If you own a small business, and consider yourself a green entrepreneur, you probably spend a great deal of time wondering how you can market your business in an environmentally conscious manner and still keep up with the big boys. Green business practices are clearly of huge importance to the future of our planet, but if you can’t stay in business, you’ll lose your ability to make any sort of large or lasting impact. Yet other companies do whatever they have to do to market their products, whether it’s destroying acres of trees with printed mailers or adding to our already packed landfills with inexpensive, plastic giveaways. The good news is, that doesn’t mean you have no tools to utilize. In fact, there are tons of green ways to market your business. Here are five of the best options to get you started.
The success of any green business hinges on a strong website. It’s what allows you to sell without a storefront, and launch new products without burning any unnecessary resources. But if you can’t draw enough consumers to your site, it just won’t work. That’s why you should invest time, money and energy in search engine optimization. All that basically means is adjusting your site so that it shows up as high as possible in search engines, ideally on the first page of results after a user searches a set of keywords. Investing in SEO will add a ton more leads to your pipeline, and show results in your bottom line with additional sales you didn’t have to promote at all. So instead of handing out thousands of fliers, you can have the same impact with no carbon footprint whatsoever.
You’ll find your path made much easier if more people know you work with sustainable business practices, and the first people you should contact about that are the tastemakers and influencers online. That begins with high profile bloggers. Send them free products or give them free services in exchange for posting a review. Again, this only takes limited resources, but it can have a massive impact on the sheer amount of people that know what you’re doing.
The other marketing strategy that will bring in loads of potential new customers while maintaining your stance for the environment is social media. Take the time to set up Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest sites for your business. These and all other social media sites give you the sort of soapbox you wouldn’t get in any other environmentally conscious way, all very inexpensively.
Next, think about how you can reward your frequent customers. It’s always cheaper, and greener to retain previous customers than to create new ones. Consider a loyalty card that people can keep with them, or create an online rewards program for repeat purchases and referrals.
Finally, you may have to consider physical marketing materials. But you can keep it green by giving out reusable, highly-durable items. Branded tote bags are always a good option. People can use them for their shopping and skip out on plastic or paper. But whatever you come up with, make sure it’s unique, and give them away on all of your social media outlets. If you’re lucky, they could even catch on with collectors.
Carol Montrose is a writer for GetShared – Social Media Optimization | Website Marketing, the premier agency for all of your internet marketing needs.