Contributed by Alison Lueders runs Great Green Editing, a certified green business that provides content marketing services to other green and socially responsible businesses. She can be reached at 813-968-1292 or at email@example.com.
The Green Economy Revs Its Engines
Two weekends ago, I went to Green America’s “Green Festival” in Washington D.C. It was a happy shock to see the hundreds of businesses and organizations exhibiting at the Convention Center.
Every kind of business was there, from food and clothing to renewable energy and hybrid car companies. With the exception of Ford and the New York Times, most were new to me.
Going from table to table, I’d ask “who creates your content?” Answers ranged from “our President” to “some VP.” In other words, no one is dedicated just to getting the word out about them. That’s where content marketing comes in.
What is Content Marketing?
Many people cringe at any kind of “marketing.” It conjures up images of used-car salesmen or sleazy, over-hyped products.
The experts at Copyblogger.com define it this way: “Content Marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like and trust you enough to do business with you.”
Content marketing takes many forms, from websites to ebooks, blog posts to press releases. Your particular content strategy will depend on your business goals. But content marketing, in my view, is a must-have tool for green businesses and organizations.
Why Content Marketing Really Suits Green Business
Much more than traditional businesses like Coke or McDonalds that are well-known, newer, greener businesses can benefit from content marketing because it:
- raises awareness about your business. While people know that Coke sells soda, many people still think that “green” is just a color. Content marketing lets you share digestible bits of information to explain what your business offers, and why it’s different and better. For less well-known green businesses, content marketing can raise your profile.
- attracts customers who want to understand. A full-fledged green economy will touch every aspect of our lives. That’s a lot of information and change to absorb. Businesses that offer simple explanations of greener practices will find their products and services in high demand.
- builds your business for the long term. Building a sustainable business takes time. And content marketing is a long-term strategy. As your business grows, content marketing offers endless options to build your business just by sharing your knowledge in ways that engage customers.
So do explain to customers why the “USDA Organic” label is worth seeking out, or why the Ford C-Max Hybrid is a better car than a Toyota Prius. In this age of less trust, potential customers really want to know. Content marketing is about telling them in clear, concise, interesting ways that build that trust over time.
I salute all the organizations at the Green Festival. They are on the front lines of the new, greener economy. And I encourage them to use content marketing as an effective tool for growing their businesses.