We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but Kermit the Frog had it all wrong. The truth is, it actually is easy being green.
Okay, maybe that’s not what our amphibious puppet friend was talking about. But, when it comes to green content, the concept is simple: be honest, upfront, and clear about your products and how they’re beneficial to the environment.
That’s all there is to it. So, you can stop reading here, right? Unfortunately, no. Although the process of creating ethical and green content should be simple, it’s gotten out of hand in recent years. While most consumers value brands that take green initiatives and are willing to talk about what they’re doing, other businesses have tried to jump on board the eco-friendly train with unsavory practices, claiming to be “green” with vague words and marketing techniques.
So, how can you stand out with your green content while being transparent and truthful?
Before you actually get into producing ethical and green content, it’s imperative to know what not to do. The term greenwashing has been discussed a lot lately, and there’s nothing good about it.
Greenwashing refers to the practice of blinding potential customers with “green” or “eco-friendly” language. If your product(s) are actually organic or made with sustainable practices, that’s great. If they aren’t, it’s your responsibility as a company to make sure your customers know that.
Some greenwashing businesses will use a lot of green buzzwords, like “recycled,” “natural,” or “pure.” Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, many products that market themselves that way aren’t as eco-friendly as they seem. If you notice that a product or company uses very generic language, consider it a red flag. Do some further research to discover the ingredients in a particular product, or how it was made.
Greenwashing can even be done on the packaging of a product, using natural images or certain colors that make people think the product is safe and natural.
If you’re going to create content, either on a specific product, on a blog, or on your website, avoid using vague buzzwords just to draw attention. Transparency is key when it comes to both your products and the way you do business. We’ll talk more about that in a bit. But, before you go any further with your content efforts, make the strongest effort possible not to use generic “green” language to boost your brand’s appeal.
Talk About What You’re Doing Now
Don’t just talk about it, be about it. The content you produce can only be great if you’re putting in the work to back it up. You can start by informing your audience of your goals. When a reader knows what you’re working toward and what you’re doing to get there, they are more likely to believe in your commitment.
For example, you can promote the fact that your brand:
- Only uses sustainable materials for packaging
- Focuses on reusable products
- Encourages employees to work from home to cut down on fuel emissions
- Utilizes an eco-friendly supply chain process and streamlined fuel efficiency
By taking these simple steps, there are more benefits for your business than you might initially realize. One of the biggest ones is that going green can save you money. By making quick changes like switching to LED bulbs in the office, you’ll cut down on utility costs. You can also reduce the waste you produce, reusing things as much as possible so there isn’t always a huge need to buy new supplies.
You can essentially choose your own adventure when it comes to producing green content. You can either go big by doing something like donating a lump sum to a green charity. Or, you can start small with minor changes and take your audience along with you to show how easy it is to be more sustainable.
Keep Your Message Transparent and Consistent
If you’re taking initiative now to make positive environmental changes, those actions must remain consistent. You should renew your commitment to sustainability frequently, and use it in your marketing strategy to remind your customers, fans, and followers of who you are and what you stand for.
Need a few ideas on how to be transparent about that commitment through your content? Try one of the following strategies:
- Make your mission measurable and regularly give updates/results
- Create brand guidelines that fall within your mission
- Publish your sustainability reports
- Share behind-the-scenes footage of how you’re working on your sustainable efforts
- Encourage your customers and followers to live a greener life
People want to know they can trust your brand and your sustainability efforts. It’s not enough to run a single campaign dedicated to sustainability and then let those efforts fall away. By keeping things open and honest, you’ll engage your audience. It’s never too late to prune your existing content and give yourself a new identity, especially when that means making positive, environmentally-friendly changes.