Think an engaging site and great customer service are the only factors customers take into consideration when making a purchase? Think again. Brands who contribute to their community and society drive more purchases than those who don’t. Edelman, a public relations company, found that in 2012, buyers considerably redoubled their focus on buying from brands engaged with society. 62 percent say giving back makes their companies more successful in the long run, according to a 2012 study by the National Federation of Independent Business. Here’s customer insight and a few ways to promote your good deeds to get you started on the right foot in 2013.
While encouraging employees to volunteer and hosting fundraising events are great places to start, consumers want to see businesses really give back. They also found that donating profits or services came in neck-and-neck as the favored methods. Less direct initiatives like encouraging employees to volunteer and collaborating with other companies ranked lower on the totem pole. Three-quarters of respondents worldwide said they would recommend a product from a company that supported a good cause, and the same number would share a positive opinion of that company.
- Nearly half of those who bought from cause-supporting brands in 2012 said they did so monthly.
- 53 percent of internet users said that when quality and price were the same, brands that had a social purpose were more likely to trigger a purchase.
Marketing Your Efforts
Just because you’re giving back doesn’t mean your audience is taking notice. While your business may be able to market its efforts through an email newsletter campaign or an article in a paper, there are other ways you can make prospects and customers aware. Marketing your community outreach and efforts means making the most of what you have and getting customers or clients involved.
- Use social media. Offer to make donations based on the activity of others on your social media post. Whether it’s for each new “Like”, follow or repin, let your audience know you’ll donate up to a certain amount. You’ll gain more brand awareness, give back and be more appealing to prospects.
- Have a widget on your website. Subtly promote your efforts with a widget. One example is Sweet Tooth. When their widget was clicked, a customer could choose to share charitable actions on Twitter in exchange for an additional donation to the charity.
- Allocate resources. If you’re on a tight budget, don’t send holiday gifts. Send donations to a foundation or organization your business supports. Then, let clients know where you’re donating and why. You may find a better response than anticipated.
Give back to your community and watch your business benefit. Get customers involved to see the best ways your charitable efforts can help your business flourish. Make sure to market what you are doing effectively so you can determine the balance of time and financial investment against the results. Find a way to give back that aligns with your business, customers and can be easily and effectively marketed. Here’s to giving back in 2013!
(Image source: eMarketer)