If you want your food business to succeed online, you NEED a blog. But how do you make sure you’re not writing to no-one?
One of the ways is to give your blog a purpose, target your market, then go all out in the promotion of your content.
This post shows you exactly how some bigger brands are doing it. We look at their blog purpose, who they target, and even how to do it yourself without breaking budgets.
The best part is that it wouldn’t cost a lot to recreate the ideas yourself as an SME Food Business.
Just a strong focus and a commitment to delivering quality work. Every week or every few days.
As a food business, your blog is more than just a few words on the page about you. It’s a way to keep your customers coming back to you – directly. And that’s where the profits are, right?
Even the biggest food brands on the planet use their blog to build a relationship with its existing fans, and even create new customers.
Below I’ve highlighted four companies whose blogs are a great example for every food and drink brand to follow.
Recommended reading: Food Digital Marketing: What’s the Benefit? Why Bother?
1. Pukka’s Food Blog: Get the CEO talking
Your blog is an opportunity for you to build credibility for your brand and give it a human face, and who better to do this than your CEO?
If you’re now thinking: “Ummm, our marketing team, the head of branding, our creative director.” pause for a moment and I’ll show how UK tea brand Pukka makes it work.
The Purpose of Pukka’s Food Business Blog
Pukka uses its blog to show itself as a brand that believes in its principles, making them seem more genuine and authentic.
Pukka’s blog is full of posts from co-founders, Tim Westwell and Sebastian Pole. Covering topics like tackling climate change, and sustainable diets.
What Pukka talk about on their Business blog
Pukka keeps it lean, when categorising their content. Here’s a few examples:
Stories: Their stories section is full of guides. Showing how different remedies can cure stress.
Competitions: They have a specified section for posting competitions. Competitions can be great for increasing customer engagement, especially through social media.
Recipes: Used to offer practical tips to readers and potential customers. I’m pretty sure their recipes will be showing in the search engines. Thus generating even more attention from consumers via Google (and Bing of course – hmm).
Who does Pukka target in it’s business blog?
There’s an obvious link between who Pukka sells its products to and the people they target with content.
The health-conscious tea drinkers who want to get the most form the health benefits that Pukka has to offer.
They even associate health conscious people with having a view on climate change, which in turn, creates maximum engagement from a very targeted audience.
Their recipes are aimed at enthusiastic tea lovers who want to be more adventurous with their taste buds.
I’m sure, Pukka have once created detailed personas about who they should target and who reads or follows their blog. So, you should too.
Here’s the effect it can have on your business.
What effect does blogging have on Pukka’s business?
A crucial result of posting blogs like this is that it makes Pukka warm, approachable, and real – all qualities you want your customers to feel about your food/drink brand. Espeically in an age when your company is one of (potentially) millions in a crowded market.
They’re increasing brand awareness with raving fans across social media –
Twitter: 26,600 followers
Facebook: 72,235 Likes
How to do the Pukka approach yourself as an SME Food Business
To follow this, get your CEO to write a regular post that touches on your core principles
If you’re the CEO or owner of your own food business, then you are probably (or should be) in the strongest position to know what your customers need.
That means, you can show passion and enthusiasm in every word you write. So, do just that, find something you’re passionate about and that your customers will enjoy reading. Then get your head down for a couple of hours per week.
If you’re a Marketing manager, simply have a chat with your director and give him or her the idea. The worst answer can only be a big fat “No”!
2. Ben & Jerry’s Blog Strategy: Emphasise your brand values
Your blog is the perfect place to talk about your values. Global ice cream giant Ben & Jerry’s are experts at it.
In this section, we show you how Ben & Jerry’s do a fantastic job of engaging their consumers, while really promoting their core values.
The Purpose of Ben & Jerry’s Food Business Blog
Ben & Jerry’s blog ‘space’ is called “What’s New”.
But it seems, their ultimate goal is to showcase their core values right across their web platform.
Talking about your brand values is what your About Us page is for, right? Well, yes, but you need to talk to your customers some more and keep doing it.
Ben & Jerry’s makes it very clear what the company’s brand values are. They post the “issues we care about” at the bottom of their blog – so it shows on EVERY page – here’s what it says:
“Ben & Jerry’s operates on a three-part mission that aims to create linked prosperity from everyone that’s connected to our business. From marriage equality to cow-friendly farming, there are many issues we hold close to our hearts.”
