Influencer marketing for a social cause – How , what and why?

Influencer marketing for a social cause – How , what and why?

Influencer marketing is rapidly evolving into an essential component in the marketing strategy for businesses. Its popularity has skyrocketed due to its effectiveness and the creativity with which brands can promote their products and services. Influencer marketing has been effective in connecting with the masses and generating brand awareness. One concept that has been garnering interest is the use of influencer marketing to promote social causes. In this blog post, we will show how companies can (and should) use influencer marketing campaigns for a cause and help make a better place.

What is cause marketing?

Cause marketing is a form of corporate social responsibility where businesses plan and execute promotional campaigns with the purpose of furthering a social cause along with increasing the company’s profits.

People understand, appreciate and most importantly care about social causes like the fight against cancer, women empowerment or global warming now more than ever. People are conscious of participating in social causes now more than ever before.

Brands understand this and realize the importance of aligning themselves with a purpose. Such campaigns are often narrating a story that has a major emotional impact on the audience creating a strong brand recall. One of the examples that come to mind is Always “Like a Girl” campaign from 2014.

As of today, this video has 66.4 million views, 283K upvotes, 47.1K comments. A video that focuses on empowering women and redefining what it means to do anything #LikeAGirl, the subject matter is very relatable because we have all been on one side of the issue at one time or another. In the comments sections, viewers have shared their stories.

The benefits of investing in cause marketing activities are apparent:

  • Gives the brand a purpose and direction
  • These campaigns bring out great stories and grab the attention of the audience
  • Builds trust and emotional connection with audiences

Influencers for a cause

Social media influencers are among the people who care for social causes and stand for something they believe in. Content creators too are looking for opportunities to affect social change and further a cause. These social media influencers have a loyal and engaged audience giving them a platform to be an agent for social change.

In fact, influencers are ideally suited for this task as they share their personal values with their audience, who appreciates authenticity. Like other people, influencers are also motivated by compassion to further social causes with little to nothing to gain for their efforts and they are fine with it. Look at the following example:

Health blogger Lea Lou after her own pregnancy, started a funding campaign to contribute to Every Mother Counts, an organization dedicated to providing medical support and attention to pregnant women in developing countries.

Influencer marketing for a cause

Clearly, both brand and influencers care about promoting social causes and making the world a better place. This brings us to an interesting space where they can collaborate to make the world a better place.

Influencer marketing for promoting social causes works on the same lines as influencer marketing for business. By collaborating with each other, brands and influencers can promote a common social cause on a bigger scale and to a much bigger audience with both entities doing their part in the promotions. Let’s look at a few examples:

Microsoft Women in STEM

On International Women’s Day in 2017, 30 photos were released on National Geographic’s Instagram channels as a part of Microsoft’s “Make What’s Next” campaign to encourage women to pursue a career in STEM.

Each photo shows a women scientist or adventurer working passionately in her chosen domain. The photos while being visually stunning, tell their story in the caption. Look at the two examples below:

The goal of the campaign was to increase brand awareness, foster a positive perception and encourage women to pursue a career in STEM while capitalizing on an international event of Women’s Day. The results were unbelievable: the photos garnered a total of 3.5 million likes, with a potential reach of 91 million across the NatGeo accounts.

Boxed Water ReTree Project

Boxed Water is known for selling water in milk cartons instead of plastic bottles. The brand is environmentally-conscious and wanted to spread its ideology of reducing the use of plastic bottles. They partnered with influencers to run the ReTree campaign.

The premise is simple, for every post promoting Boxed Water with #ReTree, the company promised to plant two trees in national forests (in partnership with National Forest Foundation). Influencers were tapped to encourage their followers to share their posts. Boxed Water’s Instagram account had only 53000 followers at the time so influencer marketing really gave the campaign a boost (almost 10 times) considering 73,670 trees were planted as a result of the campaign.

Key takeaways and final thoughts

Influencer marketing has the potential to make an impact in ways beyond promoting products and services. Influencer marketing for promoting a social cause results in creative campaigns that establish an emotional connection with audiences creating a strong brand recall.

People trust brands that align themselves with a social cause. Collaborating with influencers for a social cause may lead to future opportunities to collaborate with them in the future and also influencers also want to promote social causes.