How to Use Content Marketing to Attract Customers

You’re on a mission to make a difference in the world of food, and you need everyone to know about you. But how do you get your products in front of people without sounding sleazy, salesy or desperate?

You could spend money on advertising. You could cross your fingers and hope a celebrity mentions you in their Instagram stories. Or you can take matters into your own hands and put something out into the world to entice your ideal customers to your virtual shop window.

But what do you offer them before asking for their cash or email address? How do you talk to them, demonstrate what you stand for and build relationships with them?

The answer? Content.

Content is still king and filling your website, social media feeds and email campaigns with it is key.

Juicy titbits, mouth-watering recipes, inspiring stories and helpful videos. These are just some of the ingredients to make your brand stand out from the crowd. And they’re part of the recipe for content marketing success.

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What is Content Marketing?

Let’s start at the beginning.

There are many definitions on the web, and often they make it sound like you need a university degree to understand the concepts. But it’s really not that complicated.

In simple terms, content marketing is a way of attracting and engaging your customers with content that provides value relevant to their interests, questions or problems.

Content can come in many forms but it should always be designed to help, educate or inspire your customers. It starts a relationship with them built on trust and mutual benefits.

Content marketing is the opposite of pushy sales tactics. Content marketing is all about giving first and building trust. It’s all about being helpful and informative. It can lead people through the buyer’s journey all the way to making the sale.

Content marketing is any form of content used to attract or engage your customers across any of your brand channels. It could be an article on your website, a video on YouTube, recipes shared on social media, or some cooking tips sent in a weekly email.

“Attracting and engaging your customers with content that provides value relevant to their interests, questions or problems“

Content Marketing Should Appeal to and Solve Customer Problems

Your customers want a brand that understands them, and their needs. The modern consumer wants to buy from brands that align with their values. They’re looking for brands that are concerned with making better food and protecting the planet.

It’s your job to show your customer that you understand and think like them. And content is the most effective way to do that.

What issues do they have? What questions are on their minds? What’s stopping them from living their best life?

Content marketing isn’t just about sharing your content or promoting your products. It’s about understanding and serving your customer, and solving their problems. You want to be ready with answers to the questions they already have in their minds. You need to be there when they’re struggling to find a solution to a dilemma. You need to understand what they’re struggling with and how they’re searching for answers.

You could become their saviour or the food hero they’ve been looking for!

Why Your Food Brand Should Be Using Content Marketing

Content marketing is great for increasing brand awareness. It can boost engagement and develop a deeper connection between your brand and your customers.

Content Marketing Improves Brand Awareness

It’s important to realise that content marketing is a long-game strategy. But, an intentional mix of different content types will give you more opportunities to communicate your message and be discovered. The more content touchpoints you have, the more chances customers have to get to know your brand.

People buy from brands they know, like and trust. Content marketing delivers on all three of those key ingredients.

Content Communicates Your Brand Values

How many times have you watched or read something that’s really resonated with you and led to you following or buying from that brand or business?

That’s content marketing at play.

You certainly don’t feel sold to or pushed into buying. You’ve made a decision to engage because you trust what they’re saying. That content spoke to your beliefs. That article voiced an opinion that matches yours, or at the very least sparked an interest in you.

Consistent Content Builds a Tribe

Using content marketing to communicate your values helps more people get to know you. Over time this will steadily build your audience, fans and customer base – your tribe.

The alternative is spending a fortune on advertising. But when the advertising stops, so does your traffic and sales.

You could cross your fingers and hope that a one-off campaign goes viral overnight. While the prospect of viral growth is alluring, the steady approach of posting consistent, valuable content will serve you (and your audience) for the long term.

Quality Content Leads to a Better Website and More Free Traffic from Search Engines

Filling your website with content gives your visitors something to consume and engage with. Without it, there’s not much to tempt visitors back again.

Content written to target specific keywords, phrases, topics and questions your customers are searching for will improve your search engine rankings. This can provide a huge boost to your traffic.

Good content written with search engine optimisation (SEO) in mind leads to more organic visits to your website. That’s traffic that you get for free once the content is written, optimised and published. And that traffic keeps on flowing for as long as your content remains on your site. The return on investment is huge.

Without quality content it’s almost impossible to rank in search results. Paying for traffic becomes the only remaining option. And that gets expensive, fast.

