Once a philanthropic tactic practiced by billion dollar mega-brands, cause marketing has grown to be a key element in the marketing mix for companies and brands of all types and sizes. Research shows 75% of consumers believe companies should support charities and nonprofits with financial donations, while 61% say they will buy a new brand if it supports a cause they care about (Do Well Do Good).
Cause marketing allows companies the opportunity to succeed financially while simultaneously doing something good for the community. In our recently published whitepaper, How Brands Can Use Cause Marketing For Results, we shared the types of cause marketing, cause marketing tips, case studies, and an infographic. Below we will share 6 tips for effective cause marketing!
6 Tips For Effective Cause Marketing
1. Pick your nonprofit partner wisely
It’s crucial to partner with a nonprofit that understands the strategic nature behind your partnership. There needs to be the understanding that a successful cause marketing campaign should ensure the mutual benefit of both sides. Your company is more than simply a source of funding and the nonprofit is more than just a way to boost your image. If you both happen to share the same target audience, that will go a long way towards forming a meaningful collaboration.
2. Integrate the cause into your company culture
The cause you’re supporting should tie in seamlessly with your company’s overall mission and values. Consumers are not naïve enough to simply buy into your cause marketing campaign without asking how the cause relates to your product or service. Authenticity and a high level of commitment from the top down are key so talk to your team and find a cause that everyone can feel truly happy about supporting. If stakeholders see that you have fully integrated the values of that cause into your company culture, you have a much higher chance of increasing returns related to your company’s goals.
3. Give more than just money
As mentioned previously, your company can and should give more than just dollars. Think about what your company can offer in addition to financial support. Donating relevant products or services will strengthen the association between your brand and the cause. Another option is to offer a corporate volunteering program. These programs allow employees to volunteer while on the company’s time and have been shown to dramatically improve both employee
engagement and satisfaction.
4. Be transparent, demonstrate impact
So the consumer has purchased your product and a portion of the proceeds have gone to your nonprofit partner. Is your interaction with that consumer done? Definitely not. Savvy consumers want to know what you’ve done with their generous donation and whom you’ve impacted. Avoid jargon that sounds like feel-good nonsense and be as transparent as possible with your results (it’s great PR). Keeping a counter on your website to track funds raised is a good option but you can also get more creative by sharing stories about the campaign’s impact on the community.
5. Leverage free PR
Make sure you’re strategic communications focus more on the cause you’re supporting than your company. If you’ve created a strong connection between the two, this should be enough to generate some fantastic PR. Because you’re associated with a nonprofit, much of the PR you generate will be organic (free) and this buzz will add authenticity and credibility to your campaign. We suggest first making good use of this free publicity but there are also wire distribution sites that will send out your press releases for a fee. PRWeb is a popular general distribution site while others such as CSRwire and 3BLMedia focus exclusively on cause marketing news. Fees range depending on the services you select.
6. Harness the power of social media
Whether you’re just starting your cause marketing campaign or celebrating its success, let the public know about it! Social media is ideal for promoting cause marketing because it gives you the opportunity to connect with those passionate about what you’re doing. Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are just a few fantastic platforms to reach your audience rather than wait for them to come to you. Create videos that highlight your team’s quality work. Find prominent bloggers who are already talking about this cause and would be excited to hear (and possibly write) about your campaign. Also, don’t forget to connect with the nonprofit as well as their staff and volunteers.
Want to learn more about cause marketing? Download the full cause marketing whitepaper for more details about the types of cause marketing, case studies, and a cause marketing infographic. Link here for more information on Cause Branding vs. Cause Marketing.