Splashed between these core value topics is content on ice cream, marrying Ben & Jerry’s product/industry, directly to its beliefs.
Ben & Jerry’s uses its blog to align themselves with various social causes, from racial justice to climate advocacy. This strengthens its brand, building consumer trust and loyalty by positioning themselves as a virtuous brand that does the right thing — a valuable thing in a competitive market.
The Ben & Jerry’s message is simple:
“if you share our values, you’ll love our ice cream.”
Clearly, the ultimate purpose of their blog is to sell their brand values in order to sell more products.
What Ben & Jerry talk about on their Business blog
B&J have simple categorisation:
They reinforce their positive branding by writing about inclusivity, climate change, asylum seekers, unity, the refugee crisis, creativity, and more. It is progressive and modern, tapping into popular cultural thinking on hot topic issues, such as:
- LGBT rights
- Racial equality
- Climate change
Who does Ben and Jerry’s target in their blog?
Ben & Jerry’s blog is targeted at its socially conscious customers, typically Gen Y or Gen Z consumers who want positive brand values over other factors such as price or quality. But while the content as a whole targets generational consumers such as millennials, it also addresses more narrow segments too.
For example, the blog focuses on LGBT equality, reporting on legal cases and significant wins for the cause. As a consequence, Ben & Jerry’s appeals to the LGBT community in its blog too, strengthening engagement as a result.
Similarly, its climate change content connects with eco-conscious consumers who want to lessen their impact on the planet. Indeed, this segment is growing as climate change becomes an ever-more pressing concern, so Ben & Jerry’s is already ahead of the game when it comes to targeting this growing segment.
What effect does blogging have on their business?
Such forward-thinking content positions Ben & Jerry’s as a progressive, open, and loving brand. It welcomes all consumers with shared values, as long as they value equality and justice above all else.
One need only to look at B&J’s social media presence to see the value of this:
Social success with socially-conscious shoppers:
- Twitter: 326K followers
- Facebook: 8.829K Likes
- Instagram: 853K followers
Such a significant following (bolstered by a savvy social content calendar, with posts reaching hundreds and thousands of likes and comments) shows the reach and engagement possible with a content strategy like Ben & Jerry’s.
How to do it yourself as an SME Food Business
Following the lead of Ben & Jerry’s. Having a great blog is the perfect way to make your brand the food or drink representative of your customer’s views, beliefs, and identity – just write about your values and write about your niche too, it’s that easy.
Why? Because you need to create an image your customers can identify with, so they see your brand as a representation of themselves – this is key to creating a relationship.
It’s about aligning your views and beliefs with those of your target consumer. You should share the same opinions as your target market in order to strengthen your relationship with them.
Be cautious though, as polarising these issues might lose you significant numbers of customers.
3. Red Bull’s Blog Strategy: Talk about the successes of your employees
There’s often furious debate about the most important stakeholders in your business – is it the founder, shareholders, or your customers?
High on any list of business importance are your employees, because without them your business wouldn’t function.
And your products couldn’t be delivered to your customers – no products means no customers and no customers means very unhappy shareholders.
Now I’m going to show you how Red Bull uses it’s blog to clearly show their customers what they think.
The Purpose of Red Bull’s Food Business Blog
Red Bull’s blog focuses on high-octane sports, touching on everything from motorbikes to racing cars. Amongst these posts are employee profiles, employees with a passion for sports themselves.
It’s diverse, but a theme runs through it: a passion for high-octane sports and Red Bull advocates.
What Red Bull talk about on their Business blog
Red Bull loves its employees, so much so, that almost all the content on its blog is an employee profile piece. Red Bull writes about what you can learn from its employee advocates, what they’ve been up to, and how they’re working.
The beauty of using its blog in this way is that Red Bull is turning its employees into micro-influencers.
Because it gives them a reason to share the company’s blog posts among their followers.
Who does Red Bull target in it’s business blog?
With Red Bull’s focus on sporting micro-influencers, it targets those customers with a passion for high-adrenaline sports.
Motocross, mountain biking, F1, and so on — all these appeal to Red Bull’s adrenaline junkie customers.