Content Forms the Basis of Great Social Media Posts

Your content can also form the basis for your social media posts. The more content you have, the more you have to talk about on social media.

Posting consistent content on social media is a key tactic for increasing your reach.

Without content to share, posting to social media becomes very challenging and one-dimensional. You end up sounding like a stuck record, only ever talking about your product and where people can buy it. That’s no fun for anyone to listen to.

Content Produces Valuable Data and Insights

Your website and social media analytics are a rich source of data. Track your top content, measure your social media metrics and run reports on your email open rates. You’ll learn a ton about your audience and what resonates most with them. This can spark ideas for future content topics or even NPD (New Product Development).

Website analytics allow you to dig deep into how your customers move around your site, what they engage with and where they get stuck. You can then create more content to help bridge the gaps and keep them coming back again and again.

You may find your readers love finding out about the provenance of your ingredients but don’t rave about your recipes. If so, drop the kitchen creativity and stick with the ingredient stories. But, if your recipes are a hit, then focus your attention on creating more.

Content marketing doesn’t just allow your customers to understand you and your values. It helps you understand your customers too!

Putting Together a Solid Content Marketing Strategy

To take full advantage of everything content marketing has to offer, you must have a plan.

If you produce content without a plan – or without knowing your target audience – you’ll be wasting your time.

You need to know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and who it’s for. You also need to identify if it’s working and getting you closer to your impact and revenue goals.

Planning is everything.

A content marketing plan should address the following questions:

  1. What is the overall objective of your content marketing; what are you trying to achieve?
  2. How are you going to know when you’ve achieved your goal? What metrics can you measure, and what target do you want to achieve?
  3. Who is the ideal customer or audience you’re trying to reach?
  4. What existing content do you have to work with? What level of traffic or engagement is it generating? This will be useful for comparison in the future.
  5. What marketing channels will you use?
  6. What types and format of content will you produce?
  7. What resources and budget do you have available for producing and promoting the content?
  8. What will your publishing frequency look like? (A content calendar can help you plan this most effectively.)
  9. Who will be producing the content?
  10. What is your content production process? What tools or systems will you need?
  11. How will you measure the results and assess the effectiveness of your efforts?

With some of the strategic elements considered, it’s time to get creative.

How can you delight your audience? What stories can you tell? How can you grab their attention and keep them engaged? How can you keep them coming back week after week?

Whatever fits with your business, and whatever your content marketing strategy, remember:

  • Content marketing is a long-term approach that serves both you and your audience
  • It’s not a hard sell, it’s all about giving first
  • Your content must be high quality and genuinely useful or interesting to your customers
  • Content is the best way to communicate your values and tell your brand story
  • Content can be repurposed for other channels such as social media or email
  • Content isn’t just about blogging, it can be audio, video and printed too
  • You can use content to learn more about your customers
  • Content can increase brand awareness, drive traffic and improve SEO
  • Think like your customers and create content to serve them
  • Talk to, and show you understand your customer’s needs

Are you on board the content marketing bandwagon? Great! We have lots of other resources available to help you on your journey to content success.

Keep reading below for more articles and podcast episodes about content marketing. Or take one of our masterclasses to make the most of your content marketing efforts.

FREE VIDEO SERIES

5 Types of Content Every Food Brand Needs

Increase brand awareness and engage more customers with the right content.

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£39 MINI COURSE

Create a Content Calendar with Trello

Get organised and attract more customers with consistent, quality content.

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Hire the Sapling Team

If you need help to develop your own content marketing strategy, schedule a strategy call and we’ll help you identify opportunities for growth and creativity.

Learn more about our content marketing services.

Getting to Know Your Customer

The first step in creating a brilliant content marketing plan is getting to know your customer inside and out.

Here’s a list of articles, podcasts and other resources that will help you get to the very core of who your customers are so you can speak their language.

 

Podcast Episodes About Getting to Know Your Customer

 

Spreading Your Message Far and Wide with Great Content

Have you fully understood who your target customer is and what they want? Now it’s time to let them know who you are and what you have to offer.

Great content is the perfect way to tell your story, share your values, and attract and engage more customers.

Here are some resources that will help you do just that:

FREE VIDEO SERIES

Discover the 5 Types of Content Every Food Brand Needs

Content can come in many forms but it’s important to align your strategy, content and wider business goals. Discover the five types of content you need and how to use them to increase brand awareness, build your tribe and grow your business.

Sign up and watch now