You've no doubt heard the phrase 'content is king', but not all content is created equal. Creating engaging content that converts isn't as simple as putting a few words together, adding an image and posting about it on social media. For food brands and retailers who want to engage their customers on an ongoing basis, the content options can seem endless. These 5 tips for creating engaging content that converts are vital if you want to optimise your content and improve sales.
1. Know Your Audience
It seems obvious, but content is only engaging if you write it with your audience in mind. Is it relevant to them? Do you know what your customers are interested in? This is why in-depth data analysis is so vital in content marketing. If a brand can tell that the majority of its customers are female, 22-29 and have previously engaged well with avocado recipes, it can use this information to create or curate content based on current food trends that may also appeal. Relevant, personalised content makes people feel valued and more likely to remain loyal to a brand.
2. Be Informative And Inspirational
People turn to the internet for information. Mobile searches for 'best' have grown by 80% in the last 2 years, and 93% of millennials go to YouTube to learn how to do something. Standing out on a medium that's designed to provide information may seem like an impossible feat, but grocery retailers and food brands can position themselves as an authority in all things cooking and food with informative, inspirational digital content. When you consider that keeping a customer engaged for an extra 35 seconds increases your conversion rate by 10%, it becomes even more vital that your content is useful. Don't share content for content's sake. Think about the purpose. Is it informative and of value to your customers? Does it inspire them?
3. Make It Interactive
For food brands and grocery retailers, interactive content can be as simple as sharing an easy recipe that inspires their customers to recreate it at home. User-generated content (UGC) is incredibly influential when it comes to converting a potential customer into a sale. In fact, 90% of shoppers surveyed said UGC on the Internet influences their decision to make a purchase. While Borden Cheese curated UGC via a contest that encouraged consumers to post a photo of their own recipe creations, for many people the possibility of a regram by the brand on the always visual Instagram is encouragement enough. Think about whether your customers will not only engage with your content, but go to the effort of trying it out. Twitter polls are also a fantastic example of interactive content that makes consumers feel like they have a voice while allowing brands to collect valuable data. Using UGC as part of your marketing strategy isn't an overnight fix, but interactive content can help give it a kickstart.
4. Offer Something Unique
Easy, right? Not quite. Marketers strive to find the sweet spot between unique and engaging, but not everyone succeeds. Unique, exclusive content that isn't available elsewhere online converts. When it comes to food content, new and innovative food hacks can drive traffic to a brand or retailer website, while exclusive and trustworthy recipe content that isn't available elsewhere encourages already engaged users to make a purchase. With AllRecipes partnering with Amazon Fresh and Fexy Media completing a deal with Amazon Prime to add 'Buy Now' buttons to recipe content, the connection between recipes and grocery sales has already been established. Adding unique content into the mix will help drive traffic and lead to increased online sales.
5. Make It Highly Visual
Whether online or not, food is visual first. Tweets with images get 18% more click-throughs than those without, and beautiful food images attract the eye of a customer who is scrolling through their Twitter feed. Highly visual content isn't limited to static images, however. Brands who want to engage and convert more customers are turning to richer forms of content, and video is right up there. 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook every day and Buzzfeed Tasty are experts in this area. Their short, highly-shareable timelapse videos were viewed a staggering 1.1 billion times in June. For food brands and grocery retailers, a combination of short, snappy engaging videos, a link to the accompanying recipe and a handy 'buy ingredients now' button may hold the key to future success.
Above all, food brands and retailers should strive to create a personal, memorable experience with their content. In a competitive market, it is vital that brands offer high quality, trustworthy and helpful content that continuously engages the consumer and fosters loyalty.