An eco-friendly brand reputation has never been more important. Customers need to know that yours is a brand they can trust, with their best interests for both the present and the future at heart. Sustainable practices are how you show your customers that you value their future.
Having eco-friendly strategies as a core tenet of your brand value will enhance your brand reputation beyond the present. Investing in sustainability is an investment in the future because going green is the act of keeping the planet safe for the future. Implementing green marketing tells your customers that you care about them far beyond any present purchase or transaction.
In this guide, we’ll go over several key sustainable digital marketing strategies for the coming year.
Green Content Marketing
Green content marketing is marketing with a focus on the environment. As cultural trends move towards sustainability, your consumers will be looking for brands that reflect those values. To move with this trend, you’ll want to incorporate sustainability messaging into your content creation. Let your consumers peek behind the scenes of your business and see what you are doing to help the environment.
Creating content that highlights eco-friendly practices and initiatives is what will catch your consumer’s attention. Make an advertisement about your recycling program, or post on social media about the eco-friendly suppliers you work with. A brand is more than the products that you put out, it’s also the persona that you display. Good content marketing isn’t only about your products, and neither is green content marketing.
If your business doesn’t currently have a sustainability program, it’s never too late to start one. Storytelling is the number one way to connect with consumers, and there’s nothing more gripping than inviting your consumers to follow along with your story in real time. Tell your consumers that you see the value in going green, and what changes you plan to make in order to have a greener footprint. Honesty is key in building brand trust, and being honest about your starting point and progress along the way will get your environmentally conscious consumers invested in your journey.
Ethical Influencer Collaborations
Collaborating with influencers is a great way to get engaging content to a wide audience, but you shouldn’t work with just anyone. People will assume that you agree with the values of your collaborators, so you should do your research in order to make sure that’s true.
When coming up with a list of potential collaborators, you’ll want to identify influencers who align with or actively promote sustainable values. Those influencers will have the sustainably-minded audience members you’ll want to reach, and carry influence with your current audience.
Partnering with ethical influencers to promote eco-friendly products and initiatives will mean that your content is genuine. The best collaborations occur when influencers are genuinely passionate about the brand they’re working with, and there’s no better way to guarantee authentic engagement than aligned values. You’ll be able to amplify your brand message through genuine influencer passion, which will speak to that passion in your audience.
One major sustainable practice that your eco-minded consumers will value is carbon-neutral advertising. Before you can implement it, however, first you have to understand what the carbon footprint of a digital advertising campaign looks like. Nearly every step of the process causes carbon emissions: production equipment and travel, ad targeting and management, and ad delivery to the devices the ads are played on.
To achieve carbon-neutral advertising, you need to make sure that the amount of carbon you are putting into the atmosphere is equal to the amount of carbon you are taking out of the atmosphere. There are two ways to do this: reduce your carbon emissions, or offset your carbon emissions through green initiatives that take carbon out of the atmosphere.
There are a variety of ways to reduce your carbon emissions upfront. You can utilize local spaces in video or photo production to reduce travel-caused carbon emissions and make sure that all company travel is absolutely essential. On the digital side of things, overloaded servers and rendering new videos take time and energy, creating significant carbon emissions. To reduce that emission, create shorter video ads to reduce server load, and recycle old videos and images to cut down on the carbon footprint of wholesale creation.
Alternatively, you can also focus on supporting renewable energy projects to achieve carbon neutrality. Investing in a renewable energy project or partnering with green-practicing suppliers will also show your consumers that you are making the world greener.
Sustainable Packaging and E-commerce
Sustainable packaging also plays a critical role in eco-friendly marketing. The difference between a one-time customer and a repeat customer is that a repeat customer feels satisfied all the way through their purchasing journey. If they feel wasteful by adding plastic packaging to a landfill, that negative feeling will impact their emotional view of your brand. On the other hand, if they are able to recycle your packaging, or see that it came via eco-friendly shipping, they’ll feel good about themselves for helping to save the planet, and good about your brand for helping them do it.
There are a variety of ways to implement sustainable packaging into your business that depends on exactly what kind of product you are marketing. As a general rule, biodegradable or recyclable materials are best: biodegradable packing peanuts over styrofoam, corrugated cardboard over plastic bubble wrap, and recycled plastics over new plastics are just a few sustainable ideas. The biodegradable options don’t stop there. Modern biodegradable packing options are being developed from both mushrooms and seaweed.
