Your business content marketing could be the most charitable thing you ever create. Imagine that!
As the world of information matures and the tools we have for sharing become more interwoven with the fabric of daily life, surprising opportunities are coming along for the ride. One of those opportunities is the chance to create and share content that extends beyond the walls of for-profit business and reaches into the realms of charity, causes, and service.
Your business is made up of people and, despite what it might feel like after you’ve browsed a few news headlines, people love to do good things. People like to help each other. People like to help the environment. People like to serve and give back and build a better future.
Your content marketing (your blog posts, your social media shares, your videos, your books) can be a perfect opportunity to share those “good things” that are important to your organization. Just be careful how you do it.
First, You Need a Signature Cause
TOMS gives shoes to people who need them. Smile Squared uses the same buy-one-give-one model for toothbrushes. Countless firms support important causes such as clean water, reforestation, and access to health care. There is no limit to the places we can lend a helping hand or donate a dollar for good in this world.
The challenge is to patiently seek that area of need which is the perfect fit. It needs to fit you and your business, and it also needs to fit your customers. The more varied and widespread your customer base is the harder that can be. But it’s important. It’s important because you want your customers to be able to identify with your cause. You want them to be a part of fixing the situation right there alongside you.
BrightHacks’ signature cause is reaching the “information underload” crowd… read more about that here.
Get Over Your Reservations
I first heard the phrase “cause marketing” at a press event held by a large international manufacturer back around 2010 or so. I have to admit, I was kind of disgusted by the term at first. I felt like it was somehow pathetic that the marketing team of this big company was planning to use some sad area of need in the world for the further enlargement of their collective coffers. It took awhile for me to get over it.
Consider this… even in those systemically greedy organizations who only do this kind of things because it helps sell more stuff, the fact remains that they are in-fact giving. So despite the greed inherent in their motives the causes are being supported. Boots are on the ground and in them are people who really actually care. So that’s a good thing.
But your motives don’t have to be like that. You don’t have to feel connected to those greed mongers just because you actually want to support a good cause with your business. Your entire motive for creating your business in the first place might be in order to support a cause you care deeply about.
Either way, needs are getting met and that’s what counts.
Using Your Platform for Good
The reality of all future business is that you need a story. You need a narrative. You need an audience. Your competitors know it. Your suppliers know it. Your customers know it. Advertising without content is dead. Your business needs a platform to speak from. That’s what your entire content marketing system is meant to build.
Over time that platform will grow and your reach will become more and more influential. It’s like an exercise plan… if you do the work you will see the results in the mirror.
As that influence grows, just imagine the good you can do. You don’t have to stop at simply supporting a cause financially. You can also use your influence to speak-up and share what matters to your organization and why. Tell your audience the stories behind your signature cause. Share the heart and soul, the feelings, behind your involvement. Why do you care? Why should they?
Ultimately it is entirely possible that one of these days THAT bit of content you create could be the one that takes off. You could create the viral video that reaches millions upon millions. And you could change the world in the process.
How cool is that?