The first few months of 2021 are already over, and the pandemic is still affecting our lives. Companies try in all kinds of ways to survive and to retain customers. Today, the physical distance between people, but also between people and companies is great. We seek recognition from each other in feelings that we have. It is time for companies to show empathy and emotion and thus foster a sense of recognition in their target audience.

"How do you process empathy and emotion in your content strategy?" I hear you think. Don't worry, we'll explain. In a time like this, it is no longer enough for a company to place full emphasis on their service or product. Tell more than just a story. Show what goals your company is pursuing other than profit.

Curious about what else you can respond to when it comes to content marketing in 2021? 
Read the other content marketing trends of 2021 here.

7 examples of empathy in content strategies
1. Dove #WashToCare
2. Free Margriet or Libelle
3. Sonos’ Instagram tutorials
4. PostNL thanks deliverers
5. Meditate with a Lush sleeping mask
6. PLUS’ Christmas commercial
7. LinkedIns secret recipe

  • Dove #WashToCare [H3]
Dove has been creating content with empathy and emotion for years. Photos of "Real Beauties" appear daily on the cosmetics brand's Instagram page, and the brand strives for more than just selling care products.

With #WashToCare, Dove responds to emotion by giving the message to take care of each other. Wash your hands for yourself and for others with any soap. A clear message that responds to people's sense of togetherness.

  • Free Margriet or Libelle
Publishing group Sanoma includes magazines Margriet and Libelle. To encourage women in the Netherlands, the magazines sent 134,000 senior ladies a direct mail. Everyone who received the mail was sent a magazine free of charge. They did not need anything in return, but hoped to give these older ladies a good day in these rotten times.

  • Sonos’ Instagram tutorials
 We've all experienced it. You buy a new device, but it seems impossible to read the manual on how to install the device. Sonos completely empathized with its target audience and understood this problem. The electronics company shared short video tutorials on Instagram, in which they explain parts of the manuals. From programming your alarm to placing the Sonos box for the ultimate bass. The purpose of the tutorials is not to generate as much sales as possible, but to simplify installations. A smart move if you ask me!

  • PostNL thanks deliverers
At PostNL, unlike many other companies, things are going well during this pandemic. The lockdown forced entrepreneurs to temporarily close their stores, which led to an increase in the number of online orders (CBS, 2020). The deliverers from PostNL are (still) running overtime to deliver all packages on time. PostNL would like to thank all Dutch people who were there for its employees in previous years. Whether that was with a chat, a bouquet or a card. They appreciate all gestures. 

In this way the postal company shows that it understands people and their purchasing behavior. That is why the company is doing everything in its power to meet customer expectations in this day and age. Research by PostNL shows that due to the corona crisis, 64% of the Dutch people value their postman more than before. So you can also gain empathy by incorporating it into your own content.

  • Meditate with a Lush sleeping mask
Lush is a cosmetics brand with handmade, natural products. The company focuses on people who like to buy sustainable, animal-friendly and natural care products. The company promises "Freshmade, handmade products". Lush believes it is important to tell the story people are looking for, what they want to listen to. Lush's customers consciously buy the brand because it meets their requirements. The products are an enrichment for relaxation moments.

For example, Lush developed a sleep mask with a QR code on it. By scanning the QR code you see a meditation video. This way you relax not only through the mask, but also through the meditation video. This concept provides a whole new experience through which people relate Lush to meditation. Double the relaxation.

  • PLUS’ Christmas commercial
Christmas has already been a few months ago, but you may still remember the PLUS Christmas commercial. With the message "Eating well is eating together", the supermarket responded to the current situation. Due to the pandemic and the associated 1.5-meter distance rule, families could not celebrate the holidays together in large numbers. The commercial arouses emotion. Nobody should be alone during the holidays. People crave connection more than ever. A simple, yet effective use of empathetic content marketing.

  • LinkedIns secret recipe
Most companies have their own LinkedIn page and some use LinkedIn in their marketing strategy. LinkedIn focuses with its Marketing Solutions on mobilizing marketers to grow their network, create more effective content and achieve their goals. Ultimately, LinkedIn wants its audience to use the service to achieve these goals. The social media channel team emphasized the content that marketers have at their disposal with the Marketing Solutions. The benefits remained more in the background. LinkedIn wants to enable its audience to work better (and use its product for this). To make this possible, there is an e-book that contains all the necessary information. Customers learn through these types of offers that LinkedIn is a reliable resource to help them.

Get started with processing empathy in your content strategy
We hope we gave you an idea based on the examples above of how to apply empathy and emotion in your content. Make use of real employees or customers, tell what people want to hear, not what you want to say yourself and empathize with your target group.

Start applying empathy and emotion in your content today and discover what it can do for your business. In any case, we are convinced that empathetic content marketing is hot and happening this year. Wondering how to incorporate empathy into a strong content marketing strategy? We have a guide for that with 5 indispensable & useful tips!

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