Cause marketing is the practice of supporting social causes by businesses in an attempt to gain more visibility and, of course, do good. Cause marketing and PR, combined, make for a powerful branding and marketing strategy.
When a business supports a cause, it attracts people who support the same cause and builds a positive brand image. Cause marketing is not just for businesses but has long been used by influencers, celebrities, politicians, and other notable people who care about their personal brand.
What does this mean for you?
If you want to build your personal brand or strengthen your company’s brand image, cause marketing and PR are two tactics you cannot afford to ignore.
In this post, you will learn why you need cause marketing and how you can best leverage it for yourself or your brand.
So, let’s get started.
Why Do You Need Cause Marketing?
The most obvious benefit of cause marketing is that it helps you build strong relationships with your customers and followers.
Whether you want to amass a social media following or simply build a strong brand image, cause marketing is the way to go. When people see you being vocal and taking a stand for causes they support, they will follow you both online and offline.
But that’s not all.
Cause marketing can also drive very tangible business benefits like driving more sales conversions. According to a recent study, consumers tend to buy more from brands whose values align with their personal values.
Image via 5WPR
Needless to say, connecting with your customers and followers has become more important than ever before. If you have a loyal following of people who connect with your values, then you have a lot of power in this time and age.
You can influence people’s purchase decisions, ask them to join your campaigns, and much more.
But how can you use cause marketing and PR to your advantage?
Find out in the next section.
How to Best Leverage Cause Marketing
This section will cover tips on how to improve cause marketing strategy to get the best results.
1. Pick the Right Cause
The most important step towards running a successful cause marketing campaign is to choose the right cause. It should be something that resonates with your audience, is relevant to your business, and is evergreen.
For example, Dove is a beauty brand that stands for the cause of breaking stereotypical beauty standards. Its main customer base comprises women and this is a cause that almost every woman would relate to, and it works for them.
Here’s a recent post that the brand shared on its Instagram page, just one of the many examples of such posts on their page.
Image via Instagram
You also need to be updated on the current world scenario and pick the most relevant causes that are affecting your community in the present day.
Take the COVID-19 pandemic, for example. It required everyone to stay home and stay safe to break the chain. One brand that used this for cause marketing effectively was Uber.
Even though Uber’s entire business revolves around people going out, it supported the cause brilliantly.
They literally created a video thanking people to not ride with them during the pandemic. A brilliant example of a brand forsaking its revenue stream to support a cause.
Image via YouTube
Needless to say, people admire such efforts by brands and stay loyal to them long after the issue or the situation has been resolved.
2. Encourage Audience Participation
What makes a cause marketing campaign a success?
Its ability to evoke emotion in the audience and get them to participate in the campaign.
Just like the Dove example above, you can leverage cause marketing to generate tons of user-generated content, if you play your cards right. Run a cause marketing campaign that nudges your audience to take action.
How can you do that?
Using hashtags to make your cause marketing campaign viral and adding compelling calls-to-action. Let’s discuss both.
Create a branded campaign hashtag for your cause marketing campaign and ask your audience to share their stories or post content using that hashtag. The more people who use the hashtag, the more popular it will become.
Take Walmart’s #fighthunger campaign, for instance. They encouraged their followers to use the hashtag and for every relevant post, they donated 90 cents to pay for food for people in need.
They got a massive public response, the campaign was a hit, and they secured 265 million meals for the disadvantaged communities throughout the Americas.
Image via Instagram
The mark of a great cause marketing campaign is its ability to compel people to take action and there’s nothing like a good CTA to do that.
When creating social media content or any other form of content, make sure to include a compelling CTA that guides your audience towards the next step. Whether you want them to make a donation, share their stories, or take any action to support the cause, tell them.
Take this post by Michele Obama, for example, where she calls out to people and encourages them to support her cause. She also provides the exact link where people should go to find more information and take the desired action.
Image via Instagram
It is not enough to simply ask people to support your cause, you also need to guide them in the right direction. So, when you run your cause marketing campaign, don’t forget to add strong CTAs that tell people exactly what to do and how.
3. Capture and Nurture Leads from Cause Marketing Campaigns
Let’s say that you have successfully applied the first two tips and have managed to get people to support your cause.
Well, you could do good just for the sake of doing good, but as a marketer, you should learn to make the most of your cause marketing campaigns. After all, the best time to connect with people and get their contact details is when you are fighting side-by-side against the same cause.
How can you do that?
Find a way to collect the contact information for all the participants of your campaign and build your email lists. This will be a goldmine of information that will help you in the future, when you want to reconnect with these people.
You can use this information to send automated emails and run drip email campaigns. The people who came to support your cause, already have a connection with you or your brand, and would likely be interested in whatever else you have to offer.
You could, for example, send follow-up emails about their experience with your campaign and pitch your products or services. Or you could contact these people directly for future campaigns. If you are in politics, you can ask them for their votes and so on.
You can also add this information to tools to manage customer relationships and track their interactions with you or your brand, from the first interaction to conversion.
4. Leverage PR and Advertising
If you want your cause marketing campaign to have the maximum impact, combine it with PR and advertising campaigns. After all, cause marketing and PR go hand in hand.
Promote your cause marketing campaigns using PR and advertising to reach more people and get a wider response. As an added bonus, it will also help you boost your brand awareness.
You can place ads on social media to improve your campaign’s visibility and reach more people. In fact, ads are especially effective if the action that you want people to take is to make a donation.
You can also get news and media sites to cover your campaign, talk about its impact, and even urge more people to join the movement. For that, you will need to write a media pitch that is compelling and effective.
5. Be Consistent Across All Brand Communications and Platforms
Last, but probably the most important tip is to be consistent with your values and the causes you support across all online and offline platforms.
It should never happen that you’re vocal about a cause on social media and completely forsake it in action in real life. That is a sure way to lose your credibility.
That is why it is important to choose a cause that you genuinely care about. Whether you want to build your personal brand or boost your company’s image, consistency is the key.
Cause marketing, combined with PR and advertising, can help you build a strong online reputation. All you need to do is choose a cause that resonates with your audience and design an effective campaign that stirs emotion and drives them to take action.
Once you get people to support your cause and join your campaign, you can collect their information and use it for marketing purposes later.
One word of caution, though, is to only choose causes that you genuinely care about. Otherwise, you may end up saying or doing something contradictory and lose your credibility.
So, what are you waiting for?
Get started with your next cause marketing and PR campaign right now and use these tips to make it a success. You can also leverage our online PR services to run effective campaigns for your brand.