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The Big 3: How Social Media, Video, and Mobile Are Transforming Green Marketing

The following is a post by Paul Hannam of Bright Green Leadership (a 3p sponsor) – offering internet marketing strategies for responsible businesses. This tips and observations in this series are aimed at green entrepreneurs looking to understand how internet technology can benefit them more.

Every Green and Socially Responsible organization wants to attract more visitors to their website; engage them more effectively; and increase sales, donations, or members.  Whether you are a business or a non-profit, you probably know that the Internet is your market’s primary source of information, and where your prospects actively search for information, solutions, and products.

You may also know about the incredible growth in trends like social media, video, and mobile marketing. Facebook has over 400 million users, You Tube serves over 1 billion videos every day, and Google CEO Eric Schmidt has declared “mobile first in everything,” as he contemplates the 4.6 billion wireless subscribers worldwide.

Every organization, green or not, has to consider how to take advantage of this opportunity, or face being left behind. Fortunately, there are some savvy green businesses who are leading the way. Method’s People Against Dirty campaign demonstrates how responsible organizations can engage with their customers and prospects.  Green business and social media share the same values and practices of openness, trust, and authenticity. The Patagonia Facebook Fan Page has nearly 44,000 fans, and is ideally suited for customer dialog, market research, as well as new product, special offer, and event announcements.

Video is now essential for all marketing-oriented websites.  A recent Forrester Research report claimed that videos are 53 times more likely than other Web pages to appear on page 1 of search results.  Simply adding a video explaining your products and services can transform your online performance.

And what about mobile marketing—integrating video and social media, is it the biggest trend of all? There are over 100 million users who access Facebook on their mobile phones. As we all know, consumers almost always carry their phones, so advertisers can engage them at specific times and places. There are also a number of Green iPhone apps including  Climate Counts that rank businesses on climate change impact.

Video, social media, and mobile are transforming marketing forever. Together they provide an extraordinary opportunity every campaign should include.  There are many potential green marketing strategies, so the challenge is to choose the right one and execute it effectively.

The solution that every successful internet marketer employs is a strong system of step by step processes.  A system is a series of actionable tasks with clear deadlines and outcomes.  My own system includes 5 key activities, which I will be writing about over the coming weeks. They are

  1. Develop a Strategy based on Rigorous Research
  2. Implement  multiple streams of Traffic to your Website
  3. Acquire Subscribers and Fans
  4. Convert subscribers to Buyers with an effective Sales Process
  5. Test, Evaluate and Optimize everything

If you focus on being excellent at these five activities,  you will see a major improvement in brand awareness, stakeholder engagement, and likely, sales. After 25 years of sales and marketing experience,—and 10 years of working with green businesses as an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and professor—I believe that Internet marketing is the most exciting and effective means of building your business or non-profit.

My mission with this 3p series is to help you be more successful in promoting green messages, products, and services. So, in the coming weeks I will cover each stage of the system with practical tools and examples that you can use in your organization to see rapid results.

***

Paul Hannam is president of Bright Green Leadership that provides internet marketing services to green organizations. Paul is also Chairman and co-founder of Bright Green Talent and taught environmental business at Oxford University. You can watch Paul’s video on Internet Marketing for Responsible Businesses or contact him at Paul@brightgreenleadership.com


▼▼▼      8 Comments     ▼▼▼

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  • http://catalyzecomms.wordpress.com/ MA

    I really like your 5 key activities (from research to testing/optimization), however as far as item 2 is concerned (multiple streams of traffic to your Website), I would argue that the website need not necessarily be the main beneficiary of these efforts. A facebook page with a solid product/services offering may be where visitors are more likely to be converted and or “made loyal”. I guess this ultimately depends on what your business line is…

    • Syed Mohammed Shomam Fasih

      I’m also interested in how any marketing strategy for a “green” company differs from a company that might not be especially “green” – not sure what the alternative word is. Why should there necessarily be a distinct strategy? Secondly, do you think that “Green” companies, however that it defined are lacking in basic marketing skills? If so, why? http://methoo.com

  • Student

    I've only been in the internet marketing realm for about two years, but couldn't agree more about internet marketing only getting bigger and playing a larger role in business. Not to bash print advertising or any other media channel, but there is no other channel that can be tested and optimized like internet marketing. Videos, podcasts, and other more engaging media vehicles are becoming more popular for a good reason…people don't read anymore! Well maybe a few online here :) But if I want to find out about virtually anything, its YouTube and while I don't have an iPhone yet, this will be the biggest marketing opportunity!

    Very interesting

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  • Terrance

    Paul – what would you say are the differences between your advice above for a “green” thinking company vs anyone else? I would hazard to guess that the “green” thinking company has an additional layer of authenticity required in marketing, no? ie – if you're caught greenwashing, no matter how skilled your internet marketing saavy, then you could still lose.

  • Dave Shires

    I'm also interested in how any marketing strategy for a “green” company differs from a company that might not be especially “green” – not sure what the alternative word is. Why should there necessarily be a distinct strategy? Secondly, do you think that “Green” companies, however that it defined are lacking in basic marketing skills? If so, why?

  • Paul

    Terrance and Dave – I believe every business should be authentic and transparent, and that the Age of Social Media is compelling all organizations to rethink their marketing and communication. Greenwash is a big issue and all green businesses need to take extra care by ensuring they base their claims on evidence, are accountable and disclose the specific environmental impact of the product, packaging and distribution.

    The distinction between green and non-green marketing is complex and can mean the marketing of green products, the targeting of green markets or the greening of the marketing process, for example with the use of recycled paper for direct mail . My main goal is to help genuine Green Businesses market their products more effectively, especially online, and improve their triple bottom line.

    I also think that many green companies lack basic marketing skills, partly because they often mistake idealism and enthusiasm for effective marketing and partly because most businesses lack these skills. In particular, green businesses need to engage new sources of non-green markets with a more relevant message that appeals to the everyday needs of most consumers.

  • Dave Shires

    I'm also interested in how any marketing strategy for a “green” company differs from a company that might not be especially “green” – not sure what the alternative word is. Why should there necessarily be a distinct strategy? Secondly, do you think that “Green” companies, however that it defined are lacking in basic marketing skills? If so, why?

  • Paul

    Terrance and Dave – I believe every business should be authentic and transparent, and that the Age of Social Media is compelling all organizations to rethink their marketing and communication. Greenwash is a big issue and all green businesses need to take extra care by ensuring they base their claims on evidence, are accountable and disclose the specific environmental impact of the product, packaging and distribution.

    The distinction between green and non-green marketing is complex and can mean the marketing of green products, the targeting of green markets or the greening of the marketing process, for example with the use of recycled paper for direct mail . My main goal is to help genuine Green Businesses market their products more effectively, especially online, and improve their triple bottom line.

    I also think that many green companies lack basic marketing skills, partly because they often mistake idealism and enthusiasm for effective marketing and partly because most businesses lack these skills. In particular, green businesses need to engage new sources of non-green markets with a more relevant message that appeals to the everyday needs of most consumers.

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