Organic connections with existing and prospective customers are arguably the most valuable. They don’t cost a penny. Unlike direct marketing techniques which involve investment in advertising, for example, organic interactions with customers only require an investment of your time. Search engine marketing is still the best way to reach out to brand advocates, delivering relevant content to your target demographic and enhancing the overall value of your digital assets.
However, one of the biggest digital marketing challenges for any business is to prove their eco credentials to those who wish to use the services of organizations that care about their impact on the wider environment. If you’re in the process of growing a business, but lack the money to compete with the big companies, there are ways to be smarter than the competition and demonstrate your greener approach without having to spend a fortune.
A 2013 study by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) found that 90% of online consumers would recommend a brand after engaging with them on social media. Meanwhile, Hootsuite found that products from the leading global brands were 20% more engaging than lifestyle brands on Instagram. Take a look at our four “green” organic marketing techniques across social, content and email marketing channels that will reinforce and multiply your connections with customers online.
Search engine optimization (SEO) must be an essential part of any brand-building and engagement strategy. 42% of all web traffic is derived from search engines, while Smart Insights reports there are an average of 6,586,013,574 organic searches made by consumers worldwide every single day. Furthermore, 53% of consumers worldwide would prefer to buy from businesses with a strong commitment to the environment. So, how do you use SEO to prove that your products or services are environmentally sound?
One of the easiest ways to ensure your business engages and connects with relevant users online is to implement a keyword-targeting strategy. Optimize your landing pages for search terms relevant to your products or services. Google’s Keyword Planner Tool will help you to discover the particular search phrases that are most applicable to your business. Incorporate relevant eco-conscious keywords within your landing pages too.
One SEO trap that many businesses fall into is optimizing their landing pages for the most popular search terms rather than the most pertinent. Generic terms with the highest search volumes will have immense competition and you are far more likely to gain exposure by targeting niche keywords.
Create valuable and shareable content
Content marketing generates more than three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less to implement. Once you’ve created great-value, online content that will educate, entertain and provide seasonal inspiration for your target readership, you also want to ensure that those readers who connect share your content with like-minded people. One of the best examples of content marketing this year was Domino’s Pizza. In February, ahead of the wedding season, Domino’s created their very own version of a Wedding Registry. They decided to allow family and friends to purchase gift vouchers for Domino’s orders! This is not only a genuinely useful feature, it’s unique too, ensuring the brand stands out from the crowd.
Use social media to create a community
The key to any successful content marketing is to develop a strategy to share useful hints and tips on your social media channels and encourage fans and followers of your social channels to share them to their connections too. Social media gives brands like yours the ability to develop your very own community; a portal that allows you to provide swift and efficient customer service, inspire customers with fun life hacks and tips and reaffirm your brand’s personality. Consider also using social media to spread the word about corporate events that you’re hosting to raise money for eco-causes. Not only will this demonstrate to consumers that you care about your wider community, you’ll also ensure positive regional press that’s invaluable in the eyes of leading search engines such as Google.
The Hippodrome Casino’s Facebook page is one of the best exponents of organic social communication. Its page is regularly updated in tandem with the sites home page with brief videos and imagery of the entertainment on offer to people in Central London, including snapshots of happy, winning customers that say more than a thousand words of bland direct marketing copy.
Grow and nurture your own email database
One of the most cost-effective and beneficial ways for your brand to succeed with email marketing is to grow your own list organically. Organic email lists ensure that more of your emails are delivered to the inboxes of the people you want to connect with. According to eMarketer, 80% of retail professionals surveyed this year said email marketing remains their biggest driver of customer retention.
Some elements of digital marketing campaigns can lead to excess waste, but conducting your own email marketing is not one of them. An even better way of reaching out to customers is through SMS marketing, connecting your business to consumers via text messages. According to this industry blog post, 98% of all texts are opened by smartphone users, with only 1% viewed as spam. When you compare that with email open rates of approximately 20%, you can see that SMS marketing not only gives your business the chance to engage directly with more people, mobile marketing cuts down on paper waste and the need for consumers to print off email messages and coupons to redeem deals. Learn more at the Small Business Blog.