We’re now in an era where branding is more important than ever. Whether you’re building a personal brand or a company brand, customer engagement is necessary.
Customer engagement and branding go hand-in-hand because part of building a brand is the relationships you cultivate with your audience. Branding is about engaging people and securing their trust.
There are several steps you can take to get your name out into the community and in front of potential customers. One way is through community involvement. People tend to gravitate towards businesses that support non-profits and community events.
This is a good way to build up the sense of trust with clients and within the areas you serve.
If you’re looking to increase your visibility within the community, continue reading for some valuable tips.
There was a time when a company could get by with simply buying ads in the local high school’s football program. Well, times have changed and people want to know if your company has a proven record of community service.
Studies show that 66% of consumers prefer to support companies with a sustainable brand. These are companies that have demonstrated their core values and can relate to the needs of the community.
Instead of being a business card buried in a program, or a name placard on a banquet table, businesses need to be out front and visible at community events.
These events include supporting causes that promote health and wellness, social issues and economic development.
Employee engagement is another important aspect of building an awesome brand. Supporting causes that are dear to your employees help you reach your goals.
When adding sponsorships to your annual budget, consider creating ways to allow employees to choose the organizations you support.
This approach is two-fold. On one hand, you show employees you care about what’s important to them. On the other, you increase the likelihood that happy, engaged employees will show up to represent the company’s efforts.
It’s important that organizations receiving your support mirror the image and core values of both your personal and business brand. Those values should be clearly communicated to your employees.
Choosing the Right Community Events
Events fill community calendars all the time. There are nonprofits vying for corporate sponsorships, vendors, and other community partners. If you’re a small or mid-size business, your dollars may be limited.
Instead of being the brand sponsor for a nationally recognized platform, consider a smaller event that may be hosted by a local sports or social club.
You will also want to pace yourself in terms of how many causes you choose to support in a year. It’s impossible to be everything to everybody, so choose events with the most return on investment.
Use Your Community Involvement as a Marketing Tool
Remember, community involvement can go a long way for your brand. Therefore, you should be very strategic when connecting yourself to a community event.
Aside from being supportive of good causes, this is also a great opportunity to market your brand. If done correctly, you can reap a great reward for your financial donation.
Check with the organization to see what media coverage, if any, they will provide. Don’t stop there, have your own photographers, blogger or even local media on hand to cover your involvement.
Make sure you post media coverage on your website. Share external articles and internal content on your social media platforms and email marketing.
Partner with Community Nonprofits Through Fundraisers
Does your business offer a service that’s entertaining and fun for all ages? In the case of the national brand, Painting with a Twist, they have created a way to help non-profits raise money through community events.
The program is called “Painting with a Purpose.” The company allows organizations that plan a paint party to take home 50% of the proceeds.
If your business isn’t in the field of entertainment, you can still partner with a nonprofit in a similar endeavor. You can sponsor the event by providing appetizers and wine, a staple for such events.
There are similar ways that you can support organizations. Consider hosting a community softball game where your company challenges a local nonprofit. Proceeds go to them, and your business receives the recognition.
Volunteering for Local Causes
Volunteering is a great way to raise awareness for your company. There are different ways you can do this.
It’s no secret that schools are in need of mentors. Offer incentives for employees who are willing to make a difference in a child’s life.
Community clean-ups are another way to show community involvement. City’s offer local community events for sprucing up the yards and exterior of homes of elderly citizens.
Habitat for Humanity is a worldwide organization that uses volunteers to help build homes for citizens in the United States and abroad. Not only will your business receive recognition, but the experience can be enriching for your team.
What better time to give back to the community than during the winter holidays? Several organizations put out a call for toys and food to go to families in need. Your business can adopt a family or host a toy and food drive.
When it comes to volunteering, the opportunities are endless.
Great American Teach-In
If children are our future, show them and their parents you want to be a part of their future. The Great American Teach-In, which started in Florida, takes place in November.
As the face of your brand, you can go into local high schools and share with students what your business is all about.
This is a wonderful way to give back to the community and build partnerships with residents and other business leaders. If your city does not participate, you can introduce it and become the marquee sponsor.
How Does Your Company Rate When It Comes to Community Involvement?
We hope our list has given you something to think about in terms of community involvement and social engagement for your brand.
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