We don’t mince words when it comes to conscious consumerism and sustainable marketing.
Between running the EnvironMental Podcast, pioneering the Living Brand Directory, and taking sustainable brands on for projects and ongoing holistic relationships, we are steeped in the world of sustainable solutions.
One of the best things that sustainable brands can do is focus their energies on sustainable marketing.
What is Sustainable Marketing?
If you google “sustainable marketing,” you will see: “the promotion of environmental and socially responsible products, practices, and brand values” given as the definition on the front page.
While I think that’s part of it, because as a brand focused on your values, you will promote those, there’s a lot more to sustainable marketing than just talking about social good on your website.
Your marketing in and of itself should be part of your own circular economy.
What do I mean by that? I mean, that within your brand, your focus should be on how circular you can make every piece of your business. You think about how your packaging should be recyclable or compostable, you think about how to offset your carbon footprint, how to create a supply chain that isn’t detrimental to the workers or the planet, and you think about how often your product can be reused.
Implementing sustainability in your marketing is the same process.
It goes something like this:
- Step one: what does your audience want to hear? (building a strategy)
- Step two: creating content that aligns with your brand and your audience
- Step three: publishing it on all of your channels on a consistent basis
- Step four: collecting and analyzing the data from those channels to understand more about what your audience wants to hear.
Or for us it goes: Data, people, content, consistency.
So we’re redefining this: Sustainable Marketing is the circular model of continuous improvement in your brand’s marketing efforts that takes into account your audience, values, products, and practices.
Why Sustainable Brands Need Sustainable Marketing Strategies
When it comes to being a brand that is focused on any aspect of sustainability, whether it’s being eco-friendly, inclusive, socially responsible, or ethical in your sourcing, sustainable marketing isn’t an option for you.
It is necessary to employ this circular growth marketing model because you have more to prove, and more to show, than other brands in your space. Here’s five reasons why you need sustainable marketing strategies in your business.
1 – Your products might cost more
Because you have a VALUE chain, and not just a SUPPLY chain, your products are likely to cost more than your competitors. The true cost of what you’re creating is worth it for the quality that you offer.
By asking people to pay the true cost of their investment and to be conscious about reuse in their consumerism, you’re also asking your audience to make a change in their buying habits or lifestyle.
Using sustainable content marketing strategies to support your audience and nurture them in this change is how you grow your authority and make a real difference in their lives.
2 – Your products might need explanation
It’s kind of silly to think about, but your competitive advantage might also be something that goes against the grain of tradition. Which means you probably have some explaining to do.
That’s okay, that’s what your landing pages, an email welcome series, and your “about” page is for.
But if you don’t have other information to back it up, and you don’t share consistent information about WHY the change to your product is so necessary, you’re going to lose out on sales. People want to feel part of your tribe, and they need to know more than just the basics to be able to tell their friends about why your product is important to them.
3 – Customer expectations are higher
When you’re a value-focused brand, with a true cost, and an earth-saving mission statement, your customers will hold you to a higher standard.
If they don’t see you meeting that standard – with a consistent website that is easy to navigate, updated social media, great customer support, and regular posts in their inbox, they’re going to assume that you’re phony.
Hey – we don’t write the rules – folks that shop sustainably do. They put their money where their mouth is, and they expect you to do the same thing. Sustainable marketing strategies help you earn and keep their trust.
4 – You have steeper competition
So here’s the deal. The competitive advantage you have within your niche is that your product is sustainable. But being “sustainable” means that you’re in a whole different niche in addition to the one that you’re already competing in.
Sustainability is a niche all on its own. And when you step into it, you’re competing in the big leagues (we’ll call them, Big Green). Why? Because sustainability is POPULAR. (Please excuse me while I sing along with Glinda’s Elphaba makeover).
The “Big Green” are already using sustainable marketing strategies to grow their businesses. And chances are, even if your product is better for the environment, if you’re not supporting your customers with other aspects of your marketing, they’ll go with the Big Green who do.
5 – Sustainable marketing helps with SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is, hands down, one of the best ways to get traffic to your site. It’s how you grow in an organic way that will support your big dreams and, more importantly, it’s how you gain the most loyal customers.
If you’re only posting on the social media platforms, you have to know that you don’t own that data. That ONE algorithm change and bottom out your views and knock you off your platform (we’ve seen it happen).
Organic traffic to well written, optimized content paired with an email marketing strategy, a customer retention plan, and social media is how you make sure that your bottom line belongs to you.
How to Get Started with Sustainable Marketing for Your Brand
This isn’t difficult once you get the hang of it, but it can be challenging to start.
Most of the time, we suggest starting by writing about the most basic and important parts of your business and sharing them on all of your platforms. We call this a “content stack.”
A content stack is an article post, an email campaign, and a social media campaign. Everytime you write a new blog, or have an new idea for a post, start thinking about it as a “content stack.”
In the beginning, take the opportunity to talk about what you already know while you’re getting the hang of working on your sustainable marketing strategy. Writing about your brand and the basics gives you content to link back to when a customer asks for extra information.
Still want some help? Hit us up in an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or just schedule a call directly into our calendar here: calendly.com/dandelion-branding/marketing