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Empathy in content marketing

October is Emotional Intelligence Awareness Month. In observance of that, here's an easy way to infuse more empathy -- a key component of emotional intelligence -- into your content.

The Feelings Before & After Strategy helps us understand where our audience is emotionally before they engage with our content and where we want them to be afterwards.

The Feelings Before & After Strategy (c) 2019 The Word Factory, LLC

Writing with emotional intelligence

Start by jotting down how your audience feels now in the Feelings Before block. That could be frustrated, anxious, confused, bored, unprepared, etc. Your sales team often has lots of ideas for this section. This block is where your audience lives right now. Understanding this helps you choose the right angle for your topic and the right words to show empathy and understanding.

Then note the emotions you want them feel after engaging with your content in the Feelings After block (duh!). That could be satisfied, calm, interested, curious, validated, etc. This is the road map for your content. The goal is to use the right combination of words and ideas to move your audience to these new (hopefully better) emotions.

Now go back to the Before Block. Think about how you experience those feelings and how you like to be talked to in those moments. What tone of voice do you need to hear? Do you need someone with all the answers or only a next step? Write those traits down in the Writer's Persona block. This helps you create the mindset the writer needs to be in to deliver the ideas in a way that shows empathy and makes the audience feel seen and heard -- and helped.

The Feelings Before & After Strategy is a handy revision tool, too. Go back through each block and tune up copy to make it more relevant and resonant.

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