Being ethical is a growing focus of many businesses but you should be talking about it.
Whether it’s recycling the lion’s share of your waste or only sourcing materials from sustainable sources, your customers want to know about your ethical practices – and that’s a great source of media content!
New research from Ipsos MORI shows that 47% of consumers believe that ethically run businesses are better for the economy and 48% say they would rather buy from businesses that act ethically.
“It’s striking just how few people are happy with the current way of doing business. Being sustainable and ethical used to be marginal concerns for consumers but this survey points to us being close to a situation where the majority want to see businesses take a different approach and put those considerations on the same level as making profits.” – Jonathan Glennie, Director of the Ipsos Sustainable Development Research Centre
The recent Brandz.com report on the biggest brands on the planet also highlighted why showing your social responsibility and ethical values can make a big difference to your business.
It showed that brands that have a clear ‘purpose’ – including improving customers’ lives but also improving the world in some way – grew at three times the rate of those that don’t.
“Increasingly, consumers,especially young people, are attracted to brands that, in an authentic way, are about making money, but are also about more than making money,” the report said.
The report also says that the successful brands appear to be ‘there to help’ – which I always say is a key pillar of content marketing.
But they won’t know unless you tell them
There will be a small share of people who actively search for information on business’ ethics and you should absolutely make that information easy to find on your website; but you should also shout about it within your content marketing but most people won’t know unless you tell them!
Not only will creating content like this help to position your brand as a socially-aware business but it can be genuinely interesting to consumers and other businesses.
Most of us want to run our businesses (and our lives) in a way that does not negatively impact others and the environment, so creating and sharing content on ethical business practice has a wider appeal than you may think.
It’s all about the why
Your content should speak about what you have done and perhaps how (the how will be of particular interest to other businesses unless it is something consumers can also do) – but it is the ‘why’ that will be of the greatest benefit to your brand.
Talking about your reasons for making the choices you have, establishing and reinforcing your social responsibility and ethical standpoint, can have high impact.
If you have first-hand experiences that have led you to the ‘why’ then share them. It adds to the authenticity that consumers are increasingly expecting.