It does not matter what type of business you run, whether you have an accountancy firm or you sell machinery or gadgets, consumer trust is of paramount importance. If people do not trust your business, you are going to struggle to get ahead of the competition. There are many different ways that you can build consumer trust today, and one of these methods is by showing that you care about the environment. Doing your bit to help the planet is something that cannot be overlooked today. This is something that all companies have a responsibility to do; yet there is no denying that some do it better than others. With that in mind, read on to discover more about the different green marketing strategies you can implement at your business to earn the trust of your customers.
Stay digital – One of the easiest and most effective methods when making the mover to a greener business is to ditch the paper and move everything to the digital world. Not only will moving your files online help you to save paper, but you will be able to run your business much more efficiently too, as it will be a lot easier to get the information you require. When moving files online and cutting down on paper, you need to display to your customers that you have made this move. Of course, simply sending out an email to let your consumers know will seem a little bit strange. Instead, look for ways to show your customers that you care about the environment in a subtle manner. For example, take a leap out of what banking and credit card companies have done by giving their customers the option to switch to paperless accounts. You should also consider adding a note to the bottom of your email that states “please think about the environment before you print out this email.”
Rethink the way you dispose of waste – One of the biggest problems when it comes to eco-friendliness and businesses today is the way in which they dispose of their waste. Companies are responsible for a lot of the waste that ends up landfills, and it is up to you to deal with material disposal properly. This involves recycling whenever possible. In terms of technology, you should think of ways you can reuse items before getting rid of them. For example, if you are planning to replace your computers, why not give the existing ones to less fortunate families? You could also donate them to schools or any other type of organisation or charity that requires them. There is no reason why computers that work should end up in the dump. This is just one example of many. Now is the perfect time to assess your environmental policy to see if there is anything that you could be doing better in terms of disposing of your waste.
Apply for green certifications – Another way to give your green marketing campaign a boost is to apply for green certifications. There are a lot of companies that offer eco-labels and green certifications to businesses that meet their criteria. Some examples include the likes of Green Key Global and Green Seal. Once you have met the criteria, you can place a special insignia, logo, or green seal on your website, which will let everyone know that your business is one that priorities the environment. Think of the impact that security logos have on websites – letting everyone know that this is a website that priorities personal data security and can be trust. Well, eco-friendly labels have the same sort of impact.
Use social media effectively – Social media marketing is something that all businesses should be making the most of today. It is likely that your business is already present on a number of different social networking channels, but are you using these channels to full effect in terms of showcasing your environmental policy? You should use the likes of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to encourage conversations with your followers about environmental responsibility. Simply by starting conversations of these manners you let your consumers know that this is an issue that is very important to your brand. Not only this, but users will comment on your content and share it if it is creative and timely, which will further showcase your business as a leader in terms of eco-friendliness.
Align with a cause – This is a suggestion that can become part of your company’s bigger strategy. It is definitely worth considering partnering with a cause that is environmentally friendly. There are a number of businesses that have already done this, and you can take a leap out of their book by supporting sustainable agriculture or by donating a portion of your sales to environmental charities. If you feel like this is too substantial for your business and not something you can afford to do at present, there are other ways you can make this work for your business. For example, you can use significant days to market your business around, such as Earth Day, which is on the 22nd of April. Days like this give you an opportunity to market your business effectively by giving back. You could give a portion of your sales on this specific day to an environmental charity, for example. One day per year is a much more manageable feat for small businesses than continual donations.
Lead by example – Aside from the tips that have already been mentioned, leading by example is of paramount importance. You can have some of the best environmental policies in the world, but if your employees aren’t acting in an eco-friendly manner, you are like a walking contradiction and people will struggle to take you seriously. Your environmental mission should always begin with your workforce. You should get together and highlight various different ways in which your business lowers environmental impact so that your employees are away of this. This includes printing receipts on request only, using energy-efficient products, and recycling. Once your employees are aware of this, they will be best place to show why your business is one of the best in terms of helping the planet. Not only this, but once your workers are aware of how their actions fit into the bigger picture, they will be more willing to put the effort in to operate in a more eco-friendly way in the workplace.
Promote responsible consumption throughout your product’s entire lifecycle – It is all well and good designing products that are greener, but this is only half the battle. Responsible use and disposal are also necessary if you are to minimise the lifecycle impact of the product that you have created. While you cannot force the user to utilise the product responsibly and dispose of it in an eco-friendly manner, you can encourage them to do so. But, how do you do so? Well, there are a number of ways. The first thing you need to do is make sure that the product’s label has information on the correct use and disposal methods. Aside from this, you can also post information on your blog and social media channels to let your customers know about the best ways to use your products and get rid of them. This also ties in with the earlier point about using social media to full effect. After all, you will be creating content that is interesting and useful for the reader, and this is likely to result in your posts being shared, which will boost your online presence considerably.
Be transparent – Last but not least, you know what they say – honesty is the best policy, and this is definitely the case when it comes to your environmental approach. It is important to be transparent at all times. If you have any bad news, for example, a mistake has been made in product production; you may be tempted to simply conceal the truth. However, once it gets out – and it will, the matter will only become ten times worse. If there is one thing that consumers do not like, it is being lied to.
Hopefully, you now feel more prepared for implanting a green marketing strategy at your business. The importance of this cannot be overlooked. After all, all businesses today have a responsibility to act responsibly and lower their environmental impact. Not only is this something that will benefit the planet, but it can benefit your business too if you go about it the right way. Use the advice that has been provided above and you are bound to notice an improvement to your customer loyalty levels over time.