How To Get Political as a Business
Marketing has changed significantly in the past few decades since the internet has become increasingly common. Not only can your advertisements reach a broader audience than ever, but people expect companies to be more personable than ever as well. This has prompted many companies to begin promoting political messages to appeal to a wider audience. Marketing your goodwill efforts is almost certain to increase public perception of your business. Here are six cases that you can consider taking up if you want to show before your prospective customer base that you and your company are politically active.
1. Clean energy
Scientists have been warning the human race about the dangers of climate change for decades now, and many companies have finally begun championing that effort. Large corporations are the leading cause of pollution on the planet, and even small businesses can aid in that effort. Solar energy is quickly becoming the least harmful and least expensive form of clean energy available, so see if you can find a solar battery that fits your needs. Many companies advertise that they use green energy or are carbon neutral all over their websites, so don't be afraid to do the same.
2. Go Green
There are other ways to alter your company strategy to impact the environment besides using clean energy. Reducing waste is one of the most popular ways of going green. Recycle all of your waste that can be recycled starting with the paper products for everyday use all the way up to industrial machinery that you are no longer using. Going entirely paperless is another goal that some companies are striving to achieve. Any small ways you can think of to reduce your electricity or water usage or any other utilities will add up and help in the long run.
3. Racial Issues
Racial issues are almost always a hot topic, especially in the United States, and it has become commonplace for businesses big and small to voice their support for movements like Black Lives Matter. For example, during the protests in 2020 following the death of George Floyd, both companies and individuals integrated a black square into their profile pictures on social media which is a great way to show support in a small way. However, simply voicing your opinion is not always enough which is when you need to take it a step further.
One way to take your support of various causes further is by donating to charities that support those causes. Charities make their donation lists open to the public, so don't be afraid to boast that you have donated to a charity to boost your public image. Always make sure that the charities you donate to are reputable because there are fake charities out there that will use the money they receive for nefarious reasons. The Better Business Bureau has a list of charities that are legitimate, and you can research the organization yourself to determine if it is reputable.
One of the lesser-known social issues that many people are still rightfully concerned about is outsourcing cheap labor from developing countries. This is not an issue that affects people in developed countries as directly, so it is not at the forefront of social issues, but people will still appreciate it if you make an effort to ethically source your labor. People from all over the political compass appreciate it when a company sources its products domestically because it provides jobs and stimulates the national economy which is good for them and their loved ones.
Now for elections, you will have to navigate the most treacherous terrain when taking political stances as a business. It would help if you spoke on different levels of government based on how large your company is. For example, if your company spreads over several towns, you will likely not want to support a candidate in a local election because you serve many people with no stake in that election. You should carefully consider who you come out in support of in larger elections because you can easily alienate a huge portion of your customers if you express a controversial opinion in a particularly contentious election.
Once you have decided which causes your business is going to support, it is time to start getting your message out to the public. One method you can use to do so has already been discussed, that being donating to charity. However, there are even more effective ways to help potential customers get to know the good you are doing for the world. Many of these methods stem from the internet, which you should use to your advantage whenever possible. Here are six ways to market your message of goodwill to bring in more customers.
1. Social Media
Social media marketing is a whole new branch of marketing that has completely changed what marketing is since the beginning of the century. Businesses are no longer limited to traditional advertising because social media gives businesses another outlet that they can use to talk about anything, namely their political positions. Most surveys suggest that a large majority of Americans prefer when businesses express opinions on important issues, and social media is the perfect outlet to do so. Make use of hashtags and other trends so that more people can find your posts and get to know your business.
2. Traditional Advertising
While social media is generally a more efficient platform for portraying messages not centered around sales, you can still get your political or environmental messages out to the public through traditional advertising, such as television commercials. You will likely still want to advertise some kind of product or service in your commercial, but you can still center the commercial around some sort of charitable effort or other project you are embarking on for the betterment of your community. For example, McDonald's sometimes runs ads about their hospital, the Ronald McDonald House, which doubles up as an ad for their restaurant chain.
3. Host Community Events
Whether the issues you are tackling are local or national, you can host events to promote those causes. To send an environmental message, you could organize a day of cleaning up trash around the city or planting trees or whatever best fits into your business model. For more local issues, you can hold almost any community event you desire. People within your local community will be excited to participate in a local event, and they will be willing to do any activity no matter what it is or who is hosting it.
4. Target Your Audience
As much as you might like to believe so, your audience is not universal. There is a certain demographic of people who are more likely to patronize your business, and you should do your best to cater to that demographic. One of the most basic ways to accomplish this is by meeting your audience where they are. Older audiences spend more time watching television, reading newspapers, and going to community events. Younger people spend most of their time on various different social media platforms and many of them have young children who are a big part of their lives.
5. Talk To Experts
This point is especially relevant in relation to environmental messages. Neither you nor your employees are likely experts when it comes to subjects like climate science, so before making any definitive statements, make sure you do some online research at a minimum. Ideally, you can hire or speak to a climate scientist before embarking on an extensive project to help the environment. This concept remains true no matter what kind of event or project you are leading. It would help if you always trusted what the experts say about any subject.
6. Run Promotions
You can theme sales or promotions that you run around the messages you are trying to spread. For example, if you decide to take the advice listed above and host a community event alongside a promotion, use language that relates to the event to promote your products and services. "Your friends and family will go GREEN with envy when they see your new shoes!" Obviously, this would be a sample advertisement for a shoe store running an environmental campaign. It mentions both the merchandise and uses wordplay to let people know about the upcoming event and what the event is about.
The difficult part about advertising the acts of good that your business does is that you do not want to come across like you are disingenuous or pandering to potential customers. You need to walk a fine line that allows you to get a proper message across without crossing into that territory. Despite how many people claim they want businesses to be politically involved, there are just as many people who will be critical of that decision. Stick to your beliefs without going overboard or being an extremist, and you will have the best chance of doing politics correctly.