Being a “green business” is no longer a differentiator

Being a “green business” is no longer a differentiator

Sustainability and its siblings has become a go-to for companies looking to differentiate. Buzzwords such as ethical sourcing, circular economy and the climate crisis have littered blog posts and marketing materials in increasing numbers. It seems no advertisement or webpage is complete without mentioning the company’s “green credentials”.

Having a sustainable product or a socially responsible attitude is no longer a differentiator. It’s become table stakes, a minimum requirement to get onto the consumer’s short-list. Increasing numbers of consumers – and business customers – expect their suppliers to have sustainable policies in place, and will turn away from those who don’t.

A “green challenge” for content managers

For content managers this creates a challenge. It’s important to show green credentials, yet the sometimes slow pace of improvements can make it difficult to find regular “good news” stories. Overstating progress, or repeating the same message over again can quickly undermine well-meaning efforts with accusations of “greenwashing”.

We’ve been exploring using single page public dashboards to focus attention and give content managers a place to direct readers when news is slow. A simple format of setting out what impact the business has, where it has it and what’s being done to improve is sufficient. Time-line style updates allow simple, small steps to be recorded and recognised. Links to news stories give it a sense of movement and progress towards the company’s “green goals”.

The technical aspects of designing a hub aren’t difficult, particularly in WordPress. What’s more important is getting the right information onto the page at the right level of detail. Like any other part of the content strategy, it needs to be scheduled, monitored and managed. It also needs to be sanity checked to ensure the updates being published are genuine and not rehashed or greenwashed.

The bottom line

Your “green” credentials will become more important as customers add sustainability to their buying criteria. Good news stories should be found and shared, though not at the expense of creating low quality “greenwashed” content. Collating your progress into a single, dashboard-like page, could prove an effective way to communicate your objectives and progress, giving customers the reassurance they will increasingly seek.

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