You don’t have to be a nonprofit to do good in the world. More and more businesses are establishing and implementing corporate responsibility programs through which they are encouraging employee volunteer efforts, partnering with nonprofits, or taking other supportive measures in their community. If you have a strong corporate responsibility program, half the battle is communicating your initiatives to your target market and the general public. Enter cause-related marketing strategies.
What is cause marketing? You most likely took part in a viral cause marketing campaign in the past few years by sharing a video on Facebook or dumping a bucket of ice water on your head. While you don’t need your efforts to go viral like KONY 2012 or the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to get your message heard, here are some tips to get your cause-related marketing campaign on the path to success.
Cause related marketing and corporate responsibility programs appeal to your audience and the public’s 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. When developing a cause-related marketing plan, appealing to your audience’s emotions can often accomplish more than marketing initiatives that lack emotional appeal. Make sure your campaign is piquing the interest of the audience, especially with emotional responses.
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.
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. Supporting a nonprofit isn’t enough to carry a campaign — communicating the story of the cause 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.
In the digital age that we live in, design components can be even more important than content. The design of your campaign, whether it’s creating a high quality video, a logo to accompany your efforts or a nice looking marketing document, can drive interest. Focus on designing your content so that it draws the eye of the audience and stands out on busy social media newsfeeds.
Strategy for Sharing
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
Most importantly, keep your cause marketing campaign simple. Just because a campaign is viral doesn’t mean that it’s complex. Consider our previous examples of KONY 2012 and the Ice Bucket Challenge. All viewers had to do for KONY was watch a video and share it. The Ice Bucket Challenge was as simple as filling a bucket with water, adding ice and pouring over oneself.
In 2015, the opportunity to go viral is greater than ever. Social media has drastically impacted the way in which businesses communicate their value to the marketplace. Keep our team’s recommendations in mind when strategizing your next cause-related marketing campaign to set yourself up for success!