Content Marketing for FMCG – Report: 37% More Product Purchased by Site Visitors
Consumers who have visited an FMCG brand’s website purchase a whopping 37% more of that brand’s product in-store than consumers who haven’t visited the site. This data comes from a recent study attempting to draw links between on and offline brand marketing, carried out by three giants of the data world – dunnhumby, Accenture and comScore, and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
“[FMCG] marketers currently invest millions of dollars in their brand websites” says Mike Zeman, comScore’s VP. “Brand websites can attract and influence the behaviour of the most valuable segments of any brand’s franchise”
According to Zeman there are clear steps that a brand can follow to improve the effectiveness of their online marketing efforts and the effect that these will have on offline purchases. The key point he outlines as being the essential element is to be “highly engaging if they are to attract a meaningful number of visitors.”
Engaging. Really? Come on Zeman, something a bit more substantial please!
The study identified three important characteristics of brand websites that are associated with a higher likelihood that visitors will buy the brand in retail stores:
- Brand value messaging that provides a persuasive reason for a website visitor to buy the brand
- Fresh content updated on at least a weekly basis, such as “pulse surveys”, user generated reviews, status on weight loss plans, etc.
- Content that engages visitors. This can include promotions, philanthropic appeals, demonstrations, live chat, apps and games.
This demonstrates, on a very top line basis, the necessity for content to be at the heart of FMCG digital marketing strategy.
This study doesn’t seem to include other online brand collateral such as social media channels, but used correctly, social media can be very effectively utilised to magnify the power of the FMCG brand site to communicate with target audiences.
How can FMCG engage online?
FMCG brands need to be constantly posting fresh and valuable content, over all platforms and media, in order to become a trusted information source for their customers. Great content will attract the right audience, engage them through providing value to their lives, communicate compelling reasons to purchase and convert them to fans so that there exists a long term relationship that goes beyond their online experience.
Attracting an Audience
By becoming a trusted information source through creating well-optimised content around the lifestyle issues that cause the need to purchase their products e.g. having a baby for Pampers, or child-related for Frosties, brands can attract meaningful volumes of relevant, targeted search traffic. High levels of social traffic are also available as, given the nature of FMCG products, they are often discussed online in blogs, forums and discussion areas.
An example of this is if you search for any kind of stain in Google e.g. bloodstain or grass stain, Vanish content will appear on the first page with advice.
Engaging the Audience
By providing valuable content to a consumer, a brand starts to build the all-important relationship. Established FMCG brands have a huge amount that they can add to a customer’s life through content, they are a recognised option in their audience’s lives, and can genuinely engage on the day-to-day issues that real people are facing.
The key point here is that consumers are actively searching for this kind of information, so when they see that recognised FMCG brand X is providing an answer there’s a good chance they’ll click and listen.
The content needs to achieve at the very least these two goals:
- Answer the questions that target consumers are asking i.e. satisfy the informational requirements of the audience
- Support the brand’s personality i.e. well-crafted, strategy-led material.
An example of this is how Greg Peterson, the MD of Kellogg’s, is working with NetMums to respond to comments about health issues that parents have raised over Kellogg’s Choc’n’Roll cereal and their cereal range as a whole.
US market research company Chadwick Martin Bailey has stated that their surveys have found that one in four consumers say that their main reason for becoming fans of FMCG brands on Facebook is vouchers. This is an easy win for FMCG! It’s such a simple mechanic that can drive purchasing increases in the short and long term through giving away relevant vouchers within content whilst encouraging likes and loyalty.
An example of this in action is Bird’s Eye who used free product vouchers tied in with Facebook likes to promote their Rice Fusions brand.
A well-implemented FMCG content marketing strategy can therefore:
- Attract an audience through the creation of SEO optimised content and promotion in social forums
- Engage the visitor through providing them with the valuable information that they have searched for
- Convert that visitor into a fan through sales promotions tied into the specific content they’ve searched for
John LaRocca, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships at dunnhumbyUSA, noted: “The Accenture/comScore/dunnhumbyUSA research highlights the significant yet under-utilized potential of brand websites and digital communications as key drivers for building customer loyalty and preference for CPG [FMCG] brands. Since website visitors have higher affinity to the brand and the overall product category, there is an opportunity for brand marketers to drive loyalty through personalizing the website experience, catering to the preferences of their best customers.”