The ultimate (quick and easy) guide to green marketing

The ultimate (quick and easy) guide to green marketing

Consumers are changing and environmental concerns have never been stronger. Build a business fit for the 21st century with these five tips for green marketing and make sustainability a central pillar of your brand.

When almost eight out of 10 consumers say finding sustainable and environmentally responsible brands is either very or moderately important, green concerns have reached a tipping point.

Environmental issues are no longer something to be quietly ignored: they are now a key driver of consumer behaviour.

50% of global consumers say they became more eco-friendly in just six months between October 2020 to March 2021. So brands that do well over the coming years are increasingly likely to be those that put green concerns at the centre of their operations.

Here are five ways to incorporate sustainability into your marketing strategy and build a business that lasts.

1. Identify your sustainable USP – and stick with it

If you’re embracing green marketing because you view it as fashionable, you need to think again. Your commitment to green marketing must be sincere and genuine, or you will soon be caught out. This is not a gimmick, and any brand that treats it as such will soon be exposed.

If you can commit to green marketing, it is important to think things through. Take time to brainstorm and identify your sustainable unique selling point. As a starting point, ask yourself:

  • What aspect of your product or service is eco-friendly?
  • Are your materials locally sourced?
  • Are your materials chemical-free?

When you have arrived at your sustainable USP, examine it from every angle. Could it come unstuck? Does it promise more than it delivers?

It’s important you can stand behind your USP with absolute confidence. If the first USP you arrive at does not stand up to scrutiny, the best approach is to either refine things until it does or look for a completely different sustainable USP.

Companies taking the time to build their green USPs are set to enjoy long-term benefits. Nearly 60% of consumers are willing to change their shopping habits to reduce environmental impact and a significant portion are willing to pay a 35% premium for brands that are sustainable and environmentally responsible.

2. Adopt an eco-conscious design

Beyond your USP, the next obvious place to demonstrate your commitment to the environment is by adopting an eco-conscious design.

Find a way to signal to your customers that you are preserving and protecting the environment, whether that’s through the clever use of iconography or refining your colour choices.

When you have arrived at your new branding, make sure it is rolled out across every area of your marketing. Every time somebody sees your brand, either internally or externally, they should see your eco-conscious design. Updating a brand is a time-consuming exercise, but it is only worth it if you ensure the new look is visible at every touchpoint. Don’t cut corners here.

One in three consumers say a lack of information prevents them from choosing brands that have ethical practices and values. So make it clear and easy to understand your green credentials at every possible opportunity.

3. Fully embrace digital marketing

Consider the environmental impact of a traditional direct mail campaign. You need paper, ink, and fuel emissions for each of your mailings to be delivered to your targets.

Now compare the environmental impact of sending a digital direct mail campaign, where the only thing you need is the electricity to power your computer. The difference is huge, and that’s before you even consider that 42% of the UK’s 2020 electricity supply came from renewable sources such as wind, solar, water and wood.

Here are some of the most effective digital marketing methods:

Email marketing, which takes your message straight to your prospect’s inbox and provides trackable data in an instant. Four out of five marketers reported an increase in email engagement in 2020.

Search engine optimisation (SEO), which helps your prospects find your business more easily and more often when they are searching with intent.

Social media marketing, which builds trust and keeps you front of mind with your most engaged leads. It’s not just a broadcast tool, either. Two-thirds of marketers say social listening – tracking social platforms for mentions and conversations relating to your brand, and then either directly responding or reacting internally to accumulated feedback – has increased in value for the organisation.

Digital publications, which eliminate almost all distribution costs from traditional marketing tools like brochures and reports while simultaneously providing significant revenue growth.

Smartphone apps, which have been proven to increase revenue and profitability. In 2019, Google found that 39% of smartphone users are more likely to browse or shop on a company’s mobile app rather than through a traditional browser.

4. Show your credentials

If you have a green product or service, take time to build a marketing strategy that repeatedly reinforces your environmental achievements.

Social media is often the quickest and most effective way of taking your message to your audience. It’s also where your audience is likely to be most receptive, with 57% of consumers actively following brands to learn about new products or services and a huge majority of those followers buying from the brand (89%) or recommending to a relative or friend (85%).

5. Support environmental initiatives

Find an environmental charity or charities that your business aligns with, then devise a system of financial support – whether that be a one-off donation, or an ongoing commitment. Donating to these charities shows you are committed to environmental action.

By highlighting the work of these charities, as well as referencing your own donations, you’ll prove your company’s commitment and build trust with your target audience. Use both social media and website campaigns to spread the message most effectively.

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