This is the most complete guide to vegan digital marketing you will find on the internet. Well, we think it is 😉
But who am I to teach you about vegan digital marketing?
Hi, I’m Alice, Editor at SHiDO with 11+ years of professional writing under my belt (I don’t actually wear a belt…but you get my gist).
I have successfully used digital marketing to connect hundreds of vegan websites with their ideal clients around the world.
To give you all even more worth, I’ve enlisted the help of several experts in the vegan digital marketing industry to reveal their secrets for building a winning brand that has masses of loyal fans.
Algorithms change all the time, which means that digital marketing is constantly evolving to keep up.
But don’t worry I’m a qualified scientist, so I’m an expert in evolution too!
I will be adding to and updating this guide regularly, so keep your eyes open for more up-to-date and relevant vegan digital marketing information as it happens.
Let’s get started!
This digital marketing guide
In this guide, I’ll show you the basics of digital marketing for vegan businesses.
But I’ll also show you how to expand on the techniques as you grow.
We’ll cover everything digital marketing: SEO, content, affiliate, advertising, social media, and more. Plus we’ll discuss building sustainable strategies for long-term growth of your vegan business.
From this guide, you’ll notice that there are many different methods you can use to implement digital marketing and it’s common to come across people and/or agencies that will tell you to only focus on one.
But what I want you to remember is that there is no single pathway to growing your online vegan business:
You need to pick which methods work best for YOU to reach your business goals.
We’ll cover that in this guide. So, what are you waiting for?
The basics of vegan digital marketing
What is vegan digital marketing?
Vegan digital marketing is the use of multiple online marketing techniques to promote a vegan business or service.
It enables companies to attract, engage, and potentially convert prospective clients by utilising digital channels including websites, social media, email, and search engines.
It works by increasing traffic to a business website and strengthening its digital presence.
Sounds like we’ve just copied that out of the dictionary…BORING!
To put it another way, without digital marketing, your vegan brand is invisible.
It’s a bit like having a shop that’s not on a map.
Your customers won’t know you’re there unless they accidentally stumble across you.
And with 56.5 BILLION WEBPAGES INDEXED ON GOOGLE (or shops pictured on the map), the chances of being ‘stumbled across’ are slim.
If your vegan products/services are incredible (we’re sure they are) then eventually, news about your website might spread by word of mouth.
But this will be slow and people may forget about you, especially if your competitors are more visible than you.
Digital marketing acts by putting your vegan business on the map.
By utilising vegan digital marketing effectively, your brand will be more visible and easier to find.
Not only will you have more visitors to your website, but they’re also more likely to be your ideal customers, meaning more conversions!
Read on to find out more…
Why is digital marketing important for vegan businesses?
Veganism is a growing trend and plant-based businesses are b(l)ooming.
There has never been a better time to be vegan and we can now find businesses that sell just about anything, from ethical clothing to vegan cheese, faux leather bags, and cruelty-free makeup.
In fact, at the time of updating this (Jan 2021), there are over 132 million search results for “vegan shoes” on Google, that’s 2 million more results than when we first wrote this Ultimate Guide to Vegan Digital Marketing in May last year!
Nonetheless, if you’re a vegan business, then more webpages about veganism mean more competition.
Moreover, today’s interest in conscious shopping has encouraged big corporate brands to follow suit and even KFC have introduced a new vegan fast-food burger.
Corporate businesses are already well-established and will likely attract people to their products and services naturally.
Now factor in their practised digital marketing team and existing website authority and it’s easy to understand why they might rank higher on search engine results.
Consequently, digital marketing is important for vegan businesses because they will need to work harder to stand out amongst the crowd!
What are the benefits of digital marketing for vegan businesses?
There are numerous benefits to vegan digital marketing but here are our top 6:
What are the different types of vegan digital marketing?
There are so many methods of digital marketing and it’s easy to become overwhelmed by them all.
Nevertheless, they’re each important in their own right and, by picking just a few, it’s possible to create a highly-effective vegan digital marketing campaign.
Here are a few of the most common types (click on them to find out more):
What is SEO?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is the process of increasing the likelihood that your website appears at the top of relevant search results on Google (or other search engines).
For example, if your business sold vegan cheese, you’d want to show up on the first page of Google when someone searches ‘vegan cheese’.
Through various methods such as keywords, on-page optimisation, link-building, and back-end technical work, SEO can increase organic traffic and conversions to your website.
It’s one of the most popular forms of vegan digital marketing due to its ability to grow businesses organically.
SEO for vegan businesses will involve the implementation of coordinated long-term strategies to attract and engage more people and help you to beat your competition.
Instead of being an overnight fix, SEO will gradually increase your traffic, which is otherwise known as ORGANIC GROWTH.
SEO-Ready Vegan Web Design
What is vegan content marketing?
Content marketing is a form of inbound marketing that involves the creation of valuable and informative content targeted towards your target audience.
Its purpose is to increase brand awareness, organic traffic (visitors to your website), lead generation, and conversions.
It’s also a great way to build a community and nurture your existing customers.
So how is vegan content marketing different?
It’s written by vegans for vegan brands and businesses.
Vegan content marketing can take the form of:
This method of vegan digital marketing has rightfully become a very popular one as it is a less aggressive form of marketing and one which provides real value to your target audience.
Vegan content marketing helps align your business’s actions to your values by developing a brand voice and building trust with your customers.
