Food is massive. And it’s everywhere. All over the TV, and social media. While the bad news is that it’s already a crowded market place, the good news is that there are lots of other businesses in the food industry using digital marketing successfully – or not so successfully – so plenty to watch and learn from. One thing you can be sure of – the food businesses you are following on social media will almost certainly have a digital strategy – and you should too.
As we looked at in our previous blog post (Create Your Digital Strategy – For the Travel/Tourism Industry) there are general principles to get checked off before starting your digital strategy. Examine your offering make sure you’ve got something different from your competitors and check the price is considered the right value for your product. Look at your market, are there factors which might affect how your product is seen in the market and check the timing is right to launch it.
Very importantly define your customer so you know with your content who you are writing to, what kind of style to write in and how they will find your content.
Then you can get started on the strategy itself, here we give you 5 key points to guide you through writing your own food industry digital strategy.
- What are your objectives? Check through your business objectives and identify how your digital marketing strategy can work to help these. For example do you want to increase online sales by 25%, or 15% increase in sales during a voucher redemption period or other special offer? These are measurable and also inline with your business objectives.
- Create your strategy around the market situation and business objectives, taking advantage of strengths to maximise opportunities and trends which in turn will increase sales.
- Make sure your company story and the ethos behind your products comes alive through your content. Yeovalley.co.uk for example personalise their website and online experience for their customers. Instantly customers recognise the distinctive Yeo branding and that it’s a British family dairy with heritage.
- Use Freebies and Fun Stuff to engage with your audience. Once your customers have reached your site, keep them there and then give them a reason to keep coming back for more with fun activities, articles and helpful free guides. Ella’s Kitchen does this well with a “Fun Stuff” section, which includes Activity Ideas, Cookbooks, Recipes, Fun Tunes, Blog & Articles.
- Target bloggers and vloggers (video blogging) – Food influencers are the new trend among digital marketing strategies. Individuals have become sought after by building their own unique brands from their love for food, cooking and ingredients. Companies can target these bloggers and vloggers, some of whom have built up enormous followings on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, etc. Also, some also have launched their own books and YouTube channels. By contacting these influencers, if your products are used or mentioned by them you can get your product in front of a vast audience and fast.
One example of a food blogger/influencer is Madeleine Shaw, author of cookbook Get The Glow, she started by blogging her healthy recipes on her website. As a nutritional adviser she built up her followers via social media. Now, with 40,000 followers on Twitter and nearly 250,000 on Instagram, her second cookbook, which can be bought on her website, Ready, Steady, Glow, has been released and she also regularly works with brands such as Brita, the water filter company.
Finally here are some strategy takeaways which you can use for your own digital strategy in the food industry.
- Use Facebook heavily to promote special offers and deals during off peak times throughout the year.
- Work to achieving higher customer service standards through more online engagement to improve customer satisfaction, repeat customers and word of mouth.
- Grow online sales and increase website traffic by creating a blog to encourage interaction online with consumers, can share menu range, recipe guides and can request photos and recipes from customers to share with others.
- Use the best quality photography you can afford. If you can’t afford a professional, invest in a decent camera and take a photography course – or follow food stylists on Instagram for tips on food photography.
Creating a digital strategy might seem like a daunting prospect but with a little thought and application – and if necessary, some support from a professional and dedicated digital marketing agency, it’s something you can certainly achieve. For more details on how we can assist you with creating a delicious digital strategy for your food business, call us on 01437 720033 or email email@example.com today.