Cause marketing occurs when businesses support charitable causes or social issues, which benefits their marketing endeavors. Today, many companies bolster relationships with customers using cause marketing, strengthening their position compared to competitors and ultimately increasing sales.
Company leaders and consumers alike may support cause marketing to "give back" to the community. Interestingly, 56% of customers will pay more for products or services from brands that demonstrate a commitment to social value, and 53% will do so with brands that show their commitment to the community.
Let's discuss four ways to incorporate cause marketing into your advertising plan and grow your business.
Make It Your Brand Story
Highlight your cause by making it central to your brand's story and weave it into your marketing materials and messages. Make your cause the main point in your company story and any radio ads, TV spots, or digital marketing.
Cause-centric brand stories often resonate well with audiences, especially if they identify with your promoted cause. Mention specifically how the cause benefits when buyers do business with your company for your messaging to resonate more. For instance, show the immediate impact with phrases such as, "We donate 5% of all purchases to the Endangered Wildlife Fund."
Ensure It Resonates with Your Audience
Since you are running a business instead of a non-profit, balancing supporting a cause you believe in and one your audience supports is crucial. Align your brand identity with the identities of your high-value consumers to build a lasting connection.
Of course, before choosing your cause, you must gain a deep understanding of who makes up your target customers. Only then can you create appealing content that plays to their unique values and sensibilities.
Use It to Engage Customers
Once you've selected a specific cause, "mobilize" that cause on behalf of your business and use it as a vehicle for engaging customers.
Communicate through your email marketing platform to share news and information related to your supported cause. Becoming a knowledge source increases awareness around the cause while simultaneously increasing brand awareness. You can even highlight your support of the cause in your calls-to-action and encourage signing up for the company's newsletter in the process.
Moreover, look for ways to actively engage in the conversation around your chosen cause on social media networks your target customers frequent. Whether that means regularly uploading new cause-centric posts on Facebook or re-tweeting a Twitter post, your involvement in the larger discourse demonstrates that you care about the cause — and enhances your credibility as a result.
Partner with Local Entities to Show Support
Whether your chosen cause has a global, national, or regional scope, partnering with local entities that support your cause will likely prove very beneficial for your business. Of course, you can directly reach out to non-profits, charitable organizations, and other entities to forge a partnership. Alternatively, you may decide using a media partner as a "go-between" that handles the legwork and connects you with the right organizations makes more sense.
In either situation, such partnerships can take a lot of the burden off your shoulders when hosting promotional events. You may be able to sponsor events instead of developing them from the ground up, helping you focus on running your business without sacrificing involvement in the cause.
Use Cause Marketing to Grow Your Brand's Footprint
Cause marketing is an excellent way to connect with your audience on a deeper emotional level, simultaneously appealing to their core values while advertising your product or service. The cause marketing ideas discussed above only form a small sample of the many ways you can leverage this strategy to stay top of mind among your consumer base and build your credibility as a staunch advocate for your chosen cause (especially among younger audiences).
If you're new to the concept of cause marketing, then you should consider working with an experienced media partner to help navigate any potential complications associated with a new initiative. Regardless, cause marketing has proven to be a powerful business driver for many companies around the world. If you decide to incorporate it into your marketing plan, then you will likely see a significant, positive ROI from your efforts for years to come.