Recycling and conserving energy have become standard practices in a significant percentage of companies in most major industries. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it can also create positive PR that can go a long way in forming positive public opinion. What’s better than doing something to improve the world we live in, while improving the public’s opinion of your company at the same time?
The problem is that promoting your company’s sustainability initiatives can be tricky business. There is a fine line to walk when considering how to promote these types of efforts, and it’s easy to fall off and land on the wrong side, ending up appearing to be bragging. Your sustainability programs need to go far beyond reputation management. Creating usable content that provides benefits to consumers, rather than saying “Hey look what we can do” can go a long way in avoiding the world of shameless self-promotion.
So let’s get started on the path to marketing sustainability initiatives the right way. It is one thing to save energy at home and cut your next energy bill, but it is another thing to transform the consciousness of a complete stranger when you are running a hotel, a restaurant, or even a website. While marketers work to seek efficiencies creating new content, sustainability campaigns are using popular content marketing trends to market energy efficiency.
First of all, businesses must make sustainability more than a campaign. It must become a personal mission, one of which the consumer can be a part. The more important and authentic your mission is to you, the more important it is for the consumer. Don’t just talk about what you are doing, talk about how these issues are affecting people all over the world. Cite specific locations and examples, and even tell the stories of people that are affected by pollution and other issues stemming from businesses not having a sustainable operation. You can talk about how your company is different and is helping to fix the problem, but don’t just focus on that. Focus on the people.
When it comes to reducing and reusing, consumers want to know why and what impact their actions will make. Greenwashing is all too common, where people are manipulated, through marketing, into thinking a product or service is more natural or sustainable than it really is. Consumers like information in the form of quality content. Mixing personalization and information will give the consumer purpose and pride for the actions you call on them to take. Providing quality content will paint a clearer picture for the impact of sustainability actions.
For those later-minded people who appreciate the concept of mission but do not have time to follow through, getting people involved and informed with social media and other multi-media platforms can facilitate future interest and action. It can also allow them to get involved by spreading the word and sharing your posts without having to add more to their already busy schedule.
Social media is another way to not only educate the consumer, but to build general interest and interactions with your brand or organization. Promote your message on a variety of social media channels and encourage others to spread the word by interacting with your posts.
These current trends in sustainability marketing are quite remarkable. Because sustainability campaigns are facilitated by quality content, sustainability campaigns inherently become more transparent. The demand for information allows consumers to be better informed and for marketing campaigns to be more transparent.
Taylor Crouch – Marketing Assistant