For a long time, marketing campaigns were solely about the conversion of the consumer to buy into a product or service to build the company’s bottom line. As the target markets transition to “conscious consumption” those same companies are transitioning to cause marketing.
Cause Marketing is the practice of partnering your product, service or campaign with a charitable cause. If done right, it can provide value to the company and the charity while also providing a platform for authors to shine.
As an author you have a niche. That niche has specific values and showcasing your talent as a writer and your alignment with those values can only benefit all involved.
Below are some of the benefits of getting involved in cause marketing.
- Donating to a charity feels good- As an author you can choose to have a portion of your book donated directly to a non-profit whose values are showcased in the publication. For instance, the authors behind Vindicating the Vixens: Women in the Bible donate all proceeds to International Justice Mission. Fathom Magazine published an interview with the editor of the project, Sandra Glahn, that highlights how the book and the charity fit naturally together.
- Grows your audience- Donating proceeds or finances is not the only way authors can contribute to charities. Giving of your time and talents goes a long way. It feels good to get behind an organization that is doing good in the world. As an author you can offer to write blog posts for the charity in exchange for a small bio and link back to your blog. Connecting your name to the website cross-markets your platform and theirs, increasing the reach for both of you. Reach out to some of your favorite non-profits and ask if they accept guest posts or are in need of a regular writer.
- Cause marketing for authors generates awareness- Most charities have programs for cause partners, and this should generate awareness for your book within the charity. A simple announcement in the charity’s newsletter could result in thousands of members reading about you and your book. When you promote the partnership on your own social platforms having a charity involved should invite people to have a better look at your profile and work. It gives the reader a glimpse into who you are and lets them know you already have something in common before investing in your book.
- Opens new avenues for distribution- Your involvement in cause marketing nurtures a feeling of goodwill between you and consumers. The warm and fuzzy feeling people get from supporting a worthwhile cause becomes associated with you. This cultivates continued loyalty and trust with your brand.
- Gives you something to promote- One of my clients is currently running a cause marketing program with The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) where he is donating a large percentage of sales to this organization. He is passionate about the cause and it’s providing a great opportunity to talk to others about. One social media share from PanCAN boosts the post tremendously. You can see how What Matters is making a difference in trying to eliminate pancreatic cancer.
- Distinguishes you from competitors- We live in a very competitive marketplace. It has become increasingly harder to stand out among the noise and cause-related marketing may be just the edge you need. When a consumer is choosing between two similar products or services the tipping point usually comes because of a lower price or claimed superior product. However, due to the influx of social responsibility movements more people are likely to choose a product over another if it supports a worthy cause.
- Can lead to advanced promotions for you as an influencer- Companies who are looking for influencers in specific niches will begin to reach out if your cause marketing campaign has been successful. Here’s an off the wall but not unrealistic example. If you write Mystery Cozies with Cats and partner with a local cat rescue over time a large portion of your audience will be cat enthusiasts. A local pet store or a cat food company may have paid opportunities for you to promote their products. Take a look at author Jen Hatmaker. She grew an audience that the FabFitFun Box wanted to target. Suddenly she is regularly promoting the subscription box. Why? Because the company’s target market is already listening to her and the product has value the Hatmaker enjoys and can get behind.
- Helps make the world a little better- Doing our part, no matter how small, is important. No one person and no one act by any individual can change the world. It’s the small everyday decisions we make. It’s the values we choose to promote, the businesses we get behind, and the individuals who lives are bettered through our efforts that make the work worth continuing.
We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. – Mother Teresa
Cause marketing is a feel-good, do-good effective marketing strategy. It is good for the bottom line but more importantly you become a bridge between people looking for an opportunity to give from their hearts and causes that are in need of support. As an author you become the link between information and action.
What causes can you get behind? What values do you and your target market share that you can use to leverage your book?
Rick Lite of Stress Free Book Marketing, stands at the forefront of the ever-changing book industry. He is a seasoned book marketing professional with over 13 years of experience in the industry. Rick’s expertise comes from tirelessly working on new and innovative ways to market his own books and CDs with his company and parent company, Stress Free Kids. Embracing the core values of integrity, innovation, and growth, Rick works closely with authors to create custom, robust book marketing programs. His easy-going manner provides “stress-free” support and comfort to authors going through the book marketing process for the first time. Rick is quick to share his knowledge and “insider tips” for a successful marketing campaign that will lead to increased exposure, awareness and most importantly, sales.