This article below was written by Hayley Blieden, Managing Director of The Australian Superfood Co.
Two years ago, I launched The Australian Superfood Co with the aim of building recognition around the history, culture and identity of Indigenous Australians. Many people don’t know that Australia is home to some of the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet, and they’ve been growing in our backyard for over 60,000 years! I wanted to showcase these powerful native Australian superfoods through a range of health food bars, granolas and fruit and herb powders, and from here The Australian Superfood Co (TASC) was born.
[Image source : The Australian Superfood Co.]
In this time, we have supported multiple indigenous communities both socially and economically. Each year we choose a community to donate a portion of our profits to and work with the elders of the community to decide the best way to allocate these funds. My team and I work very hard in building the native food industry and working with consumers and suppliers to bring native food products to market that promote Native Australian Superfoods in the best way possible.
In order to build this recognition, we’ve had to slowly build our own tribe. A successful company is made up of many parts, and I know that without my team, our partners and our dedicated customers, TASC would not be where it is today.
We started with a small team of employees. Choosing the right people to employ that fit the brand was really important for me. I’ve been lucky enough to work with a team that is not only hard-working, enthusiastic and capable but also share my passion and commitment to showcasing Australian native ingredients and helping support our indigenous communities.
But our tribe does not end with my team; it is made up of customers, influencers, ambassadors and the wider community. In order to build our tribe, we focus on the following:
My team and I regularly engage in Food Expos where we showcase our ingredients during the event and offer free tasters of our product to attendees. This has been a really helpful way of building brand recognition and targeting customers who we know are “foodies”.
2. Social media
Social media can be your best friend when growing your tribe. It’s essentially free marketing to the public and has been essential to TASC in reaching a wider community. We mainly use Facebook and Instagram. Facebook has been best for us for sharing interesting articles, recipes or new blog posts whereas Instagram is best for visually appealing food photos, quotes or regrams.
Influencers are the flavour of the month and they can go a long way in helping you build your following, reach a wider audience, provide more credibility to your brand (with the right influencer!), provide you with new and authentic content to grow your network. Every month, we allocate budget to sending out products to influencers in exchange for content on their social media pages. We make sure we look at their engagement on posts before sending out products. If they have a lot of followers but no engagement, the return won’t be worthwhile.
Customers are the most important aspect of your tribe. Their loyalty and support is what keeps all businesses running, so giving back and showing your appreciation is mutually beneficial. Each month, we send our customers an email with exciting news from that month, a coupon code with a discount for their next purchase, a new recipe on our blog or other relevant content that might interest them. Making them feel special and being personal is a must for us.
[Image source : The Australian Superfood Co.]
Here are some tips for building a following and growing your own tribe:
1. Target the right people/know your audience
This is important and it takes a while to understand who your audience is. Facebook has great tools for reviewing metrics where you can see who your demographic is and who’s engaging in your different posts.
2. Be authentic and creative
There is so much stimuli on social media – you have to stand out from the crowd. Nowadays, you can purchase followers and even likes on social media however those followers aren’t going to be engaging in any of your posts. Yes, they might increase your likes but they won’t turn into conversions. Therefore, stay true to your brand, give yourself some structure in your posts.
For example, every Monday, we have “Monday Mantras” where we post a quote. We aim to mix up our posts so it’s a combination of food photos, outdoor adventure, product shots, quotes and recipes. We find this works best for us but do what works best for your own brand.
3. Hashtags and links
Relevant hashtags on posts is great for reaching the right people. If we’re posting a new recipe, we always link in our bio so people can easily access this information.
Give back to your tribe. Show them how much you appreciate their support by running competitions where they can win free products and tag their friends.
5. Partner with other brands who have a similar target audience
We’re all about supporting other brands so we love promoting small businesses. When we partner with similar brands, we capture their audience who are more often than not interested in following us too.
About our 2017 AusMumpreneur Ambassador :
Hayley Blieden – Managing Director of The Australian Superfood Co
Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist and founder of The Australian Superfood Co, Hayley Blieden (BNutDiet, M.B.A.) always knew she didn’t want to follow the traditional dietitian’s path, choosing instead to focus on designing foods to enhance the way people feel and perform. A growing global interest in health and foreign superfoods ignited Hayley’s curiosity about Australian superfoods, so she began researching what our country has to offer. After years of research and development The Australian Superfood Co (TASC) has created a unique range of food products richly infused with Australian native bush food; a powerful, diverse and exciting superfood group, hugely undervalued by the Australian commercial food industry. Learn more here : https://austsuperfoods.com.au/story/