Digital marketing is all about generating leads and driving business – and often there isn’t much room in the conversation for empathy. Web visitors are dollar numbers, right? Is there even a metric for empathy?
Good news: you can center empathy in your marketing strategy while achieving your business goals! In fact, you might even discover a whole new approach that attracts more customers while uniting your team around a core belief in the shared vulnerability of the human experience. (Don’t worry, there are plenty of KPIs for this as well)
This article explains how and why to tap into empathy, unique concerns for avocado marketingand a quick introduction to empathy on social media.
Tap into empathy for your users
As a lawyer, you know feelings matter. People are highly emotional creatures who are driven into action (for better or worse!) by the way they feel.
But let’s be clear about one thing: Empathy-based marketing is different from emotion-based marketing.
What is emotional marketing? A marketer creates a buyer persona that includes emotions. Then, marketing materials are designed to capitalize on those emotions and inspire an activated person to take action or buy something.
Instead, when developing a website, let’s focus on empathy-driven design. It starts with putting yourself in your customer’s (or potential customer’s) shoes to better understand how a user feels about the situation that caused the need for a lawyer. Then we design a website that sympathize to the user’s situation and offers a thoughtful solution.
Choosing the right images for your law firm website
Over the past 15 years, we’ve designed websites for nearly 2,000 law firms and often see lawyers overlook the effects of images on the user.
Let’s say you recently had a motorcycle accident that resulted in a leg amputation. In your search for a lawyer, you find a firm that seems to specialize in motorcycle accidents. When you get to their website, the first thing you see is a full screen image of a crashed motorcycle on the road with an ambulance behind it.
For lawyers, there are moral and business arguments for avoiding triggers that could reactivate someone’s trauma, even if that means choosing a more abstract design for your website and marketing materials.
Lawyers should avoid images that may attract attention but trigger a negative emotional state.
95% of purchasing decisions are subconscious, according to Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman. Another study showed that emotional connection has a greater impact than customer satisfaction on repeat business, referrals and email open rates.
In other words, making people feel good and safe (aka empathy marketing) can help you grow your practice.
Content that connects
As you develop your website and step into the shoes of your site visitor, be sure to take note of their weak spots; these pain points should be related to the current legal issue and your business.
Unfortunately, when it comes to legal matters, many people have preconceived ideas about what it is like to be involved in a lawsuit or to work with a lawyer – these beliefs can lead to fear, anxiety and even fear. When writing content for your website, be sure to consider all of these feelings and commit to providing valuable information that will alleviate some of these concerns. Videos can be a great way for visitors to passively “meet” your team members and establish a comfort level that often leads to more conversions.
When it comes to written content, consider the following:
- Answer the questions you know your visitors are asking. There’s nothing that shows you understand your visitors’ concerns better than anticipating the questions they have and providing them with the answers when they need them most.
- Make your content easy to read and make sure it’s sensitive to your audience’s feelings. Complex writing and legalese can further exacerbate feelings of uncertainty or anxiety. Creating content that distills complex topics for visitors can make legal proceedings less overwhelming.
- Show who your professionals are. Too often, attorney profiles are sterile bulleted lists of accomplishments and bar admissions. Consider taking a more personal approach to this incredibly important web page(s). Now, that doesn’t mean listing your children’s names here; instead, show how and why you have a comprehensive understanding of your potential customers’ needs. You might consider answering the following questions: “Why did you decide to specialize in this area of law? What is your favorite part of the job? »
- Create calls to action that match your visitors’ unique situations. Do your prospects value privacy above all else? If that rings true, you might consider keeping your web forms incredibly short and letting website visitors know that they’ll be speaking directly to an attorney in a free/confidential consultation.
A note on empathy on social media
So, does empathy-based marketing also work on social media? The short answer is yes, but the long answer is a bit more complex.
Social media platforms are largely image drivenyour choice of images therefore has an even greater impact on your social KPIs than on your website.
On the one hand, you want images that grab attention. But on the other hand, your goal is bigger than a few Likes or a brief moment of attention, right? Your ultimate goal is to build relationships and eventually get retained.
It is possible to post sensitive images with empathy. In this situation, you should use a trigger disclaimer, which is a brief notice at the top of the post that describes the topics and materials included. For example, a graphic photo of a motorcycle accident could be accompanied by “TW: graphic photo of a motorcycle accident”.
Trigger warnings giving users the choice of whether or not to engage with material that may be difficult for them. However, if a trigger warning is needed, it’s worth assessing whether the content really offers value to subscribers or if it could do more harm than good.
Ultimately, provocative images can generate After careful, but may deter some potential customers from engaging with your website and business.
Review and next steps
User empathy is too often overlooked in lawyer marketing. However, empathy is a powerful and strategic design choice.
- Lawyer marketing should avoid images that may activate a user’s trauma.
- Website content should address the specific concerns of your visitors.
- Trigger warnings can give users agency and build trust on social media.
Empathy-driven marketing can help your business generate higher quality leads, improve referrals, and increase customer lifetime value.