A Blogging Plan for Grocery Stores

Right now, grocery stores are still finding that traditional advertising is best for acquisition and retention.

This is according to findings in a study highlighted on eMarketer. Check out Grocery Stores Plan to Shift to Social for more information on the topic. There are a few interesting findings.

First, grocery stores still see high value in print, radio and TV. This makes sense. For decades these channels have been the main way for grocery stores to reach their audience. There is still a high preference for these channels amongst grocery store customers. People over 50 years old and even those over 40 years old still use traditional media more than online media.

There was an interesting chart in the article:

Grocery Store Social Media

I don’t eve know if things will change that much in five years. The grocery store customer will not change that fast. It’s hard for people to change their preferred channels. TV is not going to go away as long as the baby boomers are around and that is going to be for a long time yet.

The shift will come from the new customers that are now entertaining the age group of starting families. That brings up the second point.

Second, the younger generation still uses traditional media, but they are responding more to online channels. These folks are searching for recipes online. These folks are sharing photos of food on Pinterest and commenting on blogs and reading food blogs. These folks are sharing interesting food photos and recipes on Facebook. This is where the shift will occur for grocery stores.

Here is how I would approach a grocery store social media and blogging plan.

Grocery Store Social Media & Blogging Strategy

A blogging strategy for a local grocery store would be interesting. Much of the focus lately, at least for the stores in my area, has been on discounts. The stores are so aggressive with discounts and promotions via traditional campaigns (and social campaigns) that customers are programmed to focus on the promotion and not on the actual product.

Even with this taking place I think there is room to change the focus back to the merchandise. It always comes back to the merchandise. People do seem to buy junk if it’s on sale, but they are smart enough to stop doing that if they aren’t getting anything out of it. Five cents for bad butter is not a good deal even if it is only five cents.

The Quality Market

There is a quality market for groceries. These are folks looking for more than just junk food. They don’t shop in the middle of the grocery store. They focus on fresh products on the outside of the store like the meat and produce areas. These folks are interesting in coming to the store 2 or even 3 times each week to get their food. They want new recipes. They are willing to pay for food that is good. These people want to feed their families fresh foods and they go online to research. This is where a grocery store blog could capture their attention, earn their trust and turn them into customers.

High Quality Grocery Store
This is quality. Courtesy of david_shankbone.

When the crowd is going one direction (promotions) it’s usually a good idea to go the other direction (quality merchandise).

Recipes, Photos and Stories

People are obsessed with these three things and how they all can relate to food. People will share photos like crazy. They like seeing good food photos and they go nuts on the Internet when they see something interesting. Not only that, people like seeing food and then actually purchasing it. This is a big change from a lot of other things on the Internet. When it comes to food people actually take action.

Fresh Produce
People love fresh produce photos. Courtesy of Oh-Barcelona.com.

A grocery store that uses photos can have a real advantage.

Next is recipes. People love to try new recipes. I’m not sure why they love it, but people love their food and they’re willing to go to lengths to search for recipes online. A grocery store can capture that attention with a blog full of recipes.

Last, there are stories to tell. People love stories of all kinds. A grocery store marketer could use the grocery store blog to tell the story of how the food goes through all the stages until it finally gets to the shelf. You could write about the grass-fed cattle and how they go from pasture to the store. You could do the same for the fresh produce. People want to know about their quality foods. Share the stories.

That’s my quick and dirty blogging strategy for grocery store bloggers.

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