When crises strike, consumers no longer shop based on their needs — they have to prioritize purchases, save as much as possible, and rely on the most convenient options available. But when the chaos subsides and customers start to regain financial freedom, they remain loyal to the brands that have earned their trust and consistently understood their needs.
Whether the market is up, down, or in a state of uncertainty, the key to retaining loyal customers and attracting new ones lies with your ability to know your consumers on a level that no one else can — or even bothers trying to. But to truly appreciate the deepest desires of your core audience, you need to learn how to empathize with them. Let’s take a closer look at the role empathy can play in your digital marketing.
Be Accessible When Nobody’s Looking
Marketing with empathy requires you to prioritize accessibility — even in ways that aren’t required. The ADA is cracking down on brands with non-compliant websites, but there’s still room for your brand to make everyday parts of your marketing more accessible. For example, you can make your social media posts easily interpretable by any user that visits your page by:
- Shortening link text — Sharing articles and blogs can add value to a social media post, but it can also add a lot of unnecessary text for screen reading software to translate. Minimize complications for visually impaired users by modifying your shared links to be as short as possible with URL reduction or reformatting tools.
- Using camel case — Hashtags are strung together without spaces, pauses, or ellipses, which means screen reader software often interpret multiple word tags as one complicated one. Fortunately, you can get the same reach with your hashtags and elevate accessibility by writing them in camel case (camelCase) or capitalizing the first letter in each word.
- Provide video captions — Video is a major marketing tool, but it can make your content inaccessible to specific members of your audience if you fail to include captions. To modify your videos for hearing-impaired users, provide closed or open captions that address the details your audience might not be able to pick up on without hearing them, such as music tracks and dialogue.
Create Unconventional Buyer Personas
The consumers that want your products or services might have similar goals and come from similar income brackets, but they want your brand to make them feel unique. That’s why you need to focus on creating unique buyer personas — and a lot of them. Multiple buyer personas allow you to better understand the individual members of your audience rather than one collective image.
To get a really strong picture of the diverse needs that are most prevalent in your consumer network, hold focus groups or send out surveys where consumers can share information about themselves on a more detailed level. While trying to empathize with the wants, needs, goals, and dreams that your audience may have, ask questions that will pull insightful results, including:
- Why are your goals important to you?
- What does your process look like when making a big purchase?
- What’s your least favorite part about your job?
- What are some of the top experiences you want to cross off your bucket list?
- What makes you nervous?
- Where’s your dream vacation spot and why?
Don’t Take Advantage of Uncertainty
Whether there’s a global pandemic or local panic, your brand should never add to the issue. Keeping your customers informed and safe is the responsible thing to do, but there’s a fine line between addressing the issue and fueling your audience’s anxiety. Conversely, downplaying the issue can be just as insensitive — putting irreparable stress on the relationships you’ve built with consumers. Regardless of the state your business is in, try to empathize with the struggles of those in your community and your core audience by:
- Showing transparency — In the days preceding, during, and following a crisis, you need more than ever to hold a strong line of communication with everyone involved with your business, including your partners, employees, and consumers. Use your marketing channels to post updates on your policies and practices as well as changes to hours of availability.
- Being personable — If you’re able to stay active on social media, make it a priority to stay in touch with your audience. Engage with users in your comments, respond to posts in which your brand is tagged, and share user-generated content (UGC) that shows your brand’s personality and highlights members of your own audience.
A Marketing Partner That Understands
If you want to dial in on an empathetic marketing strategy, you first need to find a marketing partner that can best grasp the mission, vision, and values of your business. At WSOA, we believe that understanding your consumers, empathizing with their intentions, and remedying their pain points takes consistent dedication. That’s why our team of digital marketing specialists designs every strategy with intent.
From healthcare and food service to hospitality and real estate, our diverse pool of clientele lends to our diverse marketing capabilities. To learn more about the services we have to offer, contact us today.