Sustainable Marketing: How to Get Started and Keep at It

Sustainable marketing

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When you first launch your small business, you are probably FULL of ideas. You have written your business plan, developed your digital marketing plan, and planned out exactly how you’ll promote your business. Email marketing! Weekly blogs! Social media everyday!

But then…

After the ball gets rolling and business grows, you realize that it’s not so easy to manage ALL. THE. THINGS. Your marketing plan was terrific, ambitious, and full of potential – the problem was that there is no way to sustain it.

So for small business owners, we like to talk about sustainable marketing; that is, marketing plans that project realistic, manageable strategies, which can be reasonably maintained over the long term.

Let’s look at 5 strategies that will help you design a sustainable marketing plan.

Sustainable Marketing Starts with SMARTs

Part of sustainable marketing involves setting goals at the outset. And we’re not talking about willy-nilly goals – we mean SMART goals.

When you set SMART goals, you’ll not only envision attainable goals, but you’ll give yourself a direction for getting there.

SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timebound.

For example, if you are launching a personal training business, a SMART marketing goal might be to generate three new leads in the first quarter.

Let’s see how this meets the SMART framework.

🎯 Specific: Do you know exactly what you need to accomplish? Yes: three new leads.

📏 Measureable: How will you measure your results? By counting three viable leads from customers who show interest in your personal training services.

🍋 Attainable: Is this realistic? Yes, three new leads in three months is achievable.

📈 Relevant: Does this goal make sense for your business? Sure does! You can’t train people if you don’t bring in customers!

⏱️ Timebound: Do you have a deadline for reaching this goal? Yes: within the first quarter.

Set Realistic Expectations

After you set your SMART goals, be honest with yourself about what marketing strategies you can realistically implement over the long term. 

Let’s use the same personal trainer example. You want to generate three new leads in the first quarter. When you’re first starting out, is it realistic to publish a daily blog that motivates people to sign up? It’s a nice idea, but it requires a ton of work and leaves room for little-no flexibility. 

Maybe it’s more realistic to say that every month, you’ll promote a social media ad, offering people a free 10-minute fat-busting exercise plan in exchange for their email address. Then, you’ll be able to nurture that lead.

This is much more realistic, as it gives you breathing room for responsibilities, AND it provides future opportunities to target your leads!

Save Time with Templates

One snag in small business marketing is – you guessed it – TIME. A lot of people tell us: “I’m not a content creator, I’m a __________” (personal trainer, nonprofit leader, jewelry designer, you name it!). 

The fact is, the reason you go into business is because you love performing YOUR SKILL. Or producing YOUR PRODUCT. You didn’t start your personal training business so that you could be a social media manager, right? And trying to balance social media management with the demands of your clients isn’t always sustainable.

So here’s a tip to help it STAY sustainable: Use templates.

Get a free graphic design account, like Canva, and utilize its treasure trove of graphic design templates for social media posts, Stories, banners and more. These will save you tons of time and guesswork during the creation process, paving the way for sustainable marketing. 

Build a Room for Trends – Not the Whole House

We all know what it’s like to scroll through Instagram and notice the same audio, transition effect, or dance move used across Reels. They’re hot trends, and people jump onto them!

The same can be true of any social media channel, and it can be enticing to jump on the bandwagon in the hopes of going viral. 

BUT, your business is not built on trends. Your business is built on your services, products, and your unique way of presenting them. Jumping on every trend will cause you unnecessary stress, anxiety, and panic. It’s not sustainable marketing.

So, leave room for trends that make sense in your marketing strategies, but don’t build your whole strategy around them. 

Measure Results – and Adjust

Finally, set aside time every month to review how your strategies are performing. If, over time, you notice that one marketing strategy isn’t generating your desired results, then adjust it to suit your needs or get rid of it all together. Spending time and energy on things that don’t yield a good ROI isn’t sustainable marketing.

Become active on your Google Analytics, poke around on social media insights, and regularly review email marketing insights. This way, you’ll know what strategies to pursue, and what strategies to let go – THAT’S sustainable marketing!

🌱 Need Help with Sustainable Marketing?

We can help you develop a sustainable marketing plan! Contact us today to learn how we can support your small business by developing a sustainable digital marketing plan JUST FOR YOU!

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