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In an age of untold disruption, what do brands need to do to drive super-growth? Part 2

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In the first part in this series, The 6AM Agency’s Founder and CEO, Gillian Fish, outlined the current landscape for health and nutrition brands. In this instalment, Fish shares additional insights about how to polish and refine a communications and media strategy to help drive super-growth.

Empathy with every interaction
What’s true in the physical world is doubly true in the digital world. Making sure a user always has a seamless efficient experience online is of the utmost importance, because that potential customer is only ever a click, tap or swipe away from leaving and never coming back.

Meaningful content provides a value-exchange. It leaves the audience feeling empowered with knowledge that will help them better understand the science of wellbeing, along with practical, relatable strategies they can adopt to support that through modification of diet, lifestyle and exercise and use of supplementation.

Consider how your content can couple edutainment with brand relevance—the more creative it is, the more likely the audience will engage. Add fun, cultural relevance and everyday nuances, but be sure to always build trust and maintain your brand’s reputation. Make sure your content includes subtitles, in languages of relevance.

TIP: Use multiple formats, suitable for multiple channels at varying times in the day. Blogs, white papers, webinars, videos, infographics, and podcasts have all proven to be a highly effective way of building brand exposure and reaching and engaging new audiences, all with the intent of empowering them to make better wellbeing decisions.

Key opinion leaders & influencers
In the age of disrupted traditional media and the rise of social media, the power and influence of health experts and key influencers in wellbeing marketing can deliver considerable leverage and outcome for wellbeing brand holders and ingredient suppliers. Initially born out of celebrity endorsement—which led to the rise of celebrity doctors and naturopaths or nutritionists—the use of healthcare practitioners and key influencers plays a key role in wellbeing marketing success.

Depending on the profile and channel reach of the expert or influencer, brands can experience super-growth in a relatively short space of time. Be ready to spend a fair bit of budget. Affordable options do exist with micro-influencers who may have low audience reach, but who can connect with a truly engaged audience.

Careful consideration should be made when selecting a practitioner or influencer to ensure they align with brand values, messaging, tone of voice and a solid understanding of the brand and its ingredients, benefits, heritage, and goals. Start by building 1:1 connections with a long-term vision in mind.

TIP: Further down the purchase path, prioritising paid media to meet search demand is another key step in retaining that interest generated by the influencer as the consumer compares products to purchase.

SEO time
As a brand, maintaining a strong online presence requires having an active and engaged audience. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a vital tool and one of the several essential digital tactics used by brands that are looking to harness their online reputation, increase visibility to new and existing customers and to outsmart competition.

Interweaving brand key messages into SEO strategies can ensure the right message is reaching the right people at the right time. In the modern-day battle for brand awareness and Page One ranking in a cluttered environment, SEO tactics should be interwoven into all PR campaigns and strategies.

PR + SEO
Public relations (PR) is the new frontier of SEO, building awareness, but also driving website rankings. PR is an essential story-telling tool that connects brands and audiences in a way that matters. Coupled with smart media targeting, it can deliver outstanding and swift results, often resulting in super growth.

Being in tune with consumer audiences’ emotions, current experiences, and what they’re seeking from brands they love, should remain front and centre of all PR activity to remain relevant and to maintain and build reputation. Target Tier 1 broadcast and online news, as well as top tier pop culture media. Remember to focus on solving an audience problem first, before shouting from the rooftops about your brilliant product. Ensure you have a clear understanding of who the audience is, what they think, what they like and want in order to remain relevant. What stories will matter to them?

Importantly, PR (or influencer-led) content that speaks to the long tail of SEO enquiry also goes a long way to establishing credibility. Even more importantly, the ROI is in reducing reliance on paid traffic, meaning less investment in paid. There is a very long tail of long-form queries when it comes to health. Being willing to invest in this may require the creation of hundreds (even thousands) of articles to gain attention. It’s less about complex thought leadership or engagement and more about simply providing a helpful answer for a very specific question, when it comes to health and nutrition. 

TIP: A solid crisis communications plan is essential for maintaining a strong commercial position, reputation and trust and should be designed before a crisis.

Effective quality of voice (EQOV)
The overall goal of a super-growth strategy is to lay the foundations to drive volume and ROI without being completely reliant on investment in paid channels. This requires a long-term digital media strategy that shifts the traffic volumes for paid channels to organic.

Paramount to success is a combination of ongoing spend in brand-building (PR/influencer-led activity), a long-tail SEO and content strategy, and development of CRM to nurture leads more cost effectively.

At the point of conversion, it’s about leveraging whatever technological capability you can afford to make the actual purchase as easy and seamless as possible. The key to doing digital right is in the holistic view (across all activity) as well as the right tracking to understand what efforts are driving what results.

Taking a PRecision approach
Business communication is not just about share of voice, ‘extra’ share of voice or awareness. It’s about one critical outcome: effectiveness.

Effective communication today must cut through the hyper-connected, multi-channel noise today’s consumer navigates. That’s the first step. Critically, it must stimulate a person to act or feel something so they have affinity with a brand, its offering and its purpose, at that critical moment of brand consideration.

When a consumer is thinking of purchasing a product or service, they must not only be aware of your proposition. It’s not enough. They must also already have a strong understanding and connection, or ‘affinity’, towards your brand. It’s that affinity that drives a buying decision.

We know that brands with high affinity, and ‘extra’ quality of voice, deliver EFFECTIVE commercial outcomes. Effective Quality of Voice needs provocative thinking firmly focused on a commercial outcome.

For further information or a free one-hour consult contact [email protected] + 61 400 200 441

Check out the first part of Gillian's article here

Author

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Gillian Fish
CEO at The 6AM Agency

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