Top 3 Marketing Strategies For Green Business Owners
All Green Marketing Strategies start with an objective. A specific, defined outcome that you want to achieve as a business owner.
From our experience marketing renewable, sustainable, and eco-friendly companies, this usually means one of three things:
1) You want to increase sales,
2) You want to build your brand’s authority, or
3) A combination of the two
Whatever the case may be, it’s important to have your objective clearly defined before reading through these green marketing strategies. With your objective in mind the solution will be obvious.
… got it?
Alright, now that you know what you want – let me show you three different ways to get it.
Strategy #1: Educate Your Audience
Many times people just want their questions answered, and the first person to answer their questions also has their business.
This is especially important in the green sector where your products are often new solutions in the eyes of consumers. They don’t know a lot about what you’re offering and what they do know isn’t always accurate.
This misinformation is what we call “myths”, they are the greatest barrier to entry for your potential customers.
Thus the purpose of educating your audience is to answer their questions, dispel their myths, and thus increase the chance they they will buy your green product or service.
Let’s me show you how you can do this for your business, then we will take a look at a few examples.
You can create and Educational Marketing Plan in 3 simple steps:
Step 1. List the “myths” surrounding your specific product, service, or industry that act as barriers to entry for your potential clients.
- These are the question that they ask during the first 5 minutes of any new sales engagement.
Step 2. List the “truths” that you use to dispel these myths.
- These are your answers to those questions, and any additional information that you provide along with them.
Step 3. Craft new marketing material that contains these questions and answers.
- These can be website headers or slogans, social media blog posts, or Pay-per-click advertisements.
Example #1: Green Street Solar Power, Inc.
If you visit Green Street Solar Power’s website, you can see that they have an accurate idea about what questions their potential clients are wanting to know before choosing them as a solar energy provider.
They’ve deliberately scattered these questions, and their answers all over their home page. Here are just a few slogans they use that jump out for me:
You can also see from the banner below that they’ve actually built educating the homeowner right into their solar sales process:
They begin by answering the most common questions, then they provide additional information – only after that do they ask if you want a quote.
It’s clear that Green Street values the power of education as one of their fundamental solar marketing strategies. But why?
Remember, strategies are designed to achieve an outcome. And in the case of solar energy providers, there is a huge gap in consumer education that act as a barrier to entry for switching to clean, solar energy.
Remember, they’re going to ask the questions before they buy anyway – so you’re also saving time by answering them right from the start.
Example #2: Modernize, Inc.
Here is another solar company that is focusing their Facebook Ads on a specific myth surround their industry: “Going solar is expensive and has huge upfront costs.”
The reality of this myth is that almost all service providers across the USA offer $0 down financing with payback rates LOWER than your current electricity bill.
This particular ad from Modernize sensationalizes this fact which I don’t particularly like, but the point they are making is clear – You can switch to solar energy with NO upfront cost.
Key takeaway: If you create educational marketing content that:
a) Answers the most common questions about your green product or service, or
b) Dispels the myths that act as barriers to entry,
Then you’re going to have more educated buyers, save time in your sales process, and subsequently sell more product.
Strategy #2: Share Your Mission Statement
Did you notice that the first sentence on our home page is also our mission statement? There’s a reason why it’s there.
Sharing your mission is a green marketing strategy that’s extremely effective, but often overlooked.
I found this TED talk that beautifully describes the principle, but you can skip it if you’re short on time.
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek
In essence, sharing why you’re doing what you’re doing (as opposed to just what you’re doing), allows people to connect with your businesses on a deeper, emotional level. This opens the door for them to support you in your cause.
As a green business owner you know how passionate you are about what you do… well so too are many of your consumers.
So how does this work?
The idea is that many consumers in the green sector don’t just buy products because they need them, but rather because they support the mission that the product is trying to achieve.
Thus every purchase is not just a simple product, but an actual “up-vote” in the types of products they want to see more of, and an investment in the changes towards ‘green’ that they want to see.
This is a strategy that works REALLY well for the green industry.
Example #1: Three Farmers
Jump over to http://threefarmers.ca and then scroll down to the first paragraph that you see on the page.
Can you guess what it is?
I’m willing to bet that people who have no previous interest in Chickpeas or Camelina Oil purchase their products. Why?
Because people are passionate about food sovereignty. And by buying this product, they are supporting what they care about: natural, healthy, traceable food.
Example #2: Oregon Sustainable Landscape
The same is true for this Portland Landscaping Company. The first paragraph on their website doesn’t even share what they do, but rather how and why they do it.
Remember the goal of this green marketing strategy is to connect to like minded individuals.
You’ll find that over time these people are not only your most loyal customers, but also your greatest partners and networkers in the long run.
Green Marketing Strategies #3: Engage Your Audience
There is an age old rule in marketing that says you need to make 7 points of contact with your clients before they will purchase from you. While this may be true if you’re a billboard, the truth is that the quality and time of contact matter more.
The longer the time you spend with your customers, and the more valuable that they perceive you to be – the better the chance that they will choose you over your competitors.
So what type of engaging content should you create? Just follow this one rule:
The Golden Rule of Engaging Media: Interactivity > Video > Picture
Let’s look at an example of each…
Example #1: Suncrest Solar (Interactivity)
Suncrest does a fantastic job at interacting with their web visitors.
They have a really cool tool on their home page that allows you to slide your monthly power bill up and down on the left, and then on the right, you can visually see how much money and CO2 emissions your will save by switching to solar. Click here to go check it out!
This tool also allows them to show each member of their audience personalized benefits of choosing their service, depending on their current electricity situation. This personalized interactivity is an extremely effective way of building a relationships with their clients.
Don’t have the budget for fancy graphics and calculators.
I’m willing to bet you can afford this next one…
Example #2: All Green Marketing’s Clients (Video)
Here at All Green Marketing, we create low cost whiteboard animation videos for green businesses.
Video’s are a great way to answer those major questions that we talked about in the educational marketing sections, as well as interact with your audience in a unique and fresh way.
Here are two examples of our videos that have been used in trade shows, websites, and YouTube channels all across North America.
Paragon & Alternative Conservative Energy
Smart Solar South Carolina
The videos have been successful because they are short, informative, and mildly entertaining. But most importantly – they are directed towards a specific outcome.
At the end of each video, we always ask the watcher to fill out a form (or call) for a free consultation.
Always guide your potential clients through your sales process so that they don’t get lost or distracted!
Example #2: Sun Energy California (Photo)
Informational photos, or info graphics, are a great way to supplement your other types of media. Here is an example that one of our clients in using on their website: http://sunenergyca.com
This diagram is useful because it’s informative. Again, it all comes back to telling your customers what they need to know.
Choose a photo that’s simple, easy to understand, and connected with text for further elaboration.
Displaying these photos in strategic locations is extremely important for businesses with complicated products and services such as Grey Water Recycling, Vertical Organic Gardens, Renewable Energy Solutions etc.
Summary: The Ultimate Green Marketing Strategy
Which of the Green Marketing Strategies do you think is best for your green marketing campaign?
Well, you probably guessed correctly that most green businesses use a combination of all the strategies we discussed. And that the best strategy for you often depends on the specific outcomes you want to achieve, as well as the resources that you have available.
Thus the ultimate green marketing strategy is unique for you.
Simply ask yourself, “What exactly do I want?”, “What resources do we have available?”, and “Which approaches would work best for our audience given our current market positioning?”
And of course, you can always ask us if you need help!
Thanks for reading,
Owner / CEO
P.S. Are you passionate about making the world Green again?
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