Think Green to Get ‘The Green’ for Your Business

by Matthew O'Brien on May 22, 2012

The New Business Model

Running a business is as rewarding as it is challenging. Managing your costs and your resources has taken on a whole new level of complexity for both online and offline marketing. For instance, thinking green. To some this means bringing the cash in the door (managing cash flow) and to others it is about your carbon footprint and to be more socially and environmentally conscious as a company.

Thinking Green with Your Marketing

When Mint Social was launched back in 2008, we were green from the beginning…positive cash flow and 100% eco-friendly marketing. We even used repackaged gum with our own label as our business cards (no, not recycled gum). Our marketing was primarily online and everything we published was tracked and brought into a lead and follow up campaign. We wanted to lead by example (pun intended) and we anticipated that our clients would appreciate and demand tracking metrics with social media marketing. What developed is the ‘green funnel’ or better known as creating a lead funnel for measuring return on investment (ROI) with your marketing budget.

Implementing the ‘Green Funnel’

The misnomer with social media marketing is that tracking ROI cannot be done on a granular level. The reality is that tools like Google Analytics can track and measure the effectiveness of your social media marketing, social network by social network, for generating leads and new business. Thanks to Google’s acquisition of Postrank and some custom java-scripts, tracking social media marketing for conversions is now a matter of investing the time or hiring the expertise to do so. The art of turning suspects in your online community and social network into prospects that become customers should be the cornerstone of your online marketing success. Learn how to build a ‘Green Funnel’ for your business…

Think ‘Green Campaigns’

It all starts with the content, or more specifically, your marketing campaigns. If you want to become one of the most influential and relevant businesses in your niche, you need to think about developing multi-channels marketing campaigns to get your message out…like your own ‘Associated Press’. Think of each social network as a separate marketing channel. By creating a profile in a social network, you now have publishing rights. Publishing rights is a privilege and in order to keep this privilege and get the best results, you should focus on how to customize your message to the nature of the network/marketing channel.

For example, let’s say your marketing campaign is centered on ‘finding new home buyers in Arizona’ and you want to use your blog, articles, video, PR and social networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to spread the message and bring in targeted prospects. Each one of these marketing channels should have a different twist on the message and should be tied to a call to action beyond CLICK HERE.

Your green campaign is really about bring in the ‘green’ for your business but on the surface it should look more like a selfless act of sharing insider tips and best practices for finding and negotiating the best real estate deal in Arizona. Shane Snow in a recent article on Fast Company writes, “The Key to Content Marketing (and Business): Be Less Self-Centered.” By taking the educational and informative route and sharing resources and tools in your marketing campaign, you will attract more prospects and get more online exposure because it will have a more viral and relevant feel to the people you are targeting.

For example, try publishing a promotional video about your company on Blip.tv and you will find that you will have violated the terms of service for this site. YouTube does have the same limitations and will accept your video. However, if Blip.tv rejects commercial type videos, doesn’t it make you think that a more educational approach is better in the long run?

Here are a few things to think about when you create your next marketing campaign:

  1. Who is the one person you want to connect with (your ideal prospect)?
  2. What piece of knowledge are you going to give away (in hopes that this message will connect with or get shared to your ideal prospect)?
  3. What type of call to action or next step are you going to sprinkle into your message?
  4. How does this call to action need to change from marketing channel to marketing channel?

If you are interested in creating a ‘Green Funnel’ for your business, engage here?

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