By RDBA Executive Director, Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
One of the most frequent questions I get from retail dietitians is how to more successfully market their programs and services. The reality is that consumers have shut off the traditional world of marketing. They tape television programs or stream their favorite shows to avoid commercials, and have become adept at surfing the web so as to ignore the banners and buttons that take them to ads. Information flow is excessive, creating a crowded and noisy environment to capture your shoppers’ attention.
So what’s the secret sauce for cutting through the clutter and getting shoppers to pay attention? Content marketing.
Content marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content. The intention is to change or enhance shoppers’ behaviors, and ultimately, to drive profitable shopper action. Instead of pitching your programs and services (or for that matter, products in your store), you are delivering information that makes your shopper smarter. The core of a content marketing strategy is belief that if you as a business deliver relevant content on a consistent basis, the shopper will reward you with their business and loyalty.
The key to content marketing is making the information relevant and valuable. Companies send consumers information all the time, and most of it is treated as spam by consumers. Good content marketing makes a person pause, read, think and behave differently. The challenge is to think about how to engage your audience and what story is relevant to them.
Some tips for developing a content marketing strategy for your RD programs and services include:
Understand your goal. A key here is to understand where you’re currently at in the evolution of your programs. Is the goal to build awareness of your programs and services or convert your audience to paying customers? Are you trying to build your email list? Increase shopper purchases of better-for-you products? Continually ask yourself “How will this project support our business goals?” In the nutrition space, there is a constant stream of content that you can use and repurpose, but it’s essential in your content marketing strategy to build and prioritize content that directly aligns with your current goals.
Know your target audience. Retail RDs generally are reaching multiple audiences, but for content marketing to be successful you must understand your audience for each program and service, the type of content that will be relevant to them, and the best ways to reach them. Your audience should never be everyone. Even if you can find a use case for everyone. Be as specific as possible, and then get to know this person as well as you can.
Tell your brand story. As part of your content marketing strategy, it is essential to determine your pillars of content. This is the framework of the story you want to tell about your programs and services.
Create a channel plan. Decide the most beneficial channels to “place” your content to reach your intended audiences. Part of this plan may tie into an overall strategy your retailer has for content marketing, but you may also have more personal and targeted approaches for reaching your target audiences.
Oftentimes, less is more, and this is definitely true for retail dietitians. You have amazing amounts of relevant and valuable content, but follow these tips to capture the skill of effective content marketing.