Top 5 Online Green Marketing Strategies for Eco-Friendly Companies
Below is our list of the best strategies eco-friendly brands can use to market themselves online. We’ve also included links to tools we think will help you succeed.
- Create Shared Value. Ensure consumers are not only aware of your eco-friendly efforts, but feel informed enough to decide if they share your company’s values. This means talking about your values in a transparent, meaningful manner. The goal is to make an emotional connection with consumers who believe in your mission.
- Utilize Green Hat Search Engine Optimization (SEO). One of the basic tenets of SEO is targeted content creation; that is, writing web content that reflects what people are searching for. This can be difficult for green product marketers, since most companies won’t be able to compete to rise in the rankings for common search keywords (either through pay-per-click or through organic keywords) against larger, non-green competitors. Enter Green Hat SEO: the process of selecting less competitive, green-related keywords and phrases to separate a product or brand from its non-green alternatives. For instance, instead of trying to compete on the common keyword “shirts”, try “green shirts” or “sustainable shirts” instead. There’s usually less competition for these more specific keywords, and they still have potential to produce traffic. More importantly, traffic that’s likely to covert to a sale. Consider using SEO tools to help identify keywords like Wordtracker or RavenTools.
- Be a Thought Leader for Your Industry. You are your brand’s best ambassador and proponent for its mission. It’s crucial for you to publicly discuss your mission, the challenges facing your industry, and the ways your products and services meet that challenge. To fully trust your in brand, green consumers will need to see the face behind the company. One way to establish your expertise is to set up a simple personal website for yourself on about.me. Think about utilizing blogging tools like WordPress or Posterous to start getting your views heard. Create connections and dialogue through Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms. On a larger scale, consider publishing a white paper that illustrates how your brand is greening your industry.
- Create & Engage in Social Media Dialogues. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and others are the new digital watercooler. Your prospective customers are using these platforms to discuss everything – including products and brands. Outside of search engine traffic, the bulk of our clients’ website traffic comes from social media. This means that you and your brand must seek out social media connections, create dialogues with compelling content, and engage in existing discussions to ensure awareness and support of both your values and brand. Almost every social media platform includes ways to segregate individuals by interest, which means you can speak directly to groups of potential consumers that care about your product and your values. Initiating this dialogue will lead to feedback, insight, and create affinity with your brand. Tools like HootSuite can assemble these conversations into one place to make your social media conversations easier to manage.
- Lead Nurturing. Now that you have put yourself and your brand out there, established your shared values and created interest in your products, convert that interest into sales! There are still some hurdles to green buying so you’ll need to alleviate them through multiple, values-based communications. Consider using lead capture forms on your website to identify prospective consumers that share your values, and then continue to engage them over time via social media and email marketing. Use these communication channels to further educate them about your products, as well as provide them with news about other sustainable initiatives of interest. Over time, consumers will come to view you as an informative, trustworthy brand; this trust encourages them to move further down the sales funnel. One of the easiest ways to run a lead nurturing campaign is by combining the use of a landing page product like Unbounce with an email marketing product like MailChimp.
Bonus: Be Transparent. The worst thing you can do in your marketing is attempt to gloss over reality or hide from your company’s history. Savvy consumers will recognize this and tear you apart. Consumers will trust you more — and be more likely to buy from you — if you are honest and transparent about your ongoing efforts at improving your sustainability. A great example of this is Patagonia’s effort to offer a glimpse into both the good and the bad of their supply chain. Successful online green marketing isn’t about having a spotless record, it’s about transparency and a sustained commitment to getting greener.
We hope this list gives you a sense of strategies and tools you can employ in your online green marketing efforts. Of course, all of these marketing strategies are incorporated into our Earthbound Marketing Campaigns. If you have further questions we are here to help and are happy to discuss your current marketing challenges.
Drop us a comment below if you think we missed anything or if we should add something to this list!