As consumers gain more insight into the ways food is currently being produced, they are increasingly turning towards options that are better for their overall health – this doesn’t only include choosing organic produce, meat, and dairy, but buyers are also looking towards supplementation in order to gain from its benefits.
A 2014 survey by Gallup shows that over 45% of Americans seek out organic food they can include in their diets. The trend is particularly widespread among those aged 18 to 29 and individuals living in big cities.
Furthermore, research shows that up to 70% of older Americans use supplementation on a daily basis, while the practice is becoming increasingly popular among younger people as well. Sports enthusiasts and professionals are particularly likely to be using some type of multivitamin, but wellness enthusiasts aren’t lagging too far behind either.
For healthy food brands, this is excellent news. As the market expands, so does their potential reach and revenue. But, there is bad news as well: with such exponential growth also comes the increased cost in marketing, as well as stronger and bigger competition. Ultimately, even some of the biggest brand names in the food industry are jumping on the wagon, offering healthy or organic versions of their products. For start-ups and small businesses, this can create problems.
However, that’s not to say that succeeding is impossible. It just means that small and medium-sized companies need to pay closer attention to the marketing strategies they use when trying to reach their target audience. Luckily, these aren’t too difficult, nor do they always require huge amounts of money.
Although for consumers this goes without saying, brands often don’t realize the importance of data they offer about their products. For healthy food brands, however, this is crucial in ensuring success. With tons of information readily available to anyone with a computer or smartphone, people are doing more and more research before buying. This is especially true for Millennials who are slowly, but steadily, redefining the way shopping is being done.
The best way to go forward is to be transparent regarding the ingredients in your products. Give information regarding all relevant aspects of your production process and be prepared to share more, as buyers won’t shy away from asking.
If you’re marketing towards a niche audience such as vegetarians or vegans, be sure to do your own research and choose only ingredients that are certified. Those selling supplements may find this slightly more difficult, seeing that animal-derived micronutrients are easier to come by, but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t any valid plant-based options.
2. Social Media
One of the most profitable niches on Instagram is the health and fitness industry. What this means for healthy food brands is that they have easy access to an already developed following on a platform used daily by over 500 million people. That’s huge potential, right there.
Employing a content marketing strategy on social media platforms, along with some well-targeted advertising, would be the way to go. The advantage Instagram has over Facebook, Twitter, and even Snapchat (which is admittedly more popular in the US) is that it allows you to create both evergreen and ephemeral content through regular posts and stories. It also allows for direct interactions with potential customers, which is something smaller brands don’t often get.
3. Influencers and sponsorships
There are two reasons why you should be turning towards original content creators as part of your marketing strategy:
- The psychological closeness audiences feel towards social media influencers, solely due to the amount of exposure they get to their content
- The increasing media attention being paid to the insufficient amount of nutrition training for US doctor
What this means is that your potential buyers will be highly likely to make a purchase based on a recommendation by someone they follow on social media.
Of course, choosing a person to work with can be a difficult process, and it will definitely require an investment. You can make the process easier through creating affiliate programs and giveaways, which are both effective.
You might want to consider the benefits of sponsoring audio and video content creators such as podcasters and YouTubers, seeing that these have highly engaged followings. They can create more immersive, personal ads for your healthy food brand, which will be likely to resonate with their loyal audience.
4. Live events
In business, nothing beats face-to-face communication. That’s why you should be seeking out opportunities to meet up with your target audience and offer them the chance to try out your products for themselves.
Try to make your products available at local markets and events. You can visit fitness centers, health clubs, and even college campuses. Another good idea would be to participate in educational events and lectures that allow for access to potential buyers as well as local influencers.
5. Invest in your website
Finally, it’s crucial that you understand the importance of your online presence, and not just on social media. A simple, professional-looking website that clearly states your mission, tells the story behind your brand, and offers added value to buyers is one of the most effective ways to market your healthy food brand. It’s also not a bad idea to allow customers to buy products directly from you, as this is a good way of developing trust.
Other than the basics, try to create content that will go beyond advertising. Something as simple as a blog can do wonders for your page visits, especially when combined with tried and tested SEO practices.
If you’re willing to take things a step further, you can start your own podcast, record video content, or include a recipe page that will expose your brand to a greater number of people. Furthermore, don’t forget about the power of newsletters. They can be a vessel not only for sales but also for the extra content you create.
For your healthy food brand, the best way to go is to focus on two things. The first will, of course, be the quality and uniqueness of your product – something that either no one else offers, or that no one else does as well as you. The second important aspect of standing out will be to gain the trust of your potential buyers. Employing several marketing strategies, such as the ones mentioned above can help achieve this trust, and ultimately help you create a loyal base of customers.
Natasha is a web designer, a lady of a keyboard and huge tech geek. Her expertise could be summed up in IT, branding and business growth-related topics. Natasha is always happy to share her knowledge by writing some awesome content. To see what she is up to next, check out her Twitter dashboard.