If you’ve been reading our blog since March, you know we’ve been offering weekly advice to fresh produce marketers about managing communication during COVID-19, engaging on social media, managing public relations, speaking to the trade, doubling down on your digital presence and marketing your company while the tradeshow landscape has changed for now and for the foreseeable future. As we approach the busy summer months, we are planning for our clients and recommending where budget dollars should be spent to BEST support the brand over the next 90 days. Here’s what we’re thinking and recommending that they and you do next.
Try on a Virtual Tradeshow for Size
Because this is all our first time navigating a pandemic in the middle of tradeshow season, we’re not quite sure how it is all going to shake out in the end. That said, we know that United Fresh has taken on a big hairy audacious goal in less than 3 months by converting their traditional tradeshow planned in San Diego this June to an online virtual event instead. Exhibitors from all over the world are capitalizing on the opportunity to reroute their unspent tradeshow dollars to this virtual show to experience what buyer engagement can look like in this new format.
Reposition Your Website’s Focus
During the summer months, and sooner than later, we recommend that you take a step back and look at your website through the lens of your customer. If you look at your website’s content, both visual and written, from this angle you may see opportunities for more effectively communicating, what you do, what your customer’s typical barriers look like and how you solve them. A lot of times when we see our website and key messages from our customer’s perspective, suddenly fancy designs become less important while the need for smarter, more compelling copy becomes paramount. We recently updated the DMA Solutions home page and would love your thoughts on our updated messaging. Does this approach speak to you as a marketer?
Create Content that People Crave
From week to week your various marketing assets should move through the days and speak strategically planned words and visual guides that lead your customer to the content they’ve been waiting for and now is a great time to do some upgrading. Back to school (in some form or fashion) will be here before you know it! How will you adapt to the consumer’s needs at that time and what can you do right now to plan for the forthcoming eating season September through December. Get your content squared away!
Become a Brand that Emails
Each time an email recipient opens an email from you and takes the time to click through to your content, you’ve earned permission that is highly valuable. Make no mistake, email marketing is not free. When investing in email marketing, one must plan to spend money for a customer relationship management (CRM) tool/software, time and resources required to manage a contact database and be prepared to create the content needed to make the wheels go around on a regular basis. Once the decision to invest is made, the email marketing analysis that you are able to conduct will give you insights into shopper preferences that paid reports quite frankly cannot provide.
Launch a Blog to Boost Traffic
Blogs are a relatively affordable way for companies to adapt their website into an SEO, content generation machine! At DMA Solutions, we are partial to blogs because they give us a place to generate content for ourselves and for our clients that is meaningful to the audiences we serve. In fact, we’ve been managing and writing for this blog for the last 10 years. Since then we’ve improved our search rank, been found for keywords that have been placed strategically throughout the blog such as “fresh produce marketing” in order to be found. If you boost traffic, you increase the odds of someone taking a second and even third engagement with your brand. Repeat touchpoints like this build trust and trust builds loyalty and loyalty builds brands.
Invest in Digital Advertising
Remember, you aren’t spending money this summer on tradeshow travel and expenses. To stay in front of your target audiences, both consumer and trade, consider how digital advertising can be used to your advantage. For trade advertising, stay relevant with your buyers, particularly if you’re planning to exhibit in a virtual tradeshow, by securing digital advertising placement(s) pre, during and post show. Trying to reach a consumer audience? Social media advertising poses a great opportunity for marketers right now and we’re seeing some of the lowest CPC rates ever! Take heed and invest now while people are spending more time on social media and are literally seeking various ways to stay informed and entertained at home. When was the last time you ran a paid advertisement on Google? Prior to the COVID pandemic, our CPC on Google advertisements ran $.50/per. Today we’re seeing more like $.07/per, meaning there is less competition and more opportunity for your advertisement and the right consumer to make a connection.
Go Beyond the “Pitch”
During COVID, news and media coverage has not slowed but rather proliferated in light of readers seeking good for you news. The great news is, as fresh produce marketers, we are literally at the core of “goodness and health” and should be considering investing time and dollars, where needed, in a strong public relations effort. What can be done during this time? Partnerships with influencers can be instrumental in exposing good food to good people with surprise shipments filled with product for influencers to trial and talk about. On the other hand, we’re finding that long lead media writers are also game for a trial box of foods and we’re seeing results from our efforts! Since March we’ve seen press pickups from magazine giants like Real Simple, Taste of Home, Men’s Health and Women’s Health.
As the weather starts to heat up, so will opportunities for fresh produce marketers to invest in these marketing initiatives. By doing so, you set the stage, embrace the opportunity to plan ahead and prepare for the flood of food events that kick off in August and September through to the Super Bowl in February. Need help with planning? We know a thing or two about that. Let us know you’re interested and schedule a call, firstname.lastname@example.org.