The 5 Tastes: Content Marketing Strategies for the Food and Beverage Industry
Consider the five tastes: sweet, salty, sour, bitter — and the elusive umami. Skillfully combined, these five tastes create a unique and memorable product. If you carelessly slapped them all together, you end up with a dish that simply doesn’t taste right.
The same is true of content marketing in the food and beverage industry. As more and more content is served up, it all starts to taste the same. How do you stand out from the crowd?
Here’s how to use the five types of taste to create a memorable content menu:
The sweetest part of content marketing is connecting with your audience. Arguably one of the most famous audience connections is the one between Red Bull and its fans. Red Bull is marketed to an audience that is young, daring, and hungry for adventure. Its website content features blogs with plenty of video clips that show heart-pounding stunts and adventures. Their social media accounts also encourage this type of competitive spirit. A recent post asked, “Who in your office is always one step ahead of that deadline? Share your #OfficeMVP with us!” and linked to a free can of Red Bull.
Red Bull and its marketing team have hit the sweet spot of cross-platform content marketing that engages, inspires, and entertains. They succeed because they have clearly identified their target audience and give them exactly what they are looking for.
Good content encourages the audience to engage further with the company. Sometimes this means getting down to the coarse, salty truth about difficult issues and prompting customers to stand up and take action. Consider Jamie Oliver and his team. In 2010, Oliver began traveling across the U.S., visiting school cafeterias to uncover the underbelly of poor nutrition. His campaign for fresh, healthy food; school gardens; and empowered young people was carried out across blogs, social media, television and YouTube shorts. Oliver’s mission to promote healthy eating is also supported by research and white papers that look at the current state of nutrition.
By identifying important issues that people will care about, you can create content that is authoritative, trustworthy, and actionable.
Even well-meaning content marketing strategies can get a little stale or leave a sour taste in consumers’ mouths if they’re not authentic and inclusive. Doritos may be the best example of recovering from times when sales (and content) fall flat.
Nearly 10 years ago, the snack supergiant injected life into their brand with the brilliant strategy of inviting fans to “Crash the Super Bowl” by creating their own ad to air during halftime. Grand prize? A cool million dollars and a job working on a major motion picture at Universal Studios. Frito-Lay recently doubled down on this crowdsourcing strategy by asking consumers to suggest chip flavors and vote on the best one.
What does this have to do with content marketing with blogs and social media? The best content marketing strategies tell the audience how much they matter and urge them to contribute to the dialogue. Content marketing is not a lecture — it’s a conversation. Engage your audience authentically so you don’t leave a sour taste in their mouth.
In 2012, Coke launched a digital magazine called Journey. At that point, soft drink sales had fallen dramatically in recent years as cities tightened restrictions on serving sizes and the general public reacted to better nutritional guidelines and clearer labeling standards. Rather than become bitter about these shifts, though, Coke chose to drown their sorrows in a tall drink of interesting stories and insights. The changes they made included developing engaging content that referenced the good old days (Coke’s go-to strategy of nostalgia) and that also looks firmly toward the future.
The lesson in this? Times change. Tastes change. The best content marketers don’t become bitter when confronted with new realities, instead they focus on developing forward-looking content that inspires.
Discovered by chemists in Tokyo in 1908, umami is that elusive, earthy flavor found in mushrooms and soy sauce.
In content marketing, this attribute can be hard to pinpoint, but you know it when you see it. It’s the nearly unidentifiable quality that prompts you to take action, whether that means contacting a company for more information or continuing to engage with a website.
In 2006 Dos Equis launched a commercial series for television and radio starring “The Most Interesting Man in the World.” The website includes a feed that features customers posing with their beers, as well as customer-created memes involving The Most Interesting Man. The website also includes a history of the beer, along with a contest and a list of cocktails. The idea that there actually could be a “most interesting man in the world” is enough to keep visitors paging through the site’s content, and that’s the goal: Keep the audience engaged and interacting via an intriguing theme that sparks a powerful response.
Food and beverage content marketers can cultivate umami by generating a steady stream of fresh, quality content for their social media, blogs, and websites that represent the unique personality of your brand. Umami is what keeps your audience coming back for more.
At Prose Media, we know that these five tastes are essential to developing delicious, satisfying content marketing strategies. Sign up for free, no-obligation access to our platform to start developing your own unique content recipe today!