Make Marketing Matter: A Guide to Cause Marketing
For most individuals, making a difference matters. We all want to leave behind a legacy, big or small, where we helped leave the world a little better than we found it. Unfortunately for many, there are not enough resources available to make that kind of impact on their own.
This is where cause marketing comes into play.
Through supporting local businesses and corporations that align with their personal beliefs, consumers are able to make a difference through their everyday purchases. They are loyal to the brand that can help them impact the world in ways they find meaningful.
When you have a brand that fights for a cause, this opens you up to the possibility of cause marketing– a way to use your inner philanthropist to grow your business and fight even harder for your beliefs.
For more on how this kind of marketing works, keep reading below.
What is Cause Marketing?
For business owners new to the marketing world, it’s common for cause related marketing (CRM) to be an unfamiliar concept.
Simply put, cause marketing helps consumers choose one company over another based on morality. When all other factors are considered equal, a consumer will likely purchase from a company that aligns with their moral compass.
When marketing a cause, a company takes a stance on challenges currently facing our society. Whether its environmentalism, animal testing, body positivity, or mental health, companies sell their products to help provide support, solutions, and issue awareness.
This makes cause marketing a niche of Business to Consumer (B2C) Marketing.
Cause Related Marketing: In the Wild
Let’s use an example many are familiar with: Toms.
TOMS shoes runs campaigns where every pair of shoes you buy helps provide one to a person in need. This is done through their One-for-One campaign. As such, TOMS maintains their brand support and the price of their footwear through giving back to the community through humanitarian efforts.
While Many other examples exist ranging from Dove’s Love the Skin You’re In campaign to The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS, the underlying principle is the same:make a difference.
Making a difference is therefore the special element that makes cause marketing so successful.
Two Types of Cause Marketing Styles
Within the cause-related marketing world, there are two main types a business can practice: partnership marketing and corporate giving.
In partnership agreements, a for-profit business works alongside a non-profit agency. The relationships are mutually beneficial with the for-profit often offering financial support and the non-profit often offering a network of interested individuals ready to support the existing cause. This is also known as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
In corporate giving, a corporation picks a cause, raises money through products, then donates a specified amount. This is usually done in exchange for tax credits to the company itself, thus making it mutually beneficial for both the business and the cause.
While this may seem like a nuanced topic, a vast majority of consumers take interest in these marketing strategies.
The Real World Metrics of Cause Marketing
Before we get into the finer details of a cause marketing campaign, it’s important to first see the value in having a cause. To gain an understanding, take a look at some of these real-world cause marketing statistics:
In a study posted by Mintel, 56% of American consumers showed reservation when buying from a brand they believed was unethical. As part of this study, Mintel also found that Americans were more likely to trust smaller companies over big corporations, giving SMB owners an advantage in the cause marketing arena.
Making the Switch
Just because a brand claims they are giving back doesn’t mean their consumers believe them. In a study posted by Conecomm, this was shown to create interesting challenges for companies looking to begin cause marketing. Not only is the mission statement important, but companies must put forth the effort to show tangible ways their aid goes on to assist communities in need.
Money Isn’t Everything
In a 2010 study conducted by GoodPurpose, findings showed that consumers wanted to see more than just donations. In fact, an 86% majority believed that businesses must also promote social change through avenues such as public activism.
As you can see, cause marketing is not something a company can fall into overnight. There are many considerations to make and many long hours ahead.
Nevertheless, cause marketing is worth the added effort. With numbers like these, efficient CRM strategies will not only make your company more impactful, but help it grow.
Content for Cause: Best Marketing Strategies
Now that we understand what causes marketing, we need to understand the best way to get your message heard. The easiest way to complete this task? Content marketing.
If you recall from some of our previous articles, not all content marketing is created equal. There are several different formats, social media accounts, website pages, and even articles that all fall under the “content marketing” umbrella. Knowing the right avenue to take is sometimes the difference between a successful social cause campaign and one that falls flat.
Social Media Content
Social media is a powerhouse when it comes to building brand awareness. Like no other format, companies can use social media to comment on trending news, interact with their audience, and develop a voice and style all their own.
As social media is firmly ingrained in the lives of individuals across the globe, this is also an amazing way to build your audience and broaden your community outreach. Whether through viral content or paid ads, having a social media account is a must for any cause campaign.
Blogs are one of the largest drivers of organic traffic to your site.
When a consumer types a query into a search engine, they receive thousands of results that best match their search terms. Between their search intent and the keywords they used, blog content is often a vast majority of what their search results pull up.
As such, having a blog that speaks to the questions, challenges, and interests of your ideal consumer base is a great way to show up in the search results of spontaneously interested individuals. For this reason, a regular, high-quality blog is an absolute must for any company taking the leap into cause marketing.
Website and Design
Last, but not least, is the impact of a well written website.
While blogs and social media often get the spotlight when it comes to content marketing, a clean and professional website is the final element that helps your company look credible and professional. Be sure to have concise copywriting and good design, both factors in helping new clients get to know you, your story, and your company mission.
Hiring Expert Marketers Pays for Itself
No matter what you’re passionate about, being a business owner makes it possible to move your cause forward. As such, Cause Marketing is about mobilizing your business to make an impact in the community.
The truth is, most business owners don’t have time to properly research, compile, and analyze the data necessary to develop effective marketing strategies. There is even less time to organize and manage the leads they end up acquiring. This results in a loss of time and money when trying to do a DIY approach.
Unfortunately, most business owners never seek marketing help because they are afraid of the cost. What they don’t realize is that when done by experts, marketing is an expense that pays for itself.
At Platinum Passport Marketing, we have a proven track record of making custom digital marketing materials that rank, grow your audience, and ultimately sell your service. We monitor your conversion rates, analytics, SEO, and online reputation.
With the strain taken out of your marketing, you can go back to doing what you do best: running your business.