As a business with sustainability at your core, aligning your message and methods can create a clearer picture of your purpose. At Steady Glow Digital, we work with our clients to develop their eco-marketing approach. This assures that there are no gaps in their purpose to reduce waste, reduce carbon and leave the world a better place for following generations. Often in the process of doing business, this overall mission can get lost. You find yourself just needing something done fast or cheaply. Or you’re just too busy to think about being consistent and purposeful with your message.
What is Eco-Marketing?
Eco-Marketing isn’t just a buzz phrase. It is a comprehensive approach to employ sustainability-minded marketing methods throughout your business. This can include how or whether you print, who you do business with, how you operate your office, the digital services you use and more. Today, we are focusing primarily on COMMUNICATION. Communication encompasses how you share messages of sustainability throughout your marketing.
Lead By Example
Let’s say you’ve mastered our Eco-Marketing Tips from 2019. Every printed piece of yours is 100% PCW Recycled with soy- or algae-based inks, printed in a local, FSC printshop. Aren’t you doing your part and that’s enough? I would say, first of all, that’s freaking awesome that you’re doing that. You are sincerely making a difference in how much waste is produced, how much water is used, how many trees are cut down and how much carbon you produce. What more is there?
The next step is to share this information so that others can follow your lead. Think of how you discover new services or products. Oftentimes, it’s from a simple website or social media account mention. Or, a mention on a recent email that your favorite shop is a B Corp makes you more likely to buy with them again.
Print and Post It
Don’t be afraid to include text on your printed pieces like “This card is printed on 100% PCW Recycled Paper and is Recyclable”. While everyone knows that paper is recyclable, it might be that simple reminder that keeps them from ultimately throwing it in the trash vs. the recycle bin. If you’ve gone through the process of becoming a B Corp or joining 1% for the Planet, use their logos and tags on your website, email marketing and social media pages WITH LINKS to their sites.
Share Services You Believe In
If you’re using an eco-friendly service you’re happy with, include an insert or a mention on your invoice. Tell people that their package was delivered carbon-free, or using 100% recycled and recyclable packaging. These small mentions draw attention to the viability of eco-marketing options for your client or customer without forcing your agenda on them. They may think “I’ve always hated using all this plastic in our packaging” and follow your lead.
Share Your Research
If you feel like digging a little deeper, you can look into some data. How much have your eco-marketing practices offset carbon, saved water, saved trees and saved energy? The services or products you’re using may already offer this information for you. For instance, green web host Greengeeks, shares how they invest three times as much carbon energy used for your server space into renewable energy through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. Facts and figures like this provide people with real, measurable evidence of your impact.
Blogging, Writing, Sharing
Like we do here at Steady Glow Digital, blogs are more than just filling up SEO content for your business. They are yet another tool for communication to surround yourself with customers, clients, vendors and others who share your values and vision. Consider writing blog posts about why you do what you do. For instance: why does it matter to you to create organic beauty products without chemicals? Or, why did you choose to enter into the renewable energy industry? Your journey can be an inspiration to others. You also get the added benefit of increasing SEO for your website by others searching for this content. It may help you pick up a few new customers, clients, subscribers or followers along the way. These blog posts could then be included in your regular marketing emails or on social media posts.
Speaking of social media, you can diversify what you’re sharing by including news and inspirational stories from others in your field. If there’s a news story that isn’t necessarily associated with your product line or services, but is related to why you’re in business, share it. Be sure to include something about how it’s related to your business and its mission.
Spreading the News
Throughout the process of developing your business, you’ve created reliable relationships with other businesses. If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we need to help each other survive. There are plenty of great businesses out there, trying to make the world a better place by offering sustainable alternatives to status quo business tools. I guarantee that any facet of your business has an eco friendly option out there. Whether its compostable packaging, services that run their operations entirely on renewable energy, a commitment to plant a tree for every purchase or invest in environmentally-based start-ups, you can have a part in making these businesses a success. In turn, you’ll have a positive effect on the environment.
Don’t Be Shy
In short, TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW about these services and products. This doesn’t have to come across as preachy or judgmental. It can simply be sharing enthusiasm for something you believe in. So, post about a company you love on Facebook, include a company profile in your newsletter, mention “printed by XXXX” on your mailers. This can also include sharing articles about advancements in techniques, materials and services related to your industry. If you work in the restaurant industry and have started using the ever-increasing amount of compostable options, don’t keep it a secret!
Many times, companies source materials and products from the same old places they have simply because they don’t have the time to do the research. Remember, the more support that can go towards companies building on the values of sustainability, the more likely they will succeed, influence others and have a positive impact on our lives.