Marketing a greener perspective can rapidly become a challenge nowadays. Indeed, some companies have been (rightfully) accused of greenwashing their brand. The term ‘greenwashing’ carries along a negative connotation. It stipulates that a non-green business is marketing an eco responsible status.
Although some brands are abusing the terminology and taking the dare too far, others, probably like you and I, are merely looking for ways to actually become greener. The initiative is noble-minded. And this article is aiming to give you possible lines of approach to the matter.
Now that we have set our intentions, let’s dive right into the content!
The Benefits of Marketing a Greener Perspective
Choosing to advertise following a highly political cause is anything but personal. Obviously, as an individual and business owner, you cannot dismiss your personal point of view. However, I do want to stress a point: turning green is more about business than about making the world a better place.
As down-to-earth as my words may sound, the objective of a business is to make profit. Fun fact? You can make profit AND be green. Which is pretty good news, isn’t it?
Positive brand image
We already talked about this: brand image is key when deciding a marketing strategy. The fact is that brand image is not only important for your customers, but also for your employees. I also already mentioned that in a previous post, but your employees are the ones rocking your business! Having a positive brand image will give them the feeling they are working for something greater, meaning that by working for you they are leaving a positive mark on the world around them. And you know, when your people are motivated, they make your business run… fast!
The idea of sustainability which goes along with green businesses, does trigger a positive thought into investors’ minds. By definition, investors invest and what business would they be willing to invest in? Exactly: one that will last long enough for them to maximize their profits. Showing a green perspective demonstrates your ability to follow through and insert yourself in current trends. This makes your business a safe investment for you, the chief officer, are aware of the environment you are evolving in.
A last benefit I will list out here is the cost-effectiveness of the green initiative. Any change within a company or brand is costly in the beginning. However, the fact is that turning your business green will help you save money through time. As a business owner, you cannot overlook this financial advantage, and, at least, take it a minimum into consideration.
Marketing a Greener Perspective
Now that we have stated three reasons to market a greener perspective, I am going to give you six ways to actually make it happen. These tips include brand identity, community management, brand image, SEO, and company culture.
If you are reading this article, there is a great chance you have not yet figured out ways to make your business greener. The first step to marketing a greener perspective is to make the research. There are hundreds of ways to make your business greener. However, there are probably only a dozen which will actually correspond to your business.
I recommend you start researching ways of making your business greener in your field. You can browse your competitors’ websites, discuss with your business partners, and interview your clients to seek what they would be looking for in a brand.
Once you have done the research regarding what is offered in your field, you can start researching other fields. Often, the best ideas come when trying to apply foreign concepts to usual ones. This is actually what I do with my articles. Take the Tesla one for instance: there is no obvious link between the Tesla Model 3 and digital marketing. However, by searching ways to apply the Model 3 features to digital marketing, I was able to write 2 entire articles! Maybe this one was far-fetched, however, do keep in mind that creative marketing ideas often come from unexpected places.
We cannot talk about a green business without mentioning its transparency. Transparency is the key-word for marketing a greener perspective.
If you are selling products, it is essential for you to be transparent with your customers regarding the products’ origin. Which companies are you working with? What is their reputation? Are you having your products travel half-way across the world? If so, how are you minimizing CO2 emissions? And the list goes on… The idea here is not to show a perfect business model. Your customers know no business has it all figured out. But showing you are making the effort to become greener is already a lot.
If you are not selling any products, you can still show transparency through the products you are internally using as a business. Be it the light bulbs you use, the paper, the energy policy within your company, etc. Keep in mind there is always a way to be transparent with your public, and once you find it: show it.
A greener perspective generally goes hand in hand with diversity. Without falling into the cliché of an eco-friendly, more inclusive brand, you can still give a thought to diversity when revisiting your marketing strategy.
Depending on the brand message you are trying to convey, you can maybe diversify your muse or personas. Keep in mind your customers will likely come from different backgrounds, so will your employees. Therefore, it is important to take diversity into consideration.
A fun way to create diversity and conciliate it with a greener perspective in your marketing campaigns would be to impersonate trees, rocks or any impersonal being. Having a pine tree and a duck interact with one another shows diversity without actually mentioning it.
This one is my favorite! Discussing green matters with your community (it also works with your employees). Have your community manager initiate conversations with your customers and followers regarding green initiatives.
First, this is a great way to get to know your followers’ perspective on the matter (and thus, know whether or not it would actually be effective to market a green perspective to them).
Second, you can show your efforts and initiative without falling into greenwashing. Nothing is more authentic than someone (your brand) posting and asking about people’s perspective on making a business greener.
This is also where your research (see point 1) becomes handy. You can, for instance, show a piece of research and ask your community about it. What do they think about this topic? about the method? Does it really matter to them?
If you have already initiated a greener marketing campaign, you can also encourage your followers to post something related to it. For example, say you marketed a green product of yours. You can launch a contest where your customers can take a picture of them using the green product and the best picture can earn a special prize or discount.
Possibilities are endless. Brands too often disregard their communities, when the true power actually comes from them.
You know the saying we have about beauty? All people who are beautiful inside radiate outside. And reverse, no matter how pretty one may appear pretty on the outside, being ugly on the inside will take away all their beauty potential. Okay, regardless of whether it is true or not, I can assure you it actually works for marketing campaigns.
Following through what we stated in the first part of this article, having your employees convinced about your initiative is the best way to market a truly greener perspective. Your employees are your business. If they can see your undertakings daily, they will naturally believe and market it.
So before wanting to show off a greener perspective to your business, start embodying it.
The last point I am going to address is SEO. Indeed, you cannot market a greener perspective if you do not start talking about it.
Therefore, I recommend you do an SEO research about the right key-words to use in your articles. And, obviously, start writing articles about this topic or related topics.
Having a mention for greener perspectives in each article can be a good way of including this in your campaign without falling into greenwashing. It also prevents you from having this stand take-on too much space in your communication.
If you already have a considerable amount of articles, like we do on The DOZ Blog, I recommend you start remastering your articles and including these SEO green factors in them.
Marketing a greener perspective for your business is a stand which must be thought-through. It is not about making the world a better place, but about profit. (Although going green is a good way to conciliate both.)
Marketing a greener perspective is a considerable undertaking, like any shift in marketing strategy. Therefore, it should be taken seriously. This article summed up six ways to market a green perspective for your business. I hope it sparked some ideas! Let me know in the comment section which undertaking you decided to follow-through with!