With consumers increasingly seeking out brands that prioritize sustainability, integrating it into your digital marketing strategy has become imperative. Sustainability not only helps your company reach environmentally concerned customers, but it also builds your reputation and helps create a better world.
What Is Sustainable Digital Marketing?
Sustainability is no longer a trendy term. More and more consumers are urging companies to improve their practices and showing an interest in lessening their negative effects on society and the environment. According to Capgemini research Institute and their report “Consumer Products and Retail: How sustainability is fundamentally changing consumer preferences” with 79% of consumers changing purchase preference based on products’ social or environmental impact, marketers are racing to capitalise with sustainability messaging.
For instance, Sainsbury’s recently dropped the catchphrase “Live Well for Less” in favor of the sustainability-focused “Helping Everyone Eat Better.” The possibility is risky because sustainability is “unforgiving” in comparison to cost, time of delivery, and quality. It will take a lot of work to gain it back if your sustainability messaging are inaccurate or your promises are untrue.
The 2020 COVID issue only served to fuel the sustainability movement, as consumers now more than ever want to know where their products are created, how they are made, under what circumstances, and how they can help their local communities.
By integrating sustainability into your digital marketing, you’ll be able to link your business with the principles of ethical shoppers. Consumers of today give much thought to how their purchases may affect the environment and society. You not only exceed customer expectations by showing your sustainability efforts—such as lowering your carbon footprint, switching to renewable energy, or using sustainable packaging—but you also show that you are dedicated to making a difference. As a result, you gain customers’ confidence and loyalty and distinguish yourself from rivals that haven’t adopted sustainability.
Engaging and Motivating Your Audience
Audiences are captivated by the inspiring and captivating tale of sustainability. By include sustainability in your digital marketing plan, you may capitalize on the rising trend of conscientious customers who are driven to effect change. Share examples of your sustainable business practices, emphasize the achievements you’ve accomplished, and include your audience in interactive campaigns and instructional materials. By empowering people to participate in your sustainability journey, this not only strengthens your relationship with your consumers but also increases the influence you have.
Driving Brand Differentiation and Growth
Sustainability has emerged as a major differentiator in the industry. You stand out from rivals who have not given sustainability top priority by embracing it as a vital component of your digital marketing plan. You can create a distinctive brand identity and draw in customers who are interested in sustainable solutions because they are concerned about the environment. By incorporating sustainability into all of your marketing communications, from your website to social media platforms, you position your business as a pioneer in sustainability, fostering growth and broadening your client base.
However, how can you ethically and sustainably tell your audience about all your eco-awareness initiatives? How can you ensure that your marketing tactics are in line with your behavior?
Ask about sustainable digital marketing!
Digital marketing is described by Hubspot as:
“Digital marketing is defined by the use of numerous digital tactics and channels to connect with customers where they spend much of their time: online.”
This includes all methods used by firms to draw in, convert, and keep customers using online tools and strategies.
All the ethical and sustainable approaches to advertise an environmentally conscious company online may be summed up as sustainable digital marketing. This entails marketing a company’s ethical and sustainable goods and services as well as its eco-friendly business practices in a way that is ultimately beneficial to the organization, the environment, and its people.
It is not greenwashing to use sustainable digital marketing. While greenwashing is when a business gives the impression that its products are more ethical and sustainable than they actually are, sustainable digital marketing calls for brands to address important environmental and labor issues FIRST, before promoting them.
Why you need a long-term digital marketing plan
Here are a few explanations as to why sustainable companies have to begin utilizing sustainable digital marketing.
Considering that it fits your beliefs
You already strive to have a beneficial impact on the environment as a sustainable and moral company, so why should your marketing be any different? Sending a lot of emails with a large carbon footprint to promote eco-friendly products is pointless. Or discussing a product that was manufactured ethically but wasn’t transparent, being culturally insensitive, or being abrasive and aggressive. Your marketing (both online and offline) should reflect the better practices advocacy that you perform.
You can distinguish thanks to it.
Being a sustainable brand already gives you an advantage over competing companies that offer similar goods. However, how about other green brands? The use of a digital marketing plan and unconventional business practices can help you stand out from rivals who might employ more conventional marketing strategies.
Your reputation has improved.
Making sure your reputation is at its finest is crucial as more and more environmentally friendly products enter the market. In order to preserve your reputation, sustainable digital marketing makes sure that your communication and marketing efforts are in line with your values and goals. It demonstrates to your clients your level of dependability.
It promotes sales.
Sustainable marketing may generate and increase interest in you and your brand, which in turn increases sales since it helps you stay true to your principles, set yourself apart from rivals, and uphold a positive reputation. Positive results!
