Change seems to be the only constant in our world. What do you need to keep track of to grow and protect your business? It is hard to know! Anna Anderson from Art Unlimited will uncover the recent marketing changes and events that affect businesses nationwide. The data points of Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook can help you predict market trends. Today, we will discuss the fifth, and final, area big data can help you leverage success: community and cause marketing.

Some of the most powerful marketing campaigns I have run are non-traditional campaigns. These campaigns are not easily re-created, yet they drove the strongest ROI and built something unique — community. Community and cause marketing is an inspiring way to market, yet what makes up the core items of this marketing strategy?

Selecting a Charity

Charities have been asking businesses for donations and support for years. Many businesses respond out of the goodness of their hearts and give without asking for anything in return. Generosity is a core value I embrace personally and professionally, but when leveraging a cause in your marketing, you need to build some simple guidelines with these donations.

Things to request when donations are given:

  • Will your brand be included on promotional materials? If so, make sure to supply your branding manual.
  • Which social media platforms will be used? Is your business going to be promoted?
  • Should you be re-sharing or using hashtags when socially promoting your donations?
  • Is the nonprofit backlinking to their supporters within its website?
  • Are press releases going to be used? If so, what information will be needed from your business?
  • If traditional media is involved, what representation from your business is needed?

The above questions should be answered easily by the nonprofit organization. When we pause and ask questions such as the above, we usually see a larger ROI on campaigns. Why? Because we have taken time to understand what marketing is currently in production and how we can piggyback on their campaign. If they are not doing some of these items, it allows your business to consider taking action on their behalf and championing the mission.

Engaging Your Team and Customers

Bringing your company together around a cause within the community is key. Contributions lack the ability to bring a community and company together when a leadership team gives silent support to a nonprofit. When deciding to move forward with supporting a cause, it is paramount to review how your team can be involved.

A common form of supporting organizations within the community is volunteering a service, such as installing a new roof. This form of support allows for businesses to be visible in their contribution. If volunteering is your preferred form of contribution, here are a few tips:

  • Make sure your entire team has clean, branded apparel.
  • Photography and videography are captured during the event (following OSHA guidelines).
  • Signs are created to recognize your involvement in the campaign.
  • If local celebrities are available, ask if they could participate. Would they provide a quote for marketing purposes?
  • Prepare to do on-site social media promotion.

Inviting customers to engage in the giveback is a great way to strengthen your relationship with them. When asked if they would like to support or possibly participate in a community project, you will find more people say “Yes” than “No!” Leveraging this support is key: Do you have an easy path for your customers to participate? Here are some tips to allow your customers to join in:

  • Communicate where, when, and what will be happening.
  • How can they follow on social media?
  • Will there be a physical event? If so, how can they participate safely if this is an option?
  • Are you allowing other businesses to join in on the campaign? If so, define the needs and who to contact if they are interested in participating.

Remember, above all else, when creating a strong campaign promoting a cause: You need to clearly define how others can participate. Great campaigns include others. When raving fans are engaged, dynamic results occur!

Reporting and Monitoring

Measuring a cause campaign can be challenging, even to the point some marketing professionals don’t even try. I know all things should be measurable in some way. I also know cause campaigns have the ability to be measured. You simply have to be intentional in your tracking.

When working with a nonprofit, I always ask if there will be any campaign performance or reach reports provided. Many times the organization is unable to measure the reach of their efforts; yet some are able to provide social media metrics, Google Analytic data, and documented mentions within traditional and digital marketing campaigns. You can help support the measurement of the campaign by providing tracking URLs to use when linking to your business. Also make sure you have worked with the nonprofit’s marketing team so they are aware of your social media channels and how to tag your business in posts. With the proper implementation of these two things, you will be able to track inbound links and social traffic levels.

With so many shifts in mainstream and digital media, grassroots community marketing campaigns are driving growth. People want to do good and when allowed to be part of something bigger, they’ll join the movement. Because of this, we usually see a lift in lead generation when people are able to support a company who is doing good in their community. People talk and word will spread about you investing in bringing positive change.

As we conclude this five-part series, I hope you see there are many ways to leverage marketing and drive growth for your business. Great marketing requires all parties involved to continually come to the table and bring their best. From the C Suite to the graphic designer, we all bring value to the marketing conversations. Do not underestimate your voice! When everyone is working together we see dynamic results.