From Empathy to Loyalty: Customers Love Empathy-Based Content

from empathy to loyalty: customers love empathy-based content

As a brand, digital-based empathy is not just a nice-to-have pillar in your marketing strategy, it is absolutely critical.

An empathy marketing strategy helps build customer trust by connecting with them on an emotional level and showing them you have taken great care in understanding who they are and what they want or need.

How will your customers trust that you have what they need if you don’t take the time to show them how deeply you understand them?

Now, there is a difference between empathy and sympathy, and it’s important to understand those differences.

Sympathy-Based Content Marketing involves showing a customer that you feel compassion, sorry, or pity for their circumstances. While well-meaning, sympathy does nothing to show your customer that you get it. Feeling sorry for someone doesn’t help solve their problem, and it can make the customer feel like you look down on them. 

Empathy-based Content Marketing involves showing the customer that you’ve put yourself in their shoes, putting their needs before your own and considering what they are going through before posting something targeted at them. 

When you understand your customer on a deep level, the benefits are endless. By taking an empathetic approach to marketing, you will understand how to meet your customer’s needs in a way they’ve hardly ever experienced before. 

Your customers will be more than willing to give you their information (and their money!) when they feel seen, valued, and heard. And you’ll be building customer loyalty in the process.

Here are a few reasons customers love empathy-based content.

You Speak Directly To My Heart

When brands get empathy-based marketing right, they cut right through the superficial junk usually thrown around, and speak directly into the heart and soul of their customers. That is POWERFUL

As humans, it is so common to feel like no one knows what we are going through or what we want more than anything in the world. So when a brand verbalizes our deepest dreams, motivations, and desires, we feel not only seen, but understood. And when a customer feels understood, they want to keep hearing more about themselves through that brand’s lens.

How to apply this in your strategy:

  • Conduct Customer Research – this could be in the form of surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one interviews, or even engaging with customers on social media. The point is to talk to your customers so you don’t have to guess what they want or need.

The more the brand shares content that speaks to my heart, the more of a vested interest I have to stay close to them and hear more. The result is that the brand has immediately created a deep, meaningful connection with me.

You Let Me Know We’re On The Same Journey

Too often, a brand’s marketing strategy creates an environment that tells the customer that although they sympathize with the customer’s problem and they want to solve it, they haven’t experienced it, and they really don’t know what their customer is dealing with. This creates a level of uncertainty that the brand is able to really help a customer solve their problem.

But when a brand uses empathy marketing the right way, customers immediately feel comforted. The brand positions itself as walking the same path as their customers: living their pain, celebrating the ups and acknowledging the downs, and providing solutions that they know work.

How to apply this in your strategy:

  • Become the customer – One of my favorite ways to demonstrate empathetic marketing is showing brand vulnerability. Sharing authentic stories or information of how you overcame the same type of challenge your customer is facing does so much in building credibility and trust. Customers will work with you because they know you have gone through exactly what they went through and made it.

When a brand shows me that we are on the same journey and they walk alongside me as I navigate and experience joys and struggles, it greatly increases the amount of trust I have in them. Trust is gold, and it is the currency behind EVERY sale.

You Genuinely Care About Me

It can be easy to Customers want to know that they aren’t just a number or a transaction to you. When brands give away free information that they know their customers will find useful (I’m talking mega-value, gold-plated info, not that watered-down stuff other brands provide), it shows your customers that the focus is not on making a sale. It’s about really helping solve a problem with care and compassion.

Customers who are used to seeing that it’s never about them, and thinking brands really don’t care to help them unless there are dollars signs attached to the deal will be blown away that you want to see them win, regardless of if they purchase from you.

How to apply this in your empathy marketing strategy

  • Overcome collective amnesia- Collective amnesia is a term coined by Noah Fenn, the head of video sales and strategy at AOL. As he describes it, it’s the natural instinct to walk into a room and immediately start self-promoting. This is extremely present in digital communities. People will congregate in social media groups, and every person wants to immediately start selling their product. They forget that they are not selling machines, they are real people. They forget that the other people in the group aren’t transactions, they’re real people. To overcome collective amnesia, we need to get out of our heads and start approach marketing from the heart. Which leads to my second point . . .
  • Become the customer – One of my favorite ways to demonstrate empathetic marketing is showing brand vulnerability. Sharing authentic stories or information of how you overcame the same type of challenge your customer is facing does so much in building credibility and trust. Customers will work with you because they know you have gone through exactly what they went through and made it.

When a brand shows me that we are on the same journey and they walk alongside me as I navigate and experience joys and struggles, it greatly increases the amount of trust I have in them. Trust is gold, and it is the currency behind EVERY sale.

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