Reliability, Variety and Exclusivity - The Three Pillars of Shoppable Recipe Content That Converts
This is an update of a blog that was originally posted in 2018.
Millennials love food. Such is their obsession that they've even been accused of prioritising avocados over housing. While they eat out more often than previous generations, cooking also plays an important role in their lives. Not content with the sometimes repetitive nature of home cooking, 62% of millennials and 71% of millennial parents make an effort to cook new dishes. Not just that, but 51% of Americans would prepare dinner at home more often if they had new ideas.
Variety matters, but not at the expense of reliability
If you're searching for an example of a company that understands the importance of variety, it's hard to look past Fexy Media. Whether you're a fan of wholesome, reliable home cooking or you're a discerning foodie with an interest in high-end cooking techniques, Fexy offers a website to suit. It is a strategy that has paid dividends - Fexy ranks first in Digital Food amongst millennials - but it's not a strategy that can be easily replicated. Grocery retailers, for example, use recipes to drive traffic to their websites and increase basket value. Segregating this content into a number of micro-sites isn't a viable option, but a data-driven personalisation strategy is. We've written extensively about personalisation in the past, but for recipe websites, the goal is to put the right recipe in front of the right person at the right time. Of course, all of this means nothing unless the recipe offering is consistently reliable. Talking about food has become a part of daily life for many, and people are happy to talk about the bad as well as the good. This can make or break your reputation as a recipe website and testing out your recipe content (or sourcing reliable content) is not an optional extra.
The power of exclusivity
The importance of offering a variety of reliable recipes that appeal to your customers' tastes is matched only by the importance of exclusivity. There are a number of benefits to exclusivity for recipe websites:
1. People want what they cannot get elsewhere
There is a lot of repetition in recipes. Few recipe websites don't offer at least one chocolate chip cookie recipe, for example. That's not to say that there isn't room for more cookie recipes in the world. There is, but what makes yours stand out from the thousands of other chocolate chip cookie recipes that are available online and in cookbooks? Alison Roman's Salted Butter Chocolate Chunk Shortbread and Sarah Kieffer's Pan Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies went viral because they offered something a little different from the traditional chocolate chip cookie. Drop is a fantastic example of a company that has embraced the power of exclusivity. Not only have they created their own in-house content, but many of their recipes are exclusives from Octopus Publishing via Recipe Guru. These tried-and-tested recipes were previously only available in print cookbooks, so Drop users benefit from exclusive content that is not otherwise available online.
2. Exclusivity gives home cooks a reason to come back for more
This is particularly true if a recipe website has built a reputation for adding fresh, trustworthy, exclusive content on a regular basis. Recipes aren't exactly in short supply online, but so much choice can be overwhelming. For many, it's often easier to stick with one website. How do grocery retailers leverage their recipe content to become the first-choice destination for home cooks? Make regularly adding exclusive content a priority. For some of our customers, this means sourcing fresh recipe content each time a new campaign is planned. Others prefer to source a more general selection of recipes that can be added to their website to complement their content and social media calendars. Both strategies illustrate to consumers that grocery retailers (or indeed food brands, smart kitchen apps, etc) care about providing fresh, valuable information and help build a reputation as a source of the new recipe inspiration people crave.
3. Google loves exclusivity
Ranking high in search results can be tough where recipes are concerned. A Google search for 'UK chocolate chip cookie recipes' ranks recipes from food brands such as Carnation and retailers such as Asda on page two, while page one is dominated by popular recipes sites and celebrity chefs such as Allrecipes and Nigella Lawson. As illustrated by the below screenshots. not much has changed on page one between 2018 and 2020. This doesn't mean that search results are set in stone. Since retailers and even food brands are embracing shoppable recipe content as an important part of their sales strategy, adding fresh, exclusive SEO-boosting content that drives increased website traffic will let Google know that they're dealing with an important player in the recipes space that should be ranked accordingly. You might not reinvent the chocolate chip cookie enough to infiltrate page one, but once you hit on that exclusive recipe that resonates with your customers, your ranking will improve.
Recipes remain a competitive space. Everyone from Walmart to Avocados From Mexico is leveraging the power of recipes to increase sales and engagement. In an already packed space, those who want to succeed will need to keep three things in mind:
Reliability Variety Exclusivity
If you're in need of tried and tested, engaging and exclusive recipe content to capture the imagination of consumers and help increase basket value, we'd love to chat. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements.