Get SMART about your Marketing Goals with Green Inbound Marketing
One of the discussions we often have with Brand Managers of Green Clothing -, Fair Trade- or other sustainable companies, is about what comes next in marketing and how social media could help their business grow.
The Social Media Problem
A common reaction goes along these lines:
“I just don’t understand this new world of Social Media and I don’t like it very much. I’m just too set in my ways and hate to have to spend all this time and energy on something that changes almost every day. Since it’s a young people’s playground we have hired a young intern who can post on Facebook and Twitter and that should take care of it.”
Unfortunately, this strategy is just sticking your head in the sand and it doesn’t lead to better results for your company.Countless studies show that the interaction between buyer and seller has changed dramatically during the last 15 years. Although it’s understandable to just tweak some things here and there and go about business as usual it’s the absolute wrong thing to do.
We want to help you understand the world of Social Media and make it as painless as possible for you. Social Media has changed the world of marketing. Market leaders now consider their customers’ needs and based on that they start to create valuable content, tailor-made for their client.
Green Inbound Marketing & Storytelling
The customer is the starting point for Inbound Marketing. Simply because today’s clients research their information online before they even contact your company.
In short, Inbound Marketing means the following:
- No need to buy ‘old’ tools such as ads, e-mail lists or cold calling.
- The creation of educational content in order to pull people towards your website so they can research what you sell at their own leisure.
- That’s what Inbound Marketing is all about.
The companies that do Inbound Marketing concentrate on getting found by qualified leads online using content such as website pages, blog articles and social messages that are optimized for search and Social Media.
In order to attract your buyers to your product, you need to know what content speaks to them. Once you know that, you can use that content to personalize your marketing at a large scale.
Here is a comparison of the buyer Pre-Internet and the Buyer Today:
Pre Internet Buyer:
- Relatively uninformed
- Linear Buyer Journey
- Marketing: cold calls and adds (interruption for customer)
- Well informed
- Fluid and random Buyer journey that often starts with Google
- Marketing: thought Leadership through content creation
Why Interruption Does Not Work
There are three major reasons why consumers are skeptical about brands, and why interruptive advertising and cold calling aren’t nearly as effective as they once were.
- The proliferation of media. There are magazines, TV channels, radio stations and, most of all, an incredible number of websites that constantly fire messages to everybody about anything you can think of. The forest of media has become a veritable jungle.
- Marketing has a bad reputation of deception. Unfortunately consumers have been deceived so much in the past by false claims and exaggerations that they no longer believe any ads, as clever as they may be.
According to the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer, 63% of consumers need to hear company claims 3-5x before they’ll actually believe them!
- The consumer is empowered by technology. Consumers have learned to manipulate interruptive messaging by using the tools that are available to them. Now they will seek out the information they want, when they want it.
So you see why it has become more effective to gather permission from a client, rather than interrupting them.By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you can earn permission to market to prospects that you can convert into leads. Then close the deal so they become customers, and then delight them to the point where they become promoters of your brand.
The Big Opportunity for Sustainable Companies
Based on these developments we can now see a huge opportunity for Sustainable and Ethical Brands and Service Companies. Inbound Marketing helps you to tell your story to potential customers and leverage your brand’s biggest asset; your true and honest story.
You are in the unique situation to be able to attract your potential customer because you have a true story to tell.
It is because your product is honest that you are marketing it. The traditional way of doing business, where some companies are only looking at their bottom line, disregarding environment and workers, is exactly what you are fighting.
The story you have to tell IS your product and how it came about.
- A conventional brand that is prepared to do anything to get the money, to the point of cheating, using tricks or persuasion, or,
- A green, sustainable brand that has incorporated, communicated and lived ethical values with every move they make.
So how should you get started with social media? What are the best practices and how can you measure success?
Start with SMART Marketing goals
So how should you get started with social media? What are the best practices and how can you measure success? First you need to set SMART Goals. SMART stands for:
Specific When creating a goal, you want it to be as short, concise, and specific as possible. The statement “We did good this year” does nothing to reflect what your company actually accomplished. You have the opportunity to tell your CEO what your plans are because you have a chance meeting in the elevator. This gives you a little over a minute to make a lasting impression. What will you say?
Measurable It’s not enough to just state that your company wants to “increase their social media following”. It is a goal, of course, but it is not trackable. Technically you will have succeeded if you increased your number from 560 to 561, but it makes more sense to shoot for a percentage of, say 30% for the year. Now you can track that every month and see if you need to work on it to reach it by the end of the year.
Attainable While having history-breaking goals are beneficial – and here at Greenblut we’re all about breaking records – it’s still important to keep these goals realistic. Say that historically your company has generated 50 leads per month. If it jumps to 1,000 per month, then that would be a dramatic change. While a business may push its employees to try and reach that goal, it will only discourage them as the employee sees they can never be successful. SMART goals are goals you can actually achieve.
Relevant Think about the goal you are setting. Suppose you sell balloons and your maximum production is 10,000 balloons per month. It would not make sense to double your production to 20,000 if your distributors will not buy more balloons. Instead, a better goal would be to try and increase the distribution channels by a percentage.
Time Bound All the points we mentioned before will help you to develop a solid goal, but you also have to implement a timeline. It’s great if you want to increase the distribution channels for your balloons, but you have to set a timeline, so you can start to actually produce more balloons by the time you have achieved your goal. No sense in upsetting your new distributors because you have no more balloons to sell!