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Charlie Hustle Facebook Cover Photo.

Cause Marketing Tips from Charlie Hustle – SMCKC Recap

*Image above is a cover photo from the Charlie Hustle Facebook page. 

Charlie Hustle is a vintage apparel company based in Kansas City. Since its founding in 2011, the company has gained a huge following of fans who not only buy its products, but also connect with the brand on social media and support the causes the company promotes. A significant part of the Charlie Hustle brand is its cause marketing efforts. Charlie Hustle helps non-profit organizations fundraise through sales of specialty t-shirts designed specifically for each cause. In fact in the last 12 months, the company has helped raise funds for more than 20 organizations!

Why do organizations like Charlie Hustle spend significant marketing efforts on supporting others? By becoming a community partner, brands connect personally with their customers. The goal here is not simply to increase sales (although that is a nice side effect of cause marketing), but instead to develop a relationship with customers, and together do some good. Study after study shows that the millennial generation wants to build relationships and loyalty behind brands that are socially responsible. This includes those that engage in cause marketing. Social media not only boosts this longing, but also makes cause marketing easier to accomplish. From the pros at Charlie Hustle, here are their tips for a successful cause campaign from start to finish:

The life cycle of a fundraising campaign’s 5 phases:

  1. Where it begins:
  • Partner with organizations who are on-brand and ready to partner from start to finish.
  • Create & build a relationship with them – share goals and get buy-in from everyone in the organizations
  1. Build the plan:
  • Set realistic goals by considering past campaigns.
  • Play up your strengths.
  • Know your audience.
  • Keep campaigns fresh by making old campaigns new again – no need to reinvent the wheel every time, just get creative!
  1. The launch:
  • Utilize a variety of assets including email, social, pop-ups etc.
  • Showcase not only WHAT you’re selling, but WHY. Provide value to customers and incentives to buy into what you’re doing to fundraise.
  • Show progress by showcasing the non-profit, not yourself.
  • Be authentic throughout.
  1. Keeping it fresh:
  • Be flexible on social media.
  • Join the conversation – in a positive way. Ignore the haters.
  • Spread out your strategy – don’t give away “all the goods” early on.
  • Reminder messages are always important, especially for long campaigns.
  • Continue to showcase who you’re helping.
  • Final push: create urgency for the product or service you’re selling.
  1. The recap:
  • Always evaluate how the campaign performed and compare it to expectations.
  • What worked and what didn’t?
  • How can you improve for next time?
  • Maintain relationships with non-profits and fans – always say, “THANK YOU!”

To manage these cause campaigns, Charlie Hustle utilizes several digital channels: email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Email alone captures 60% of the sales, proving it’s still an effective channel to utilize.

On social media, especially Facebook, strategy always consists of creating sharable content that evokes emotion and typically needs a boosting. Most importantly, choose quality over quantity, otherwise you’ll lose your audience’s interest. Make sure to always include a call-to-action that mentions the campaign first and your brand only at the end. This helps with authenticity. The cause is why you’re doing what you do.

Why do I work at AWG? “I work with an amazing team that values creativity and innovation. I enjoy tackling new opportunities and challenges each day that, of course, always involve food!” -Cara