As shared in the last article, building brand awareness is critical for the growth of your social impact business. Marketing campaigns can help you grow your purpose-led brand’s awareness. In this article, I’m sharing some of my best ideas for creating a brand awareness campaign for your own business.
Brand Awareness Campaign Idea #1: Create a Case Study Campaign
An issue that social impact businesses run into is skepticism from their audience. Consumers want to know that your business is truly driven by a purpose you’re actively working to align activities to, not just using social impact as a marketing message.
One of the best ways to help your target audience members believe in your brand is through the use of case studies. Case studies are created by narrating the story of transformation your product or service has helped your consumers go through.
Often, businesses will hire a copywriter or firm to create case studies for them. When we create case studies for clients we work with, we interview clients and customers asking key questions. We then use that information in combination with information gathered from our clients to present the consumer’s challenge, solution, and outcome.
Once you have case studies created, you can use them as lead generation and brand awareness tools. Typically, we’d advise you to use a landing page so that you can gather the name and email of your audience member in exchange for the case study. You will then be able to send them email nurture sequences to further discuss the story of transformation and help your lead see how you can provide a solution to them as well.
Brand Awareness Campaign Idea #2: Highlight Your Social Causes Through Storytelling
Storytelling has the power to captivate and convert your new audience members to buyers and fans. By sharing details that help your audience relate to your brand, you give them an opportunity to get excited about the work you’re doing and impact you’re making.
There are so many ways to use storytelling and so many different types of stories to use for your brand. However, you want to have a focus and a timeline when creating a brand awareness campaign so that you can measure its effectiveness.
So, you may decide to launch a social media awareness campaign per quarter with a very specific focus – like the results around a specific social cause or initiative.
Brand Awareness Campaign Idea #3: Share a Behind-the-scenes Process for Using Your Profit for Purpose in Blogs & Content
You can bring your brand awareness and content marketing goals together for this one by sharing a behind-the-scenes process that shares how your business uses profit for purpose.
Like a case study, you can create monthly blogs that share the story of your brand’s team working toward a common goal, with a challenge (social issue you focus on), a solution (how your brand works to address this challenge), and an outcome (the results your initiative has gotten or difference it’s making). But instead of a simple case study, you’d share the planning process you used to accomplish this transformation.
You can then repurpose these great blogs for social media and email marketing content.
Brand Awareness Campaign Idea #4: Walk the Talk and Talk About It – Commercials for Change-makers
Many brands create messaging around inspiration, hope, and social change. But, it’s one thing to talk about social issues. The real test is proving your brand cares enough about the social issues in your messaging to do something about it. Below you’ll find examples of how popular brands have passed the test.
How Ikea Uses a Commercial Campaign to Share Their Purpose
Directly on their website, IKEA says they want to create a better life for people. They share that “Teaming up with social entrepreneurs who use business as a way to reduce poverty, empower women and tackle social and environmental challenges in their communities is one way of making this a reality.” The interesting fact about IKEA is that they have been a socially conscious brand for a long time – long before CSR (corporate social responsibility) became a trending topic.
They also have a social & environmental responsibility plan available to the public. Their commitment to help build trust and work toward common goals of social impact makes this company noteworthy.
A TV commercial in response to the isolation many feel as a result of COVID19 inspired me to add IKEA to this list, but they had more commercials like this one addressing inclusion, this one addressing loneliness and poverty, and this one supporting social distancing on YouTube that were even more moving.
How Nike Led the Way on the Fight for Social Equality
Nike rocked the world in 2018 when it launched its ad campaign in support of Colin Kaepernick with the slogan “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” They launched another ad this year featuring Kaepernick highlighting risks of standing for something in the newer ad, “Dream Crazy.”
They’re back at it again, rallying with us in solidarity with their 2020 TV ad, “For Once, Don’t Do It.” Their long-running commitment to being bold and standing for causes they feel strongly about, despite the potential to turn off part of their audience is what makes their truest fans ever more loyal to the brand.
Brand Awareness Campaign Idea #5: Show, Don’t Tell – Use a Video Series to Help People See the Impact You Make
The term “content is king” used to be trending in marketing circles, but lately, the term has taken a twist and gotten more specific – now the accepted realization is that “video is king.”
Video adds context to your message, shows a level of emotion and storytelling not available through textual mediums, and allows your audience to be even further moved by your message.
