Have a favorite cause you’d like to help out? Wondering what you, as a business owner, can do to leverage your position in the community? There’s actually quite a lot! Your business is probably already set up with a number of different promotional platforms – it’s just a matter of using them a little differently than usual. Here are some ideas for ways you can lend a hand to the cause of your choice – with the added bonus of generating a little goodwill in the community for your business.
Whether it’s an in-store flyer or a free banner ad on the website, advertising for a good cause is easy and effective. Ask the charity if they have materials already prepared – they may have specific branding concerns, like logo usage, and be more than willing to provide materials in exchange for promotion. If you can’t get materials, and you don’t have a designer in-house, think about bartering with a local designer – maybe a student who’s eager to develop portfolio work. You’ll surely find a number of creatives who are willing to donate time for the right cause.
If your business has a blog, this provides a great platform for talking in depth about a cause that’s important to you. Most charities have one thing in common – they’re good causes. Use this long-form medium to share a personal story if you have one, or let people know why this particular cause is important to you as a business owner – opening up helps people connect.
If your business has social media channels (and, ahem, if it doesn’t – WHY NOT?) social sharing is a great way to help promote a good cause. Not only can you reach all your followers, and potentially their friends, but you can also take advantage of your metrics to make this strategy effective. Note when your prime posting windows are, and share away. Try to post in a way that will engage interaction – Facebook has a “post bumping” algorithm that will display content hours after it’s posted if it’s relevant and stirring up engagement (shares, “likes” and comments). Use that to your advantage.
Again, this can be done either in-store (or office) or in your digital realm. If you want to promote on your website, set up a special account and add a PayPal button to your site. Use those social media channels we just talked about to let people know about your campaign.
One of the best ways to show you care about a cause is to actually show up and lend a hand. Set an example by personally pitching in – then invite your employees to come along. You might even consider giving an employee credit of some sort for participation, if you can swing it – maybe an hour of time off, or free goods or services. Use your social channels to get more volunteers – post pictures of your team gearing up for the event or doing meaningful work for the cause. Then invite your followers to come along, as well.
About the Author: Zane Schwarzlose is an SEO at Fahrenheit Marketing, an Austin website design company. Zane likes that his company donates websites to local charities.
Photo credit: Silicon Prairie News