6 B2B Food Companies With Great Content Marketing Strategies
According to Food Equipment Reports, the foodservice equipment has one of the complicated factory-to-store channel “charts” of any industry in existence.
“The channels through which you can actually purchase equipment and supplies for delivery include manufacturers, dealers, kitchen equipment suppliers, broad-line distributors, cash-and-carry warehouse stores, Internet dealers, and in some cases even chemical and specialty suppliers.”
And this is just for foodservice! Just think of all the equipment for food manufacturing and their channels.
With such a vast amount of competition on all fronts, how do food equipment providers stand out? The truth is, many don't. And judging from how outdated the online presence of many B2B food equipment manufacturers, it's hard to tell if some are even still in business.
I'm not a food equipment manufacturer, nor am I a company that's trying to purchase their products. But I've had some clients that were both. What I am, is a person with eyes and a better than average understanding of how companies in the 21st century should present themselves online.
I’m not going to start calling out companies that are guilty of this. A quick Google search will provide you with more than enough.
And after a very lengthy google search, you may come across the companies that are doing it right. After searching for half a day, I found seven. Actually, it would be four if you subtract the three companies I knew of already.
In my article, 5 Pain-Points Food Equipment Manufacturers Face When Creating a Content Strategy, I point out some of the main reasons that B2B equipment manufacturers fall short in creating a content strategy.
Here are some companies that get over those pain points and lead the way in terms of an online presence and content strategy.
It's clear that the food processing and packaging equipment giant spares no expense when it comes to content marketing for their website. Some may say that a company so enormous has the resources to do so. However, the fact that they continue to spend money on new content must prove that it works.
Your company doesn't have to keep up with Tetra Pak on the content front to have similar results. It just needs to take note of what they are doing and do some of the same things. Only do them in an original way.
The most impressive aspects of the Tetra Pak site is:
As I write this, the world is about three months into the COVID-19 crisis. Every single industry has had to pivot its content to address customer concerns.
A simple letter from the CEO on the home page doesn't cut it. Tetra Pak has an entire page filled with company responses/updates, videos, news, and other informational content. Being agile and adaptable with your company's content strategy shows your prospects you're paying attention.
By now, you may be tired of hearing me talk about values, but I can't stop, they're that important.
Tetra Pak goes into extreme depth about their values. It's obvious they vet every piece of content to contain their core beliefs. Which tells specific prospects, if these values don't align, perhaps they won't make the best business partners.
The Email List
When I first arrived at the Tetra Pak site, I thought it strange that they didn't have a newsletter or mailing list. But after I tried to access some of the more valuable content, I realized the strategy.
For certain reports, case studies, or guides, they required an email address to download. Not only that, but it asks for your name, what company you work for, and your role. Companies use this tactic so they can preemptively segment their email list.
I have yet to receive a newsletter or any other communications from Tetra Pak. However, if I were a decision-maker at a food processing or packaging company, I would likely have seen quick contact by a member of their sales team.
I don't always recommend this sort of list building strategy. But if you are a huge global corporation with prospects worldwide, it's an excellent way to keep your list manageable.
Vollrath does a great job with their content creation as a manufacturer of foodservice products. When visiting the "inspiration" tab on the drop-down menu, you'll find links to the blog, video gallery, podcast, and series featuring their favorite chefs.
One thing that surprised me about the Vollrath site was its lack of attention to an email newsletter. I’ll use this example to do my obligatory push for e-newsletters.
Email newsletters are essential for ANY business to stay in front of your customers. They’re cheap, easy, and effective. Always be working towards building your email list. There, I said it. We can move on.
Boelter ranks number six in the top 100 foodservice equipment and supplies dealers in 2020 (Food Service Equipment & Supplies). After visiting this website, it's no wonder why it ranks in the top ten.
Besides its elegant design, one of the first things you’ll notice is the option to sign-up for their email newsletter. If you navigate to the Boelter’s resources page, you’ll find a treasure trove of content. Everything from blog posts, to case studies, to podcasts, to checklists, and more.
Boelter does a fantastic job of ditching the catalog format that most B2B food industry companies gravitate towards, making their brand approachable.
Alto-Shaam does a great job of re-imagining the product catalog layout that many food equipment manufacturing companies follow. The products are featured through a subtle, yet interactive menu. This gives the prospect some breathing room and an opportunity to browse their site content.
When browsing the content, prospects can easily see the dedication to the employees and community
Alto-Shaam reflects these values within its content in the form of blog articles, case studies, and videos.
It also spotlights some tasty looking recipes that highlight special cooking features of the ovens.
Like Tetra Pack, JBT is another giant in the food processing manufacturing industry. The company also has automated systems and aerospace divisions.
Although the site design appears a bit dated, it has a wealth of easily accessible content. It features an array of videos, case studies, white papers, press releases, a liquid foods blog, and a protein blog.
There's also a downloadable magazine called "Vision." This is a lead magnet for the email list. It features news about all things JBT and also features many global food trends.
The magazine is well put together and very informational. However, they only offer three issues, and they have to be sought out and downloaded by the prospect.
An online magazine is an excellent content delivery tool. But it's essential to be consistent with its production and to deliver it straight to your prospect's inbox. If a magazine is something that your company is interested in, be sure to repurpose its content to be available on other platforms.
Cambro is one of the most recognized names in foodservice storage and serving equipment. Although it takes a little effort to get past their product catalog format on the home page, it has a lot to offer once you find their content.
It offers videos, a podcast, and a blog (though hard to find) that showcase Cambro related topics. There is also a page dedicated to Cambro's charitable efforts called “Cambro Cares.”
What stands out about the site is the amount of interactive content.
There's a shelving game that doubles as a storage room checklist.
There's an interactive page of storage solutions for dozens of different kinds of fruits and vegetables, and recommended storage containers.
There are multiple pages on food safety that tell the proper ways to store and serve food.
Finally, you can find a product calculators that give you estimated cost savings by switching to their products.
The content marketing campaign that impressed me the most was their Right from the Start page. This is a campaign focused on small business owners starting a new foodservice endeavor.
It features four different ways Cambro can help owners make starting a business easier with their products. It offers testimonials, links to outside resources, and the option to submit questions directly to their experts. All of which can are accessible through a specially designed app.
When it comes to the content strategy, your B2B food industry business takes, there are no definitive rules on what you can or cannot do.
As I always say, the content a company produces has to make sense for their audience. It also needs to align with both the values of the company and the audience. Take note of what these companies are doing and follow suit if it makes sense. Just always remember to present it in an original way. And if originality seems too tricky of a task, at least be genuine to your values.
And as always, if your company might need some assistance with their content strategy, please feel free to contact me.