Empathy can assist copywriters in creating more effective digital copy, which stands out and establishes long-term trust and brand loyalty. Here’s how to use your gift of understanding others when creating copy for your brand’s online presence.
Why empathy in digital?
The nature of digital platforms (especially social media) is that, unlike traditional mediums, they usually consist of a two-way 'feedback loop'. Our online profiles can be considered as an extension of ourselves.
Empathy is crucial in effective communication on such 'personal-feeling' platforms because you aren’t just addressing your audience with a broad message on a large scale. Rather, you’re aiming to deliver a bespoke message, suited to them as individuals.
That’s why it’s crucial to check what online sentiments are about your brand often and to make use of social media listening tools such as SocialBakers. Whether it’s good or bad, what your audience thinks of your messaging is crucial.
Who are you feeling empathy for?
As with every other aspect of marketing, copywriting involves knowing your target audience. However, as a writer, understanding your audience goes beyond superficial indicators such as LSM, gender and race.
Copywriters can get caught up in the differences between themselves and their audience, but that approach is what gets them stuck in creative blocks. You don’t have to be
your audience in order to write to them effectively. Rather, look for your similarities, and let those points of connection guide you in your writing.
Let your intuition assist you in feeling
when something in the copy may be off-putting to readers. If something sounds odd to you, it’ll probably sound odd to your readers as well.
Don’t assume that you should be communicating to your readers in the way they’ve always been communicated to — this isn’t best practice, and usually comes off as insincere or even condescending. Remember that you’re speaking to other human beings, who will likely admire sincerity and wittiness as opposed to generalisations and trite clichés
Why be loyal?
Would you be loyal to a complete stranger? No. So why should a customer be loyal to your brand if they don’t feel any sort of familiarity with it? Your primary role as a copywriter is to inject personality into the brand you’re writing for.
Many brands (especially larger ones) tend to be perceived as faceless corporations. This reputation can be softened by using effective and sincere digital copy. In fact, social media gives companies a unique opportunity to build more meaningful connections with their audience than ever before.
A trap that has come about due to the rise of social platforms, however, is that of brands essentially 'over-doing' it. Much of this problem comes from brands trying too hard to sound more relatable or to be more 'human'.
News flash: Unless you’re an AI bot or terminator (you know who you are) then you are a human! So, if your content is sounding inauthentic, it’s because you’re not tapping into your own empathy, and essentially detaching yourself from it.
This can happen for a number of reasons, such as pressure to meet deadlines, hitting a creative block or generally feeling uninspired by the work you do. However, it’s times like these when it’s important for you to look into yourself and address those issues — for your own sake, as well as that of your readers.
Why you should 'feel' while writing
Feeling while writing requires being mindful of the present moment, which can be a difficult state to enter under pressure. Daily breathing and mindfulness exercises are just a few ways in which you can practice entering clearer, more serene states when writing. The more often you practice this, the easier it will become to find your flow and tap into it when needed.
The remarkable human ability to empathise with the emotions of others is one we often take for granted. Hone in on your empathy when writing for digital, and you’ll quickly find your content becoming more genuine and far more effective.
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