Marketing nutritional supplements is rewarding—health products can help people feel amazing and live their best lives. But to create educational (and legal) campaigns that convert, you have to be hyper-aware of the language you use and the claims you make. Or, hopefully, don’t make!
So how do you create engaging, persuasive content that communicates how your product helps people without seeming inauthentic? Or going against important FDA guidelines? We adore helping health and wellness brands like yours, so here are our top eight tips for marketing nutritional supplements the smart and savvy way.
Follow FDA Guidelines—ALWAYS!
Being the optimists that we are, we don’t believe health brands wake up in the morning plotting to mislead consumers. But there are plenty of scammers out there. If you don’t toe the line with Food and Drugs Administration compliance and disclosure, you will eventually land your brand in hot water with the FDA.
Because we specialize in marketing for health and wellness brands, we know how to create content that’s engaging and FDA compliant. Here are some key takeaways.
- Always include a disclaimer
You should always have a clear, visible, and formal disclaimer when you discuss health supplements, products, or services. We often use an asterisk next to any statement that could be construed as a claim in things like website copy or on social media. Then we make sure to include an FDA compliance statement in the footer. Always err on the side of caution!
- Avoid claims
Your content should never make claims. That includes diagnosing, curing, or treating any illness or disease. You can avoid outright claims by using language like can support, may help, or might contribute to. When in doubt, add an FDA compliance statement.
- Don’t link your product to a disease or illness
Instead, connect the dots by referring to improvements in overall health and let your audience draw their own conclusions. You cannot guarantee health outcomes. But do include any relevant studies that support your product and it’s positive health outcomes.
- Preface any medical topic with a reminder to consult a physician
It’s impossible to know how a nutritional or herbal supplement will interact with body chemistry or other medications. It’s also very important to acknowledge that you or your employees are NOT doctors. Unless you’re an M.D., you can’t recommend products.
Build Trust with Press Mentions, Testimonials, and Reviews
The most successful brands earn the trust of their customers—more trust means bigger profits and more repeat customers! Add “trust signals” like press and influencer mentions, testimonials, and reviews to your marketing and advertising. This is an easy way to convey the benefits of your product without spelling it out and making claims that could get you flagged by the FDA.
You can help generate positive press mentions through PR outreach and link building. One of our favorite ways to do this quickly is through HARO. When media outlets interview you or mention your products, spotlight these media mentions on your website and social!
Don’t forget to ask for reviews and testimonials—especially from influencers. If a customer writes to you singing the praises of your brand and explaining how your products have helped them, ask if you can share their comments.
Allow customers to add reviews to your product pages, and always respond to reviews—whether they are negative or positive. Also pay attention to product reviews left on Amazon, Google, and other platforms. Investing in your online reputation really pays off. When’s the last time you bought a product without seeing what other consumers have to say about it first?
Invest in High-quality Images
Many brands skimp and use stock photography. But using stock photos on your website and in your advertising is a great way to lose trust and make your brand look like a scam—especially in the health supplement industry. Even if you have a low budget, high-quality photography is the one thing you want to invest in.
You don’t necessarily need fancy equipment to get great photos. You can often produce all the images you need with a smartphone and a few hours of your time. Or you can pay for a photoshoot and let a trained professional handle it.
For free and authentic photos, look no further than user-generated content. Encourage social followers to use a branded hashtag when they post images of your product. You can even run a contest to make sure plenty of fans are posting real-life pictures. Then pick the best user-generated photos and re-post them to your accounts.
Explore Video, Stories, and Highlights
Is your health and wellness brand using video? If not, there are so many easy ways to start video content marketing. It only takes a few minutes to create a short-form video on Instagram or Facebook. Or, you can invest a bit more time and post to IGTV or Facebook Live.
You should also make sure you’re using Instagram and Facebook Stories to promote your wellness products. For best results, use Stories in tandem with your Feed posts. Highlight your product with a traditional Feed post, then drill down deeper and explore the ingredients or push time-sensitive promotions in Stories. Instagram even allows you to save Stories as Highlights at the top of your profile, so they’ll be saved for future viewing.
Pay Attention to Keywords and SEO
SEO for health and wellness brands is a must. The industry is fiercely competitive, and SEO allows you to target your ideal customer, bringing more qualified traffic to your website and sales pages. It’s important to get an SEO Audit once each year to refresh your keywords. You also want to pay an experienced professional to input your keywords on the back end of your website so you know it is done correctly. Search engine ranking can make or break your business, especially if you sell mainly online, so don’t try to do this work yourself.
You’ll want to be very careful which search terms you target. While it can be tempting to try to rank for spammy keyword phrases like “weight loss cure”, resist the urge! Not only does this undermine the quality of your products, but it can also attract unwanted scrutiny from the FDA. Not to mention, it’s likely to damage your credibility with Google and other search engines.
Promote Educational Blog Content
Your blog is where customers go to learn more about your products and brand. Blog articles are a unique opportunity to give your audience the in-depth information about your products that you can’t fit on your label and packaging. You should aim to post at least 1 or 2 blog articles a month to help customers understand the ways they can use your product, how it might help them, and why it’s different and better than similar products they might consider purchasing.
Social media marketing is one of the best ways to cross-promote your blog. Make sure to use Instagram Stories and IGTV to drive traffic to blogs. Post in Stories, IGTV, or even in your Feed, then include a link to the promoted article in your profile.
Consider Influencer Marketing
Influencers can help you make more engaging Instagram posts and add more credibility to your social feeds and website. Consumers want to see real people they trust using your product, with captions that reveal how it has helped them. While influencers now have to acknowledge if they are paid by brands to post about a product, that doesn’t mean they don’t have credibility. Many influencers are picky about which brands they promote, so followers trust their recommendations.
If your budget is limited, you can also use micro-influencers to get your name out there. These accounts often have a few thousand followers instead of millions, so they are a bit more economical. Some will even review your brand in exchange for free products. Just make sure their public persona is in line with how you want your brand represented online.
Focus on Your Customer—Not the Sale
Far too many health and wellness brands publish content that is all about promotion. Instead, focus first on engaging with your customers. Ask them questions, offer health education, or take a poll to gauge their opinions about your products. The hard-sell approach is soooo 1995. Your content should be 20% promotion and 80% education and entertainment. Otherwise, your marketing will be self-serving and, let’s face it, very boring.
Feeling like marketing nutritional supplements just got a little easier? Fantastic. We’re passionate about marketing for health and wellness brands and we want you to be, too! We hope these tips will help you feel like you can effectively promote your brand while sticking to FDA guidelines. If you need help, contact us right meow. Witty Kitty is always here to lend a paw, and we offer free marketing consultations!