by Matt Weik
Being in the supplement industry for more than a decade has exposed me to a lot of things involving business and how brands interact with their retailers, vendors, and customers. Some of the experiences were good. Some of them bad. Yet, there seems to be one thing that only a few brands are really capitalizing on these days and it’s what separates them from the rest. What is that one thing? It’s customer engagement. Reaching out and touching their customers and guiding them back to the brand time and time again.
Here’s the bottom line – retailers, vendors, and customers are being hit up every day by various brands. Those who get “on a list” end up being retargeted until the end of time which could actually have a negative effect – no one wants to have ads, emails, and banners thrown in front of their faces on a daily basis.
So, what exactly is your brand doing to get in front of the decisionmaker’s eyeballs to help increase sales? If you had to think about it, time’s up and you’ve lost.
Distributors Are NOT Going to Help You
Far too many brands dump their product line on the lap of a distributor and ultimately ask them to go to work. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way and you’re going to be extremely upset and disappointed with the result. On the other hand, if you want a distributor to help push your brand, you’ll need to open up your wallet and pay to play. You didn’t see their hand open during your last meeting where they agreed to bring in your line? That’s wasn’t there to shake your hand.
Sure, a distributor could help you with customer engagement by handing out samples, pushing promotions, and mentioning new product launches to their list of accounts, but is that your best play? That could cost you thousands every month. Not to mention the cost of all those samples as well as credits needing to be applied for the free product given away for promotions that were taken advantage of.
What if there was something you could do to stay in front of your customers and enhance your overall customer engagement so you aren’t out of sight out of mind? There is.
In a Crowd Wearing White, Wear the Most Colorful Shirt You Can Find
If you want to fit in with everyone that’s cool. You have every right to do that. However, don’t expect any different results than what everyone around you is getting. To me, that sounds incredibly boring. Why would you want to look and feel just like all of the other competitors around you? Wouldn’t you want to differentiate yourself?
Let’s face it, most brands these days look just like all the other ones with their product line. Protein, fat-burner, creatine, BCAA, pre-workout… You know the drill. Same ingredients, same price, same flavors. Zzzzzzzzzz. How can you stand out while providing value and increasing sales at the same time? (Yes, that can all happen at once)
You need a Field of Dreams mentality. “If you build it… they will come.” Without customer engagement, your sales will be next to nothing unless you’re a legacy brand that everyone already knows and trusts. But if you aren’t, you need to get creative. How creative? It starts with your website.
Build Something Eyeballs Are Directed Towards
Take a look at your website. Look at your images. Look at your copy. Look at the flow of each page. And more importantly, look at the free content you’re providing to increase customer engagement. Wait what? You don’t have any? That’s probably why your sales look the way they do. You’re out of sight, out of mind.
Without a way to bring people back to your site to make a purchase, you could be losing customers to competitors on a daily basis. Again, your competition is targeting, retargeting, and enticing YOUR customers to take their supplements. Are you going to sit there and allow them to do that? I sure hope not.
OK, circling back now. How do you build something to get eyeballs on your website? It’s simple, provide a value that people will want to engage with. Something that helps them get closer to their goals. What value is that? Content.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably lightyears ahead of most people in terms of understanding the body, proper nutrition, supplementation, and results-driven exercise programs. For those who aren’t as educated on the subject, it could be like trying to figure out a calculus problem without ever taking the class or having one of those huge scientific calculators available from Texas Instruments (do you remember using those brick-like TI-83 Plus calculators in school?).
When you provide value in the form of content, it improves your customer engagement and shows your audience that you want to help them reach their goals and you’re going to stand next to them the whole way. Customer engagement will help build brand loyalty, trust, and repeat customers. It might not be right away but when you add value to someone, they are more likely going to give you business over someone who has done nothing to help them.
Consumers are better educated today on supplements and fitness than ever before. But there are still many who are trying to find their way or strategies they can implement to fast-track their results. Be that secret video game cheat code by helping your customers understand what they should be doing and how to do it so they can level up their health and physique.
Customer engagement in the form of content is selfless. But at the same time, consistently publishing fresh content will bring eyeballs back to your website regularly. And while there, you have a much greater chance of converting a sale compared to them not going to your website at all. Give them a reason to engage by standing out. Otherwise, stand with everyone else wearing white and try to convince customers that your brand is better. The latter will be an uphill battle and cost you way more.