Use Social Impact Marketing

8 Ways To Use Social Impact Marketing

Businesses getting involved in politics is always a contentious issue, so if you own a small business, it is important to think about whether or not you want to spread a political opinion or agenda. Some people appreciate knowing that the companies they patronize support the same values they do, but other people think that companies have no business making political statements. To appease as many people as possible, you need to strike a healthy balance between the two extremes. Here are eight ways to stay up to date if you decide to use social impact marketing.

1. Watch the News

You will not be able to effectively spread a message if you are informed about the current events that make these types of messages important. For example, if you want to encourage your customers to make an environmental impact by using clean energy, such as a solar power system, you need to be informed about why you and they should be taking those preventative measures. Don’t just tell your customers that they should follow in your footsteps and go green, explain that the human race needs to come together to defeat the force that is threatening to flood coastal areas.

2. Watch Public Opinion

While it is sometimes fine to express your personal opinions using your business as a mouthpiece, it is often helpful to gauge the general opinions of your customer base before deciding which opinion to express. Generally, large companies that operate all over the country prefer to express more liberal sensibilities because their largest customer bases reside in cities. However, if you operate in a rural or conservative area, you may want to express more conservative opinions. You could also forgo expressing opinions entirely if your opinions do not reflect those common in your area.

3. Use Pathos

Most people respond to emotions more than they respond to logical reasoning. You can use this to your advantage in your social impact marketing. The Black Lives Matter protests that have been occurring over the past few years rely heavily on emotions to get their message across. This does not mean that the message is invalid, it just means that the message is inherently stronger when paired with an appeal to emotion. Many companies have come out in support of these protests both because it is a more liberal position to take and it activates stronger emotions.

4. Use Logos

While logic is generally a weaker force in people than emotions are, there are many people who prefer a logical message. This is where watching the news and sticking to the facts comes into play. Ethos, pathos, and logos are more commonly known as the three rhetorical appeals, and while it is more difficult to use ethos in social impact marketing, pathos and logos are two of your best friends. Cold, hard facts in combination with an appeal to emotion are sure to be effective on almost anyone who might see your company’s message.

5. Strike a Balance

If you do decide to use social impact marketing as part of your marketing technique, you need to make sure that none of your messages are too heavy-handed. While you can be explicit with what opinion your business holds, you should never make people who disagree feel lesser for their contrasting opinions. After all, there is no guarantee that all of your customers think the same way, so you will be serving people who disagree with the opinions you espouse. Strike a balance between taking a clear stance and not alienating those customers who might not agree with that stance.

6. Dip Your Toe In

Even if you decide that social impact marketing is not the right choice for your business, you should still try it out to make sure. Many companies see an increase in public opinion and in sales when they begin expressing an interest in social issues. Some studies have found that more than eighty percent of people in America think companies should take stances on important issues. Start with a less significant issue, such as supporting a local candidate for office, and that should give you an idea of the kind of response you can expect if you decide to continue this type of marketing.

7. Deliver

Now that you have begun putting this content out there, you need to ensure that your business practices reflect the opinions you claim to hold. For example, if you are strongly in support of an environmental message, a majority of your business should run on green energy. If you support the Black Lives Matter message, you should make sure that you have plenty of racial diversity within your company to avoid any discrimination lawsuits. In other words, you need to deliver on your message so that you are not exposed for having hypocritical business practices.

8. Clarity

One of the worst side effects that can come from social impact marketing when done incorrectly is people confusing your message. Your message should always be clear and concise to avoid any confusion. This prevents your message from being lost in the crowd of other messages that are similar. When your message is clear, it stands out more and is more meaningful. If your message is devoid of meaning, the people viewing it will have no reason to be invested in it or take it seriously causing them to disregard your marketing technique as being not worth your time.

As younger generations become increasingly proactive in how they care about social and political issues, social impact marketing will only become more vital. At this point, it is still an optional practice, especially for small businesses, but it is likely that it will become both encouraged and expected of most businesses in the near future. Whether or not you approve of the direction the world of business marketing is heading, it is important to stay at the forefront of the most effective marketing practices to keep your company successful in a modern age that is constantly changing.