By Amanda Clark, Published October 25, 2014
Newsflash: Content marketing isn’t just for for-profit companies. In fact, Grammar Chic has previously blogged about the different ways in which charities and philanthropic organizations can make use of social media, inbound, and content marketing techniques.
What you might not know is that there is actually an entirely separate—and increasingly prolific—arm of content marketing, dedicated solely to working for social and charitable causes. It’s called cause marketing, and while it has much in common with conventional content marketing, there are some key distinctions that are worth noting.
Defining the Term
To begin with, though, what’s the basic definition of cause marketing? It is not, actually, marketing that’s done without profit-making in mind; actually, cause marketing is designed to be a profit-making initiative done by a for-profit company. The difference is that cause marketing doesn’t just try to raise awareness for a product. It tries to raise awareness, money, or engagement for a specific cause—a social issue, an environmental issue, or whatever else.
To really understand cause marketing, consider this old expression: Doing well by doing good. What it means is that it is possible—even optimal—to do something socially or morally good while also generating money or emphasizing your business’ bottom line. This is sort of what cause marketing is all about. A moral or social issue and a consumer product or service are both marketed in tandem, in a way that generates profits for the company but also money and awareness for the cause—so in the end, everyone wins.
Usually, cause marketing works something like this: A company markets its product, but pledges to give part of the proceeds to a charity or non-profit, or perhaps simply to use the marketing campaign itself as a way to generate awareness.
Cause Marketing and Your Brand
Any company can launch a cause marketing initiative—and the benefits for doing so are several. You can shine the spotlight on a cause that you really care about, and make an honest difference on behalf of an important issue. In the process, you can also spotlight your company’s philanthropic side, which can significantly improve your reputation and boost customer loyalty.
Some tips for getting started with cause marketing:
- Choose a cause that you and your team members truly believe in; your marketing initiative won’t get far if you lack earnest enthusiasm for what you’re doing.
- Choose a worthy charitable organization related to your cause, and inquire how best you might work with them to raise money or awareness.
- As you work to promote the cause—and your own products—don’t just make it about a financial commitment. Really work to build awareness, if only by including a link to the non-profit’s website, or to a donations page, on your own website.
From there, it’s really all about the basics of content marketing—of getting the word out about what you’re doing.