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6 Tips For Successful Cause Marketing Campaigns
April is Earth Month and with Spring comes a host of businesses looking to launch cause-based marketing campaigns. But what sets the best campaigns apart from the underperformers? John Marcinuk, Head of Marketing for Blue Fountain Media, shared his top tips for making the most of the moment with your cause based campaign.
- Finding the Right Cause is Key
“Find the right cause to market, paying special attention to make sure that it aligns with your business goals,” Marcinuk suggests. “You don’t want to end up with a mismatched campaign, as when Kentucky Fried Chicken tried partnering with Komen for the Cure with pink buckets of fried chicken breasts. The health messaging was clearly off!” For Earth Month, you want something eco-focused, but if it is not a natural fit, don’t greenwash.
- Be Genuine
“Be sure your involvement accentuates your larger social role as a company and focuses on the genuine impact your campaign will have for the cause,” Marcinuk explains. You need to be more than a funds provider. “Be seen as a business that’s fostering real change with a boots on the ground approach — and be shown actively deploying that action in support of the cause.”
- Look For Celebrity Allies
There are a lot of celebrities, such as Matt Damon, Jessica Alba and Adrian Grenier, who have put environmental justice and green living at the center of their personal brands. In fact, a quick Google search for “environmental celebrity” yields a robust list! “Consider approaching a celebrity or influencer who is invested in and passionate about the same cause as your campaign is considering,” Marcinuk urges. “They’ll have the ability to raise awareness about your cause and entice followers to engage with your campaign. It’s one thing to say we’re bringing Hamilton to Puerto Rico; but it’s far more engaging to have the star Lin-Manuel Miranda explaining what this production meant for him and his family’s hometown, on a most personal level.”
- Be Creative
“With so many screens vying for your audience’s attention, your campaign needs to grab their eyes using all means necessary,” Marcinuk notes. “Too many non-profits take a conservative marketing approach that can’t break through the static. The right combination of captivating imagery, heartfelt storytelling, creative presentation, and playful wit is what it takes to entice an audience to embrace your cause and be motivated to take action to support it.”
- Use A Multi-channel Approach
“Extend the reach of your message,” Marcinuk says. “For example, we began the Lin-Manuel Miranda campaign with the hashtag #Ham4PR; we promoted the cause using a launch email; our group blanketed social media and produced a video for use on Instagram and Facebook, added social media advertising; we alerted the press; and we created a series of reveals throughout the campaign to extend interest across all these channels.
- Timing Is Everything
You need to strategically launch your campaign at the right time so that you and your team will have the energy to sustain engagement throughout the length of its duration. “For our Hamilton campaign, we focused on it being the right time for Arts to return to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. We demonstrated how bringing the show to the island would provide assistance to both the community and the arts there. In terms of keeping interest high, we kept expanding the number of winners who would be flown to Puerto Rico to see the show through a series of timed reveals. …. The lucky winners went from just one to eventually 50 entrants. This kept initial contributors engaged, while encouraging new people to make donations.”
If you have a green product or promotion, following the tips above to help spread the word will take your message a further. Remember: when you succeed in an altruistic effort, your help makes a difference!