Do you know what sort of recipe content your customers crave?
We're food trend fanatics. We track emerging food trends throughout the year and share our predictions for the year ahead. It not only enables us to update our recipe content database, but also to offer recipe curation advice to our customers. Understanding food trends is an important part of recipe curation, but understanding what sort of recipe content your customers crave is even more vital, even if this differs wildly from current or upcoming food trends.
How do you know what sort of recipe content your customers crave?
Create an A/B testing roadmap
Regular analysis of your website data will reveal patterns in the sort of recipe content your customers are interested in but it's important to dig a little deeper into how your customers interact with your recipes. This is where heat maps and session recordings become your most powerful tool. Employing heat maps and session recordings as a strategy enables you to find out what sort of recipes, recipe categories, recipe images and recipe features are popular with your customers. Perhaps more importantly, they can reveal what is not popular with your customers and help you come up with an A/B strategy to gauge the popularity of underperforming recipe content when this content is given more prominence on your website. The possibilities for A/B testing your recipe content are endless and could include:
Moving recipe categories to most prominent part of the menu
Changing the names of categories based on website search trends
Altering the information that displays on the recipe category page. i.e calories versus duration
Changing recipe images to test a new image style
Adding step by step video to encourage greater engagement
Reordering recipe content within a specific category
What you choose to A/B tests depends on the results of a detailed analysis of how your customers navigate your recipe content, but small changes can make a big difference, revealing UX issues that have been preventing your customers back from discovering the sort of recipe content they truly crave.
Start with evergreen recipe content
Evergreen recipe content should be your bread and butter. This is the recipe content that consumers return to repeatedly and overwhelmingly outperforms other recipe content. These recipes are generally quick, easy and tasty and not tied to any particular season - the sort of recipe that can be whipped up in 30 minutes or less after a busy day at work. In an ideal world, all your recipes would fall under this category, with consumers returning in droves to every recipe you share. While this is overly optimistic, identifying which recipes fall under this category is a great starting point for curating new recipe content with similar characteristics that grabs the attention of consumers from the beginning. Quick, tasty pasta recipes, for example, would fall under this category for many recipe websites. Customers might return over and over to their favourite pasta with marinara but could be convinced to try a similar type of recipe such as arrabiata, which in turn could become a new family favourite.
Leverage existing customers to attract new customers
What does your heat map data tell you about your existing customers? Are they overwhelmingly in favour of a particular recipe category, such as plant-based or Mediterranean? Investing in recipe content outside of your most popular recipe categories may seem like a smart way to attract different audiences, but replenishing your popular recipe categories will keep existing customers happy while attracting new customers from that same audience. By building on your existing audience, you will inevitably notice increased interest in other categories and the sort of recipe content you curate will organically evolve over time.
Food trends are an important part of any recipe marketing strategy, but if you want to expand your recipe database, it is better to focus on gaining a deeper understanding of what your customers wants and building out from there.