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Step-by-step guide to use Carbon Offset as Inverted Unicorn content in marketing

Jul 23, 2019 2:34 PM


You’ve done it. You’ve made the decision to take your company to the next level of sustainable operations with the carbon offset strategy for neutralizing carbon emissions. You are now in the position of determining how to get the word out. Advertising is just as relevant today as it was two or three decades ago. This difference is that any size of business, from the individual at home to the largest corporation, can run highly targeted advertising for a reasonable fee.

FREE EBOOK >> 5 environmentally friendly branding strategies

Having said that, these days audience targeting is a subject of much discussion in marketing circles. How finely targeted should you really make your advertising? What has become the traditional line of thinking in online marketing is what is called the Unicorn Strategy, yet it is slowly being displaced by a slightly different strategy called the Inverted Unicorn. Let’s take a look.

What is the Unicorn Strategy?

Simply put, Unicorn marketing is when you finely target your audience. You narrow down that target audience to be sure that the people who see your advertising are the people who would actually care about it and be the most likely to click through. Chances are your ad is specifically related to your company or offer and it’s your basic type of ad, which is not the most exciting ad content around.

The problem with this approach is you aren’t guaranteed engagement. If the ad isn’t terribly unique or exciting and/or if the target audience is too small, it becomes incredibly challenging to get click-throughs. This means less engagement, which in turn means you are paying more per click, leaving you with higher advertising costs.

How does the Inverted Unicorn Strategy work?

The Inverted Unicorn strategy is designed to expand that target audience and raise engagement. Instead of focusing on just one narrow area of interest that is directly related to your offer, you include one or two other seemingly unrelated interests to define your target audience. This will change the demographic of your target audience. It will be more generalized, but there will be a slightly different twist on it so you can target it differently.

The key here is this – with an audience based on your primary interest and a broad secondary interest, you won’t be showing them the same boring ad content you would have showed the narrow audience. You have more of an opportunity to be creative, by creating custom ad content to suit your broader audience based on the unrelated interests as well as the target interest.

What does this really mean? You can and make your ad content more exciting! With this approach, engagement will skyrocket, which will result in more click-throughs at a much lower cost-per-click.

Carbon Offset marketing with Inverted Unicorn: step-by-step guide

Let’s take a look at this in terms of the carbon offset initiative. Say you want to advertise your widget company and you are creating ad content to let customers know about your sustainable carbon offset initiative. You want them to know that you are taking action to neutralize your carbon emissions and help the environment. Great.

1. Choose the target thinking out of the box

If you target just those people who are interested in widgets, you will only be targeting a specific, possibly small audience. And your ad content may not be the most exciting, which means even if it’s well-targeted, it could be too boring to bother with. But what if you overlap the interest in widgets with interest in Marvel? All of a sudden, you can target people in a whole new way.

2. Create an appealing and creative Ad

You can now create ad content that appeals directly to Marvel fans, but also relates to widgets. The result? The ad is more appealing, and the target audience will be more inclined to click on it. It might be an image of Iron Man with his jets fired up next to some trees and text that says something like “Planting trees to neutralize our emissions.”

3. Engage your audience

Let’s look at another example. Say you are a toy company and manufacturing and shipping produces a lot of carbon emissions. You are adopting a sustainable strategy that will include green shipping and carbon offsets and you want consumers to know this. So, you target mothers with children under the age of 3 years. But how do you get that engagement up and make your ads more appealing? You can also target people who like the television show Game of Thrones.

When you do this, you can more effectively create ad content that will reach the mothers who also like the television show Game of Thrones. This opens up all sorts of other ideas for ad content. You can really play around and get creative, like an image of a flying GoT dragon carrying something with ad text that says, “Committed to green shipping for a healthier planet.” This way you can really engage the people you reach.

4. Optimize your Ads

Ultimately, it’s not the specificity of the targeting that matters the most. Instead, it’s how much you can engage the audience you do target, no matter the size or the targeting parameters. The Inverted Unicorn Strategy will allow you to infuse your ad content with creativity that will increase engagement, lower advertising costs, and breathe new life into your marketing campaign.

As you can imagine, the Inverted Unicorn Stratgy is a great way to reach out new opportunities of business and to share your values on a global level. If you are interested in learning about other strategies to strengthen your brand, check out our eBook “5 environmentally friendly branding strategies: the case of Carbon Offset“.



Paolo Calamendrei
Written by Paolo Calamendrei