Do you run—or hope to launch—a wellness business? Everyone needs nutrition and exercise, but the industry surrounding them is saturated with companies proclaiming that their products or services are what people need, vying for consumers’ attention with an array of strategies, promises, and merchandise. As science-based as the health field needs to be, there is still a significant amount of confusion regarding what products and programs will actually work for which individuals.
So, how do wellness businesses market themselves? How do you prove to your customers—not just convince—that you can help them? Biochemistry student and entrepreneur Cody Andrew Moxam from the University of Dallas understands the challenge wellness entrepreneurs have before them, so here he shares a few tips for expanding your reach:
Identify your niche audience
The first step in marketing your business is acknowledging that your product is not for everyone. Everyone’s bodies are different, so what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. If you attempt to appeal to too many people, customers will be less inclined to take you seriously, and you’ll spread yourself too thin. There are also logistics issues with advertising to anyone you can, and you might not be able to follow through on delivering what you promote. For example, an online headshop selling glass bongs, CDB oil and vapes would likely target cannabis users and Grateful Dead music fans as two target niche groups.
Instead, identify a target market that you believe would be the most interested in your products. Maybe what you create is best suited for elderly folks, young people, individuals who are regularly active, healthy eaters, sports enthusiasts, or someone else. The wellness industry is inextricably connected to the medical field, so only market towards individuals you are scientifically confident that your products will legitimately help.
Take advantage of social media
Nowadays, social media is a marketer’s go-to tool. Billions of people spend countless hours on channels like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, so it’s practical to reach out to people where they are already spending their time.
As a college student well-versed in social media, Cody Moxam notes that merely tweeting about your upcoming deals and promotions is nowhere near enough. Why would people follow you if all you talk about is sales-oriented? Internet users are exhausted and suspicious of advertising spam, so your marketing efforts need to have genuine value.
What does such value look like? The answer lies in quality content, and it does not even need to pertain explicitly to your product, just your field as a whole. You could post how-to videos, interviews with experts, photography, infographics, and more. Outside of social media, you could write a blog that answers industry questions, share case studies, ebooks, or anything else that keeps people informed and/or entertained. When you establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, you become a resource for people, and they are more likely to trust you and what you sell.
Partner with helpful allies
Social media is also an advantageous place for influencer marketing. Perhaps there is an internet personality with a large following who would be willing to give your brand a shoutout (for a fee, of course, and maybe a few free samples). If so, then you can tap into this person’s sizable and pre-existing audience without having to reach out to all of those people individually.
You can also partner with other brands. Maybe there is another company out there, not in direct competition with you, who is willing to offer special privileges at their business to your customers, and you do the same for theirs. This way, when one of you attracts business, it has the potential to support the other.
While a significant amount of your marketing will be digital, there are offline methods you can leverage, too. Sona Hovhannisyan from Incredo notes that free events are a helpful avenue:
“If you want to be present in your customers’ lives, you should organize events at least once a year. In order to make contracts with customers, you need to get their attention and events are great ways of doing so. For example, you can teach classes, create open-door days or other events in order to make people interested in your business. Once they showed interest towards your business, all you need to do is give them all the necessary information about your business.”
Being overly-promotional is obnoxious. When you offer events and information to curious people, though, you give them something for free—and they’ll connect the dots about where to buy products from.
Consumers are justifiably wary of wellness products that are over-promotional and lack sound scientific backing. Their health is at stake here, and they cannot afford to make purchasing mistakes. If you provide people with resources and let them know how much you appreciate them (and offer truly beneficial products, naturally), you can distinguish yourself from the crowd.