15 Great Examples of Empathetic Content Marketing in Action

by Josh Ritchie

If you want to create content marketing that really resonates with people, you need to know what they need and want. This requires you to practice empathy.

“Empathy is feeling with people.”
Dr. Brené Brown

The strongest content marketing follows this philosophy. When you can put yourself in someone’s shoes and have the ability to understand their hopes, desires, or fears, you can find ways for your brand to better serve them. Through content, you can educate, entertain, or inspire and become the helpful, supportive resource they need. 

Luckily, we’ve seen smart brands embrace this approach across industries, in all sorts of creative ways. 

15 Examples of Empathetic Content Marketing

As these brands prove, as long as you approach your content with empathy, you can tell interesting, memorable stories that resonate. We hope these examples spark your own creative ideas (and we hope you’ll share them with us if they do).

1) LUSH’s How It’s Made Video Series

With the tagline “Fresh, handmade cosmetics,” LUSH is a beauty brand that is all about natural products. Their community wants beauty products that are truly natural, and—most importantly—they want assurance that they’re getting what they pay for. LUSH provides that assurance through the radical transparency of this video series.

Each episode features actual Lush employees in the “kitchen,” narrating the step-by-step process of how the products are made. You see mounds of fresh lemons, tea infusions, and salt swirled together to become the product you know and love. It’s equal parts interesting and educational.

2) Headspace’s Social Content

When facing the global COVID-19 pandemic, people want ways to stay calm and carry on. Recognizing this, Headspace created a handwashing tutorial that encourages people to turn handwashing into a mindful, meditative practice. 

By doing this, Headspace successfully turned a simple PSA into a piece of content that delivers on its brand promise (“Mindfulness for your every day life”). 

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Anytime can be a good time to relax your mind. Just add soap and water. Watch and wash.

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3) LinkedIn’s Native Advertising E-book

LinkedIn Marketing solutions is all about mobilizing marketers to grow their audience, create more effective content, and, ultimately, achieve their goals. Their 27-page e-book is a fantastic resource to help their. Packed with tips, stats, and deep dives into the various types of native ads, the guide educates people and empowers them to use Native Advertising more effectively. 

empathetic content marketing home depot

4) Ikea’s Make Home Count Video

Sometimes people just want to feel connected. During the global pandemic, Ikea showed solidarity with homebound people around the world with a simple emotional video spot that captures the everyday moments at home.

BTW, the piece was made entirely from footage shot at home by employees. This type of creativity proves that you can produce high-caliber content even with limited resources.

Note: If you want to experiment like this, learn about the 6 types of video you can create remotely.

5) The National League of Cities’ Census Toolkit

In order to encourage people to participate in the Census, the NLC created a comprehensive toolkit that provides the information, flyers, and assets people need to mobilize their communities.

By educating the public, giving them next steps, and even allowing them to customize content, the NLC helped eliminate barriers to participation while empowering people to help promote the Census. This is a great example of using empathy to create content that solves a problem. 

empathetic content marketing

6) Nike’s Play for the World Video

This one falls into the inspiration category. To help encourage people to stay indoors and #flattenthecurve, the branding juggernaut created this powerful spot.

For Nike, it was the perfect message to remind people to 1) stay active and 2) remember what they’re sacrificing this time for. It is the kind of content people expect from the brand, delivered in a format that connects the larger global community.

7) Scriberian’s Colouring Kit

UK marketing agency Scriberian did what all brands should do in challenging times: used their unique skills and knowledge to help their community. For this particular group, that came in the form of a coloring kit for kids—or, rather, the many parents with kids trapped at home. It was a simple, free way to provide valuable content while showcasing the brand’s creativity.

8) Home Depot’s Grow a Living Salad Bowl Infographic

Home Depot caters to all types of builders and DIY-ers, but they know that people need a bit of inspiration from time to time. Thus, their content marketing focuses on what their supplies can help you do—not just what the supplies are.

