Atlantic Meat is a chain of butcheries located in Cape Town, South Africa. Their customer base and Target Market is largely lower income and working class Capetonians. They currently have 5 shops across the city the majority of which are situated on major transport routes.
South Africa is largely still a developing nation and so the use of digital media is growing rapidly and is being driven largely by the widespread adoption of smartphone usage, with far fewer people owning desktop or laptop computers as opposed to smartphones. The number of internet users in South Africa increased by 1.7 million (+4.5%) between 2020 and 2021. Therefore any Digital Marketing Strategy needs to be optimized for mobile platforms.
This puts Atlantic Meat in a unique position to take advantage of various Digital Marketing platforms as their Target Market uses these platforms more and more.
How Atlantic Meat is doing Digital Marketing currently
Although Atlantic meat has some digital presence, there is more that can be done to take advantage of the digital resources available to them. A few of the things they are doing that are working are:
Atlantic meat has a Facebook page with a large following of over 20000 followers where they mainly post weekly updates on specials running in their stores. They are engaging with customers really well on this platform with 2 people replying to any queries or comments posted on the page. These posts are very informative and in the past there were also a series of creative video posts uploaded which were engaging.
WhatsApp business is a fast growing method for small to medium businesses to interact directly with their customers. Atlantic uses this platform to post specials on their status as well as respond to customers’ queries and messages. This platform is great for personal interaction and timeously answering customer questions.
Although shrinking in many developed markets, SMS marketing is still going strong in South Africa. It is useful for conveying links to other platforms or acting as reminders to customers of deals or promotions. These messages will get to customers who do not yet have internet access. It is important to remember to follow the regulations in place when it comes to blanket messaging such as this.
Goals for Atlantic Meat’s Digital Marketing strategy
- Update all online information (Website and Google My Business)
- Increase social media platforms and usage (Facebook and Instagram)
- Increase variety of posts (Branding and Educational posts as well as Informative posts)
Creating and updating the Atlantic Meat Digital Fingerprint
Atlantic Meat has a presence online but a large amount of the information is incorrect and out of date with a common theme being that it hasn’t been updated in some time and so information for stores that have been subsequently closed is still prominently visible. There are many ways that potential customers search for and access information about businesses, I suggest you focus on just two:
Google My Business
Whenever you Google a business or search on Google maps and it brings up a banner with information about the business, this is all facilitated by Google My Business. Atlantic has a small and incomplete Google My Business presence.
The store now called Atlantic Meat Maitland was incorrectly labeled still as the previous N1 Butchery. Whereas the original Atlantic Meat Maitland on Pitt Street was still active, as well as the now closed Atlantic Meat Claremont. These stores will have to be marked as closed permanently on the system.
The Philippi and Bellville Taxi Rank stores however had no presence and so will have to be added. A few easy steps should be followed in order to update your presence:
Step 1: Make sure you have a designated Gmail account for Atlantic Meat or create one.
Step 2: Login to Google My Business and start adding the stores that do exist to your profile.
Step 3: Create any stores that do not yet exist on the platform.
Step 4: Verify that you own these stores by having a unique code delivered to the stores over the telephone or via a postcard that gets mailed to the store and input the codes on your profile.
Step 5: Update all the information about the stores including the location, the contact details, the operating hours and add pictures of the stores.
Atlantic Meat’s website was designed to be aesthetically pleasing but it was very clearly designed some time ago. Much of the information on the website is incomplete or inaccurate. It is time for an update of the website to reflect where Atlantic meat is now and where it is headed.
Update all information
The website is where customers go when they want more information about the business. This means that all information on the website needs to be accurate 100% of the time. Currently there are disconnected numbers and inactive email addresses on the website and these must be removed and updated. The isiXhosa tagline “U-Atlantic Meat ugqwese ngenyama efresh nangamaxabiso atikelelekayo e Cape Town!!”, meaning “The freshest & tastiest meat in Cape Town!” has a spelling error and should say, U-Atlantic Meat ugqwese ngenyama efresh nangamaxabiso afikelelekayo e Cape Town!
A store locator page should be more interactive with links embedded. You could even integrate Google Maps into your website for an easier user experience. The Product line currently consists of a series of pictures. Descriptions and alt text (behind the scenes descriptions that Google uses to categories and promote pictures) should be added.
Think of unique uses for the Atlantic Meat website
The website could also be used as another way to reach out to and engage customers. You could add a blog for instance as a way to educate and inform your customers. Either on your food safely processes or as a more fun Recipe blog. Asking your employees to submit and write their favorite recipes that use your products. You could even create a hybrid approach where you post a recipe once a week with other articles intermittently.
