Learning How to Eat Healthy Can Start Online
While walking over to one of my favorite places for lunch, I started thinking about the glycemic index chart (we may have entered Nerdville) — “Which has a higher glycemic index: brown rice or black beans?” Through some personal reading and a few podcasts, I was introduced to the correlation between foods with a high glycemic index and weight gain. I want to lose the 10 pounds I “accumulated” over the holidays. During some recent customer interviews I conducted for a grocery store, I heard a common theme: “I had to change my diet because [insert condition/diagnosis/health goal here].” For these customers, and myself, there was a trigger or new desire that was driving behavior. To change behavior and encourage a new direction requires education. Researchers within the psychology field consistently point to learning (education) as a key element of motivation. For brands, capturing the attention of consumers looking to make a change should be of the highest priority.
Brands Who Teach Will Win
Food and beverage is one of the most competitive and heavily invested verticals within marketing and advertising. During last year’s Super Bowl, 32 percent of the brands that ran commercials were in the food and beverage category. It’s a competitive landscape! For healthy brands, competing with the big names in fast food and soft drinks will require a different strategy to gain consumer attention — education. One angle is to position your product alongside articles, videos and medical research on exercise, stress relief and healthy eating. The 2015 Food & Health Survey, conducted by The International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation, states that more than 3 in 4 Americans “would rather hear what they should eat than what they should not eat.” Content that inspires your consumers and motivates them to reach their goals will prove much more effective in building brand loyalty.
Millennials Want to Eat Healthy, Too
If knowledge is power, and millennials grew up using the internet, then healthy food brands need to be reading the digital tea leaves. Dr. Frank Lipman, the founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in Manhattan, says that “To eat healthy, you have to pay a lot of attention.” Lipman contends that people are, in fact, paying attention — and no one more closely than millennials. “They are 10 times more aware than my generation,” and are “much more interested in staying healthy and eating healthy.” According to Google’s 2016 Food Trends, “best foods for” searches have grown 10 times since 2005. Search behavior reflects very specific goals or activities with search terms like “skin,” “energy,” “acid reflux,” “your brain” and “gym workout.” Millennials want to discover the added benefit before testing out a new diet or product. An effective digital strategy should include developing topics that aligns their intent to eat healthier with the associated benefits.
Using the Micro-Moments Purchase Funnel
Google has created a simple purchase funnel linked to its idea of micro-moments — intent-driven moments of decision-making and preference-shaping that occur throughout the entire consumer journey. An easy way to break down these micro-moments is as follows:
I want to know
I want to go
I want to do
I want to buy
For companies in the health food and beverage vertical, the “I want to know” micro-moment is a great opportunity to create content to introduce your brand and product. Knowing most people are looking for someone to tell them what to eat, brands should explore the specific goals of their customers through online quizzes, surveys and customer interviews. Consumers are also searching for information on how to incorporate a new product or food into their diet, or into a recipe. Showing is one of the most powerful elements of marketing. Demonstration content is united to the “I want to do” micro-moment. With most people stretched for time, building trust and sales could be accomplished through a short how-to video integrating your brand or product.
And … don’t forget mobile. Just like my story at the beginning, these questions or triggers will take place on the go. In fact, Google’s Food Trends 2016 report makes reference to a recent study of people who searched for food and beverage terms, 35 percent of whom did so exclusively on a phone. Therefore, developing a strategy that leverages content tailored for mobile, like videos, short-form articles and apps, is key.
Being There When They Need You
While standing in line, I was able to answer my question from my phone, which informed my order — I chose the black beans over the brown rice. My micro-moment was informed through great content and a mobile device. Connecting to current and future healthy eaters will require customer research, informative content and visibility across multiple digital channels and contexts. Creating a connection between your brand or product and your consumer’s goals will be the catalyst to building a new or deeper relationship. The trigger to eat healthy may start offline, but your consumer’s next step will definitely include their phone, tablet or laptop.
If you have questions about how to gain more visibility and create a memorable experience for your customers, email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 1-855-384-6564.