January 13, 2014

In the Food Industry, Fresh Content is Just as Important as a Fresh Product

Right now, innovation is one of the most important factors currently driving sales in the food industry, a recent report by New York market research firm NPD recently explained. In fact, consumers are looking for new ways to look at old products more than ever before.

The report highlights Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos and Wendy’s pretzel bun burger as two examples of restaurants that have experienced recent success by creating exciting new products. But here’s the catch: amongst the younger generation, even innovation is not enough to bring buyers into restaurants. The report goes on to explain that the X and Y generations are choosing to dine in instead of going out to eat. According to NPD Industry Analyst Bonnie Riggs, the Baby Boomers are literally “keeping the restaurant industry afloat.”

Innovation, in other words, is not enough. As a result, businesses are losing out due to the fact that the X and Y generations are not being properly marketed towards. Companies are creating innovative products, but they are having little affect on younger demographics.

With so much competition in the food industry, businesses need a way to stand out when putting food items on the market. As important as it is to create a cutting-edge new food product, it is equally as important to find a creative way of getting the message out to consumers. As we dive deeper into 2014, it appears that content marketing is the tool that will allow businesses in the food industry to capitalize on innovative new food ideas and make buyers more aware of them. Consumers want to read informative blog posts detailing the source of food. They want stories about the supply chain, such as the location of the farm that grew the tomatoes they are eating. The information must also be appealing and easy to share across websites and social media channels. 

For this reason, as a recent report from WebDAM shows, social media marketing budgets will double over the next five years. Additionally, nearly 50 percent of companies now have content marketing strategies in place. This means that content marketing has moved beyond being a competitive advantage and is now a necessity for businesses looking to boost brand awareness. Just look at Google for supporting evidence. If you want to show up near the top of a Google search engine result, you need a robust content marketing strategy set in place.

So, how do you actually go about creating a content marketing strategy that is as innovative as the new hamburger you are about to release, or as fresh as the produce that you grow on your farm? According to CMI founder Joe Pulizzi in a recent article, spend some time thinking about your mission statement so that you have a good idea of what to run with when it comes time to deploying content.  And know your target audience so that you can identify which social media channels you want to focus on. Then, try and find your niche in your industry. Focus on becoming a thought leader by zeroing in on something that nobody else is doing, and your product is certain to catch the eyes of hungry consumers.  

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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