Believe it or not, as the younger generations take over much of the consumer population, it's becoming more important for brands to prioritize having a purpose over simply selling their products for a profit - and calling it a day.
In fact, Forbes reports that 92% of Gen-Z and 90% of Millennial respondents said they would support a purposeful brand. They also reveal that 70% of Gen-Z and Millennials believe a brand should have a purpose they personally believe in, and they need to prioritize purpose over profit.
To appeal to this significant portion of your audience, you will need these cause marketing tips.
What Is a Cause Marketing Strategy?
Cause marketing is when two organizations partner up — typically a for-profit and a non-profit — to increase sales for the for-profit business while contributing some good through the non-profit. Take, for instance, a local food bank and a local grocery store. The two may partner up to increase donations to the food bank to help the poor and homeless in the community by encouraging the grocery store's customers to take action.
This can be done by promoting that for every 'x' amount spent, the grocery store will donate 'x' amount, by offering customers the opportunity to add to their totals, or by allowing them to buy cans of food that will be sent to the food bank. What matters is that as a business in the local area, you are contributing to the community and supporting relevant local causes aligned with the values of your customers and brand.
Cause Marketing Strategies for Your Small Business
Cause marketing can be a huge benefit for your brand, but there are some strategies you'll want to keep in mind to ensure its success. First and foremost is that the cause is relevant to your brand (like a food bank and grocery store). The cause has to make sense for your brand to support it, or you just come off looking like you're trying too hard or just using the cause as an excuse to profit.
Then you'll want to consider the following.
There are plenty of great local charities and causes to support, and your consumers on the Gulf Coast want to see you making a difference in the area. Your local audience is more inclined to support and appreciate positive changes close to home. This can be through charities like the Christian Service Center Inc, Gulf Coast Center for Ecotourism & Sustainability, Fort Morgan Volunteer Fire Department Inc, and more.
Contribute Like a Pro
It's nice to offer your customers a chance to contribute to great local causes, but you want to make sure that you make some great contributions. Some great examples are when brands agree to match their donor's contributions to a certain point. This shows how much the cause means to you and encourages more people to participate so you contribute more.
You'll also need to be accessible throughout your cause marketing campaign. It's important that your customers can openly ask and address your intentions with the local cause whenever they see fit. It also helps to incorporate digital access to donations, the cause you're supporting, and the reasons for supporting the cause (i.e., on your website, social media, etc.).
Create Raving Fans
Get everyone excited about making a difference in the community. Supporting a cause that means something to your brand and consumers is a great way to improve brand loyalty and get people more excited to donate, make a difference, and help other people in the community thrive. Some great ways of doing this may include having contests, giveaways, and freebies to generate more interest and excitement.
Use Community Advertising
Of course, you will also need to rev up your community advertising promoting the cause you're supporting and why. After all, if people don't know about the partnership and good deeds you're doing for the community - they won't be able to contribute, and you won't get the recognition and sales increase you seek out of it.
You should also keep your messaging and promotions consistent with your brand values. You're going to contribute to some great causes on the Gulf Coast, but if you deviate from your brand values - it may come off ingenuine or insincere. This could be tragic for your brand's image. Remember to stick to why your brand chose to support this cause and why it is so important for your consumers.
Finally, you also want to be highly engaged with your audience. This means being actively appreciative and interacting with your Gulf Coast customers on social media platforms. The more you engage with them around your cause, the more excited your target market will be to talk about it and support it as well.
Community Marketing on the Gulf Coast
Finding the right community marketing partnerships and strategies can be a challenge. Consumers prioritize brands that are purpose-driven, but they also don't take lightly to brands taking advantage of causes to gain an extra buck. The truth is, there is a thin line between doing good for the community and only doing good for yourself. Work with a media partner to identify community marketing opportunities on the Gulf Coast and ensure you're going about it the right way.