Creating the right ethical marketing strategy can be tricky. Having gained experience at several marketing agencies before taking up the role of Creative Director at specialist digital marketing agency Glass Digital, Jonathan Birch knows a thing or two about getting it right. In this article, he shares three of his top tips for you to bear in mind for your eco-friendly business.
Sustainability is a major trend right now. According to the Ethical Consumer Markets Report, last year the green energy sector grew by 56.3%, ethical clothing increased 19.9%, and ethical food and drink ballooned by 16.3% (ethicalconsumer.org). Now, the ethical market is worth over £383.33bn, and the average household is spending £1,238 on ethical goods (triodos.co.uk ) — which is great news for eco-friendly businesses.
As consumer habits change, marketing trends are adapting to focus on sustainability and ethical living. So, if your business is already set on being sustainable and eco-friendly, it’s never been more crucial that you are getting your message out there. Below, I’ll share three things to consider when making your sustainable products or practices a focus of your marketing.
Digital marketing is sustainable
There are a lot of reasons why businesses should invest in online marketing. For one, you can limit the amount of paper and other materials you use to advertise your business, which is more sustainable as well as economical. Harnessing the power of the internet is also a quick and easy way to reach a huge and diverse range of customers.
As it’s so crowded, however, you’ll need to get creative with your marketing campaigns in order to stand out against others. You may also want to consider joining forces with ethical influencers who can review your product or business for their followers. You can do this by sending them a personalised message inviting them to collaborate with your brand — just remember to pay attention to detail, making sure your ethical credentials align with those of their target audience.
Most importantly, you need to be prepared to adapt. Trends change, so you need to stay at the forefront of the sustainability movement by keeping up with the latest developments in technology and practices that can help make your processes more sustainable. You can do this by following and engaging with industry blogs and social media groups on Facebook and Linkedin.
Be transparent with your marketing
Don’t feel like you need to use smoke and mirrors to run a successful business. Be open and honest with your customers about who you are, the journey you’ve taken to get your business to where it is, and your values.
Customers are looking for this information when they’re choosing a sustainable business, so don’t be shy about putting your company history out there on your website or social media pages.
You should also make it extremely easy for people to contact you so you can answer any questions they may have. This is why social media is important for eco-friendly businesses; potential customers who have issues or concerns are able to contact you directly, and you can get a very good reputation that way in return. Having a few channels where real customers can also leave reviews of your services or products can help instil more confidence in your brand and convert more sales.
Tell a story
Double up your marketing strategy as an awareness campaign by publishing helpful content that promotes sustainable living. Inform customers about the environmental problem your business avoids or solves by turning your website and social media accounts into information hubs about the topic. Providing this content can drive organic traffic to your website, and it also gives you the perfect environment for you to promote your products and demonstrate how eco-friendly your business is in detail.
You’ll need to post regularly so that it’s up to date, plus a good rate of new posts means that people will often check back or sign up for alerts to see your new content. This can be invaluable in establishing your business a place in someone’s sustainable lifestyle as an authoritative and trustworthy brand.
You can’t tell your story the right way without understanding what your audience wants, though. Sustainability is a huge issue and there are so many different ways to approach it, so it’s worth taking the time to do some market and keyword research to understand exactly what your audience are expecting from you. Then, you can build your story around that by producing high-quality, valuable, and trustworthy content to complement your product or service.
These three tips should help you when you’re planning your ethical marketing strategy. By focusing on what makes your business eco-friendly and embracing digital marketing, you’ll be able to target this rapidly growing market.