This infographic teaches consumers to grow their own salad, offering information on how to do it, which vegetables grow best, and what supplies they need, providing equal parts inspiration and education.

empathetic content marketing home depot

9) Dove’s #ShowUs Campaign

Dove has been at the forefront of body positivity, encouraging women to embrace and celebrate their bodies. Their social media has been a particularly valuable tool to help them do this.

Through their #ShowUs campaign, they invite women to share their reflections on a variety of topics, from age to career. This type of content helps them cultivate a community built around positivity, kindness, and self love. 

10) Extra’s #GiveExtraGetExtra Campaign 

In many ways, gum is a product meant to enhance intimacy, making your breath fresh for more closeness. But those everyday moments of intimacy are often overlooked. The #givextragetextra campaign encouraged people to submit photos of those everyday moments to be turned into sketches, some of which appear on the inside flap of Extra packaging.

This unique project was a great way to celebrate artists, encourage people to reflect on life’s little moments, and make the brand a part of it all.

Empathetic content marketing

11) Learning House’s The Science of Sleep Infographic

Learning House provides tech-enabled learning solutions to universities to help improve student education. As such, they are invested in helping people learn as effectively as possible.

For students, however, a lack of sleep can greatly sabotage their learning ability. Thus, the brand created a helpful infographic that emphasizes the importance of sleep and offers tips to improve it. This is a simple, thoughtful way to enhance people’s lives.

science of sleep

12) JetBlue Flight Etiquette videos 

JetBlue is a brand known for superb customer service and humor. At this point, we know where they fly, and we know their hook, so their marketing has extended beyond the services they provide.

Now, their content focuses more on the world of flying and the experiences we all have. These humorous PSAs commiserate with the challenges of flying, and provide tips on how NOT to act (in hopes of improving the flying experience for everyone).

13) WeTransfer’s Ideas Report

WeTransfer creates “beautifully obvious tools to keep your ideas moving,” so they’re deeply invested in supporting their users’ creativity.

That’s why they surveyed 20,000 creatives from almost every country on the planet to find out how they develop their ideas. The report presented the most interesting findings, allowing the brand to share interesting knowledge that aligns with their mission.

14) Sonos’ Instagram Tutorials

Nobody wants to track down a manual or read through product capabilities, so Sonos saves their followers’ time and energy with simple, easy tutorials to get the most out of their product.

From programming Sonos songs as your alarm to placing the speaker in the right place for ultimate bass, these snippets provide a valuable service by enhancing the way people interact with their product—with minimal effort.

15) Oreo’s Instagram

Oreo is all about the joyful, playful celebration of the sweeter side of life. To follow through on this, they feed their community a steady stream of silly, fun content via social. Their never-ending creativity keeps people engaged and entertained, reinforcing the brand’s playfulness with every post.

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To whoever is asking these questions, we applaud you ? ? ?

A post shared by OREO (@oreo) on


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Let’s play a little game, first word you see is what you’ll dip your next OREO cookie in… and go! ?

A post shared by OREO (@oreo) on

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Hint, here’s ours: ⚫⚪⚫

A post shared by OREO (@oreo) on

How to Do Empathetic Content Marketing

Even the most creative ideas won’t land if they aren’t relevant to the people you’re trying to reach. To create unique and successful content marketing:

  • Create personas. To find out what people really need and want, you need to get inside their minds. Follow our guide to create personas that help you understand who you’re marketing to.
  • Don’t feed them BS. Try these tips to keep your content authentic and helpful
  • Show your human side. Follow our guide to culture marketing to show your community the people behind your brand. 
  • Tell your brand story. People want to know who you are and what you’re about. The more transparent you are, the better they can connect with you, so try these tips to tell your brand story in every piece of content you create.

Of course, content marketing isn’t always easy. If you find yourself stuck for any reason, consider bringing in a partner to help you tell your brand story. Check out our tips to find a good creative agency, or chat with us. We’d love to hear about what you’re working on.

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