The answer lies in clever content marketing. They use different channels and methods of creating content and this in turn is reflected in the perception of their brand.
A recent article in the Huffington Post spoke about the decidedly obvious shift among consumers in the US from traditional supermarkets to places that offer organic and healthier food options. At the forefront of this shift is the ‘Whole Foods Market’, a store that in the last few years has revolutionized the way Americans eat. But how they went on to build that identity in the minds of their audience has to do with their products as well as the way they used the power of good content. But how have they really used Content Marketing to get to their target audience? Read on to find out.
With new articles posted almost every day, the Whole Foods Market blog is as active as it gets. But what really stands out is the fact that all articles posted are both current and relevant to the products that they offer. When it comes to content, a whole lot can qualify as information that can be made out to seem like it’s ‘worthwhile’. But the real difference between generic content and content that is fit to be called ‘Content Marketing’ is how well it ties back to the brand that’s being promoted. It isn’t rare to find brands putting up random articles that are far from their core offering just in the name of ‘filling up a blog’. However, the Whole Foods Market blog is well stocked with articles that are interesting and content that their audience can relate to.
Another interesting bit is the fact that they also have blog pages that see content that is contributed by their CEOs. Especially in the case of such a business that holds a philosophy at its heart more than anything else, such an interest shown by the CEOs indicates that their mission and philosophy isn’t a marketing gimmick. These guys really believe in what they say. Though the pages are not as regularly updated as the company blog page, the very fact that it sees contributions from the guys who started it off, is encouraging enough.
When you’re catering to a niche audience, your content should be just as niche. The theme that rings through consistently in the Whole Foods Market content is healthy eating. This results in content that is relevant, reflective of the brand and subsequently increases the chances that the people interested in it would take notice. Right from recipes and events to providing honest information on how to eat organic and know more about GMOs- they are committed to further the cause of healthy eating and promoting a fitter and more aware community.
With some heavy duty mission statements that speak of their commitment towards helping people make healthier choices and emphasizing the importance of an organic way of life, Whole Foods Market makes sure that their message is always constant and rings through all their forms of content. Their web and social media content is replete with reasons for why they believe in what they believe in. This is well supported by stories and reasons why they think it should matter to the world as well. The fact that eating and living organic is all about supporting the local home grown produce is evident in the many programs and events that they openly support. It emphasizes that this is a company that is really doing what they set out to do in the first place. It uses content to establish something that is most important in modern businesses- credibility.
At the heart of any brand that does good content marketing lies a well balanced and thought out social media strategy. Social media has made it so much easier for brands to build a connect with their audience- but the trick lies in the fact that it gives everyone the same even playing field. You have just as much access to your audience as your competitor so whether you reach them first or they do, that’s pretty much where the game lies.
With presence on all major social networking and photo sharing sites, Whole foods Market ensures that it maintains a constant connect with their audience. This is reflected in the constant conversations they have with their audience. It might not mean that they are met with success every single time but it does mean that whenever that audience makes the effort to look in their direction- they have enough and more to keep them engaged. Right from regular updates on events and contests to seasonally relevant information, short posts to elaborate stories- there is space for it all and together, it acts as an integral element of building that connect with the audience.
It all boils down to this at the end. When it comes to our fast paced digitally dependent lives, the thin line that differentiates a good brand from a great one is how well they are able to connect with their audience. This is where Whole Foods Market wins with their content. While the nature of their business could be a contributory factor here, giving all the credit to just that one fact would definitely be a bit cynical. Through their commitment to healthy living and their consistent commentary on the same, they have used content to form a personal connect with their audience. It’s almost as if they have created a group of champions for their cause who not only become their audience but also become their propagators in a way.
At the end of the day, that’s what good content marketing is all about- to use content to build an idea and establish a consistent message or identity in the minds of the audience. Reiterating that thought and philosophy over and over again makes it believable and takes it beyond the level of just content- it starts conversations that matter.