Why Instagram is a Gold Mine for Natural Products Companies
As with most industries, natural product companies have much to gain from the effervescent millennial generation. Yes, the age of millennial spending power will soon be upon us, and as our generation continues to mature, the natural and organic space is in a particularly good position to profit. Aside from an addiction to the Internet, we’re a generation known for its healthy lifestyle and eating habits. According to a 2014 Gallup Poll, over half of millennial-aged Americans actively include organic foods in their diet. With “Super Size Me” and “Food Inc.” coming to the forefront when most millennials began making their own purchasing decisions, it’s no surprise an opinionated, diverse generation can agree on the importance of where food comes from.
Combine the healthy lifestyle with a millennial propensity to try new brands (six times as likely compared to Baby Boomers) and you’ve got an industry rife for disruption by new and challenger companies. Whether you’re an established brand poising to overtake the top dog or a new company looking to gain a slice of the market, appealing to millennial consumers now is an investment toward the future of your business.
Here’s Where Instagram Marketing Comes Into Play
Cell phones, the millennial favorite device for consuming media, are within an arm’s distance at all times. What is our age group doing on our phones? For the foreseeable future, Generation Y’s attention is fixated on Snapchat and Instagram. There are varying benefits to both platforms, though Instagram offers a longer lasting deck of content that, like a website, is a great point of reference for its users to learn about your brand.
The Facebook-owned Instagram is a visual storytelling platform that can be your brand’s best point of first awareness when used effectively. Unlike a website, a tactical community manager can actively engage potential consumers on Instagram with awareness outreach strategies. Brands can drive users to their own Instagram feeds in hopes their content resonates with these potential customers. Brands also have the ability to tap influencers in their niche, gaining distribution and increased visibility for their account, and ultimately their products.
What type of content is best when marketing to millennials on Instagram?
As mentioned before, millennials value integrity in business, buying into companies that practice responsible farming and sustainability, (see our article on how Chipotle’s messaging helps them stand out amongst the fast casual industry). As a natural products company, transparency is a major asset. You already walk the walk, and Instagram’s visual medium offers the perfect opportunity to literally show its heavily-millennial user base what separates your company from all the others.
Have an organic chocolate company for example? Instagram is the optimal medium to paint the picture as to why a cash strapped millennial should spend three times as much on your product versus a Hershey’s bar. Visually show them how your chocolate is made. Dispel any mystery in the process where another brand might add harmful preservatives to increase shelf life, thus bringing their costs down. Effectively explain the “Why” behind what you do in an artistic way, and Generation Y will do your marketing for you by word-of-mouth. When millennials discover content on your Instagram feed that resonates with them, they’ll likely follow you or tag a friend to suggest they explore more about your brand as well.
Providing value to Instagram’s users while simultaneously positioning your product is a win-win for your followers and your company. As with most things worth doing, Instagram takes hard work and patience to do well, because a new follower often will not immediately translate into a sale. Rather, this new follower is showing they want to be part of your tribe, learning more and subscribing to what your company stands for. By continuously providing value through content, giveaways, and a sense of belonging, your millennial followers will reciprocate by way of future purchases and spreading your content to friends, putting their connections on the same marketing funnel toward making a sale.
Food companies have found success on Instagram, but they’re not the only ones. Honest Company finds a great balance between highlighting product benefits and sparking conversations that lead to additional brand exposure.
By including their product in everyday scenarios, Kind Snacks engages its audience with beautiful photography and simple copywriting.
Instagram isn’t complicated, but it does take strategy and perseverance to create a community who trusts and buys into your company’s mission. Building a natural products company requires passion to an overarching message – the same concept which makes the most successful Instagram accounts so engaging. If you’re looking to sustain long term growth, Instagram is a channel worth investing in for those who haven’t started already. If you are on Instagram, keep honing in on the content your users engage with to provide maximum value. Building a millennial community may seem like a frivolous endeavor now, but as this demographic matures into the most financially influential generation in history, the brands who put the effort toward tools like Instagram won’t be the ones staring longingly into the rear view mirror.
Blue Bear Creative is a Denver social media agency focused on helping food and beverage brands market to millennials.