Empathetic content marketing falls flat without authenticity [Video]
During COVID, marketers can still cut through the noise and reach audiences by rethinking what it means to be empathetic.
“Generally, the trend has been to be supportive and empathetic to the customer, to really dig into, ‘Okay, how is this current environment changing life for our customer and where can we be of assistance?’” said Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Marketing during our content marketing in the time of COVID session of Live with Search Engine Land.
In the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, many brands responded by pushing out generic content and emails expressing empathy for their customers. The deluge of similar messaging created a COVID content din that customers have grown weary of.
“I think there’s a lot of sentiment going around and people are getting kind of skeptical or cynical about brands just saying things that sound nice, but they’re not actually doing anything,” said Amanda Milligan, marketing director at Fractl.
“Deal volume is down, but perhaps surprisingly, activity with customers is up, website traffic up, engagement with marketing emails is up,” said Meghan Keaney Anderson, VP of marketing at HubSpot, adding, “People have gone into their homes, but they haven’t disappeared. And actually, they’re searching — they’re seeking information.”
The health crisis has pushed customers into new territory, and they’re searching for ways to adapt their day-to-day operations, solutions to the challenges that come with working during lockdown, and in some places, how to resume business safely.
Why we care. The demand for information presents organizations with an opportunity to cut through the noise and reach their audiences by creating content that conveys genuine empathy and addresses specific pain points — without hammering treacly “we’re all in this together” types of messaging that consumers quickly began to tune out.
Some brands may have to rethink what it means to be empathetic, “Not just in terms of what software or hardware or solutions we can offer to help [customers] solve a problem, but what else is present as an opportunity in terms of the relationships and the communities that we’re a part of, can we add resources to; what can we do from an information standpoint to help support people do what they need to do; what organizations can we contribute to; what initiatives can we sponsor or be a part of?” Odden said.
Want more Live with Search Engine Land? Get it here:
- Click here for the full session.
- How to evaluate content marketing opportunities during COVID [Video]
- Emotional ROI should be one of your key performance indicators during COVID [Video]
- Why digital commerce marketers shouldn’t ‘go dark’ during COVID [Video]
- You can also find a full list of all our Live with Search Engine Land sessions on YouTube.
More about marketing in the time of the coronavirus
- See how visits to retail, grocery, workplaces are trending with Google Mobility Reports
- Replay: Live with Search Engine Land season wrap-up—COVID and marketing disruption
- How brands can operate with purpose and embrace change as businesses move to reopen
- Back to basics: How to manage your brand through a crisis