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Reducing your Digital Footprint & Marketing Waste

So, you have decided to make your business more sustainable and work better for you, your team and the planet.

Best choice you’ve made all year!

We (The Typeface Group) started this journey ourselves in 2019, resulting in B Corp certification in 2021, a business award in 2023 for “Environmental Responsibility,” and countless interesting conversations with progressive businesses like yours. But as you now know, the knowledge and improvements never stop. As Maya Angelou said, 'Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.'

And with that truth bomb, we were given the fantastic opportunity to write for Profit Impact about how you can start to tackle your digital and marketing waste. So go get a cup of whatever you drink and a top tier snack, because when you jump down this rabbit hole, you might never surface again.

The Dirty Truth About Digital and Marketing Waste.

Did you know that the internet, plus all the servers and devices it needs to work, emit more harmful gasses than the aviation industry? (Source) And it is expected that the total gasses will have doubled between 2019 and 2025 with our current consumption rate. 

Once we found out just how far reaching the impact of digital was, especially in comparison to the colossal industries that are traditionally blamed for emissions, we decided to become a carbon-considered communication and SEO agency. It was time to really practice what we preach, and we’ve never looked back! 

As the adage goes, “Less is more”.

For decades, it was recommended to churn out everything. The advice was more content = more Google equity. 

More articles, junk filtering emails, eleventy million blogs per month, never sleep social media activity, have presence in every local magazine, spamming with direct mail the list is endless and frankly overwhelming. And for those still with this more-more-more mindset, it’s time to stop.

Just, stop.

We can tell you right now that this scattergun approach is a surefire way to not only completely miss your business bullseye, but actively contribute to the climate problem.

Times have changed. Even search engines have gotten with the program; cue countless algorithm changes to encourage people to strip back their websites and stop ‘creating’ numerous subpar pages and pieces of content (written and video). Social media algorithms have (in a way) done the same by making you less seen if you are not providing value and being engaged with. It is time to stop weighing yourself down with wasteful tasks and overwhelming expectations. It is time to do less, really well, and get more results as a by-product. And after decades of hyperactivity, doing ‘less’ sounds pretty good doesn’t it?

Quality Over Quantity (yes, another oldy but goody!).

It’s time to:

  1. Pause. 
  2. Look at the stats to see what is working.
  3. Write a laser-focused strategy and plan.

Trying to nail every marketing tactic and hit every channel either too regularly or erratically won’t help you achieve your overall goals – it will only drain you of your time, energy and money while creating considerable waste. You need to start with a strategy. Your strategy needs to include (but isn’t limited to):

  • Your overarching goal. 
  • Looking at the data.
  • What is working and the resources you have available? 

Then comes the plan, and following that is the tactical delivery. Not the other way around. That is also wasteful as there is no focus or purpose to anything you do without the strategy to refer back to.

Here are some ways to focus and reduce marketing waste:

  • Review your stats and speak to your sales team. Your data should have a lot of answers about where your leads are coming from, and your sales team should be able to tell you which clients they won. Work this backwards and invest in those channels that bring in the gold.
  • Cleanse your database. Are you sending emails to a load of ghosts? Make it a six-monthly mission to unsubscribe people who don’t open your emails. It will only make your stats look much better, but with every email using between 4 - 50gs a pop, you will also reduce your marketing waste.
  • Content review. Get ruthless. If your content is not being read/is no longer relevant / or is not encouraging further action, delete or make a list to improve and rewrite. No one cares about your Christmas Party from 2019 and those International Women’s Day posts. Do they need to be there at all? If they add to the cause (rather than the noise), then update one yearly rather than having years worth that become outdated.
  • Check your website. Go to the website carbon calculator and see where your starting point is. Then, if the results aren’t great, have a plugin and function review and remove anything slowing you down, or is there for vanity rather than to help the users. If you work with an SEO company *cough* hi *cough*, ask them to review your site and make improvements. They ‘should’ know what to do. If they don’t, please do get in touch. 
  • Review your strategy and make a plan. Now you have the data and cleared down, work out who (as Seth Godin calls them) your Minimum Viable Audience (MVA) is. An MVA is the smallest group that could possibly sustain you in your work. And then get to know them so well that they become your biggest customers and advocates.

Don’t forget to reuse and recycle.

Two tips to get more out of less.

Tip 1 - Ensure you get every second out of 15 minutes of fame out of every piece of content and news. 

We are talking about:

  • Pieces of coverage
  • Podcasts 
  • Speaking gigs 
  • Blog posts
  • Case studies
  • Quizzes
  • Impact reports and more
They are more than just one social media post.

Here is our checklist of everything you can do with one piece of content to ensure you squeeze every minute out of it. 
  • 3 - 6 social media updates
  • 3 - 6 graphics, including any video forms content
  • Share across all socials over the next 6 - 12 weeks
  • Email - is it to subscribers? Customers? Potential customers - segment and focus WHO NEEDS TO SEE IT
  • Update old content to internally link to this new content where appropriate
  • Share the content internally in case conversations are happening where this will get something across the line
  • Share social media links internally to encourage employee advocacy online
  • Does this spark any further content ideas?
Tip 2 - Ensure you have a yearly content review to see where you can improve or update what you have and then reshare .

why not combine this with a strategy update and review to recycle and reuse content where possible? For example, with the latest Google update, one key piece of authoritative content is more valuable than three blogs roughly about the same thing (which, when you read them back, are not really saying anything). These updates can result in updating or reusing the same graphics, providing a helpful reminder to your email audience and more.  

What next?

If you have done all of this and are hungry for more, high fives to you.

Your next steps are:

  • Make sure you have conversions set up so you can continue to review what activities are working for you
  • Keep an eye on that website and its carbon output (shout if you want a no-obligation chat about this)
  • Start measuring your Scope 3 emissions, AKA speak to Profit Impact

Sign up for our FREE Digital Clean Up Challenge, which is not just for the marketing team and will get everyone in the business thinking about their online habits.

Written by:
The Typeface Group
A BCorp Communications agency + design studio simplifying complex comms and supporting busy marketing teams in the housing, clean energy & construction sectors.