The way you market your brand largely depends on the business you operate.
For instance, the marketing strategy used by a brick-and-mortar shop will differ greatly from that of a food distributor.
And for a food wholesale business whose target audience ranges from the primarily B2B market to the end customer, implementing strategies that build and maintain relationships with both audiences is vital.
The opportunity presents itself to wholesale businesses in the form of traditional and innovative marketing methods and—in some fortunate instances—as a powerful combination of both.
But, how do you ensure you’re optimising each of these strategies so your market keeps growing?
Make sure your brand is seen and heard
The first step for any food wholesaler when developing a marketing strategy is to focus on brand awareness and to create interest among the end customer about the brand. The more demand you get for your products, the more likely retailers are interested in purchasing from you.
That said, you need to think about both online and offline aspects to improve brand awareness.
When it comes to offline strategies, you could consider taking part in industry events, placing ads in newspapers in your area, or even using billboards to get the word out about your food wholesale business.
When it comes to online, think of social media posts. Millennials and Gen Z are the world’s largest demographic by generation, meaning using user-generated social content (UGC) is a surefire way to secure these customers.
Another great idea? Direct mail campaigns.
These are ideal to win over new customers and build lasting connections. And in the age of digital marketing, a direct email campaign once in a while is a refreshing way to really get your brand out there.
Direct mail campaigns help you ensure that there’s an eager audience waiting for your products to come to the retail store!
An online grocery store is also something you can think of. With an online store, plenty of people—beyond one geographical locality—will see and hear of your business.
Also, this is an ideal way to tap into audiences who prefer online purchases over direct store purchases and get insights into customer behaviour, which you can then use to optimise your campaigns better.
What’s more, an online store gives you the opportunity to grow your Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) audience.
Build your network and grow your audience
Once you’ve put the word out about your food wholesale business, you’re going to want to grow your retailer network. Whether it’s through in-store marketing strategies or through company visits, it’s a crucial step you must take to scale your business.
The world’s leading FMCG companies often conduct company visits to increase their customer base in specific areas and create brand awareness. Having a personal touch matters more than you think when growing relationships with retailers and distributors.
Once your products hit the shelves, that’s the perfect time for your in-store marketing strategies. You can make sure your product isle stands out in your retailers’ stores with merchandising.
Whether it’s your brand T-shirts, posters or banners incorporating delicious images or sustainable tote bags, merchandising has a unique way of catching the hearts of customers.
Used smart, retail stores aren’t just your place to sell your products but to communicate with customers and nurture, grow and engage them.
Events like cooking competitions, tasting clubs, and even trade shows also have the potential to attract customers. Now join these efforts with digital marketing efforts and you’ve got a recipe for success.
For instance, bring attention to your marketing events by ‘socialising’ your event; aka social media marketing. FB and Instagram live streams and even influencer marketing can boost engagement and reach like never before.
With influencer marketing, in particular, you can take off much of the effort of pitching your products—the influencer will do it for you!
Keep your audience live ‘n kickin’
Your marketing efforts don’t end when you win over a customer.
In the world of the wholesale food business, this means it doesn’t end when you connect with a new retail store or even a new direct customer.
While it’s not the only way to nurture your audience, publishing engaging content can help build your customer base and attract new leads.
Creating unique content for your website can help you rank higher on Google and other search engines. Here are a few ways to do that.
- Images: Every day, Google’s image and reverse image searches get more precise and popular. Writing descriptive metadata for your images and sharing appealing images can help you stay ahead of your competition.
- Videos: Think about the videos posted on Buzzfeed’s ‘Tasty’ that rack up millions of views. You can also follow these trends and create your very own video series showing your clients how your food is produced, cooked, served, or packed.
- Voice: Structure your content for voice SEO—in a way that’s suitable for voice searches, such as how-to videos, shopping, and ingredient lists.
Remember your content needs to be as targeted as possible to make them relevant to your audience.
So, make sure the insights you get from your campaigns, your CRM and online stores are utilised to analyse your audience and segment them into sub-lists. From there, it’s only a matter of identifying the unique preferences of each segment and optimising your messaging to meet those preferences.
Automate and schedule your posts so you’re always consistent with your content and your social media pages never go out of touch with your audience.
Referral incentives also work wonders in boosting customer loyalty and engagement. Offer incentives like discounts for existing clients for referring your food wholesale business to a potential client.
Whether you’re sending them a newsletter directing them to your latest blog post, promoting your product or even sending an SMS alert with a promo code, personalised offers that meet customer preferences and needs are the best way to appeal to them.
Start growing your food wholesale business today
When it comes to wholesale marketing, you need to focus on three key areas: attracting new retailers, getting more orders from existing clients, and increasing sales revenues.
Done right, a good marketing strategy can help you grow your business exponentially and help you expand from a local wholesaler to a globally renowned wholesale partner.
Getting the right expertise to build your marketing strategy and create a successful food wholesale business can help you achieve your objectives much faster and more sustainably.