With the growth of digital marketing, the data we can collect and utilize has become an exceptional asset in being able to target our audience and help them find what they need in our products and services. While this data is highly valued, more and more businesses have realized that data can never replace human connection and emotions. Empathy-based marketing has become the new standard to ensure that customers feel linked to your company, and it is driving success.
Empathy-based marketing means looking at the world through your customers’ eyes, understanding who they are, what they need, and what motivates them to act, and it is built on trust. Research shows that customers are more trusting of influencers who are seen as relatable, rather than those who are popular. They care about businesses who care—more than half of respondents in a recent survey said they expect their favourite companies to be involved in at least one social issue. Trust is nearly as important as value and quality. These results show that an empathetic marketing strategy that connects with your customers to build trust can play a critical role in encouraging them to use your product or service. Read ahead to learn how to properly bring empathy into your marketing strategy.
The first step to good empathy-based marketing is to understand your customer. Take that figurative “walk in their shoes”. Pretend you are them and looking for a solution to a problem. Then go through the steps of finding the solution through your business. This will help you see things from their perspective and make those changes to ensure your marketing strategy is designed correctly.
Most businesses have their product or service at the forefront of their marketing, which means that all tools are designed to lead with a “hook” and eventually steer your client to the sale. In empathy-based marketing, content is driven by the desire to solve a problem. Instead of targeting clients, become the place people turn to for solutions. Consistently produce materials that are designed to help solve problems relevant to your clients and they will come to you. Focus on the benefits provided by your content, rather than selling points.
Create a bond with your customer base using empathetic storytelling showcasing everyday life. Businesses sometimes think quality content has to be expensive, but your customers are living everyday lives, and your content should reflect that. Create content that your clients truly relate to; video chats, cooking, playing with a pet, or watching tv. Figure out where the challenges are in their everyday life. Once you know the “pain points” or the problems your customers are trying to solve, create descriptions and narratives around those challenges, especially if you have experienced them. Your story will show how you can save them time or money or make their life easier. Help your clients see themselves in your story.
Even if your service is complicated or your product is new and unique, your customers need to understand exactly what you can do for them. Read and re-read your content to make sure it won’t turn away clients that are new to the terminology and is clear about how you can help their issue even if they aren’t an expert.
Now that people are spending more time online than they ever have before, it’s important to make that content current and informative. Determine a few areas that you specialize in and create content around letting your customers in on tips, knowledge, and awareness of those subjects. Review some of your old content and see if there is anything there you can re-vamp to add an educational element. Think about features like “how it’s made”, “behind the scenes”, or “ask the expert”.
A lot of content and marketing creators don’t take the time to survey their clients. Empathy-based marketing is centred on your customers and their needs so listen to them. Surveys don’t need to be formal; you can just ask people how they are doing and what they thought of your content. You want to understand their needs, their frustrations, and listen to feedback on how you can improve. Then ADAPT your practices to account for the feedback.
Considering the length of time, most people spend online and the fact that 3.8 billion people currently carry a smartphone, adding an interactive component to your content will engage customers with you and your business in new ways. Encouraging likes follows, and shares increase your presence in the algorithms and automatically means your content is seen by more people especially on YouTube.
Asking customers to create their own content for contests or their own channels is another way to increase interactivity. For example, ask for photos or videos of your products in use online so others can see how they are being used. This is an incredibly effective method as customers will love appearing on your platform, and you don’t have any expense for creating the content. This type of content is unique because it creates a bridge between you and your clients, building the trust foundation and opening the door for deeper bonds to be built.
If you are looking at implementing an empathy-based marketing strategy into your business plan, reach out to Van Patter Group today and we can help you get started. We look forward to collaborating with you to determine which strategies will work most effectively and are best for your company.