Content marketing is the strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
In short, instead of offering products in your store that may or may not add value to your shoppers everyday life, you are delivering information that makes your shopper more intelligent. The framework of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as health food stores, deliver consistent, valuable experiences and information to our shoppers, they will be loyal shoppers to our store. Content marketing is focused on engagement, unlike other more transactional marketing strategies like sale flyers and brochures.
How it applies to us
Knowing who your shoppers are and what they desire from your store, you can start to craft the base of your strategy. We are innately connected to our shoppers, just by the nature of our business model, but we don’t often take the opportunity to use that connection for more organic engagement.
Let's take a look at the competition
Whole Foods (WF) has consistently been a leader in content marketing for several years. When you look at the complexity of their website, it’s easy to break down their strategy and see why their engagement level is incredible. It makes the lives of the users easier, less complicated, faster and healthier. What more could you ask for as a health food shopper? Let’s take a look at some of the strategies.
- WF offers a blog, “Whole Story,” that allows customers to access recipes, displays links to buy the products for the recipes (not always Whole Foods’ products), as well as a family section and a slew of videos, links and photos for new and veteran users to access at their leisure.
- WF targets young families and parents, which are the primary purchasers of the households in Whole Foods’ target market. There are “Kid Friendly,” “After School Snacks,” “Back to School” sections and more.
- WF hosts giveaways and contests on its website and it seems to be one of its more successful campaigns – some posts have 3,000 - 4,000 comments!
What can we learn?
Whole Foods does not have much engagement on its Facebook page or other social media platforms. This is probably because customers are not allowed to use the spaces as ‘community spaces’ where they can post ideas, recipes, questions to other users or ideas. Our stores can easily provide that sense of community, something our shoppers crave, without adding much more to what we are already doing.
How do we do it?
Having an overall checklist to follow when working on your social media content can save you a lot of time and empower more than just your marketing staff to post, blog, upload and share content. Here are the five areas you need to make your content valuable:
- Can the user find the content?
- Can the user read the content?
- Can the user understand the content?
- Is it actionable?
- Is it shareable?
If you’re able to engage your shoppers with carefully crafted and curated content, you’ll quickly become the place to go for all their shopping and educational needs