One thing that we aren't able to lack in the (marketing) world is empathy, especially in the current situation.
It is not enough trying to sell something because you believe that it is great.
B2B buyers want empathy, not empty promises
“True brand empathy is different from merely identifying needs, serving up useful information, or even understanding the personal motivations that drive consumption. True brand empathy is about creating a shared journey between your brand and its audience. It involves a deeper connection to and understanding of that audience on an emotional level, as well as rational and transactional ones,” said April Henderson, of Forrester Research, at Content Marketing World.
People want to hear that you have a solution to a problem and that you are there to help. They want to feel a connection with your purpose.
B2B consumers don’t really want your company’s content.
They want your business to understand and share their feelings.
Business buyers aren’t just buying your product. They’re buying into your approach to solving their problem!
CMI’s editorial team spoke with April at Content Marketing World to learn more about adding empathy into the B2B content equation:
”Forrester’s research on technology-purchase decision-makers backs up April's statements: 65% of B2B consumers say they already get too much material from marketers, and almost as many think what they’re getting is useless.
Key Takeaways from the Forrester research April shared:
(B2B) Content should aim to satisfy these four needs
- Help: Peer examples, business case data, and ROI-focused content were among the most valuable types of content respondents say they can receive.
- Personalized for their use case: 84% find it important or essential that ROI-analysis content is customizable to their organization.
- Desire to engage on their terms: Considering that 80% of B2B decision-makers want vendors to provide relevant content at each stage of their buying process without relying heavily on calls with sales, it’s clear that B2B customers prefer to remain anonymous until they are ready to reach out.
- Credible, trustworthy expertise: Nearly 90% of buyers want their vendors to be a trusted source of industry insights that reflect an awareness of current market conditions.
However pure logic isn’t the only factor in the decision-making process. People invest emotionally in the purchases they make – and in the businesses, they choose to buy from.
The ability to use content to speak to where our customers live, emotionally speaking, is what brand empathy is. It is essential to understand our target audience's frame of mind and to speak to it.
This is how you can do it:
- Step 1: Understand your audience's logical AND emotional triggers
- Step 2: Impart insights that help them succeed without any purchase
- Step 3: Embrace emotion to make your insights more memorable
- Step 4: Humanize the buyer’s journey using content that aligns with the buying journey of their prospects
This is what’s going to take you from being a seller to a business partner.
“Empathy creates trust; it creates an experience that’s based on more than just a transaction; it moves buyers from being passive and sceptical to actually engaging with you because they care. And when they care, they’re more likely to stand with you, to advocate for you, to create more business, and to be loyal because they have no reason to go anywhere else,” says April Henderson in the interview with Jodi Harris, the director of editorial content and curation at the Content Marketing Institute.
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