Vegan businesses are popping up everywhere which is brilliant. It also means you need to try harder to stand out online as a vegan brand. This is why I’m sharing content ideas for your vegan business to help you get seen by your future customers.
Know your audience
Before we get into the content ideas, it’s important to start with your audience. Sure, you might have a burning desire to cover a certain topic but does your audience want to know about it? And more importantly, will that lead them towards buying from you?
If the answer isn’t yes – then don’t do it. When you start thinking about content ideas for your vegan business then you need to understand the steps you want your customers to take towards that sale. Anything else is a waste of time. Now that’s not to say you need all content to be selling – that is certainly not a good idea. But it does need to nudge them towards a small commitment.
Set your content pillars
So let’s assume you have done your market research and you know who your audience is. Next, you need to have broad strokes about what you want to say. These are your content pillars. Or you might know them as buckets. Or indeed as topics.
These pillars should be tucked up tightly in bed with your messaging. They are the happy spot between your brand story and your audience.
For example, one of my content pillars is to talk about vegan running. It’s got nothing to do with my skills in creating razor-sharp content strategies but it does make me relatable. Now, I don’t talk about that on my website but I do on my social media. So this particular pillar is for an early stage in the content journey.
If you’ve not set your content pillars yet – start with picking three. Make them relatable to your audience. And make them interesting.
More than recipes
While it can be easy to make recipes your content pillar – remember that this is now a very crowded market. And if you are a vegan product-based business, your buyer may not be vegan and therefore not looking to create vegan food at home.
Even if they are – what else can you talk about that will help them buy your product? Sometimes this involves taking a step back and creating content that isn’t necessarily an obvious link to what you sell.
Plus, not all vegan businesses sell physical products. Some sell services – like this one right here whose blog you’re reading now. Creating recipes is not going to attract my ideal client in any way. Although I am sure a lot of them do search for vegan recipes. Or they could be like me and be a bit pants at the whole cooking side of life.
Searching for content ideas for your vegan business
Answer the Public
If you enter ‘vegan’ into Answer The Public there is a total of 392 results of what people are asking around the term. Obviously, you don’t need to use the word ‘vegan’ as your search term. You’ll probably want to put in something more specific for your business. But for the sake of this blog, we’ll look at the generic term ‘vegan’.
I love using these kinds of tools because you get to see what people really ask online and sometimes it shows humans in all our glorious weirdness. I quite like the question: “are vegan sausage rolls healthy”. That’s a question where someone really wants there to be an answer and you get the feeling they’re probably disappointed with what they find.
But there are other insights you can gather for your content ideas. For example, most vegan search is around food. Naturally, if you’re vegan then food is going to be quite central but it’s not the sole limiting factor to the lifestyle and therefore buying choices.
I quite like the results “vegan with curves” and “Vegan without frontiers”. The latter getting a certain Peter Gabriel song stuck into my head. And then there is the heartwarming ‘vegan is love’ search.
Quora and Reddit
Another interesting place to check for content ideas is Quora. This also shows some of the weird and wonderful questions people ask on the internet. Reddit is in a similar vein and can pop up some interesting ideas on what to create content around for your vegan business.
Also with these, the more specific you can be with your search, the better. A generic term like ‘vegan’ is going to take more time than digging a little more obscure.
Why do people hate vegans so much? Pops up a lot on here and variations such as “why do vegans announce they are vegan?” We can all do a collective eye roll. Or we can use this to create some great content.
Pinterest is a search engine so the results that pop up here are what people want to see. Although don’t forget if you use Pinterest, the algorithm is going to base its results on your personal search history and pins.
However, it can give you an insight into the kinds of content that currently do well for your search term. What from these can you give another angle or insight into?
Of course, when you put in the word ‘vegan’ you are given A LOT of recipes. Firstly, this should tell you how hard it is to be seen by creating recipes as vegan content. Secondly, if you are a food or drink brand, look at the kinds of food that are trending in this area.
But you’re not going to put a generic term into Pinterest, are you? You’re going to put in something super specific. And that’s going to help you see some great content ideas. You might even be super savvy and create a special pinboard for these.
YouTube can be overlooked as a way to get content ideas but seeing what people are watching (other than cat videos) can help you formulate some plans of your own. This is especially useful if you’re looking to use more video content on platforms like TikTok and Instagram.
YouTube is so far the most divisive of all the tools when it comes to the term ‘vegan’. Although I’m quite amused by this unfortunate cover. That’s some transformation.
Let’s not talk about food
Alright, let’s stop talking about food for a moment. It’s not the only thing your audience will be thinking about. Plus, having a vegan business doesn’t necessarily equate to a vegan customer base. In fact, when chatting to my own local vegan cafe, it’s not the vegans that are the customers, but people looking to reduce their animal food sources. So when we focus all our content efforts around food, we are missing out on some of the vital buying decisions made by our customers.
Quite often your audience wants something because it makes them feel good about themselves. It fulfils a need with them. So creating content that fulfils that need, will help them keep your brand at the top of their mind.
So what do you talk about if you don’t talk about food?
Well, this depends on your business and target audience. Go one or two steps away from what your product or service is. Especially if you’re offering a service.
Sometimes what we look for online and when scrolling social media is for the little things in life. Where can I get this? How can I do this better? It’s self-improvement.
Your content should always educate or entertain. It is far too easy to get stuck in the cycle of education when it comes to a vegan brand. Yes, you want to educate people on how to live better but sometimes that nudging behavioural change needs to be a little more subtle.
Instead, make your audience laugh and smile. Make them want to tell their friends about it and share.
One of the ways to do this is through illustrations. Illustrations are hugely underused in content but are incredibly powerful. I discuss this with illustrator, Amy Nolan, and what she says is:
“Anyone can draw. Pick up a pencil and draw. It doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect. Our eyes are drawn to hand-drawn pictures.”
And in a world of stock images, same graphics and photos, having something truly unique is going to catch attention. Start thinking differently about how you illustrate your content.
But also consider looking at the topics you talk about. What does your audience do outside of eating? Do they have families, go to university, live events? Think about how you can bring these common threads into your content.
Get this right and you’ll start to see your content as a vegan business stand out online against all the other vegan businesses out there.