Corporate citizenship has increasingly become a central part of most businesses structure with consumer companies like Warby Parker and Toms leading the way. The ‘corporate social responsibility’ of old is no longer effort enough. Today’s B2B businesses need to adopt a similar integrated approach in order to succeed. Potential clients, investors and partners now not only at the numbers and they evaluate a company’s persona when making key business decisions, whether the company is B2B or B2C.
What is corporate citizenship? It’s all about ensuring companies are doing their part and operating as good global citizens, meaning they obey the law and protect their communities and environment. The key to ensuring the ideal corporate citizenship is remembering the four C’s: comply, connect, contribute and call to action.
This one couldn’t be more straightforward. Follow all laws and regulations governing your industry, and you can check this one off the list.
Identify your target audience – the public, your customers, investors and other key players who influence the success of your business. Connect with your audience and figure out what drives their decisions and emotions. Whether you’re motivated because you know consumers want to buy from companies that do good or you’re truly passionate about supporting a cause, nonprofit partnerships and cause-related programs work because you can connect with your target demographic on an emotional level.
Now decide how you are going to give back and contribute to the community – what’s your cause? After you define the motivation, develop a cause-related marketing plan, which will not only appeal to your audience’s emotions, but also will promote your involvement in the community and charitable work.
If you’re not quite sure what cause-related marketing is, think back to Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign or ALS’s Ice Bucket Challenge. The goal is to identify a cause important to the company and create an emotionally-charged campaign that will trigger reaction.
Call to Action
Once you’ve gained your audience’s attention, how do you get them involved? One of the most critical pieces of a cause-related marketing plan is a call-to-action (CTA). Want the audience to share your content? Ask them to do so! CTAs are often all it takes to increase audience involvement in your campaign. Simply requesting that your audience “share” your content can help spread the word faster than if you were disseminating the information on your own.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you develop and execute your campaign:
- Content is key. If your content is boring, poorly written or lacking emotional appeal, your campaign will fall flat. Creating share-worthy content is critical to success. Communicating the story of the cause and its integration into your firm is just as important. If you want your content to be contagious, tell the story in a way that triggers emotion, encourages individuals to get involved and, most importantly, offers value, whether intellectually, emotionally or otherwise.
- Design matters. In the digital age that we live in, design components can be even more important than content. Focus on designing your content so that it draws the eye of the audience and stands out on busy social media newsfeeds.
- Optimize social media. Once your campaign content, design and deliverables are completed, distribution strategy needs to be considered. Most social media tools can tell you when your target audience is most active on each platform. Use available data to promote and share your campaign at the most optimal time. Additionally, share your campaign with centers of influence, clients, prospects and additional mailing lists you may have.
- Keep it simple. Just because a campaign is viral doesn’t mean that it’s complex. Sometimes the most simplistic ideas, such as Dove’s celebration of every unique body type, have the greatest effect.
Ensuring top-notch corporate citizenship doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming, but it should be deliberate and carefully crafted. If you still have questions, connect with our team on LinkedIn or Twitter!