Consumers are willing to pay more to buy from companies that support a cause, meaning marketers must share corporate efforts online.

Promoting your social agenda through web content may support your bottom line, according to a study conducted by Nielsen. In the realm of internet marketing, the term ‘social’ generally refers to online networks that foster connections, but in this case, it speaks to brands’ societal initiatives. A global survey of 29,000 consumers across 58 countries demonstrated that 50 percent of respondents are willing to pay more for products and services if companies are involved in programs to give back.

The results from the study indicate social responsibility is increasingly a selling point for customers and brands must share information about their efforts through content and social media marketing to appeal to prospects’ philanthropic sides. A similar poll from 2011 found that 45 percent of consumers said they would be likely to pay more for items backed by companies supporting altruistic efforts.

Cause marketing might be most effective on channels where younger audiences are most active, the report stated. People under 30 are the most likely to spend extra for socially responsible products and services. However, the 40-44 age group also demonstrates more interest in supporting brands that give back.

45 percent of consumers said they would be likely to pay more for items backed by companies supporting valuable causes.

“Today, the question is not whether consumers care about social impact, but which ones, how much and how to appeal to them,” said Nic Covey, Nielsen Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility. “The answer isn’t necessarily a traditional cause-marketing campaign … [and] savvy brands are figuring out how to hit this nerve.”

As a matter of fact, social media might prove to be one of the most effective ways to spread the word about social responsibility agendas. These networks are hubs for both younger and older consumers, and Brafton recently noted that more than half of brands recognize social marketing as one of the most fruitful ways to share custom content. By relaying corporate values with wider audiences, companies can fuel awareness around their cause campaigns to increase participation and generate conversions.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.