Why (and How To) Write a Strategy for Your Cause-Related Marketing

When manufacturers resolve to assist a social trigger or initiative, they too usually take a Band-Aid strategy.

They add a rainbow brand or body to their social media profile. They publish a weblog article explaining why the model is dedicated to combatting local weather change. They air a brief video to announce new advantages for staff after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

And then …

Nothing. The scorching matter of the second cools off – and so does the model’s public dialog about it. In some circumstances, the model’s dedication goes chilly too.

What if the content material advertising staff might change that? What in case you could lead on the continuing effort round these necessary matters?

By guaranteeing the model stays scorching on the initiative, you’ll elevate content material advertising’s position throughout the group (and perhaps even get that much-coveted seat on the high management desk.)

#ContentMarketing leaders: Keep your brand’s cause-related initiatives alive. You’ll help it succeed and elevate your team’s role, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

But how do you change the Band-Aid with a wholesome, sustainable strategy?

You write down a cause-related content material advertising technique.

Let’s speak about how to do that. I’ll use an instance based mostly on a model dedicated to variety, fairness, and inclusion (DEI). But this system can work for nearly any trigger or initiative.

Start constructing your cause-related advertising technique by going straight to the highest

I’ve written about techniques to take to domesticate various, equitable, and inclusive content material advertising. Brands are making progress on that entrance. But many battle to maintain their efforts.

Why? At many manufacturers, the dialog by no means hits on what must occur to make sure the group retains its public face centered on these matters.

A documented content-marketing technique round a DEI (or different trigger) dedication, for instance, permits all of the groups that create content material throughout the model to function from the identical web page. Its improvement can also function a jumping-off level for different departments or the entire group to develop a long-term technique round their contribution to the model’s DEI mission.

A documented #ContentMarketing strategy to support cause commitments helps all teams creating brand content operate from the same page, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Your technique preparation begins not with content material advertising however with the group’s enterprise operations:

That first step will seemingly take probably the most time – and it entails a lot you seemingly don’t have management over. But doing this analysis, together with interviews with key stakeholders, will inform every part you do subsequent.

Your investigation will assist folks in your group understand the depth of the model’s dedication and perceive the targets for its DEI efforts.

It additionally communicates to management that your precedence is to make sure content material advertising aligns with enterprise goals.

With this analysis completed, you’ll seemingly end up with considered one of two conclusions:

  • Clear DEI enterprise targets and metrics
  • A fuzzy image of what management wish to occur (although they haven’t totally formulated a plan or set targets)
  • You can nonetheless progress to the following step regardless of which conclusion you attain. It simply is likely to be more durable in case you’re within the fuzzy image crowd.

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    Bring within the viewers

    Now that you just’ve thought concerning the enterprise, it’s time to contemplate your viewers.

    In most cause-related initiatives, entrepreneurs neglect they’ve a target market and easily resolve to create the content material for the larger good. That’s a constructive step, nevertheless it’s solely the start.

    Ask audience-specific questions, reminiscent of:

    • Who within the target market is most on this content material?
    • Why?
    • What do they need from this content material?

    With this data, you may seemingly slim down your bigger target market or renew your dedication to an current persona or area of interest. This is the group to focus on together with your DEI content material advertising technique.

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    Align cause-focused goals with enterprise and viewers

    With your corporation targets and viewers understanding, you’re prepared to determine your content material advertising goals.

    What content material advertising targets align with each enterprise targets and viewers pursuits? Are they concrete and measurable?

    At this stage in a DEI content material advertising technique, some might recommend setting benchmarks for things like inclusive imagery, accessible content material, various voice illustration in content material, and many others. These targets are necessary. But they’re centered on techniques and don’t correctly incorporate the viewers.

    What would you like out of your readers, viewers, and listeners? Your reply will seemingly fall into these three broad goals:

    The three targets operate collectively as phases or a funnel. Brand consciousness leads an viewers to behave, and that motion in the end contributes to model loyalty.

    An election-season analogy would possibly assist:

  • A voter learns about a candidate (consciousness).
  • The voter decides to assist the candidate (motion).
  • The voter places the candidate’s signal of their yard (loyalty).
  • In cause-oriented content material, most entrepreneurs do the model consciousness stage properly. You would possibly change the social profile picture to signify the designated month. You publish an article from the CEO explaining the model’s dedication to the trigger and evaluation metrics round social media engagement, elevated visitors, or time on web page.

    But you additionally ought to get to the second stage – motion. This is the place many manufacturers falter. To immediate motion, you would possibly invite readers to subscribe to a sequence of articles round your model’s DEI dedication/actions. You might ask them to register for a webinar to be taught extra. Success metrics would come with sign-ups.

    Keep pushing to get to the third purpose within the sequence – loyalty. Publish common and genuine content material across the DEI mission (or your particular trigger). You’ll persuade the viewers that your model walks the speak.

    They’ll proceed to eat your content material. They would possibly purchase your merchandise. And they could inform others about why they like your model (whether or not they purchase from you or not). Success metrics would possibly embody returning guests, variety of pages visited, buy exercise, and model mentions.

    TIP: As you establish your initiative-specific content material advertising targets, you must focus on the content material plans, too. What codecs will you utilize? How often will you publish? Those two components must be decided to set related and sensible targets.

    Set #ContentMarketing objectives that align with both your brand’s goals and audience interest to support your cause-related initiatives, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet


    Commit to exhibiting ongoing dedication

    Move past the Band-Aids and undertake a long-term content material advertising technique for your trigger commitments. Your viewers will understand that your model isn’t leaping on the bandwagon – it’s really dedicated. That differentiation will make them get extra concerned together with your content material and in the end develop a stronger bond together with your model.

    And that’s a nice approach to elevate your content material staff’s position in assembly enterprise goals.

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    Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute