Why Get Involved in Sponsorships through Your Business

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When it comes to business marketing, an often-overlooked strategy is corporate sponsorships. Sponsoring an event or a cause is actually a great way to achieve numerous marketing goals — often with very little investment upfront.

If your agency isn’t yet involved in sponsorships, read on to learn more about what constitutes a sponsorship (it isn’t always just a donation!), and the top four marketing benefits of sponsorships.

What Are Sponsorships?

Corporate sponsorship often refers to a business’s financial support of an organization or an event — i.e., the recurring contribution to a nonprofit, or a one-time donation to a charity. But sponsorship can be so much more.

Firstly, while sponsorship can be purely financial, companies can sponsor almost anything, from the local high school football team to a community garden. The key is choosing something to sponsor that your target demographic is invested in, or that has an existing audience you hope to reach.

Sponsorships also don’t have to be purely financial. Many businesses offer their services in exchange for sponsorship branding, as a sort of trade. For instance, a law firm can provide a set number of hours of legal counsel to the cause for free, or a company can donate its own products to a relevant event. Figure out what your company’s strengths are, and what would make the most sense from a partnership perspective.

Increasing Your Brand Awareness Through Sponsorships

A key benefit to engaging in corporate sponsorship is brand awareness. Whether you’re donating money to a cause or offering your products or services, you’ll want to consider brand representation well in advance so that you can provide the necessary materials — it’s not guaranteed that the event or cause will handle it on your behalf.

Consider the types of branding you’ll need to have on-site at an event, such as signs or free merchandise. Any written copy, printed or virtual, should contain mention of your brand, where reasonable. Try to brainstorm fun, unique ways to incorporate your branding into the sponsorship, so that event attendees or participants will be excited to learn more or even rep your brand publicly.

Leveraging Sponsorships for Networking Opportunities

Another major marketing benefit when it comes to sponsorships is the chance to network with new clients and business partners. The opportunity to generate new leads can easily mean a return on your initial investment, whether your sponsorship is an in-person event or a virtual cause.

If in-person, take the initiative to speak with attendees and introduce your business. You can even use an email signup sheet to further the conversation. Online, you can collect email addresses and other demographic information that will grow your business. There may be other sponsors involved in the cause as well who overlap with your own business, and they can often be important connections in your field, too!

Learning from Your Customer Base

Sponsorships can be a key time to gather product feedback. Any sponsorship should be in alignment with target audiences for your agency, so it’s a great chance to learn more from new or existing customers. As mentioned above, you should engage with sponsorship opportunities that have a demographic similar to your own — either a target niche you’re hoping to expand in, or your existing customer base.

You can hand out discuss a specific insurance product that is relevant to the attendees at in-person events, and ask people for their input. Online, you can offer feedback surveys.

Improve Your Reputation

Finally, a key marketing benefit to sponsorships is improved brand reputation. By sponsoring a positive cause or event, you’ll generate public goodwill toward your business — and reputation is a hard factor for most brands to control. And plus, who doesn’t want to do the right thing and give back to the community?

While engaging in these sponsorships, it can be helpful to capture content to use in your organic and paid marketing efforts down the line. Photos and videos of sponsorship efforts should definitely be featured on your agency’s website and social media pages, so plan in advance for a time when you can best record these authentic moments.