To elucidate the value of video, here are some important 2020 statistics from markinblog:
- People spend 7 hours every week watching video online
- 83% of people using video in marketing say it’s directly led to generating more leads
- 93% of marketers say using video has helped them land new customers
Knowing the numbers helps you see the value video can add to your brand awareness campaign. For your social impact business, you’ll want to use a video series that not only reflects your product or service value, but also tells the story of the impact your business creates.
Brand Awareness Campaign Idea #6: Use Creative Marketing Campaigns to Get Up Close and Personal & Bring Your Audience With You
Does your company have a origin story or business journey that is fueled by a passion that evolved from a personal experience of the founder? You have a great opportunity to share that story and help your audience relate to this journey.
If you think about some of the biggest brands that are well-loved today, you’ll find many of them have shared campaigns that focused on their origin story or that of their founder. Entrepreneurial legends like Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, and Sara Blakely have all inspired us with their stories of ingenuity and commitment. These stories make us love these brands even more.
If your business has a story to tell about its creation and evolution, create a campaign around it and bring your audience along on the journey.
Brand Awareness Campaign Idea #7: Spread Your Mission with Social Influencers
The popularity and potential of social influencers has grown over the past couple years and is at an all time high. The statement “we’re stronger together” has never been more meaningful or relevant as it is this year. And if you can collaborate with someone who already has an audience that includes your target market, it’s the perfect time to do so.
Collaborating with social influencers can get your important mission, products, and services in front of new audiences, increasing your brand awareness. Below you’ll find some examples of how brands have leaned on this focus to get attention for their social cause or movement.
How National and Local Celebrities Fought Injustice By Sharing Their Mics
One of my favorite marketing campaigns of 2020 was the Share the Mic Now event on Instagram. In response to a critical point in the fight for racial equality, with the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Elijah McCain, and others, organizer Bozoma St. John decided to do something about it.
For 11 hours, black women took over the accounts of white women so their voices could be amplified, black women could be centered, and awareness was raised with new audiences.
These women shared very personal experiences, stories, and knowledge that their new audiences may have otherwise not gotten the chance to hear. They brought their own audiences along to the new platforms and women joined forces to make a difference.
One of the local business owners in my area, Amanda Carriker Moore of Humans for Good, was so inspired by this movement that she decided to spearhead a local Share the Mic RVA event. My partner, Deja Coley, and I felt strongly that we wanted to align our values with our brands and were both fortunate to participate in this campaign, which lasted a full week.
How the Humane Society Involves Well-loved Faces to Pull at Your Heart-strings
Remember the first time you saw an ad for the Humane Society featuring Sarah McLachlan and those poor sad animals? Remember the sting as her soft swaying words pulled at your heartstrings and made you want to go adopt the first dog or cat you saw?
The Humane Society has been leveraging celebrities for years to raise awareness about animal abuse. They combine the faces and voices of well-loved and well-known people and emotional tug of mistreated animals for powerful messaging that encourages action and fundraising for their mission.
How Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis Use Their Platform for Good (And You Can Too)
Earlier this year, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis were moved by the pandemic and decided to do something about it. So, they started a new initiative – “Quarantine Wine” – and are giving 100% of profits toward COVID19 relief. While promoting their new product, Kutcher shared “We’ve been finding charities that are focusing on getting PPE into the country, charities that are helping feed kids, businesses that are in distress.”
Brand Awareness Campaign Idea #8: Go on a Podcast Tour and Get Your Brand Noticed
Arguably the best methods for increasing brand awareness is through using someone else’s already established audience that includes your target market to get your own brand noticed. One of the platforms for doing that is podcasting.
There’s some work that goes into getting featured on podcasts, but it’s well worth the effort. You’ll want to research and find podcasts that are relevant to your audience. They don’t necessarily have to be connected to your industry, though. For example, if you are have a product-based business that sells children’s items, you may want to be interviewed on a podcast focused on parenting or on being a woman-owned business. Find a way to connect with the audience and offer value to them.
You’ll want a strategy and a repeatable process for pitching new podcasts consistently.
Of course, you’ll want to find a way to highlight your social impact business while you’re getting interviewed and have something of value to offer the audience while you’re there.
You now have 8 new ideas for increasing brand awareness for your purpose-led business. It’s important to remember that when it comes to your branding and marketing, building in awareness-focused initiatives are just as important as sales promotions. The key is to be proactive and plan ahead so your marketing works effectively for you.
I hope you found this article helpful and would love to hear about the ways you’ve been able to increase brand awareness for your business that I may not have mentioned. And if you’re going to take action on implementing one of these ideas, share what inspired you in the comments below.