“As a brand, should I be expressing my viewpoint on certain issues which create divides between consumers?”

“Should we say what we think on cause-related issues, and take a stand as a brand?”

With the recent culmination of so many noteworthy world issues, many brands and consumers are faced with a tough question – should we be saying what we really think?

Ultimately, this can be the make or break for a company – one piece of cause-related content can set the wheels spinning, but whether that’s into a pit of self-destruction or into a heavenly realm, we can never know.

So, with this in mind, is it good to write content about what we truly think?


Cause-related content: What is it?

When driving users to a website, we don’t just want to capture their attention for five minutes while they read a piece of content – but we want to capture their engagement and leave a long-lasting impression.

However in this market, how can we compete with all these creative and innovative ideas, when there are so many brands thinking along the same lines?

Think with Google recently published a study that showed purpose-driven ads drove higher views and engagement rates across multiple worldwide issues, including the empowerment of women and sustainability.

They found that agenda-based messaging resonated with consumers and brought them closer to brands, even creating an increased sense of loyalty in some cases.


Is cause-related content the best step?

Despite these positives, there are occasions when things don’t work out quite so well.

Take Donald Trump for example, everyone’s favourite President. When he published a tweet about Toyota, their shares plummeted by 0.5% in a matter of hours – resulting in a loss of $1.2bn.

Even though situations like these may not seem like they’d affect everyday people like you and me, they can – and do. If someone as influential as Trump can cause a $1.2bn loss in moments, there’s no doubt he can also influence a customer’s opinion of a brand.

Anyone with millions of followers can cause the public to change their perspective on a brand with just one tweet, no matter what industry they’re in. One scathing comment from Gordon Ramsay on a restaurant would make it lose customers; one video on a makeup pallet deeming it “terrible” would make their sales drop. It goes on and on.


Cause-related content: How tos

So how do we get to building these brand-oriented opinions, without getting on the wrong side of our consumers?

  • Choosing a cause

When you’re fighting your cause, you need to actually define what that cause is.

Firstly, you need to choose something that’s unique to your business – if you hop on the back of another campaign run by a similar business, you’re never going to bring any attention to your brand.

Make your cause relevant to your business, but also make sure it’s framed in a positive light. You don’t want to publish lots of negative, opinion-based content on a topic – whether you’re passionate about it or not – because you’re just going to generate negative press. Make sure that whatever you’re saying, you’re spinning it in a positive light.

  • Launching the media

Choose the best time to launch your new stand on your chosen issue – if you just randomly post something on your site, it’s not going to attract much attention. Pick something monumental, and create awareness and a build-up around it – draw attention to your brand in a positive light to showcase all the things you are doing which relate to your audience!

  • Get ready for risks

Most millennials these days love to contribute to something meaningful – something that means something to them, and that drives a cause. This can be said for any other generation too, but not everyone is as ready to embrace change.

When making a stand in this public manner, brands have to be aware that there could be negative backlash. As much as you think what you’re doing is positive, and leading a cause-related campaign and content piece is a huge step in the right direction, some people may not think so.

As a brand, we have to prepare for this negativity, whatever the case.


Should you take the plunge?

Despite the risks that come with writing cause-related content, you could also create some real positive impact from being vocal on a contentious issue.

Whether it’s the environment, the economy, equality or community adversity, it could just be worth taking a stand and making your business mean something to someone with a cause-related campaign.

Holly Marcella Deakin

Holly has been with iProspect for almost three years, specialising in content-led strategies and a data-driven approach. In April 2017, Holly moved from iProspect’s UK offices to join the New Zealand team, where she works in the Owned Media Team. Outside of work, Holly has a passion for the outdoors and enjoys spending time with her family and her dog Winston, and pumping iron in the gym on her lunch break. Having had a musical upbringing, she also loves going to the theatre.