According to a 2015 study by Cone Communications, sixty-four percent of millennials use social media to address or engage with companies around social and environmental issues. Whether your corporation currently has a large digital footprint or you are looking to up your efforts, it’s time to take a closer look at your digital storytelling. After all, making your CSR story readily accessible online is an effective way to engage consumers, attract more eyeballs, and enhance your overall brand image.
The good news? There are a plethora of simple ways to get started via (not only) social media but dedicated web pages, links, videos, and more. Here are four ways to dive into the world of digital storytelling that interweave brand marketing with CSR:
1. Create a home base– Your web page is the home base, a tool that allows you to build awareness and support your overall brand message. Design a dedicated web page to share your mission and give clear criteria for support of your CSR program. List your focus, giving program(s), and how your audience can get involved. Think of your dedicated CSR web page as the face of your giving program, consumers should be able to reference and navigate it easily. Aside from sharing the link to your dedicated web page on your social media accounts you can also share it in marketing collateral, press releases and more.
2. Paint a picture– With our smartphones always in hand it is easy to gather pictures and videos on the spot. Use these to give followers a behind the scenes look into your CSR programs. You can also use a videographer for more in-depth videos. Make it easy to view and share your photos, quotes, and videos by providing links. Making it as easy as possible for people to share your content, allows for maximum visibility (more eyeballs!) on your posts. Repurposing your content for posting on a variety of platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter is also key to spreading your message. Numbers don’t lie, collect and utilize data to formulate impact reports of your programs to share online as well.
3. Give voice to your employees– Help employees share on their personal social media accounts and offer incentives for spreading the word. Chance are employees already have a large network on their social media accounts interested in learning more. A study by Deloitte showed that 96% of employees who volunteer report that the corporate culture at where they work is somewhat positive or very positive. This is a win-win, happy employees and happy consumers. Employees take pride in their company’s efforts to make an impact on society, and consumers can relate to stories about employees getting involved and not just dollars spent.
4. Write it down– Blogging is the bread and butter of digital storytelling. People connect with brands when they feel like they are part of a story. Keep your audience posted with blog posts throughout your CSR program. The truth is you do not have to be an amazing writer to get started with blogging, if you can share something that will resonate with consumers emotionally then they are more likely to discuss or share the content. You can use the pictures, quotes and videos you collected to supplement your articles as well.
Jump in and learn as you go! See what your audience is sharing and commenting on as well as where they are finding your content. You might find certain channels to be more effective in reaching your audience than others, or you may find a whole new market/audience by trying a previously untapped medium.