Environment and sustainability in digital marketing
Big challenges for our planet means that more and more companies are working with environmental messages and sustainability in digital marketing. But how do the challenges look like? How should you communicate sustainability in digital marketing, and – maybe more importantly – how should you not do it?
I’ve worked with several companies with environmental profiles as a digital freelancer. Here are my thoughts on sustainability in digital marketing:
- Which channels should you use?
- How should you create content?
- Who should you hire?
- What should you avoid?
By Stefan Nordström
- Freelancing digital marketing consultant
- 8 years of in-house and freelance experience
- Expertise: SEO, copywriting, newsletters, conversion optimization, digital strategy
- LinkedIn | Mail | Instagram
Sustainability in digital marketing – copywriting
Copywriting about sustainability means that you need to find just the right tone, and being careful when presenting facts and arguments. Finding the right tone-of-voice for your target group is paramount. In many cases, the challenges are complex and multi-faceted. This means that the copy needs have just the right balance between being informative and opinionated.
The business objectives need to be considered. If you’re selling a product it can be a good idea to inform and educate first, and present opinions, problem-solving and sales messages in the end. In other cases, simply informing and educating can be enough.
Sustainability in digital marketing – SEO
Sustainability and environmental topics often have high search volumes. Many people are looking for reliable information on the challenges our planet are facing, and that’s where you can come in, especially if you are offering a solution to a problem.
Creating SEO content pretty much looks the same, no matter the niche. My process usually works like this:
- Keyword research
- Competitor analysis (search engine competitors)
- Content planning
- Copywriting (including SEO work)
- Evaluation and optimization
If you want to work with paid ads as well as organic SEO, this process will help you a lot with that too. For instance, quality organic SEO content usually works well as landing pages for Google AdWords traffic.
Sustainability in digital marketing – social media
Social media is an excellent place to talk about sustainability and environmental issues. Lots of people are willing to engage, discuss and share, especially if you have something unique to say. They usually hang out on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. If you’re looking to make waves in the B2B segment, LinkedIn and Twitter are the channels to focus on.
But if you’re talking to engaged people and companies, prepare to be questioned and have the right answers.
Which digital channels should you choose?
Are some channels simply better when communicating sustainability and digital marketing? Definitely, but it also depends a lot on your customer segment(s). As with other digital marketing, you usually have to focus on a few and skip others. My advice is to find just the right channels, and try to dominate them, instead of trying to be active everywhere.
Greenwashing, scopewashing, greenhushing and other issues
As sustainability becomes a more popular topic, more and more companies try to enter the market.
- Greenwashing: greenwashing means that a company falsely communicates environmental-friendly messages in their marketing
- Scopewashing: when companies report the extent of their emissions in a misleading way
- Greenhushing: greenhushing means that companies under-communicate their environmental initiatives (the opposite of greenwashing)
People in this niche are aware of these problems, and they are willing to question you. Back up your messages with reliable sources, ask experts and choose caution over being aggressive. That will likely help you avoid backlash.
Who should you hire to talk sustainability in digital marketing?
Just when it comes to other content strategy and creation, finding an niche expert is an important part of succeeding. It’s a special niche that requires its own set of skills.
When you talk to freelancers och agencies, ask them about their specific experiences and challenges. How have they worked with sustainability in digital marketing before, and how well does it coincide with your business and your communication?
Experts in or close to your specific niche are out there, and you will do better if you find them instead of choosing a different partner.
Do you need help with sustainability in digital marketing or other digital content tasks?
Are you looking for someone to help you out when it comes to communicating being environment-friendly or sustainability? Or do you need other help in digital content? I’m a freelancing content expert that has helped many companies with digital content. Interested? Get in touch by adding me on LinkedIn or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.