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Influencers Can Help Your Cause Marketing

Olivia Culpo helped Stella Artois donate funds to Water.org by wearing a dress made from Stella’s iconic chalice.

Influencer marketing is all the rage right now, and for good reason. Consumers increasingly trust people more than brand advertising, and hearing about a product or service from someone you trust can often make a much greater impression than seeing an ad. Nielsen reports in its Global Trust in Advertising study that 83% of consumers trust information they receive from friends or family as their number one source of information and recommendations. Influencer marketing is expected to grow in 2018, because it is providing authentic, believable, actionable, relevant messaging to very targeted audiences.

When communicating about a cause marketing campaign, we have traditionally turned to PR for earned media placements. While this strategy is still sound, and can provide excellent broad reach, adding influencer marketing to cause campaigns is beneficial as well. There are some key benefits to working with influencers for cause campaigns.

Authenticity

Identifying the appropriate influencers who are interested in your cause is the first step. There are influencers out there for almost any cause you can think of. You can do your own searching for influencers, or use the numerous databases and service that help sift through the millions of influencers to find the right fit for your brand and your cause. If your cause is hunger, finding mom bloggers, or chefs who support that cause is a natural, and it shouldn’t be too hard to get them engaged. Influencers are always seeking relevant content for their audiences and if you give them a reason to share about a cause that matters to them, they are highly likely to engage. And, when an influencer speaks about your brand in the content of your cause campaign, their audience will listen.

Cost

Though most influencers require payment for working with brands these days, if you have a cause that is near and dear to their heart, they may be willing to work with you to spread the word at low or no cost. Identifying with your cause makes the influencer look good too, so don’t be afraid to ask them to help spread the word for free.

Engagement

Ask your influencer to engage their audience. Invite them to an event, give them a code to redeem, enlist them to take action (Ice Bucket Challenge anyone?). This not only gets consumers involved, but helps you to measure how successful each influencer is in creating engagement. Maybe even invite an influencer to host an event, live or digital, to bring your cause to life for their audiences. When influencers get engaged, their audiences do to. Stella Artois teamed up with Olivia Culpo and other influencers to support Water.org. Olivia wore a dress made from Stella Artois chalices to the Oscars, and each time a chalis was purchased, Stella donated funds to provide 5 years of water to those in need.

Think Long Term

We believe the best brand-cause relationships are long term, demonstrating commitment and results over time. The same is true with a brand’s relationship with influencers. Cultivate relationships with key influencers over time, and work with them on many aspects of your brand. When they become brand believers, their audiences will likely follow. In the example above, Stella Artois has also partnered with Matt Damon, the founder of Water.org, and has a long term commitment to the organization, which sees Matt himself appearing in Super Bowl ads for Stella. A good partnership for both parties.

GSG has been creating cause platforms for brands since 2003. We believe in the power of good to create communities for brands that are passionate, committed, and engaged. Contact us to learn more.

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