask how you can be of any help to them. Even if it can get a bit overwhelming, it’s important to let your clients know you are there for them. Moreover, don’t be afraid to look vulnerable – people will feel you relate to their hardships and challenges while trying to find the best solution to cope with the crisis background. We’re in this together, so show your human side and we‘ll all feel connected, even if we’re #stayinghome.
Discover new ways in which you can help
Focus on how your brand can help and communicate your benefits and ways in which your brand enhances people’s lives while quarantined. Can your brand entertain, inspire, educate people stuck at home all day? If the answer is yes, based on your brand’s potential unique value, you can start creating helpful and relatable content. Be honest and simple. These days, people don’t need bombastic messages.
These being said, try to display empathy and your brand’s message will get across appropriately and effectively. Don’t underestimate the power of simple honest human-to-human connections during this time. Help people in every way possible.