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How digital influencers drive donations and cause engagement

by | Jul 10, 2017 | Public Relations

Consumers who follow digital influencers are more likely to share information about and engage with a cause, according to the third Influence Impact Report from global comms firm Allison+Partners. The findings illustrate a growing audience that is both digitally connected and deeply invested in charitable issues, signaling influencers as an increasingly important consideration for cause marketers.

A review of the data reveals that insight-driven use of influencers in a cause campaign can drive awareness, as well as drive donations and volunteer engagement. Of those who follow digital influencers:

  • 35 percent engaged with a cause due to an influencer’s recommendation
  • 31 percent were open to the idea of engaging with a cause due to an influencer’s recommendation

Of the 35 percent who engaged with a cause due to an influencer’s recommendation, 52 percent shared awareness about the cause and 51 percent made a financial donation. Thirty seven percent actually volunteered with the organization in question.

How digital influencers drive donations and cause engagement

The study revealed that an influencer’s personal connection to the cause is critically important in determining whether their recommendation will drive consumer action. When asked about what inspires trust in an influencer’s recommendation about a cause:

  • 63 percent said “if the influencer personally volunteers with the organization”
  • 61 percent said ‘if the influencer shares stories of others who have been helped or impacted by the charity or cause”
  • 60 percent said “if the influencer was personally impacted by the cause”

How digital influencers drive donations and cause engagement

“Brands and nonprofits are investing heavily in influencer programs with the hope of shaping beliefs and inspiring action for their initiatives,” said Scott Pansky, co-founder and head of the social impact practice at Allison+Partners, in a news release. “The data shows that working with digital influencers is making an impact, but that impact is dependent on finding the right influencers who can tell your story in a way that is authentic to them and their followers.”

How digital influencers drive donations and cause engagement

The latest Influence Impact Report, Powerful Connections: How Influence, Empathy and Engagement Have Transformed Cause in the Digital Era, contains a wealth of insights and actionable advice on:

  • The correlation between individuals who follow digital influencers and those who care about cause
  • How authenticity and personal stories drive engagement and impact for cause efforts
  • What brands should consider when developing a cause partnership
  • What types of content and channels are most successful at promoting brand-cause partnerships
  • The power of tapping local influencers
  • How to convert followers into advocates by creating content they are willing to share

How digital influencers drive donations and cause engagement

The Influence Impact Report is an ongoing series that explores the dynamic forces that shape and drive consumers in an active ecosystem of influence. This report was compiled using three studies conducted in April 2017, which included an online survey of 1,024 people in the U.S. over the age of 18 using Qualtrics; an online survey of 1,000 people in the U.S. over the age of 18 that indicated they followed a digital influencer (identified as someone they follow online solely for the value of their content and not due to any offline relationship) using Survata; and an online survey of 1,065 people in the U.S. over the age of 18 to determine the incidence rate of those who follow digital influencers (identified as someone they follow online solely for the value of their content and not due to any offline relationship) using Survata.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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