Likewise, partnering with supply chains that focus on eco-friendly shipping practices will help to "green-ify" your brand image. Go into your shipping conversations with clear expectations, and be ready to have an open conversation about what is and isn’t possible. No matter what, clarity is key. Being upfront with your customers about the green practices that went into your packaging and shipping will help to create a seamless and sustainable customer experience.
Social Media Activism for Sustainability
Sustainability doesn’t end with your digital ads or your physical product. As a green business, sustainability should be a part of your brand’s personality, which includes engaging with social media activism. Influencers, businesses, and ordinary people alike are harnessing the power of social media to support and promote environmental causes.
Your brand carries influence, and you can use that influence to support sustainability. Building a socially responsible community around your brand requires active engagement with both your audience and prominent environmental figures. Social media activism can be as simple as reposting or responding to environmental posts, or as involved as generating content of your own.
Follow the current trends in environmental activism, and if people request brands supporting a push to go green, get involved! Social media activism doesn’t have to be an entirely self-made campaign to change the world–it can involve participating with other brands as a group. If people ask brands to prove what they’re doing to save the planet, that’s a great opportunity to expand your audience by answering their questions about what makes you different from other brands.
Encouraging user-generated content that promotes sustainability shows that you are calling others to sustainable action. Challenge your consumers to creatively recycle the package your product comes in, or offer a free product raffle to those who reduce their own carbon footprint. Get people to take action, and match it with your own green actions to get sustainable practices into motion.
Green Web Hosting and Digital Infrastructure
It can be easy to forget that your website’s very existence is creating carbon emissions. All websites are hosted on systems that require both power and cooling in order to function, both of which cause waste and carbon emissions. Just because you don’t see the servers doesn’t mean they aren’t still running, and greenhouse gases should never be out of mind just because they’re out of sight.
However, there are ways to have an eco-friendly digital infrastructure. Partnering with a green website hosting service will get you all the website tools you need with the skills to make it environmentally conscious. These sites work with hardware designed to use renewable energy efficiently and are monitored to neutralize their gas emission. They recycle where they can, and aim to be responsible green web hosts.
There are plenty of green web hosting providers for you to look into, and partnering with them can give you the kind of behind-the-scenes content your consumers will be interested in. Once you’ve found a green web host that’s right for you, ask if you can interview them for a blog or social media post. Give your customers a peek behind the curtain so that they know your green-focused website is running on green-focused systems.
Likewise, you can make sure to conserve energy on your end of digital operations. Turning devices off when not in use, investing in energy-efficient office equipment, and taking a critical look at what energy-wasting practices might be present in your business can all help you minimize your carbon footprint in the office as well as online.
Measuring and Reporting Impact
The most important part of going green as a business is transparency. Giving your consumers a peek behind the curtain is more than just an avenue for content; it’s essential for building and maintaining trust. Transparency is key, and as you track the performance of your sustainable marketing efforts, you’ll see that clear evidence gets clear results.
Evidence is what gets people talking about your brand, and sharing it with other possible clients. With clear evidence-based quality SEO, you’ll be able to grow organically while going green. Sustainable marketing impact measurement is measured in long-term results that last. People have been burned by lying brands before, so though it may take time to prove to them that you are committed to a greener change, once they see the evidence they’ll never forget your trustworthiness.
When assessing the long-term impact of eco-friendly marketing strategies, you’ll see two things:
Your brand will be actively working to help the planet by going green. Going green is a reward in itself, because sustainability affects the planet, and the planet is everyone’s responsibility.
Customers will trust you for your clear results. Results speak for themselves, and letting your customers know when you’ve reduced your carbon footprint by 20% or when you’ve gone fully carbon neutral will say more than any catchy ad ever could.
Grow Green with WD Strategies
Sustainable digital marketing is the ethical marketing strategy of the future. You’ll gain your customer’s trust when you demonstrate your commitment to green practices that preserve tomorrow.
Commit to eco-friendly practices, and encourage your business partners and collaborators to do the same. By becoming the leader for change in your industry, you’ll earn your customer’s respect and loyalty. Empower your consumers to make environmentally conscious choices by making your business an environmentally conscious choice, and give them the tools to be green beyond your product.
If you want to continue to level up your digital marketing and grow your business, contact WD Strategies today! We are dedicated to helping your business face every challenge in front of it, from advertising campaigns to efficient processes to online visibility. Grow green with us today!