At the same time, its content also addresses its product too — high energy drinks for high energy sports and high energy customers.
Out of the 4 we cover in this article, Red Bull target the highest variation of readers. But then, their drink is enjoyed by billions across the world too.
You could go one step further and say it’s all about gathering up the ‘Petrol Heads’.
What effect does blogging have on Red Bull Drinks business?
Red Bull’s blogging strategy strengthens its consumer relationships by covering all the sports that their customers care about. It positions itself as a source of news for the niche, providing valuable content that Red Bull customers want to see.
Similarly, Red Bull’s employee advocates profiles show some love to its consumer base, highlighting the value the brand places on its fans. This makes them feel part of something bigger, a big win when it comes to driving engagement.
The beauty of Red Bull using its blog in this way is that they are turning their employees into micro-influencers.
Why? Because it gives them a reason to share the company’s blog posts among their followers.
The result is that Red Bull creates the interaction that social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram reward, by increasing the likelihood of comments and shares.
How to do it yourself as an SME Food Business
Write about your own employees in similar ways and they’ll share your content and drive up social interactions. Identify employees, customers or potential affiliates with a significant social presence. Highlight their strengths, position them as micro-influencers and brand advocates. That will really help build your customer community.
You may have spotted a caveat – the employees which Red Bull writes about are all sports stars, meaning they have larger audiences than many company’s workers.
But that doesn’t change Red Bull’s approach being a great one, neither does it mean you can’t use it.
Write about your own employees in similar ways and they’ll share your content and drive up social interactions – just don’t be unhappy if your blog posts don’t get the same results as those created by Red Bull – It takes time (5+ years) and consistency.
4. Nestle’s Blog Strategy: Get your customers to tell your story
Chocolate – for some people it’s the grease that makes the wheels of life turn – snacking on it helps you get through the day, while the promise of it can be a reward that inspires you to live right.
Us, we just like it.
You’d think then that with chocolate being such an attractive product you wouldn’t have to blog about how great it is – think again.
The Purpose of Nestle’s Food Business Blog
Swiss giant Nestlé (the largest food brand on Earth) uses its blog as a forum for its customers to talk about the good work it’s doing.
Like Ben & Jerry’s, its blog is a forum for shouting its own praises and aligning itself with social causes that matter to its customers. At the same time, it signals to its customers that even though it’s a big brand, it’s a got a big heart as well.
What Nestle talk about on their Business blog
With stories “written by real people inspired by the Nestlé Cocoa Plan,” Nestlé taps into the content golden ticket of user-generated-content (UGC).
UGC is such a valuable weapon in blogging because it creates influencers of its subjects, and (this is crucial) – it is valued by people as highly as the opinions of their friends and family – it’s engaging on an epic scale.
This isn’t content written by some marketing intern in an office downtown — these are words written by farmers, aid workers, and so on who have all been inspired by Nestle’s commitment to improving the lives of cocoa farmers and the quality of the products they produce.
Who does Nestle target in its business blog?
Nestle’s blog isn’t targeted at the general, everyday consumer. Such a focus on its cocoa plan ethos seems targeted at socially-conscious consumers who want to shop with a brand that is aware of its potential impact on the planet.
What effect does blogging have on their business?
Nestle has come under criticism in recent years for a variety of reasons. This blog serves as reputation management, an overt declaration of its brand values that shows the positive work it does do.
By letting real people create content for its blog, it provides credibility to its brand value positioning, whilst still retaining a modicum of control over the process. It’s savvy reputation management that simultaneously works as social proof for the brand.
How to do it yourself as an SME Food Business
It’s very simple to add UGC to your blog and you have a few options for how you can do it. For example, you could use an image from a customer’s Instagram and credit them.
Another way would be to take a leaf out of the business community’s book, by interviewing your customers and getting them to explain the value of your brand. You could also ask your audience to submit guest posts. Whatever method you choose, follow the example of Nestlé and add UGC to your blog.
A company blog is a valuable asset that even the biggest brands in the food and drink industry use to build a connection with their customers. Pukka, Ben & Jerry’s, Red Bull, and Nestlé show you how food and drink brands should blog, so start following their examples today.
This article was a collaborative piece created by Online Growth Guru and Patricck from ecommercetips.org