Walton’s Creates Meaningful Connections with Customers Online Through Meatgistics
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These days, it seems like just about everything has to be a fight.
Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?
Are hotdogs sandwiches?
Is it OK to wear socks with sandals?
The answers, of course, are yes, no, and yes, but I digress.
In a world where society feels more divided than ever, there’s still one great uniting force that allows us to sit around a table and smile:
Juicy meat. Dried meat. Smoked meat. Peppered meat. Fried meat. Baked meat. Sauteed meat. Smoked meat. Put together any adjective with the word ‘meat’ and you’re sure to have a group of people nodding in silent agreement. It just doesn’t get any better.
One BigCommerce customer knew of this great unifier, and sought to use it to bring together their customers and prospects in a new, exciting way. Enter: Meatgistics, Walton’s online community for all things meat.
Back before Meatgistics was even a thought in his mind, Austin Walton saw a need for more educational, informative content on Walton’s website.
“He recognized that we needed some how-to videos on our site,” said Jonathon Tremblay, Media Manager at Walton’s and Co-Host of the Meatgistics podcast. “So he and his sister set out to create some basic how-to and product information videos. Really simple stuff.”
It wasn’t until they had all this fantastic content that they realized they needed a place to put it.
“We wanted to get the most out of it, you know, get the most SEO juice,” he laughed, “so Austin created Meatgistics. I had been working in customer service for a while and he offered me a job to help make these videos. It sounded like too much fun to turn down.”
Once the idea of Meatgistics was seeded, it quickly grew into something much larger than anyone expected.
Along with the videos, Austin and Jonathon created individual communities where members could ask questions and share their experiences.
“I didn’t think much of it at the time,” he said. “It was a nice way for people to interact, and for us to interact with our customers. We could get them a correct answer from someone who really knows their stuff, or someone else could jump in with their two cents.”
Fast forward seven years and Meatgistics boasts over 27,000 community members, each bringing their own blend of knowledge and experience to the table. From seasoned veterans to green members looking to dip their toes in the smoky waters, Meatgistics has a community for everyone.
“They use it as a social media platform, really. There’s a thread called ‘What did everyone cook for dinner last night,’ and it’s exactly what it sounds like. There’s over 100,000 posts from different users talking about their dinners. It may not be sausage or jerky or whatever — it might be a pasta dish they cooked — but they’re sharing it all the same. It’s absolutely awesome,” he said with a smile on his face.
Austin and Jonathon’s success with Meatgistics is a masterclass in marketing done right. In a world where people are bombarded with ads left and right, taking valuable information and sharing it with your customers (or potential customers) is one of the best ways to create a brand with a loyal customer base.
Members of the Meatgistics community are constantly exposed to Walton’s vast array of meat processing products. They see the sheer joy that they bring other customers. And best of all, they learn something in the process. They become a part of something bigger than themselves: the Walton’s family.
Not only are Austin and Jonathon using this community to create a sense of trust and expertise, but they’re also gaining valuable data in the process.
What kinds of products do their customers want? What kinds of problems are they having? And most importantly, how can Walton’s reach them when there’s a new product launch or promotion?
Without any major media buys or massive digital marketing campaigns, Walton’s has access to 27,000-plus loyal customers that are more than OK hearing about new products — they want to know about new products.
There are a myriad of lessons to be learned from Austin and Jonathon’s foray into new media. Not just lessons on preparing the perfect pork shoulder; lessons in how to build brand loyalty.
With Meatgistics, Walton’s opened up an entirely new revenue stream by building a community that their customers can find value in.
They know that customer interactions won’t just be one and done. Instead, Walton’s will continue to nurture customer and prospect relationships over time with new and exciting conversations centered around the one thing that they all know and love: meat.
Reed Hartman is a Content Marketing Manager at BigCommerce, where he uses his years of research, writing and marketing experience to help inform and educate business owners on all things ecommerce.