HOW TO EASILY PROMOTE YOUR NEW GREEN IMAGE
Energy efficiency is a fast and easy way to reduce operating costs and boost profit margins. But why stop at the financial reward when there are so many more benefits waiting after your upgrade?! Telling customers about your greener, more socially responsible business is an opportunity you can’t afford to miss. Not only is this easy to do, but you can scale your efforts to go as big (or small) as you like. In part one of this series, we discussed 5 reasons why you should capitalize on your new green image. Now let’s take a look at 5 simple, low-cost ways to get started:
1. Start by getting your employees on board
The first step is to engage your staff and get them excited about the new energy efficient upgrades. It’s likely that many of the improvements will directly benefit employees by making it easier for them to their job (better lighting, more comfortable workspace, etc). Take some time to walk your staff through the changes you’ve made, but be sure to tell them how each upgrade plays a roll in reducing their carbon footprint. Engaging employees and showing them how your business is becoming environmentally responsible will give them something to stand for. When the staff is genuinely proud of where they work, they’ll effectively become a “free” source of advertising for your business. Generating a buzz amongst staff can easily spread into your customer base and it won’t cost a penny.
2. Launch or re-energize your marketing plan
Take this opportunity to evaluate your existing marketing efforts. Has the most recent campaign flatlined? Or have you been too busy to focus on promoting the business? Even if you think you’ve never done any marketing or advertising, there’s a good chance it’s been happening right under your nose. You’d be surprised how many simple things you can do to promote your energy efficiency upgrade. Do you have business cards, stickers, a menu, or even a standard email signature? Why not add a little blurb about your new green initiative? Once you start uncovering these hidden marketing opportunities, you’ll be able to make small changes and develop a marketing plan that moves at your own pace.
3. Get social
If you don’t have a Facebook page for your business, this is a great excuse to build one and create a presence. You’ll need something to talk about on your new page and the energy efficiency upgrade can provide plenty of content for unique posts. Start by emphasizing the reduced environmental impact and share your excitement about the improvements. This gives the new Facebook page some context and will draw customers’ attention. Here are some ideas to get started:
- Environmental impact since the upgrade
- Reduction in energy use
- Carbon footprint reduction (Carbon Dioxide, Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrogen Oxide)
- Equivalent to number of trees planted
- Equivalent to number of cars removed
- Post pictures during the installation to show your excitement for the finished product
- Post the infrared photos from before the upgrade
- Share before and after pictures
(Note: ask your energy efficiency consultant for facts and figures from the audit, they’ll be happy to share!)
4. Team up with like-minded businesses or organizations
This is a great way to increase your exposure while feeling good. Contact local businesses who are on the same path to becoming environmentally responsible and brainstorm ways to develop a partnership. Or, find organizations who share similar goals and invite your staff to attend volunteer outings. There are countless ways to foster these connections and the lasting benefits are huge! A few ideas:
- Plant a vegetable garden outside your business, donate the produce to local shelters
- Or find an organization that does similar work and help them with their harvest
- Sponsor an eco-friendly-themed event
- Publicly recognize people who make a difference in your community with gift cards (on your Facebook page!)
- Lead a clean up effort around your community, invite local businesses to help you pick up litter once a month
A photo in the local paper is easy AND free!
5. Throw a green launch party
This can be a big bang for your buck and you can make it as big or small as you like. There are TONS of ways to promote your business and host an event for very little money. Here are some things you can do:
- Put an ad for the event in the local paper.
- Send postcard invitations and/or an email blast to customers.
- Advertise the event on social media (on your new Facebook page!).
- Reach out to your community. Get other businesses involved if you want to make the event bigger and reach a larger audience.
- Plan a photo op during the event. Invite local officials or VIPs to join.
- Run a contest during the event. This is great if you’re building a Facebook page. Have customers “like” your business to win a prize at the end of the event.
- Get a photo in the local paper after the event.
- Repurpose everything you create – postcard designs can function as email blasts and Facebook posts, a press release can be tweaked into a blog post if you have a blog.
- Connect with your new customers on social media after the event.
- Send personalized thank you notes – include a reason for customers to come back.
Say what you mean…
Going green means something different to everyone so it’s important to be clear when explaining the changes your business has made. Be sure not to over exaggerate your efforts and accidentally make false or misleading claims. Be proud that you’ve reduced your carbon footprint, just make sure you understand the meaning of trendy phrases like “net zero” and “carbon neutral” so that you accurately describe the improvements throughout your business.
Mean what you say…
If you tell customers you’ve “gone green,” it’s important to show them you stand behind your claim. One way to demonstrate this is to continue making eco-friendly changes. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to reduce your environmental impact and let your customers know about the continued effort. Simple changes, like recycling, will show customers how you’ve embraced “going green,” which will help you to earn their loyalty.