How to raise awareness of ethical issues in 2018

How to raise awareness of ethical issues in 2018


If you run an ethical business or blog or you’re trying to live more ethically and sustainably you probably want to raise awareness of the ethical issues you’re passionate about.

As a business owner this is a great way to tell the world about what you do, attract a like-minded audience and sell your product or service too.

If you’re a blogger, the ethical issues you care about can be turned into content inspiration and used to grow your audience on social media.

But how do you find opportunities to raise awareness of ethical issues?

Just this week in the UK plastic waste and recycling hit the headlines as MPs started campaigning for a 25p charge on paper coffee cups – the so called #LatteLevy.

For eco-friendly brands, this was a great time to connect with new audiences while they were already talking about and actively engaged with the issue.

If you sell reusable cups or you’re a coffee shop who already rewards customers who bring their own then this was the perfect chance to create relevant content and share what you do on social media.

Even if you’re working to reduce plastic waste or be more eco-friendly, you could create content around the #LatteLevy to raise awareness, but you needed to be on the ball. When big stories hit the headlines, you’ve got a small window of opportunity to create content and get it out there. So is there a way to plan ahead?

Did you know there’s over 150 awareness days that could be used to promote ethical causes in 2018?

Awareness days and causes like Fairtrade Fortnight (coming up in February!) are the perfect opportunity to tell the world what you do.

There are thousands of different ones so you need to carefully pick the right days and campaigns for your brand.

Make sure they align closely to your values and give you the chance to promote yourself, your content and your products in a way that isn’t too sales-focused. Don’t just jump on a trending hashtag for the sake of it!

The key to making the most of these dates is to plan ahead.

For example, World Wildlife Day is coming up on 3rd March.

Your brand might be cruelty-free or focused on conservation, you might donate part of your profits to animal focused causes or you might be a vegan blogger.

Or maybe you’re focused on another issue that also has benefits and consequences for wildlife – like palm oil (which is destroying precious rainforest habitat and pushing animals like the orangutan to the brink of extinction) or plastic waste (which has big implications for ocean wildlife).

If this is the case, World Wildlife Day would be the perfect opportunity to engage new audiences and raise awareness of your cause.

Let’s take a closer look at how a brand committed to eliminating palm oil might do this…

Know the issues

In this case, the facts around palm oil will make compelling content. You’ll need to clearly show how this relates to World Wildlife Day to keep it relevant, and make sure you backup your statements with facts.

In this case you’ll probably want to talk about how 80% of orangutan habitat has been destroyed in the last 20 years and how we’re destroying 300 football fields per hour for palm oil production.

These shocking statistics will grab people’s attention, get them talking and encourage them to repost and share your content.

Turn this into content

Depending on what social media channels you use, you’ll want to turn this into a series of content in advance so that when March 3rd comes around you’re ready to go.

You might want to centre your content for the day around a blog post to bring more people to your website or a podcast episode to attract new listeners. It might be a Facebook Live to engage your audience, or a series on Instagram stories.

Whatever you choose to do, you should aim to have one key piece of ‘cornerstone’ content related to the issue (like an in-depth blog post) that meets your goal – whether that’s increasing website visitors, attracting new customers, getting new followers or making more sales.

Then look at how you can promote this cornerstone content on social media with updates and information, using the awareness day hashtag (which is likely to trend if it’s a mainstream day!)

For example, a palm-oil free brand might write a blog post about ‘5 palm-oil free products to try this World Wildlife Day’ (mentioning their own products of course!), then create some social media updates with different facts about how palm oil production is destructive for wildlife and that if you want to help you should buy palm-oil free.

This way you’re raising awareness of the cause, engaging your audience, inspiring them to help by making a change and showing them how to do it (and therefore making a sale!)

Plan ahead

The key to successfully using awareness days and causes in your marketing is to plan ahead.

We’ve all seen brands fail or attract the wrong sort of attention because they’ve handled a cause insensitively, and I’m sure I’m not the only person who has let an awareness day (and great marketing opportunity!) pass me by because I failed to plan for it.

First you need to identify the right awareness days for you. That’s where our 2018 Marketing Planner comes in. It lists over 150 awareness days tailored to ethical businesses. We’ve done the hard research so you don’t have to!

Then you need to pick the ones you want to use and plan what content you’re going to create.

We’ve also created a handy free content planner for everyone who’s purchased our Marketing Planner. It lists all the different platforms and types of content you could create, so you can decide what you want to do, map it out in advance and then create a to-do list so you’re well prepared.

Awareness days are also the perfect opportunity to attract media coverage for your brand as journalists and the press will often cover related stories and look for experts on the topic.

Don’t forget to check hashtag #JournoRequest before an awareness day (and on the day itself) to see if there’s any press opportunities – and don’t be afraid to pitch your story for relevant opportunities too.

To really get ahead this year and raise awareness of your ethical business or blog through cause marketing, make sure you get yourself a copy of the 2018 Ethical Marketing Planner.

It lists over 150 awareness days for ethical businesses so you can make sure you don’t miss a single opportunity.

Did you know it took us over 20 hours to research them all? Luckily we’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to!

Plus every month we’ll be sending out an exclusive newsletter for our Marketing Planner owners full of tips and advice on making the most of upcoming opportunities, bonus dates and extra free resources!

January’s newsletter will contain a free content planner tool to help you map out all the content you need to create for each opportunity, as well as plenty of content inspiration too. In February, we’ll be taking a closer look at how to pitch your brand to the press.

If you’re ready to make the most of every opportunity and really promote your brand this year, then get hold of your Marketing Planner now.


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