One of the big frustrations we hear from marketers is that they know they need more content, but they don’t know how to start. And this isn’t just something we hear from fresh produce marketers; the 2017 State of Content Marketing survey reveals that content is a universal struggle. Why is this? The survey reveals that interestingly enough, internal issues are the ones that most commonly plague marketers. This includes not having enough staff or time, the lack of a budget, and internal politics. Sound familiar? We say all of this to let you know that you’re not alone, fresh produce marketers! But often times when we dig deeper into these issues, we find that it’s a perception of a lack of time, money or resources that holds the marketer back, when in reality they just need to think a little differently to be able to produce content with real results.
So how can you go about creating effective content for your brand if you struggle with some of these internal issues? We recommend using these steps as a starting point.
- Identify an audience – First and foremost, before you can create content that is truly effective, you have to know who you’re creating it for! You can pump out tweets, blog posts and videos all day but if you aren’t creating them with a defined audience in mind, they will always fail to be effective.
- Take inventory of what you already have – Sometimes marketers are already sitting on a gold mine of content and they don’t even know it! We worked with one B2B focused brand who had spent a great deal of time in years past conducting surveys and compiling the results in long drawn out documents, but they hadn’t considered that this information could be broken up into bite-sized pieces of digital content they could publish on their website. Boy, was that a game changer! Is it possible that you have valuable information that you can turn into effective digital content?
- Select the types of content you want to focus on – There are a lot of ways to share content in our digital age. Don’t try to be everywhere – that’s exactly how marketers gain a perception that they don’t have enough time! Identify the areas that will be most effective for your brand and chose to focus on producing great content for those. Here’s a hint: your audience will help you decide. For example, if you want to reach your retail buyers with more content, you would be smart to focus on emails, whitepapers and LinkedIn, whereas is you want to reach busy moms you might try Facebook live, Twitter and a recipe blog.
- Take a survey – One of the best ways to identify what content will be effective is to understand what your audience wants to receive. And when in doubt on what that is, ASK! If you already have a consumer or customer database built, consider creating a survey to dive into their pain points and preferences and develop a content plan around the results. (You could even offer a chance for survey takers to win a cool prize to sweeten the deal and add a little motivation for their time!) If you don’t have a contact database yet, Facebook offers a cool new feature called a “lead ad” where you can pose questions to your audience. These have been a really effective way for our clients to gain market intelligence for a fraction of the price of a $100k+ survey!
- Spread your content across multiple formats – One of the smartest ways time strapped marketers generate more content with less time is by taking a piece of content like a video and breaking it up into smaller pieces of content to share as a blog post or even as small as a tweet! You can also approach it from the other direction, and if you have a highly successful tweet or Facebook post, it might mean that creating a blog post, recipe, or video around that topic would also be effective.
- Get visual – No matter how you slice it and dice it, studies show that visual content overwhelmingly wins out. That’s not to say that blog posts like this aren’t effective, but they’re MORE effective when paired with a visual. Take a look at these 3 stats about visual content. With a whopping 65% of the population classified as visual learners, a picture (or video) really is worth 1,000 words. For fresh produce marketers, having high quality visual assets to showcase the beauty of your products alone AND in action through recipes is extremely important.
- Partner to share and save – An effective content approach for a busy marketer with a smaller budget is to reach out to a like-minded, non-competing company and ask about ways to team up to create content with which you can share the costs. We often encourage our fresh produce brands to partner with other complimentary produce items to produce beautiful recipe content that includes both of their products. That way they can share in the costs and results! For B2B focused brands, have you considered how other non-competing service providers in the industry could partner with you to create surveys or share each other’s blog content?
- Consider outsourcing the work – The reality is that for almost all of you, your time is finite and your brand is an asset that deserves expertise. Particularly if you’re wearing a sales hat AND a marketing hat, we highly recommend that you consider hiring a marketing agency to help you produce quality and strategic content. Many fresh produce marketers are hesitant to go down this path because they aren’t sure they can justify the spend – we’d love to have the opportunity to help you make that justification with measurable results. A good marketing agency will be able to start out by creating value with the budget that you DO have, and as a result they will be able to help you earn more.
At the end of the day, you should feel encouraged as a marketer by these steps and know that you CAN produce effective content for your brand with the right approach and mindset. If you’re still having trouble getting started, we can help consult you down a path to success.