Here is some food for thought:
- Did you know that products marketed as sustainable grew 2.7x faster than those that were not?
- Consumer marketing stats tell us that 78% of consumers feel that sustainability is important.
- 50% of global consumers say that environmental factors (such as a commitment to reducing carbon emissions, using recycled materials or reducing plastic waste in products) will often or always influence their decision to trust a brand.
- 84% of consumers say that poor environmental practices will alienate them from a brand or company.
Apart from being the right thing to do (we do only have one planet and as they say there is no plan B!), there are lots of reasons why you might be seeing more businesses emphasising their sustainability and environmental credentials. Whatever those reasons are, there are two key things to remember if you’re thinking of building a sustainable element into your business story:
- You must be authentic
- You must be consistent
The very best reason to introduce sustainability into your business – and by extension, into your marketing – is because you believe it’s the right thing to do. If you are paying lip service because you think it’s what your customers or shareholders want to hear, you’ll be found out pretty soon.
Before you start thinking about sustainable marketing, you need to have genuine, agreed goals and commitments that everyone in your business is signed up to. They need to be focused and measurable, and reviewed regularly to make sure you’re on track.
How to build sustainability into your campaigns
Your environmental commitments are fundamental to your business, so you need to reflect them consistently through the stories you tell.
This is especially important when you’re planning content. Rather than ‘shoe-horning’ sustainability into your content, it should be something that comes so naturally to your business that it’s part of all your campaigns. For example, if your business is product-driven, think about how you refer to:
- Your production process
- Your ingredients or the materials you use
- How you approach electricity and water use
- Delivery vehicle fleets
- Supplier sourcing and sustainability requirements
- Packaging materials and recycling
This may be an ongoing process for your business, so don’t forget that you can announce any positive changes you make, targets you meet and processes you introduce.
Is this harder for service businesses?
For service-oriented businesses, things aren’t quite so clear-cut. But, by thinking creatively, you can easily build sustainability into your content planning. For a start, if you own your building, can you add solar panels, or air-source heating?
Could you provide charging points for electric cars? Do you encourage your people to walk, cycle or use public transport? There are plenty of ways you can show your customers that you are considering your impact on the environment in every business decision you make.
And your content doesn’t have to be focused on your business. Sustainability is a hot topic, so there is always going to be content out there that inspires you, or supports your own efforts. Look at your community – are their groups, projects or plans that you can support as part of your content marketing?
Perhaps there are industry initiatives that you can adopt or highlight. Or maybe your CSR efforts are based around supporting environmental charities and you can share their work. Cast a wide net in your search for great sustainability content that demonstrates your commitment and shows your customers that your brand is genuinely invested in doing things differently.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how to build sustainability into your content marketing plan, why not check out our brand new Duo+ package? It’s a one-off dedicated session with a Chartered Marketer for strategic marketing and content planning. It’s the ideal way for you to focus on adding sustainability to your core values and focus on the best way to keep it front of mind for your people and your customers.
Just contact us today to book an initial call.
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