It’s also one of THE BEST ways to increase traffic to your website.
Vegan content marketing channels include:
1. Blog posts
Starting a vegan business blog not only creates more entry points to your website but it also demonstrates your expertise within the plant-based industry and generates organic search traffic.
What’s more, blog posts enable you to engage with your customers, express your brand personality, and provide you with plenty of opportunities to convert visitors to your website.
Different from a blog post, an optimised webpage provides a pillar of information for customers.
These can display a variety of content that fits within the same topic.
For example, the webpage could cover everything you need to know about your vegan business, products & services offered, case studies, etc.
Webpages could also cover the brand’s values, mission, and vision.
These are pages of information that all other content should draw and lead to.
Designing your own website? Watch out for these top web design mistakes.
3. Ebooks and white papers
These types of content tend to be much longer than a blog post or webpage and aim to provide further educational content for visitors to the website.
Not only do these provide free resources for your customers, but they also enable the collection of contact information, such as email addresses, in order to sign them up to your vegan business newsletter, generate leads, and encourage conversions.
Many people prefer to watch a quick video rather than read a long blog post, so videos are a fantastic alternative to more traditional content marketing
A slightly different method of visual content marketing, infographics have the ability to break down complex data and information into a more aesthetic and easy-to-understand format.
What is Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising?
Pay per click advertising aims to increase the traffic to your website by using ads in prominent places, encouraging people to click the link provided.
These adverts are paid for on a “per click” basis.
For example, when you type keywords such as “vegan makeup” into Google, you might see a few listed ads at the top of the search results. These are an example of one of the most common forms of PPC: Google Ads.
PPC search engine ads allow you to bid for the top positions on search engine results for your chosen keywords, placing you above all of your competitors.
Other forms of PPC include:
- Social ads
- Display ads
- Remarketing ads
- Instream ads
- Google shopping ads
- Local service ads
PPC will not grow traffic organically. Instead, it can be used to quickly boost conversions and often forms part of an effective vegan digital marketing campaign.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a great way to get people to advertise your products and services on your behalf.
Rather than pay someone to advertise your vegan business on their website, affiliate marketing will allow someone to share your revenue if they lead to a sale. In other words, other people will market your products and services for free and will earn money on a commission basis.
For example, an editorial website, such as Vegan Sisters, might do an article on their favourite vegan cooking courses and advertise Fork Over Knives. If the two businesses have agreed on an affiliate partnership and readers click on the link to make a purchase, then Forks Over Knives would share some of its profits with the Vegan Sisters.
It’s a beautiful vegan digital marketing relationship!
Discover our favourite vegan affiliate programs here.
What is native advertising?
Perhaps one of the least understood forms of digital marketing, native advertising is paid content that is published primarily on editorial websites, such as BuzzFeed.
It is known as “native” because it attempts to fit in with the style of the publisher.
For example, if you were to place native content on BuzzFeed, you would write an article that is in a list format alongside eye-catching images. This type of advertising aims to be natural and often won’t obviously try to sell a product or service.
Check out Captain Morgan’s content on BuzzFeed as an example.
What is sponsored content?
Sponsored content is where you pay another brand or publisher to create media promoting your vegan business.
It’s similar to native advertising in that it will be posted on different channels to your own website. The main difference is that you don’t have to create the content yourself and it tends to be more openly promotional: actively reviewing your brand.
Although sponsored content has been around for a long-time in print publications, it’s become a really big thing online as well. For example, even Instagram influencers can be sponsored to promote a brand nowadays.
Sponsored content takes many forms including written blogs, videos, podcasts, and photos. To ensure that the recommendation is trusted by the target audience, brands should be careful that the publisher does not make it obvious that they are being paid to promote. Reviews should appear honest and relatively unbiased.
What is email marketing?
One of the best ways to communicate with your target audiences is through email marketing.
Email can be used to stay in contact with existing customers, blog subscribers, website visitors, program members, and potential leads.
This method includes the promotion of events, special offers, and content such as blog and social media posts.
Read up on how to build your mailing list.
What is social media marketing?
This is where you advertise your brand and its content on social media channels. For example:
- Tik Tok
Vegan businesses can use social media marketing to drive traffic to their websites; increase brand awareness; easily communicate with potential and existing customers; and generate leads and conversions.
Some businesses hire social media managers or enlist the help of digital marketing agencies to manage their social media channels. Others prefer to push out their own content but this can be very time consuming. Scheduling tools, such as Hootsuite, exist to make this easier by controlling all social media channels from one place.
What is inbound marketing?
Rather than forcing your products and services into people’s faces, inbound marketing is centred around providing value to potential customers. In other words, it’s an unobtrusive approach to vegan digital marketing.
As opposed to outbound marketing (a more traditional approach where brands initiate conversations with potential customers), inbound marketing aims to attract people organically.
By creating valuable content to inform and engage your target audience, you are improving their customer experience and will build your trust and authority as a brand.
Start your vegan digital marketing journey
Now you’ve read through the different digital marketing channels available to your vegan business, you should pick the channel(s) which you think you’d excel at, and even enjoy. Make sure to plan and strategise, and definitely don’t take on more than you can chew! Doing one channel right is better than doing them all badly.
If you want to deep-dive into a particular area of digital marketing why not check out our other digital marketing blogs.