[CONTENT MARKETING]: How Whole Foods provides value to consumers

One of the recognized leaders in content marketing is Whole Foods, who uses its blog, The Whole Story, to provide tips on how to eat healthy without shamelessly promoting its products.

Though the blog does provide information about the company and products on the page, it doesn’t display that information front and center. In fact, the consumer has to look for it; it’s located in a sidebar menu to the left. There are also “Shop” and “On Sale” tabs in the navigation bar at the very top. (But to be honest, the navigation bar is hardly noticeable.)

Content marketing in and of itself is what Grant Leboff talks about in our text, Stickier Marketing, as an engagement tactic, or a way to provide experience and value for the audience and flip the traditional “transactional marketing” funnel upside down.

Whole Foods does it particularly well, however. There is a way to search the site by category on the righthand side, and the list of categories seems endless there’s so much content. (Seriously, you have to scroll a few times to reach the bottom. Check it out!) They also provide videos, instructions for recipes, pictures, ideas, health tips, how to get started, and pretty much anything you can think of to help the audience make life easier, faster, and less complicated. Including all of those elements is super engaging for the audience.

The best example of how Whole Foods helps its audience on the blog is the “Healthy Eating” Menu, which opens up to display links to content over what products to buy (not necessarily from Whole Foods), how to cook healthy, and more. The great thing about this content is that most of it applies to both new users and veterans, who can utilize the content as a resource or fact-checker.

The blog also targets parents (as it should, seeing as they are the purchasers of the households) by making content specifically for people with children. Examples of such posts include “After School Snacks,” and “Back to School Easy Breakfast,” along with “Kid-Friendly” and “Back to School” categories, among others. It also has an entire page dedicated to “Parents & Kids.”

Upon clicking, that link opens up to this:

Finally, they also host giveaways and contests (sometimes through partnerships, a main ingredient, according to Leboff), which get a lot of engagement — anywhere from 800 to 8,400 comments appear on posts like these.

But there aren’t many comments on regular posts. This doesn’t mean users aren’t using or viewing the content, but it does mean they are not compelled to comment, whether they love or hate it. This may have to do with the fact that it feels less like a community since users can’t submit their own ideas/ recipes. If this were the case, I think Whole Foods would see more engagement.

Overall, though, Whole Foods seems to have a pretty successful content marketing strategy on its hands.