Marketers should aim to relate to their audience in order to write articles that resonate with it, using empathy as a means to create better content.
According to content marketing consultancy Stories by Emma’s Founder Emma Siemasko, empathy is understanding and sharing the feeling and emotions of someone else.
In an article for content marketing news website The Content Standard, she writes that by being empathic, marketers will be able to create content that relates to their readers’ problems and solves them.
To be empathetic you need to get rid of any preconceptions and judgements about the person with whom you are attempting to empathise.
Psychologist Blythe Clinchy says: “The heart of connected knowing is imaginative attachment: trying to get behind the other person’s eyes and look at it from that person’s point of view.”
Marketers have a lot of preconceived notions about their audience and what practices will yield results when creating content, but they need to put themselves in the shoes of the person reading that content and write to them.
What would you say to that person if you were talking to them face to face? Your content should be directed at that person, whether or not it is intended for a wide audience, and take into consideration how that person reasons with thought and logic.
Another psychologist, Carl Rogers, introduced reflections as a way of expressing empathy for someone else – letting the person you are talking to be the ‘expert’. After they have spoken, you can reflect back on what they have said and then help them come to a better understanding of their thoughts and feelings.
This is a good strategy for writing services to employ. Marketers can turn their clients’ challenges into stories, which works particularly well if the writer is trying to show the reader that they know where they are coming from.
Once they have understood the basics of empathy, marketers can use it to improve their content. They should address their audience directly and avoid writing quick articles that gloss over the details, instead producing content that strives to better their readers’ lives.
Siemasko concludes with a warning that readers are quickly able to detect inauthenticity, but by understanding their readers and creating content within which they can identify, marketers can improve both their writing and its performance.