Taryn Dunmars

Have you noticed more brands are considering their corporate social responsibility (csr) strategy when developing their marketing campaigns?

If you think back to the last few times you were on social media, you may have noticed a brand you follow talking about their new ethical product and how it will not only help you, but the community at large. That’s an example of CSR marketing.

We are seeing more CSR in social media, and marketing as a whole, and this is not by coincidence. Consumers are more likely to buy from brands who are taking an active part in world issues and are contributing to the betterment of the community, resulting in corporations putting forth more effort in showcasing their CSR strategy initiatives.     

In this post, we’ll be discussing why CSR marketing strategies have been proven to be effective , and different ways your company can seamlessly add CSR into your campaigns.   

Why incorporate CSR into marketing strategies?

Consumerism has drastically changed over the years, with many customers now taking to the internet to follow their favorite brands or leave reviews about products or services they purchased.

This leaves much opportunity for corporations to get in front of current and potential customers using CSR initiatives. Companies that use “CSR as a halo strategy,” as stated in a recent article by MIT Sloan Management Review, will see the positive effects represented in their social media engagement.

Using the CSR halo strategy in social media marketing will not only this help bring pertinent community issues to the forefront, but it will also make a company more reputable in consumers’ eyes.  As consumers are demanding more from the companies they buy from, businesses must adapt to keep up with current CSR marketing trends. 

An article by Thrive outlines the foundational values that businesses should uphold when implementing socially responsible marketing — honesty, responsibility, fairness, respect, transparency, and citizenship.  

These values, derived from the American Marketing Association Code of Ethics, should always be top of mind as businesses construct their CSR marketing strategies.       

Using CSR marketing is very beneficial to a company’s brand. In a recent article by Alaya, it’s stated that using corporate social responsibility in a marketing strategy is “the easiest way to foster measurable change in the world.”  

When consumers resonate with a brand and love what they’re doing, the first thing they want to do is tell others. Likes and reshares mean so much more than vanity metrics if they’re helping to push a corporation’s CSR initiatives to a larger community.  

In a press release from the Journal of Marketing, it informs about the importance of a brand’s reputation to the public, and how corporate social responsibility is tied into it. It also states that CSR marketing efforts could sometimes have a negative impact on a business’s brand if the business itself is not positively impacting the community. While companies should center community initiatives in their marketing strategy, the company should also ensure their brand is in good standing with its consumer base.

Furthermore, in an article by SBDC Pennsylvania that shares marketing trends for 2022, using social responsibility in marketing strategies is one of the top trends on the list. The article stated that “give your audience another reason to do business with you” now more than ever, and those that do will surely see positive outcomes, such as growing an engaged community.

Companies should put a lot of thought into the CSR marketing initiatives they employ. Such initiatives can make a lasting impact in the community, and create many opportunities for business owners and shareholders to reach new customers and improve society.  

Making an impact with your CSR marketing strategy

There are numerous ways that companies can ramp up their CSR efforts using marketing strategies, like social media. We live in a very digital world, and there’s no better way to reach your target audience than by using an online approach.     

In a recent article by Brandpoint, it dives into various ways a company can incorporate CSR into their marketing campaigns, which include the following:

  • Combining your HR and Marketing departments for CSR initiative(s)
  • Solidifying yourself as a thought leader in your niche
  • Finding your brand’s voice using CSR initiatives
  • Using social media platforms to showcase your CSR work  

Another great way to use CSR marketing to your benefit is to get your audience involved in your initiatives. 

Target, a well-known brand, started their Circle Community Giving initiative in 2019, where every Target Circle member gets to vote for non-profit funding. In turn, Target gives grants to these non-profits based on the voting percentage. 

This approach not only gives their consumers a voice and active role in their CSR initiatives, but it also helps many communities that need it. 

As corporate social responsibility continues to grow and evolve, businesses now have a duty to do their part for the greater good. Using marketing tactics will help companies grow their brands, foster community engagement, and make the world a better place. How is your company making a social impact this year?