More than just a buzzword, sustainability needs to be a foundational principle that informs our actions as individuals, companies, and society as a whole—your digital marketing strategy is no exception. Consumers, for their part, are now suspicious of disinformation and false claims of responsibility from the businesses they support. They expect a level of accountability and are asking brands to do better. In fact, a 2019 survey found that “47% of internet users worldwide had ditched products and services from a brand that violated their personal values”. This is a significant number and speaks to the fact that sustainable digital marketing needs to be a strategic cornerstone for any business that wants to continue growing and thriving.
What is sustainable digital marketing?
First and foremost, sustainable digital marketing is not greenwashing. It is, rather, all the ways that a company can sustainably and ethically promote an eco-conscious business online. This means having a comprehensive promotion strategy that highlight’s your brand’s sustainable and ethical offerings, in addition to your eco-friendly practices.
Having a sustainable digital marketing strategy involves thinking about how you can grow a community and create revenue online—driven and informed by ethics and morals. Here are some strategies to help you find the right balance, so you can authentically communicate your commitment to sustainability and work towards a more profitable and equitable future for all.
Define and focus on your mission
We talk a lot about finding your “why” in marketing, and that is because there needs to be an anchoring mission at the core of what you do in order to be successful. When it comes to crafting a sustainable digital marketing strategy, you need to have a clear understanding of what is motivating the change and how you want to be seen as a company. This will allow you to prioritise the right strategies and channels, so that everything can ultimately fall into place. Knowing what you want to stand for is the first step in being able to communicate it with your audience and establishing shared values that they can relate to.
As stated above—sustainable digital marketing is not greenwashing. There is nothing to be gained by attempting to put forth the impression that your product or services are more ethical and sustainable than they genuinely are. An authentic, sustainable digital marketing strategy means addressing environmental issues on the backend before promoting them. That means your transition to a sustainable marketing strategy can’t happen overnight. If you’re straightforward and honest about your efforts from the beginning, though, you’ll generate respect and trust from your customers. People should have the right to know where, how and by whom the items they purchase from you are made. This is a crucial component of building a truly conscious brand.
Find the right collaborators
If you’re committed to protecting the environment, you need to make sure you surround yourself with others who share your mission. By inserting yourself in a community of other sustainability-minded actors, you will not only be helping to make your clients and customers aware of the issues that matter to you, but you’ll also be better position to justify any price difference that might result from your investment in more sustainable energy or materials. You are the company you keep, after all. So, improve your public image by creating a community that you can look to for support and inspiration as you journey towards a successful ecological transition.
Of course, each company has different opportunities when it comes to improving its carbon footprint while continuing to work in digital marketing. Don’t hesitate to reach out and speak with one of our experts about what approach would work best for you. Likewise, if you’d like to stay up to date on current social media trends and growth marketing hacks, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for the latest digital marketing news.