For many natural product brands, their first big success is often found through a mass retailer or Amazon as a first party seller. After this happens, however, brands realize that direct-to-consumer sales through their own website usually comprise a much smaller percentage of sales than they would like.
With all of the product, operational and cash flow demands on a young, growing brand, we find that most brands haven’t figured out how to successfully sell directly to consumers via their websites.
In the age of the “new consumer,” audiences are bombarded with so many messages and so many products that it adds further difficulty in selling to them directly online. All of this begs the question: “How can a brand introduce the consumer to its online content in a lasting, memorable and effective way?”
For natural food brands that have managed to do this successfully, there are four common themes. They:
1. Tell a good story.
Start with really understanding what makes your brand unique. The hard truth is, most brands aren’t as unique as they think they are. It is usually not good enough to just tell your story; you have some work to do to figure out what makes your brand truly stand out in the eyes of the consumer. Your brand personality and how you tell your brand stories will be the foundation of your online content marketing.
2. Think quality over quantity.
In most cases, brands simply do not have the resources (time, money or talent) to employ every approach, channel or tactic available. Because you can’t do everything, it’s important to focus on whatever you can do exceptionally well. It is crucial for brands to understand their strongest initiatives and to double-down on them using channels and creative content that get them the most results (whether your metrics are direct sales, engagement, newsletter signups, etc.).
3. Start relationships.
Remember that your goal is to build a relationship with the consumer. Relationships start with interest and you must be useful, memorable and entertaining to stand out in a saturated natural foods marketplace. Expect multiple touch points with the consumer, as trust in relationships is built through such interactions. Studies show that trust is just as important as price for many consumers, which makes this even more important for direct-to-consumer natural food brands. Always remember that relationships are not about just about making a sale; they are about building loyalty.
4. Create persuasive copy.
Brands can’t assume that great content marketing will help in the moment of truth when it comes time to add an item to the cart. Don’t just assume a sale is in the bag because someone made it to your shopping page. Instead, you need to ensure that you use smart tactics and engaging copy (i.e. more than just a coupon code) to get a consumer to that first checkout. Consider investing in better product descriptions, share testimonials and have a copywriter create “funnel” content that gets people to click from your homepage to the “Check out” button.
Of course, these are just the tip of the iceberg to the many channel-specific tactics of a successful natural food content marketing campaign. Each campaign should be based on specific goals and targeted to a specific audience. However, these are a few of our high-level tips for creating engaging content to help grow your natural foods brand—and generate more sales.
Chuck Aikens is the founder of Volume Nine, a digital marketing agency, helping brands connect to the audience through creative content marketing strategies. They help brands with SEO, social media, Google Analytics and a whole lot of other stuff as well.