How To Win Over Savvy Shoppers In The Wellness Industry With PR

Nicole Dunn is the CEO of Dunn Pellier Media, Inc; PR for the fitness, health and wellness sector.

In the fast-evolving wellness sector, consumers have become the epitome of informed decision makers. Meticulously reading nutrition labels, scrutinizing ingredients and conducting thorough research are just a few traits that define their purchasing behavior. As health-conscious individuals, they are driven to seek products and experiences that genuinely support their well-being and align with their health goals. However, the ever-expanding plethora of options in this booming industry, coupled with the higher price tags, intensifies their selectivity.

In the midst of the wellness industry’s rapid expansion—the Global Wellness Institute projects “9.9% average annual growth, with the wellness economy reaching nearly $7.0 trillion in 2025″—a profound shift has taken place among consumers as they actively seek authentic media sources for information about products. Gone are the days when a simple ad or social post could persuade shoppers to try the latest immunity gum or invest in the latest trendy broccoli shot.

What worked in the past is changing.

As the wellness-savvy population continues to grow, the power of public relations (PR) can be a game-changer for businesses aiming to establish trust with their audience. In the past, the go-to solution might have involved enlisting social media influencers to promote products or services, leveraging their once-mighty sway over audiences. However, the current landscape tells a different story, as the power of social media influencers has waned over time. Many, including myself, have experienced an overwhelming influx of said influence and over-advertising, leading to a lack of trust and less consumer buying power.

One compelling PR trend is that 92% of those surveyed say they trust earned media, such as news articles and reviews, more than traditional advertising. Because of this, brands are getting smart about establishing credibility through earned media placements, thought leadership and genuine storytelling. By showcasing their products and experiences through reputable third-party endorsements, they can cut through the fluff and offer wellness consumers the evidence-based insights they crave.

Already, earned media is probably sounding pretty great to you and your CMO—often-unpaid content that you and your PR firm can create to pitch to make landing earned media easier. By embracing a strategic and ethical approach to PR, companies can cut through the noise and cultivate lasting relationships with customers who believe in the value of their offerings.

What does the future of cultivating brand PR look like?

Now more than ever, brands are seeing the value that digital earned media stories create for building credibility with consumers. So, what does it really take? Here are a few steps to keep in mind as you create your PR strategy.

• Build your team.

First, ensure you have a good targeted PR team that understands these current trends. Your team should be capable of building strong brand identity, awareness, visibility and partnerships and have a combo of the right connections. From there, the PR team can create an outreach strategy and creative story to help your brand land the best placements.

If you don’t have the funds, time or knowledge to train your own in-house team at the moment, you can also team up with a public relations firm that specializes in your niche. (Full disclosure: My company offers this service, as do others.) Effective PR firms should consistently nourish relationships with journalists and online outlets that will be beneficial for your brand to appear.

• Find what’s currently resonating with brands.

It’s important to stay up-to-date on what types of earned media are most effective for your industry. For example, you may want to seek a feature on the morning news, in an online article or through an interview on a podcast or YouTube channel focused on your field. For example, I have seen high returns on podcast placements in the health and wellness arena, which I believe is due to the unique way these shows connect with cultivated audiences of deeply engaged listeners.

While many avenues of earned media are free, be aware that some may require costs that you will need to make sure are within your budget. For instance, some prominent wellness podcasts, such as those by popular hosts like Dave Asprey or Ben Greenfield, can command substantial fees (even in the tens of thousands) for brand appearances or sponsorships.

• Vary your sources.

In my experience, earned media is even more powerful when you garner placements from a variety of sources. This creates the feeling amongst consumers that everyone is talking about your brand. Longevity and consistency with PR can bring many fruits, from sales to new consumers to brand recognition, and when your brand name is being seen over and over again, it can help build awareness amongst consumers and keep your products top-of-mind.

Final Thoughts

I believe the genesis of the wellness industry can be traced back to an enlightened cohort of consumers who have always sought superior health, fitness and mental well-being beyond conventional offerings. In their pursuit, they spurred an economic demand for top-tier products that cater to the holistic needs of individuals. As wellness brands traverse the ever-evolving landscape of customer outreach, it is imperative to remain cognizant of this origins-driven essence. In this journey, earned media is a potent and authentic avenue, not only to fostering consumer awareness but also to forging genuine and lasting relationships with them.

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