The short of it: Benefit corporations (b-corps) are companies that make a profit, while also working toward the greater good. This could include goals for social, economic, or environmental needs. This status provides directors with legal protection to consider interests other than financial gain when making decisions. In contrast, corporate law requires directors to put profit above all other goals, making all their decisions to increase shareholders’ earnings.
The long of it: Benefit corporations will refer to themselves as “B” corporations in marketing if they have earned certification from the nonprofit B Lab. This designation is used in marketing to show that a corporation meets high standards for its performance, accountability, and transparency. To be certified, companies must:
- Show high social and environmental performance based on a B Impact Assessment.
- Businesses also legally change their governing structure in order to be accountable to all stakeholders, not just shareholders.
- Finally, they must demonstrate transparency by allowing their performance information to be shared with the public from B Lab’s findings.
Using the B Corp label acts as a gold star that highlights the business’s mission-driven focus. The social responsibility aspect appeals to potential investors, customers, and future employees. Benefit corporations are finding ways to leverage their status to increase awareness about their brand and ultimate goals for good.
Let’s explore some tips for how B Corps can make PPC campaigns specifically effective for their unique type of business:
Tip 1: Make sure your status shines
Being part of the B Corp community is an achievement, but unfortunately, many people outside of the business world may not understand what the certification means. Benefit corporations are often confused with non-profits, so it’s important to relay the meaning of the B Corp designation in your advertising.
During March, B Corps are celebrating B Corp Month by using the #BehindtheB tag to show how businesses are taking steps to be a force of good. This initiative hopes to give insight into the meaning of benefit corporations, how businesses can go about becoming a B Corp, and events that get businesses together to collaborate for a future that benefits people and the planet.
When creating content for your ad campaigns, your team can emphasize the work that you are doing, stakeholders that are involved in decision making, and ways your brand plans to continue to work for more than just a monetary profit. Using the B Corp emblem in ads shows distinction and sets you apart from other companies that claim to work for the greater good, but rarely follow through. In ad campaigns where many rely on “greenwashing” to come across as a socially conscious brand, the distinction from B Lab certifies that your brand is putting in the work to do what you say.
In addition to the actual emblem, which works well in social advertising, you can add content about being a b-corp in your Google ad descriptions to help you stand out amongst your competitors. Below is an example from the b-corp, Discover Corps:
Tip 2: Be inclusive
This might seems like a no-brainer since inclusivity is part of best practices when creating PPC campaigns, but it’s particularly important for a b-corporation. It is essential for brands that are working for multiple stakeholders to consider the work they are doing in the way they communicate messages and design ads for consumers. Dedicating time and resources to creating inclusive content shows commitment to serving all customers equally. It isn’t diverse ads for the sake of diversity, but instead a commitment to treating all customers fairly and giving space for them in your advertising content.
Communication should also be inclusive with the use of subtitles and narration to make content accessible to all consumers. Considerations for contrast and text color can allow those with visual impairments to access your message, while alternative text can be used to describe images for those who are blind. Inclusion and accessibility are part of the mission of B Corps and should be reflected in decisions from website design to ad campaigns.
Tip 3: Consider selling a mindset instead of a product
Benefit corporations should consider the bigger picture when choosing ad campaigns. While typical brands target specific products to encourage conversions, B Corps should strive to find consumers who have values that coincide with the mission of the company. Take the successful B Corp, Bombas. This brand is known for making soft, durable essential clothing with the mission of giving back to those in need. One purchased item equates to one donation from the brand. Their social media posts include pertinent “How To” actionable steps to contribute back to the community. Being deliberate and dedicated to the mission makes people want to look further into the brand and how their purchase can contribute to something bigger.
Similarly, PPC campaigns can target audiences to explore a company’s initiatives, connect with the brand, or visit landing pages that give additional information about the ambitions of your business. CTAs that encourage customers to Learn More generate interest, without having the pressure of buying now or taking advantage of promotions like traditional PPC ads. Instead, your audience becomes invested in the values of the brand, leading to conversions naturally. Consumers are more likely to buy from a brand (and even spend more) when it aligns with their values.
Tip 4: Lead with authentic content to build brand awareness
One of the main reasons benefit corporations are set apart is due to their dedication to other stakeholders. Including the perspectives of employees, customers, and community members can create content that is engaging and connects your brand with your audience. Featuring employees who share their stories of making positive impacts in the community can get people excited to explore the brand. Customer reviews, images from successful campaigns, or slides showing the number of donations made because of customer purchases help connect the customer to the bigger impact goals of the company. When many companies can only say how they plan to become more purpose-driven for the greater good, authentic posts add credibility to your ads and increase visibility. These ads help to tell your story through the perspective of real people who contribute or benefit from the work of your business.
Benefit Corporations can improve PPC advertising by highlighting their dedication to the needs of people and the planet. Clearly communicating the mission of your brand can help find like-minded individuals who want to support a company with a cause. Fostering a community of people who value a common goal will naturally lead to more interest in your brand leading to profits for your business and the stakeholders you serve. Happy advertising!
As the Head of Ten26 Media, Jason works directly with business leaders to create digital advertising strategies that improve return on investment on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and more. During his downtime, you can find him exploring Colorado with his wife and dog, hanging with friends, or playing football.