In recent years, sustainability has become a full-on lifestyle, and rightfully so. With climate change affecting our planet and thus our lives, the general need to make more conscious choices has intensified worldwide. Logically, this has had a huge impact on brands and the way they go about their business. And in the influencer marketing industry, it has even brought forth a whole new niche: the sustainability influencer.

A recent study has shown that 74 % of people want to reduce their impact on the environment, with 61 % actually wanting to turn their lifestyle around completely, but – they don’t know where to start.

There is a gap between aspiration and actual behavior, the study claims.

This is where the sustainability influencer comes in. Compared to brands, they better understand the challenges consumers face on their journey, as they are consumers as well. They can answer questions, show solutions and share their own path/story. 

This makes them an extremely powerful ‘tool’ in marketing and an effective strategy to drive buying behavior directly. Consequently, working with an eco-influencer is a valuable move for any brand.

However, there’s a catch.

Influencing vs. educating

Although they all share the right message, theirs is a nuanced one that has to be especially well-balanced. 

This is because sustainability influencers are slightly different from other influencers (lifestyle, fashion, food, etc.). While they’re also sharing their experiences in a specific category, it’s even more meaningful for them: they’re literally trying to help save our planet.

This makes their goal bigger than simply influencing; they actually want to educate and inspire other people, which is why they won’t just work with anyone.

Tricky balance

Though very admirable, this mindset has a real ‘downside’ for the sustainability influencer. Other influencers can easily monetize their content, but it’s not as simple for them.

Since they are driven by purpose rather than profit, they’re not in the position to simply accept every partnership coming their way. Plus, keep in mind that the eco-influencer can’t just promote buying something new every day. Too many sponsored products or paid posts and ads can quickly seem inauthentic – even more so for an eco-influencer – and they can end up losing their credibility.

Logically, sustainability influencers need to be very critical of the brands they work with. Not only because they want to respect their followers’ trust but also because they want to honor their own lifestyle and make sure every brand fits in perfectly with their bigger message.

How can they collab?

Eco-influencers – and brands who want to work with them – have to get creative with their content.

Some examples: sharing some easy tips to make their skincare routine more ecological, testing and comparing different types of reusable products, filming a tour of their favorite second-hand stores in different cities, showing how they reduce their weekly garbage, cooking up vegan alternatives for their followers’ favorite dishes, etc.

The focus doesn’t always have to be on buying. There’s actually a lot of fun to find engaging ways to encourage their followers to live a more sustainable lifestyle. And similarly, brands can benefit from this approach.

So even though working with an eco-influencer may be a bit tougher to figure out, it’s definitely worth it in exchange for a highly targeted and engaged audience.

Need help finding the exact right influencer for your brand? Or how to approach them? We’ve got you.