I’m feeling fatigued (and I know I’m not alone). This year has been LONG and between the shifts we’re seeing at work, the shifts we’re experiencing at home and the shifts we’re witnessing in society, it can be too much. Personally, we’re all going through a lot. As companies, we’re all going through a lot.
It’s just … a lot.
And we’re all aware that the crisis isn’t over.
That said, it can’t be business as usual. As brands — as people — we need to continue to show empathy. We need to show that we realize, in these times, we are all experiencing something different.
And at work? That means we need to keep active empathy alive in our marketing.
Put yourself in their shoes
How have the needs of your customers changed? Just because you may not be experiencing negative effects of 2020 doesn’t mean your audience isn’t suffering. This could be financially, mentally—it’s different for everyone.
The thing is, we shouldn’t have ever gone away from active empathy in our marketing.
As I mentioned to Leah Ryder in my interview with Write | Werk, “Content marketing, especially, has always been about conversations. About engaging. About helping. In anything we do, we should always be empathetic.”
This year is no different.
Make them feel good
What’s important now is how you make your audience feel. Can they resonate with what you’re sharing? Are you providing information that will educate and inform (and even put a smile on their faces) during a down time? Do they come away from your messaging feeling heard? Feeling seen? Feeling important?
Because, let’s face it. Without our customers, we don’t exist. So, why not go out of our way to show our empathy, to provide them with support and to make them feel good?
It’s customer service in its most basic sense. The Golden Rule, so to speak.
Read the room
It’s my favorite saying to my kids when they’re joking during times where we should be serious (or making a snide comment after they’ve been reprimanded).
Seriously, read the room.
While we don’t have to constantly be talking about COVID, social issues, the election or who is and isn’t wearing masks, we do need to realize that these are the current events impacting our customers’ purchasing decisions, brand loyalties and actions. Keep empathy alive by reading the room. Provide content and messaging that is supportive and authentic.
Now is the time to stand up and lean on the human side of your brand. Make the personal connections. Listen to the conversations happening online. Ask your customers what they want…what they need. Show them that you are here for them and that you hear them.
Be empathetic. Always.