By now, there is a fairly standard way to do inbound marketing:
- Build a great website with plenty of strong content optimized to communicate well with search engines.
- Add fresh content regularly to improve SEO and increase traffic.
- Take opportunities to provide content to other websites.
- Share content via social media to drive traffic and build relationships.
- Use content offers to gather contact permission.
- Share further via email to drive conversions.
But is this how big companies do it? We looked at one of the major players, Kraft Foods.
- Build a great website… In fact, Kraft has several websites for different market segments, including Kraftrecipes.com, Kraftfoodsgroup.com, kraftfoodservice.com, and individual sites for specific products.
- With plenty of strong content... Kraft has 46,000+ recipes on their main website, and 11,000 pages at kraftfoodservice.com from “Potato Profitability” to “Motivating Staff.” Their sites also include forums and message boards, videos, and connections on each page to other pages to encourage browsing. Kraft also offers Spanish-language content.
- Add fresh content regularly… Kraft adds new content at their websites daily.
- Provide content to other websites… Kraft shares sweepstakes, coupons, and other content at websites that appeal to their demographic, including deal sites, blogs, and more. They also offer RSS feeds with easy instructions on how to use them, recipe widgets bloggers can add to their websites, press releases, and more. In short, they make it easy for others to share their content. Kraft has a community of bloggers called “Kraft Tastemakers” who serve as brand ambassadors. They also work with PR companies and use event marketing to get others to write about them.
- Social media is huge for Kraft. They have social media profiles for individual products as well as their brand, they respond to people’s remarks about their products, and they use tactics like Twitter parties and Facebook sweepstakes. At Pinterest, Kraft has 69 boards with 11,265 pins, all of which have great photos and lots of text, plus links back to their websites. Cool Whip’s Instagram account has dozens of professional photos linking back to recipes. Kraft also runs Cause pages on Facebook for projects like their “Huddle Against Hunger” initiative.
- Use content offers… Kraft not only offers lots of free content to everyone, they also woo visitors to subscribe to print and email magazines, to download an app, to try new products, and to enter sweepstakes. On their food service site, they offer rebates and other perks.
- Email to drive conversions… Kraft sends out weekly emails stuffed with recipes and coupons. Getting consumers in the habit of buying your products regularly is a win, and getting a recipe or two into a homemaker’s weekly rotation does the trick.
Kraft doesn’t rely entirely on inbound marketing, even in their content marketing. They spend $35.9 million each year on digital ads, plus ads on TV and in magazines, and they publish their own paid print magazine with a subscription base of about one million readers.
So how is Kraft different from your smaller company? They have more resources than you and I. But their strategy works for them, and a scaled-down version of the same thing can work for your company, too. They provide value to their customers, and so can you.