If you’re hungry for success, food content marketing could be the answer. (Sorry, food puns are as irresistible as mom’s apple pie.) There’s no denying that good food-related content has the potential to draw in the crowds. For example, take a look at the popularity of Buzzfeed’s Tasty Facebook page, which has over 94 million followers. Also, “how to cook that” has become a top-10 search phrase on YouTube, according to a 2017 report. If you want a slice of the action, take a leaf out of other successful companies’ recipe books. Find fantastic ways to speak directly to the foodies following your brand.
The Importance of Food Content Marketing
Content marketing is a valuable type of inbound marketing that encourages customers to seek you out. According to a study by OneSpot, 40 percent of consumers want content that informs. In other words, the populace is in search of answers. So, the aim is to position you as a reliable resource for those answers. Once consumers engage with your brand, they’re more likely to make a purchase. And, they’re more likely to return to your company the next time they need a solution.
Food content marketing simply focuses your campaign. It works on the basis that the way to customers’ hearts is through their stomachs. Even if you aren’t in the food sector, leveraging a love for food has the potential to drive your marketing campaign.
Food content marketing enhances customers’ online experiences with a subject they’re passionate about. For example, according to Nielsen, 81 percent of millennials want to know how their food is produced. Millennials comprise 24 percent of the global population. That’s a huge market to tap into if you have content to share. Of course, millennials live online. So, they’re also the people who are most likely to share content they found useful or funny.
Food for Thought From Big Brands
There are many different ways to make food content marketing work for you. Big brands use it to increase engagement with their customer base, expand their reach to new markets, and make sure they remain relevant in an ever-changing marketplace.
Denny’s marketing experts are masters of social media, being responsible for one of the most successful brand tweets ever. Rather than focusing on the food, Denny’s focuses on the feel, using Twitter and Tumblr to share nonsense and “dad jokes” that are like an extension of the conversations happening in their booths every day. The aim here is to create engagement, encouraging customers to interact while building an online space that feels welcoming and fun. Engaged customers who have interacted with more than three pieces of content could be up to six times more likely to follow a call to action (such as buying a product), so it pays to hook customers with interesting content and then keep them coming back for more. Of course, it also helps if customers believe the content you create is worth sharing, as that helps to spread your message far and wide.
Content marketing is all about putting the customer’s needs before your advertising, and building relationships that encourage engagement. One form of engagement is user-generated content, which is a powerful marketing tool because it’s the product of “real people,” and not something cooked up by advertising experts. Plated sends ingredients and recipes to home cooks, and then uses that user-generated content to make the customers the stars in their own stories. Plated lets customers share their creations, and then reposts them across various social media outlets to show potential new customers what they can achieve. This kind of engagement with customers builds a sense of community, and allows existing customers to celebrate their successes.
Buzzfeed launched the Tasty video series in 2015, and by September 2016 it had become the third-most-viewed video account on Facebook. Each video shows a pair of hands whipping up a culinary masterpiece in just a few minutes, using fast footage that makes it look effortless and ensures viewers don’t lose interest. Of course, the results look delicious. But Buzzfeed isn’t a cooking brand or restaurant chain — it’s a technology brand. The massive reach of the Tasty videos has helped Buzzfeed to strengthen brand recognition, cross-promoting in different sectors while also generating a sizeable income from sponsored videos.
Cooking Up Your Own Food Content Marketing
Creating a food content marketing campaign involves understanding your market, setting targets, and providing valuable content.
Know your goal
Not all marketing campaigns have the same goals. You may want to expand the reach of your brand, enrich the user experience for existing customers, encourage a deeper level of engagement, or push your company up the search engine results. It’s important to know exactly what you expect to achieve, or else you can’t evaluate your success.
Know your market
Targeted marketing reaps results. Content with broad appeal may expand your reach, but engagement often requires a personal touch. If you want content that speaks directly to a demographic, do your research. Build personas that reflect the common traits of your existing customers, and put yourself in the shoes of a customer to ask, “What do I really need to know?” If your customers want to know how to cook something, you need to show them a “how to” video. If they want to go out to lunch, you need to invite them in.
Follow the trends
Keep the bigger picture in mind, and watch for shifts in trends. For example, millennials aren’t interested in dieting or convenience foods, according to research by CBD Marketing in 2017.
Focus on quality
Your content needs to be valuable. Put the customer’s desires before your advertising needs. You want customers to come to you for information, and gradually develop the understanding that your company provides solutions for their problems. Mixing up your content formats, including videos, blogs, and infographics, helps to hit different markets and improve your reach.
Takeaway: Something to Chew On
Food content marketing has the potential to boost your company profile by speaking directly to a large section of the marketplace. But a solid campaign takes more than well-written content. The recipe for success involves positioning the right content in front of the right customers at the right time. Give your customers some food for thought, and ensure they’re hungry for your fresh content.