With the rise in ethical marketing and sustainable brands, sharing your brand ethics with your current and potential customers can set you apart from others in your industry. Many customers will now only buy from companies that are transparent about the ethics behind their business and products.
So, how do you make sure the world knows about how you run your business and keep your customers contented?
What are brand ethics?
Brand ethics are the values your business holds. They are the words you use throughout your branding and marketing and the principles that inform everything you do. From accessibility, inclusion and diversity to quality, expertise and passion, most businesses select a core few values that represent them the best. Freelancers are more likely to choose smaller-scale words, such as freedom, flexibility, and balance, whereas larger corporations will focus on the bigger picture, with values such as adaptability, responsibility, and vision.
How to share your brand ethics online
Getting the message out there on your digital platforms will help your customers identify with you and start spreading the word. Your brand ethics should feature heavily on your website, your social media channels, and anywhere else your business can be found online. Use them as keywords throughout your website to rank higher on search engines, encourage customers to have similar values and discuss them frequently through your blog, social media and mailing list. SERP tools such as rich snippets are another great way of sharing brand ethics online – you can find out more on rich snippets here. The more you do these marketing activities, the more that customers will automatically think of your business when that ‘buzzword’ comes to mind.
If you’re struggling with how to incorporate your brand values online, here are three ways to help you out.
Incorporate them into your business goals
There is no use having focus words or values if they’re not true to your business. They should go hand in hand with your goals for the business and come across in everything you do, not only the products or services you provide but how you market yourself online. For example, when working on content strategy and one of your values is education, your content should reflect that with informative social media posts and blog posts.
Some values are less tangible than others and are more of a long-term focus for the business. For those brand ethics, you can weave them into goals over the next one, five or ten years. Using newsletter content and longer thought pieces to share what your plans for the business are down the road delivers transparency and allows customers to join you on that journey too.
Tell your story
Customers buy from small businesses because they love their stories. Why not share with them how you came to choose your brand ethics? Most business owners have reasons for setting up on their own and that always comes back to their values.
Relate your brand values to your story by including them on the About Us page of your website and story highlights on Instagram. You can reveal as much or as little about your personal life as you want to, but customers gravitate towards those small brands that show the person and the journey behind the brand.
Be honest with your customers
Again, you can tell your client base as much as you want to but being honest about what’s going on can actually increase customer retention. Tell them if there’s going to be a delay on orders, let them know that you’re outsourcing some work to maintain your work-life balance and share the ups and downs of running a small business with your customers.
Sharing your brand ethics online can be a scary step for a small business as you now have customers holding you accountable. However, doing so can improve your like-know-trust factor with them, which in turn increases their loyalty and sales.