Brand Publishing

June 12th, 2013

How Content Drives Social Good Campaigns

For brands looking to launch a corporate philanthropy campaign, the creation of compelling content is an important part of engaging target audiences with the initiative. But simply creating content is not enough. It’s crucial to develop a strategic plan for creating and disseminating that content so it can drive the right audience to the campaign.

Creative Commons: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stef3d/4560661663/

Here are five companies that are doing it right—and a lesson that can be learned from understanding why each of their approaches are working.

1. Leverage a network of nonprofit partners: KIND Bar
Through its Do The KIND Thing campaign, snack bar brand KIND has created a brilliant, content-fueled platform that features a different nonprofit cause each month. In order to unlock a “big act of kindness” from KIND, users are asked to perform a small act of kindness. For example, after enough people pledged to send holiday greetings to Americans in the military last year, KIND partnered with Luke’s Wings to fly 20 wounded soldiers home to spend the holidays with their families. It’s a simple concept that works in part by tapping into the nonprofit’s already-engaged network and asking that audience to contribute content.

2. Speak the language of your audience: Warner Bros.
Featuring the superheroes of the Justice League, Warner Bros.’ We Can Be Heroes campaign engages young male comic fans to fight hunger in the horn of Africa. Through social media and email campaigns, the We Can Be Heroes content is all conceived, written, and designed to appeal specifically to this demographic of comic book fans—an unlikely audience for a social good campaign. We Can Be Heroes has found success in reaching this audience by devoting a significant amount of time and resources to developing custom content that smartly blends the worlds of comics and social good. It’s an important lesson for any brand developing a social good campaign—never lose sight of your core market when preparing content and collateral.

3. Find the right social channels for your content: Elizabeth Arden
Social media is key when disseminating content and engaging audiences with your social good campaign. The trick is figuring out which social media channel or channels best serve your goals—and then optimizing your content to fit that channel. Cosmetics and spa brand Elizabeth Arden did a supurb job finding the right social media channel with their #pinittogive Pinterest campaign. Along with nonprofit partner Look Good Feel GoodBetter—an organization that teaches cancer patients beauty techniques—Elizabeth Arden launched #pinittowinit, which asked Pinterest users to repin images in order to unlock donations. It was the perfect marriage of content and channel—and generated a great deal of awareness and funds for an incredible nonprofit organization.

4. Consider a microsite to give your campaign a home: Liberty Mutual
While creating a campaign-specific microsite is not always necessary for a brand’s social good initiatives, it can be a good idea for bigger projects—especially ones that involve the creation of a lot of content. Check out Liberty Mutual’s Reponsibility Project for a great example of a microsite that features a wealth of rich, multimedia content around a specific theme. It does an excellent job of curating and sharing human interest stories that are genuinely interesting to the company’s audience—and features a beautifully designed, easy-to-navigate interface. If you are going to create a microsite for your campaign, make sure you’re prepared to maintain the site and constantly update it with new, valuable content.

5. Use all kinds of media to engage: UPS
Avoid thinking of “content” as a blog posts and top 10 lists. From infographics to GIFs to Vine videos to tweets, content comes in all shapes and sizes. The idea is to innovate and determine what form of media can best convey the goals of your social good campaign. UPS has been extremely effective in using video to showcase its programs. The company’s recent video about their partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America in the UPS Road Code program won this year’s Corporate Citizenship Film Festival Award. It’s a shining example of using video to convey innovative social change programming.


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