Written By: Justuno
With the growing popularity around supporting Pride Month, now more than ever, consumers are expecting brands to show their solidarity with the LGBTQ community. While a tremendous amount of progress has been made in the past several years, it’s critical for more brands to take part in helping support and amplify LGBTQ voices throughout the world.
Consumers increasingly expect brands to show support for a variety of causes. Whether it’s a percent of revenue donated to charity, running donation campaigns, or simply helping spread awareness and showing brand solidarity, authentic participation in societal issues is absolutely essential for long-term brand success.
However, one of the biggest mistakes brands make is viewing social giving and cause marketing as “yet another thing they have to do” or are only doing it in a not-so-subtle way to get more customers and revenue. Today’s consumers, especially younger generations, are smart about their online shopping experiences. After being inundated with advertisements in every direction - digital and physical - while growing up, most consumers can detect authenticity with laser-like precision.
Brands need to truly understand and care about the world they and their consumers co-exist in. If they truly cared, then participating in social giving, like in the case of Pride Month, isn’t something they have to do, it’s what they want to do as a natural extension of the actions they already take.
The “why” is the foundation behind any social cause and will affect every element of the actions you take. If you are being dishonest, consumers will detect it and your brand will suffer.
Inversely, the brands that are authentic and honest with their social giving and participation will see their reputation and image improve significantly. Not only will you and the rest of the employees at your company feel better about themselves and their jobs, but the consumers that visit your site will trust you more, be more loyal, and convert at a higher rate.
“OK, I want to help give back and support the LGBTQ community during Pride Month, but I don’t know how to get started.”
Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to plan and get started on your give-back campaigns. However, creating a give-back campaign doesn’t automatically translate to everyone knowing about it. Like any product or service, spreading the word is key. For a brand giving back, if their customers don’t know, how is the brand actually helping?
This blog will take you through some of the key strategies brands need to keep in mind and implement when planning and creating awareness for their next Pride Month give-back campaigns: Authenticity, Amplification, and Channel Linking.
Strategy One: Walking the Walk and Staying True
The first key strategy in amplifying your brand’s cause marketing is staying true to your brand's values by creating an authentic charitable campaign that tells a story of why you're doing it.
For example, a company that wants to champion inclusion and diversity in the workplace may set up programs or do educational programs to make sure that employees feel seen and safe. By supporting historically marginalized groups like LGBTQ, minorities, and women; companies can be sure these groups are represented and successful in their jobs.
Starting internally first to make sure your company is walking the walk is a great initial step to take for staying authentic. Then you can look externally for the impact your company can have and use as springboards for your cause marketing.
By integrating your brand's own actions, story, and beliefs into the charitable cause, your customers can engage with it at a much greater rate and help contribute a much larger sum.
Strategy 2: On-site Amplification with Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Once you have the best program or charity chosen for your brand and the story crafted with it, you’ll need to spread the word. One of the best ways to do so is through your website, and we're not talking about a single page and a link in your footer; we're talking about integrating your cause marketing directly into your on-site CRO promotions, old and new.
If you’re starting from scratch with both cause marketing and conversion rate optimization, there’s no reason you can’t combine the two together. So take the following tactics and strategies and apply them to your specific case.
Selling vs. Informing
The most important thing to remember when integrating cause marketing into your on-site promotions, whether they are for lead capture, cart abandonment, product recommendations, gamified promotions, or banners, is the balancing between selling and informing.
Use pairing your CRO efforts and cause marketing as your opportunity to sell your brand through transparency and vulnerability. For example, Bombas is a sock company with a rich history of giving back and supporting at-risk populations. Their pride month collection was yes, meant to sell socks, but the intent behind it was so much more. It’s a natural extension of their brand’s values and simply served as a timely outlet for consumers to show their support for a brand they already love.
Another key element to keep in mind when promoting social causes on your site is personalization. Why show the same pop-up to everyone when you can automatically target and segment different visitors to display pop-ups that are specific to who they are?
One of the quickest and easiest segments to utilize are your New vs. Returning Visitors. For example, if a brand is pairing a collection of items whose proceeds are donated to a LGBTQ charity, like The Trevor Project they can split the promotion between their New and Returning Visitors.
For New Visitors, you can target them with a lead capture promotion informing them that the proceeds from their purchase go to The Trevor Project. For Return Visitors that have already seen this promotion, you can instead present a banner at the top of your site to promote the collection launch and donation proceeds that lives on every page, that way you’re not in the way of a returning visitor but still ensuring they’re aware of your campaign.
Incorporating Cause Marketing Messaging Into On-Site Promotions
Additionally, you can incorporate LGBTQ messaging into your traditional sale and discount promotions such as slide-ins, timers, and gamification. Adding a single line about proceeds of purchases going towards a charity, or even a simple shoutout about Pride Month, can help push your website visitors towards purchasing.
Nearly half of Americans say they are more likely to purchase from brands that are inclusive of the LGBTQ community, so incorporating any additional messaging can go a long way with showing you care.
Strategy 3: Linking Your Channels
A person that fully and authentically believes in something will show that in all aspects of their behavior. The same principle applies to brands: live by your beliefs. That’s why the final strategy for amplifying your cause marketing during Pride Month is to plan ahead and make sure all of your channels are linked together.
As noted above, modern consumers are experts at detecting disingenuous brands, so it’s vital to have consistent messaging across all channels. When it comes to cause marketing, having consistent authentic messaging about the purpose and goal will help drive more visitors and consumers to your brand.
This includes your email, social, on-site, and paid (all variations) copy.
If you want to really knock it out of the park, you can create specific on-site pop-ups derived from campaigns on other channels, like Instagram or email, and only show them to visitors coming from those channels. If you are planning to support two different LGBTQ charities through your brand for Pride Month and know that they will be more effective than the other on particular channels, you can use that as an opportunity to present specific, personalized pop-ups to those visitors with consistent messaging during your Pride Month campaign.
You can get incredibly creative with this process, but the foundation is always to ensure your brand is authentic and consistent. Then, you can use your different channel campaigns as opportunities to deliver personal and effective messaging to different audiences.
Whether you’re looking specifically for ways to make an impact for LGBTQ causes during Pride Month and beyond, or simply looking for a way to make your business more socially responsible, this is a great place to start.
Understanding your brand’s values, amplifying your cause marketing messaging, and delivering consistent messaging to your audience will go a long, long way in improving conversions, loyalty, revenue, and consumer trust.
Find what matters to your business first, make that an internal priority to uphold in all you do, then take it public. If you want help creating high-converting on-site experiences, check out Justuno and get a free 14-day trial of Justuno Plus.