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Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Cause marketing is a brilliantly effective way of attracting customers, improving retention, and boosting a brand’s reputation. Brands seek to align themselves with causes that matter to them, giving customers a great reason to spend their money with the company in question. 

If a brand chooses a relevant and authentic cause, the cause marketing campaign will resonate with its target audience. Before long, the brand will enjoy all kinds of benefits while supporting a cause close to the heart of its team and customers. 

However, achieving success with a great cause marketing campaign is more complex than it sounds. There’s plenty of hard work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure that brands get the full benefit of their chosen cause marketing campaign.

Read on to learn more about how to do a cause marketing campaign, and you’ll soon have all the tools you need at your fingertips. 

What Is Cause Marketing?

Cause marketing is a form of marketing that pairs brands with relevant nonprofits. There are huge benefits for all parties, with those involved usually enjoying a real improvement in awareness (noticeable in search engine results) as they draw attention to a cause together. 

The idea of cause-related marketing campaigns stems from the fact that consumers are now far more concerned about their favorite brands’ impact on the world. 

Giving Tuesday is an example of a cause your company can partner with a nonprofit on

Customers now choose where they spend their money more wisely, considering the environmental impact of certain choices and many other factors. Often, customers are happier to part with a more significant sum of money to ensure they’re shopping with a sustainable and socially conscious brand. 

Brands are now using cause marketing to show their current and future customers that they are the right choice. It’s an excellent way for companies to advertise their corporate social responsibility policies, giving them an air of authenticity that customers can’t resist. 

How Cause-Related Marketing Works 

Cause marketing works through a mutually beneficial partnership between companies and relevant nonprofit organizations. Companies can use cause marketing in many ways, and there are several different options when deciding how a campaign should run. 

Typically, in a cause marketing campaign, you will see a brand pledge to donate a certain percentage of its profits to the chosen cause. Sometimes charity marketing can be used solely to draw attention to an issue. Still, most companies will usually back up their campaign with financial support for the charity they’ve decided to champion. 

Some brands opt to release a special product or service that aligns with their campaign. Usually, the company will donate all profits from this product to the chosen cause. Other examples include promising to plant a certain number of trees for every purchase or promising to recycle to boost sustainability. 

How To Run A Cause Marketing Campaign 

The most successful cause marketing campaigns are always the result of huge amounts of hard work, research, and planning. Take a look at our step-by-step guide to learn more about what goes into making a great cause marketing campaign. 

Choose Your Cause 

When choosing a cause, you can think about shelter cats and animals like this orange tabby in a shelter cage.

This is the first step, and it’s definitely the most important. 

The top campaigns get people talking because they feel authentic. The cause you choose must really mean something to your company. It should resonate with your team members and customers and make sense for your company to partner with the cause.

If customers are confused as to why a brand has chosen to pair up with a particular cause, interest in the campaign is likely to wane. However, if a cause feels relevant and customers immediately notice and support the partnership, the campaign results will be infinitely better. 

Decide How Your Company Can Help 

Cause marketing campaigns usually involve a brand offering financial help to their chosen cause. This could be through encouraging customers to donate when they make a purchase, or it might be through the brand donating a certain amount of its profits to its preferred cause. But there are other ways brands can help nonprofits using cause marketing. 

Some brands are less able to help financially, but they can still support worthy causes in other ways. You could offer the support of certain members of your team who have specific skills and knowledge of customer experience that could assist the charity. This could either be in person or via video calls. You can help with a fundraising event or marketing to promote the charity. 

Think about how your company could assist your chosen cause before proceeding to the next planning stage. 

Think About How Your Audience Can Get Involved 

Once you know which cause you’re partnering with and decide how your company can assist, it’s time to start thinking about what your customers can do to help. 

There are many ways to involve an audience in a cause marketing campaign. Of course, the more involved customers are, the better for the campaign overall. 

As you consider your marketing plan, think about the different ways that customers could lend their support. Try to use them to get the most out of your campaign

Customers might be able to support you financially, or you could encourage them to spread the word on social media. You might ask your audience to get involved in a fundraising event or challenge them to complete a task and share their results on social media. 

There are many options available. Be creative, and you’ll soon get their attention. 

Start Spreading Awareness

Once you have your cause, it's time to spread the word and get marketing.
Top view of pen and memo note written with SPREAD THE WORD.

Now it’s time to start sharing your campaign. At this point, it’s best to start working closely together with your chosen nonprofit, using an aligned digital marketing strategy as you share the campaign on your respective channels. 

Announce your partnership with the nonprofit, and have them do the same. Then start sharing updates on the campaign on social media, engage customers through email marketing, add banners to your website and release blog posts with more information about the campaign and how it works. 

When customers make a purchase, ensure they are reminded how their socially responsible purchase has raised awareness and helped support a great cause. 

Analyze Your Success – And Keep Talking About It! 

There’s still work to be done even once the campaign has closed. Your brand and chosen charity can continue to benefit from the campaign in the weeks and months after. 

Analyze the success of your campaign, using innovative insights to ensure you understand what worked and what didn’t. This will allow you to build on your success next time. 

Create content explaining what the campaign achieved, then share it with customers to ensure they understand their purchases’ impact. Continue to share via compelling content marketing to reap the benefits of a successful cause marketing campaign.

Cause Marketing Could Be The Answer 

Partnering with a nonprofit organization is highly beneficial to your company. Not only are you supporting a worthy cause, but it can also help you achieve your goals and targets. Whether you’re looking to improve brand awareness, encourage customers to spend more when they purchase, or look for a new way of advertising your company, cause marketing could be the answer. 

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Categories:  Digital Marketing

About the Author

James McMinn

Senior Digital Strategist

James is a savvy digital marketing specialist with a Masters of Science in Internet Marketing. For the past fourteen years, he has been specializing in SEO, PPC & Marketing Strategy. He has a super sharp analytical mind and a finely tuned creative eye for marketing initiatives that optimize brands.

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