Reduce the environmental impact of your digital marketing.
This includes selecting green hosting for your website, using refurbished equipment, managing your emails, sending fewer, lighter emails, and transferring heavy files instead of including them as attachments, organizing and decluttering your website, optimizing your images and videos on your website, or even using Ecosia to plant trees while you browse the web!
IT infrastructure action
The “Green IT” movement has exploded. This movement encourages the usage of green servers for your websites and data in order to enable IT infrastructures to have a neutral ecological impact. This kind of service is offered by businesses like Green Host.You may also keep an eye on how much energy is used by your offices overall, by computers (in hibernate mode as opposed to sleep mode), and by lighting. If you have a propensity to forget to turn off appliances or the heating and air conditioning, consider installing an automatic regulator.
Using GiftTrees is a good example of how there is no such thing as a modest gesture in the fight to protect the environment. When you invite attendees to a Sustainable Run Meetings, each attendee will have a tree planted in a developing country, to help offset the environmental impact of your business.
Use Wetransfer, which deletes the data a week after it has been sent, to send huge files. Local storage is still the best option for items that shouldn’t be kept on Drives or Dropbox, of course. Last but not least, be sure to keep the size of any Wetransfer-shared files and email attachments to a minimum.
Ask your team members to spend twenty minutes each week cleaning out their inboxes, paying particular attention to deleting emails with images or videos because those take up the most space.NGOs like Greenpeace have supported businesses that make an effort in this area, including Facebook with its data centers that are powered by renewable energy. This is an added benefit that will encourage you to confront the problem head-on.
“If the internet were a country, it would be the third largest consumer of energy in the world after China and the USA.”
— Esther Duran, Zone
A call to action for building a sustainable internet may be found in the Sustainable Web Manifesto. It highlights the necessity of addressing these problems and working toward a greener web by recognizing the negative environmental effects of the web, including energy usage and carbon emissions. Participants to the manifesto pledge to advance sustainability in their businesses and to help build a web that benefits both people and the environment.
How to reduce your digital footprint
Considerations for Design
It’s critical to take into account numerous design elements that contribute to energy efficiency and decreased environmental impact in order to successfully integrate sustainability into your digital marketing. Think about the following issues:
Has the usage of unique typefaces been decreased by the design?
Custom typefaces may result in larger website files, which would use more energy and result in slower performance. The usage of system fonts that are already installed on users’ devices reduces the need for bespoke font files.
Is the admin experience just as simple and clear-cut as the front-end one?
Back-end content management systems should take energy efficiency and accessibility into account the same way that intuitive front-end experiences do. Efficiency is increased and content editors are given the tools they need to produce and manage higher-quality, more effective content thanks to a simple, intuitive CMS interface.
Does the design team have a budget for page weight?
The size of files transported over the internet during the loading of a webpage can be restricted by setting a page weight budget. To keep under the stated budget, designers should be mindful of the size of page elements including photos, animations, and videos. Throughout the phases of planning, designing, and developing, this acts as a baseline.
Are movies and animations only utilized when they truly benefit the user?
Videos and animations may burn up a lot of energy, especially when utilized excessively or without really benefiting the user. Their usage has to be carefully considered to make sure they genuinely add to the website’s functionality and content.
Are accessibility and energy efficiency taken into account while choosing colors?
In particular with some display types, color selections have an influence on energy efficiency in addition to the aesthetic appeal of a design. Less energy is needed to light darker hues, especially black. Designers should use colors that are both accessible and supportive of energy efficiency.
Does the item or service use environmentally friendly design?
Carbon-aware design takes into account the carbon emissions linked to the use of digital services and provides consumers with information on the carbon intensity of the power being used at the moment. Carbon-aware design helps to promote a more sustainable approach by encouraging consumers to shift their usage to periods when the energy supply is cleaner.
Have user journeys been designed to effectively aid users in achieving their goals?
In addition to saving consumers time, shorter user journeys also help save energy by lowering the amount of time spent online and the number of pages loaded. The purpose of design should be to give consumers the knowledge and tools they need to achieve their objectives effectively and without taking unneeded detours.
You may successfully engage your audience in conversation about your eco-awareness campaigns by including sustainability into your digital marketing strategy and taking these design considerations into account. Building trust, enhancing your reputation, and amplifying your good influence on the environment are all benefits of making sure your marketing strategies are in line with your sustainable practices.
Ready to make sustainability a cornerstone of your digital marketing strategy? Get in touch with our team today to explore how we can help you integrate sustainability effectively, engage your audience, and amplify your brand’s positive impact on the planet.