How to Promote Your Green Marketing Strategy
Your website should be the hub of all of your marketing activity. If you decide that you are going to offer a new line of green products and services, the first place to start marketing this fact will be your own website. The green marketing niche is getting popular every day.
If you have been in business for some time, one of the easiest ways to go green is to revamp your product line. Look at two or three of your best-selling products, and see if you can come up with greener versions of them. Ask your customers what they think of the idea. Survey your email marketing lists to see if they would also be interested in greener versions of your products.
Once you have done your market research, it will be time to take a 360-degree look at the product as it is at the moment to try to see in which areas it can become greener. For example, you might wish to look at the packaging. Opting for recycled cardboard and soy-based inks will make a significant difference in the impact your packaging has on the environment. Similarly, paying attention to the plastic that you use and opting for ones that are easily recyclable will also ensure that less trash goes into landfills.
When you make these decisions, write about them at your site. You might even write a press release about your changes if you are using any new, cutting-edge technology. For example, there is an inventor from New Zealand who has created a portable machine that can create standard-sized building bricks out of sea plastic shoveled up from beaches in the Hawaiian Islands, and using the bricks to make houses for the poor. That kind of innovation is headline-worthy and certainly should be reported on your website.
Greening Made Easy
Your website should also become the hub of all of your activity because a truly green company will try to be as clean as possible. This means discontinuing any paper catalogs or direct mail that you may have been using in order to market your products. This in turn will mean you need to do most of your marketing online, especially in relation to the social networks.
It might also mean ceasing to publish paperback books in favor of electronic ones and buying recycled photocopy paper and paper goods for the office and announcing that fact. All of these initiatives will have a significant environmental impact and you might even consider documenting all you do and the savings they involve. Then you can share your experiences and become a poster child for a leaner, greener company in your niche or industry.
You could even create eBooks, or become a coach or consultant, about greening one’s business, spinning new profitable products out of everything you learn. Naturally, you would launch these new products at your website.
Your About Us Page and Mission Statement
Your green initiatives also should also be part of your About Us page and mission statement. These “housekeeping” pages on your website are more important than you think. Google’s search engine spiders scan them more than any other pages at your site apart from your homepage.
New visitors to your site will want to know who you are, what your values are, and why they should do business with you. Don’t make them guess or hunt all over the site to find out this information. Put it where they can find it and be proud of your green offerings.
Your website should be a hive of activity, driving traffic to it to see all you have to offer. Once you have traveled down the path of being greener, be sure your website and all your marketing reflects that fact, and see what a difference it can make to your profits.
Be Active On Social Media
Once you decide to make your business greener, it will be important to market this fact to your target audience. One of the best ways to market any new initiative is on social media.
Having said that, announcing that your business is now greener can be a tricky proposition. On the one hand, regular customers don’t really like change. On the other hand, up to 90% of US consumers are interested in green issues.
Know the Green Niche
About 20% of the US consumer base is “very green” – that is, takes green issues extremely seriously. Another 40% can be considered “medium green”; green issues tend to be one of their main considerations when they make any purchasing decisions, but it is not the most important one.
However, if you want to be seen as green and establish yourself as a green company, you have to be the real deal and “sell yourself” to the 20% who are truly green.
This is no easy feat. Fortunately, on social media, people tend to cluster in groups and share their interests. The green niche is a busy one. It also overlaps with other niches that have an ethical or even spiritual dimension.
For example, people who are interested in green issues are often also interested in LOHAS – that is Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. This is a holistic way of looking at the way they live their lives, from the foods they eat and hobbies they engage in, to the products they buy, the clothes they wear, and the housewares they purchase for their homes.
People interested in green issues are also often interested in holistic health, and are therefore willing to try herbal supplements, organic foods, and healthy activities such as yoga, tai chi, a walking program, and so on.
People who are green tend to make their purchasing decisions based on careful research about the impact that the product has on their environment. Consider how many people have purchased hybrid cars, for example.
They do detailed research before buying. Many of them go on social media to find out people’s experiences of the green item before they make their final purchasing decision. This phenomenon, referred to as social search, can greatly influence your target market before they finally decide to press the button.
In the course of their research, a green shopper will ask friends and family, and treat social media signals as word-of-mouth advertising. In fact, studies have shown that feedback on social media sites is more trusted than information given by the manufacturer. Green consumers listen to what their peers tell them rather than what they manufacturers or labels tell them.
This being the case, it is important to make sure that you pay attention to reputation management and good customer service in relation to all of your products. Social media can be a double-edged sword. It can be a great opportunity for people to share experiences. On the other hand, it can be a tool for anonymous haters or rival companies to try to undermine your business.
However, if you are sincere and honest about your products, and really have ethical issues in mind rather than just trying to cash in on the trend, you should soon see an uptake in the green products and services you are offering to this influential and lucrative target customer base.
Your website will be the hub of all your marketing activity, so be sure to have social share buttons on your site or blog so visitors to your site can share on their social media accounts with just a click. In this way, your happy customers will spread the word and create the impression of a clean, green company worth doing business with.