Create an Effective Cause Marketing Campaign

See­ing an increase in the need for cause mar­ket­ing? This is all you need to know how to. We’re expe­ri­enc­ing an amaz­ing shift in the world, as peo­ple become more engaged than they’ve been in a long time. From school kids to senior cit­i­zens, grass roots activism and cause-relat­ed groups are crop­ping up in answer to con­cerns, local­ly, nation­al­ly and glob­al­ly. Whether you’re start­ing up a cause or are part of an estab­lished one, this is an extreme­ly fer­tile time of real oppor­tu­ni­ty to cre­ate aware­ness… and turn it into ACTION. You can do that with the right cause mar­ket­ing campaign.

Create an Effective Cause Marketing Campaign

Won­der­ing where to start with your cause mar­ket­ing cam­paign? This blog has every­thing you need!

How to create an effective cause marketing campaign

First you have to know what you want to accom­plish with a cam­paign, ie: bring atten­tion to an issue, raise funds, edu­cate peo­ple, change behav­iors or pol­i­cy. Know­ing your goal helps direct your mes­sag­ing and design approach.

To illus­trate these con­cepts, NCD cre­at­ed a cam­paign graph­ics to raise aware­ness of the issues coral reefs are fac­ing — that cli­mate change is “bleach­ing” and killing the coral and how that affects our ecosys­tem. Pantone’s Col­or of the year, Liv­ing Coral, was actu­al­ly inspired by the sit­u­a­tion, and in turn, fed our ideas for the campaign.

1. Create a Compelling Headline

Your cam­paign head­line should be short but impact­ful, aimed at real­ly con­nect­ing with your audi­ence. So many of us scroll through social media and click on and off web­sites at light­ning speed. What head­line would make you stop? Focus on that as you craft yours, mak­ing sure it also serves your ulti­mate goal.

2. Select the Right Visuals 

Next, address visu­als — whether pho­tos, a video, or info­graph­ics — with the goal of deeply tap­ping into the emo­tions that con­nect your audi­ence with your cause. Avoid cheesy or staged look­ing pic­tures and clut­tered info­graph­ics with text too small to read.

You can edit images to cre­ate a pro­found impact. Here’s an exam­ple of what we did.

We start­ed with an image of actu­al coral bleach­ing (cour­tesy of The Ocean Agency).

Coral bleaching

Image cour­tesy of The Ocean Agency

Then, we mod­i­fied the image by mak­ing the water a lit­tle more murky to fur­ther show our impact on our oceans and coral reefs. After that, we added a human touch­ing the corals show­ing the before and after to illus­trate the impact we have on our corals and our selves.

How To Create an Effective Cause Marketing Campaign

To add more impact, we added large bold type with a thought pro­vok­ing mes­sage. And cre­at­ed a cus­tom badge for the campaign.

Cause marketing campaign on coral bleaching effects

Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty Tip: Max­i­mize the return on your efforts by cre­at­ing mul­ti-pur­pose mar­ket­ing pieces, ie: a square graph­ic that will fit into most SM platforms.

3. Share Your Cause Marketing Campaign 

Social Media is a free, wide­spread and imme­di­ate way to get your cam­paign seen! Use the right com­bi­na­tion of plan­ning, visu­als and mes­sage to bol­ster the poten­tial for it to be shared by many.

Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty Tip: How do you man­age with so many plat­forms? Pick the 2–3 that will make the biggest splash and do those WELL. Be sure to have all posts (and pro­files) send peo­ple to your web­site where they can learn a lot more). 

If your cam­paign has a print­ed com­po­nent, you can still encour­age peo­ple to learn more and spread the word. Be sure to clear­ly com­mu­ni­cate how they can do that ie: a QR code, web url, phone num­ber. Keep your copy short but pow­er­ful and max­i­mize your sup­port­ing visuals. 

4. Involve Your Community 

Cre­ate hash­tags that will help cast your caus­es’ net the fur­thest, and ask every­one to help spread aware­ness by shar­ing your graph­ics using a spe­cif­ic hash­tag con­nect­ed to your campaign.

Cause marketing campaign on coral bleaching effects

5. Inspire Action Towards Your Cause

Whether your cause is new or estab­lished, the ulti­mate goal is to gen­er­ate action! Once you reach peo­ple, you want to inspire them to vol­un­teer, donate, offer resources and con­tacts, and spread your good word. This is the truest mea­sure of an effec­tive cause mar­ket­ing cam­paign.  

It’s a very spe­cial time of rich oppor­tu­ni­ty to do good. Because Nicte Cre­ative Design is val­ues-based, we work with these prin­ci­ples every day and are here to assist with every aspect of your campaign.

  • Want help get­ting started?
  • Have a cam­paign but are hit­ting snags or need to fine tune?
  • Estab­lished but tak­ing it to the next level?

CONTACT US and we’ll get right back to you. Our mis­sion is to help yours succeed!

Start giv­ing right now! Want to help oth­ers? We do! Start right now by click­ing one of the SHARE but­tons below to get this infor­ma­tion out to every­one with a cause so they can do more good! Thanks!!

About the Author

Nicte Cuevas, Principal of Nicte Creative Design, empowers mission-driven businesses through strategic design & branding. Nicte has applied this when working with Adobe Spark and Twitter Business, LinkedIn Learning, Dogs on Deployment and Purina, Girl Scouts, The Houston Zoo and The Contemporary Arts Museum. Her excellence in communication design & marketing has been recognized by multiple national / international awards, including a coveted feature in Graphic Design USA's People to Watch.

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