Content is King
The phrase rings true when it comes to Digital Marketing. Having the right content on Social Media that speaks to your target market is essential. Cape Town has a diverse and multilingual population and that is reflected in the clientele of Atlantic Meat. Therefore your posts should appeal to a wide variety of different people. This is why I recommend that you create posts in multiple languages. English and isiXhosa as your main languages and Afrikaans as a supplementary language.
Having your content personalised to your brand is very important. This is why having photos of your actual stores and your actual staff is better. It means that customers recognise the stores when they arrive. I recommend that you hire a professional photographer to do a photo shoot of each of your stores as a once off or as an annual expense. This will allow you to create professional looking Social media posts and to update the pictures on your Google My Business.
Types of posts
There are many different kinds of posts for Social Media but the main 3 are:
Branding posts – Posts that showcase and promote your brand to your audience.
Informational posts – Posts that inform your audience about your products and where your stores can be found.
Educational posts – Posts that educate your audience on topics relating to your brand and your products; ie: Food safety information or cooking tips.
For the sake of simplicity you can standardize posts across all your platforms. Scheduling software could also be used to plan out when you want to post and it will post at the time that you set. When it comes to posting, consistency is key. I recommend that you post once a day so that your audience has a consistent stream of content. The optimal time of day to post would on average be 1pm. You can schedule your posts days in advance for then.
It would be a good idea to consistently post product pictures to showcase what you sell as well as pictures of the exterior and interiors of the stores to showcase where your customers will be shopping. You can then focus on themed campaigns for your content.
Examples of Campaigns that Atlantic Meat can run on it’s Social Media include:
Employee story highlights; your employees are the face of your company to your customers so highlight standout employees and their stories with their permission. You could also run a campaign around the managers of each store.
Educational posts about food safety; this will show your customers what you are doing to keep them safe. It could take the form of “Did you know?” posts and link them to longer form blog posts around the topic.
International and Local Holidays; both more well known and little known holidays can be used as the theme for posts on the day and in the week around them.
Food photo competition; get your customers to post pictures of the food that they cooked using your meat and tag you in them. The best picture wins the prize.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is very important for growing your audience and popping up in people’s searches. The best way to improve your SEO () is consistency. Consistently use Hashtags # in your posts. Choose the right keywords and consistently use them across platforms. Keywords such as Butcher, Butchery or Meat can help Google identify your brand and connect you with similar searches. Focus on what makes you unique and let that shape your brand.
The use of Facebook by Atlantic Meat in the past has been very good but even still, not all of the contact info and details are correct on the page or in the posts. Be sure to add and update all of this info. Customers can’t contact you if the contact numbers are incorrect.
To optimize for users on mobile devices, make sure to include all the essential details in the description of your page and not in the About section. Make the contact details and store addresses as accessible as possible.
You can also attract people to your page by adding the social media logos to any physical flyers or posters you may create.
Instagram is a growing Social Network that focuses mainly on picture sharing. It is a good place to market your brand because it is by nature very visual and so it lends itself to a picture based marketing campaign. The user base of Instagram also skews younger so you can attract a younger customer base that may not know or think about your brand. It would be an opportunity to start something new and grow it naturally over time or promote it to start
Email and messenger marketing
Potentially in the future you could add an email newsletter to your SMS marketing if you find that your target market is using email more and more. It can be an effective way to communicate with the right audience but should not be a priority at this moment.
An effective and emotive way to connect with potential customers is to ask someone who your audience may look up to and follow to promote your brand. It may be a minor celebrity or social media personality but in this case it may be more effective to ask one of your employees who most closely matches your core demographic, who is very charismatic to step into this role. A woman, over 40, of Xhosa descent.
You are looking for someone that younger people can look up to and older people can see as an equal. A Gogo (Grandma) to use the isiXhosa term. She can live stream from your stores regularly and promote your products. Start her on the main channels and then possibly spin her off to a separate channel when she gains a following. She can also post herself cooking your products and post recipes. The more exposure she gives you, the better and you compensate her accordingly.
Potentially pay for one or two of your employees to get certified in Digital Marketing through the International Institute of Digital Marketing (IIDM). Besides it being a great way to upskill them, their new skills will benefit the company and carry your digital marketing strategy into the future. Always focus on what makes you unique, having Fresh & Tasty meat and providing exceptional Service. This will permeate throughout your digital marketing strategy and take you to new heights.
About the Author
Ian Hannington is a Digital Marketing Analyst completing an Online Digital Marketing Internship through the International Institute of Digital Marketing. He enjoys connecting people to others and to ideas that enrich their lives. He currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa.