Good influence – how influencers are helping charities to make a difference

The charitable side of social media

In the same way that the brands trying to sell us fizzy drinks and trainers have added social media influencers to their (previously celebrity-clogged) ambassadorial fold, more and more charities have recognised the value of this new voice in the market.

And just as those content creators are helping brands to raise awareness and inspire action amongst customers, they are now using their powers of persuasion to shine a light on some important causes and issues.

So, with so many influential voices to choose from, and so many good causes looking to win your attention and support, how can both sides ensure they are doing the best job for the vulnerable people who rely on them.


Telling stories that matter

Everyone loves a happy statistic and one of the happiest around is that, according to research by The Drum, one in three social media influencers are already supporting charitable causes through their channels.

Meanwhile, charities have recognised the power of social media content as an affordable and impactful way to target the people who can support their work. A study by Reelio actually showed that content on YouTube with a charitable message earned more than 2.5 times the engagement levels as videos without – demonstrating that this is a space where charities, with the help of the right content creators, can absolutely succeed.

And you don’t have to look far for remarkable examples of content creators and charities working together to create a message that makes people listen, care and want to help. From the incredibly powerful video make-up vlogger Lauren Lake made in 2012 for Refuge UK about domestic violence, to the WWF recruiting German vlogger Simon Unge to share video diaries of a visit to the Amazon, content creators are helping audiences see what a charity does – and how vital their donations can be.


Understanding the issues

Now, while the support of a content creator can undoubtedly help a charity reach a wider audience, the fit between influencer and brand is even more essential than in a strictly commercial relationship.

Unsurprisingly, with something as emotive and personal as the kind of causes you find in the charity sector, the best kind of influencer campaigns are ones that come from an authentic, individual experience.

Superstar vlogger, Zoella, for example has always spoken openly about her own anxiety – and was therefore a relatable and inspiring digital ambassador for the mental health charity, Mind. Her involvement in their #DontPanicButton campaign helped Mind generate over 1.5 million interactions – opening up a huge global conversation about an issue many people had struggled with on their own.

So, when you combine a supporting charity, with a creative influencer who truly believes in what they do, you can end up with the kind of campaigns that, incredibly, have the power to save lives.