Digital marketing can often become unethical, just like anything in life. When profit is a company’s only goal, it can become easy to forget about the effects of your company on the world. As a certified B Corp, Colibri is constantly looking for ways to market in an ethical way while still making profit. We have found that it is most important to be transparent and truthful in order to accomplish the most good in digital marketing. Clearly showing who you are will attract the right audience who value your mission. Below are some questions to ask and things to remember when implementing digital marketing strategies in order to do business for good.
B CORP MARKETING TACTICS
We are going to look at all the different forms of digital marketing and how to incorporate B Corp values into each. Each section includes thought-provoking questions to see if you are on track to building a better future. Let’s get into it!
There are many purposes of social media. Most brands are on social media to increase brand exposure, buildrecognition, and engage with their audience. We often get wrapped up in the likes, comments and follower count, but there’s more to social media than likes.
When deciding how to market yourself on social media, start by defining your purpose. One of the most important B Corp values is knowing what change you want to make in the world before creating that change. Once you have defined your purpose, it’s time to reflect it in your work.
Social media is a great place to spread the word about your purpose and get others involved because it’s all about connecting people and sharing information. In fact, Facebook’s original purpose was to connect Harvard students with each other. To use B Corp marketing tactics on social media, simply share your purpose.
If you are a plastic free packaging manufacturer and want to spread the word about the effects of plastic packaging on the environment, share articles about that. Connect with companies who you think need their products to be packaged and might be interested in plastic free packaging. Lastly, use hashtags that reflect your purpose.
Questions to ask: Do we post about our purpose on social media? Does our social media do more than sell our product? What posts do people engage with the most and why?
SEO has a bit of a shady reputation, but you can easily avoid falling into that trap with responsible SEO and B Corp practices. Transparency is a B Corp value that can help you practice responsible SEO.
To be transparent in your SEO, don’t sacrifice the quality of your content to appear as the first result on Google. Stray away from stuffing keywords into your blogs or using keywords that don’t match your content. Don’t try to game the system. Instead, write quality and helpful content. That way, people whose values align with yours will find you because they will search for keywords that reflect your brand’s mission. The purpose of SEO is to reach more people– people who are your ideal audience. Speak to that audience by being honest.
Questions to ask: Do the keywords we use reflect our purpose? Do the keywords we use match our brand or do we use them because they perform well?
The key to using B Corp marketing tactics in branding is to, once again, be transparent. Branding your product as sustainable if it is not does not align with B Corp values. If you are in the process of making your product sustainable, reflect that in your brand messaging instead of stretching the truth to say what you think your audience wants to hear.
Another important B Corp value is community. It’s pretty easy to show your community in your branding. First, you have to build community around your brand. To do that, start internally. Create a community within your team and then portray that on social media and everywhere that your brand messaging appears. Next, spend time getting to know your customers and clients. Create contests to get to know your customers, host live videos to talk to your customers in a more personal way, or host events for them. Once you have a strong community, share about your community.
Questions to ask: What is our mission? Does our brand messaging have our mission in it? What is the purpose of every aspect of our branding and does every aspect align with our values?
Create content that’s valuable. Yes, it’s as easy as that. Create content for good. Don’t write something you don’t believe in because you think people will like it. Write about things you believe in.
At Colibri, we try to post content on our blog that aligns with our values. You will never read a blog on our site about scamming the system. Instead, you will read about working by your values in a system that makes it difficult to do so, or how to use your platform for good.
Questions to ask: Do I believe in what I am writing? If I were reading this, would it be helpful? Does this content enforce our values?
The best B Corp friendly marketing tactic for email marketing is to be transparent. For one, don’t hide the unsubscribe button or use click bait in your subject line to get people to open your email. Instead, be honest. Highlight ways for your subscribers to get involved in doing business for good. To create a personal connection, show them how you do what you do, what challenges you have faced, and the mistakes you have made Transparency will help build your community.
Questions to ask: Would I read this email if I subscribed because I like the company’s message? Does this email speak to our audience who is attracted to us because of our values?
B Corporations believe “we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.” It is important to keep that belief in mind in every area of digital marketing. In order for you to succeed, others need to be able to succeed as well. Stretching the truth about what you do to appear as the first result on Google will hurt others and prevent you from growing your business. By being transparent, it’s easy to market your brand while also making space for others to thrive.