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Vitamins Health Supplements Digital Marketing Best Practice

Vitamins Health Supplements Digital Marketing Best Practice


Today I look at Vitamins Health Supplements Digital Marketing Best Practice. This analysis looks at SEO, E-commerce, social media and content marketing. It covers key brands such as: Swisse, Blackmores, Nature’s Own, Cenovis and Nature’s Way.


Utilising the handy free tool SEOSitecheckup, I ran SEO reports for all the brands with the results below. Nature’s Own is the clear winner in terms of overall score out of 100 and having the least number of important SEO fixes.

 Overall Score/100# of Important Fixes
Nature's Own6312
Nature's Way5213


Of the key brands, Swisse has it’s own e-commerce store. Nature’s Way e-commerce store is via parent company PharmaCare’s health365 which sells all PharmaCare brands. Nature’s Own and Cenovis parent company Sanofi-Aventis have their own e-commerce store Golden Glow, which just sells products under the Golden Glow brand. In contrast, Blackmores don’t have their own e-commerce store but provide links to online retailers and physical stores nearby.

Social Media

Here are the follower numbers for the key social media channels as of Oct, 2014.

Nature's Own79,53820308
Nature's Way16,68600

NB: Swisse also has 305.9k views on You Tube and 5.7K views on Google+. Cenovis likewise has 3.5k views on Google+.

Swisse has the broadest and deepest footprint in social media, with significant follower numbers across all the key social media channels. Nature’s Own has the highest number of followers on Facebook, whilst Blackmores has the highest number of Twitter followers.

Content Marketing

Blackmores Communities.Blackmores has built up an impressive consumer community following of 311,476 members. Via this community, members can chat to other members about health issues, share their success stories and get advice on a range of topics. They also have a number of guest bloggers that post articles on a broad range of health & wellbeing topics on the Wellbeing blog.

Vitamins Health Supplements Digital Marketing Best Practice

In addition, Blackmores has a section on their website dedicated to industry and health professionals. This covers: Retail Customer Service, accredited Online Professional Education for GP’s and pharmacists, as well as general news, resource material and product information. They have a professional community following of 9,592 members.

Blackmores also has a number of recent sponsorships which they leverage including: #SBS sustainability projects, #SydneyRunningFestival and surfing.

Swisse content marketing focuses on the end consumer with frequent promotions and leveraging their large number of brand sponsorships and celebrity endorsements. In recent times, these include: #SwisseMarquee at the Melb Cup carnival, #TheSwisseColourRun, #backtoback AFL Hawks, #TheBlock party and the Robbie Williams Concert for Swisse. Other celebrity endorsements have included: George Calombaris. Karen Martini and Nicole Kidman amongst others. This provides a wealth of content material that is very suitable for sharing across social media.

With a brand positioning targeting families with young kids, Cenovis is seeking to establish itself as a utility to help busy mums with young kids and families. Recent content examples includes: mid week dinner recipes, kids recipe collections, time saving tips for mums and tips for kids health for those who are fussy eaters.

Key Learnings

  1. SEO – All brands can improve their SEO performance. Some of the common issues include: slow page loading times, arising from no HTML compression and no caching of pages. In addition, there are potential URL and IP canonicalisation issues.
  2. E-Commerce – The establishment of a direct sales e-commerce channel for larger established brands needs to be carefully managed to avoid channel conflict against: 1. The traditional sales channels in pharmacy and grocery, who are also increasingly selling via their own e-commerce stores such as Chemist Warehouse.  2. Dedicated online retailers such as Discount Vitamins ExpressVitamin Warehouse and Pure Vitamins. It will be interesting to see if other brands follow the lead of Swisse and pursue their own e-commerce stores. A significant part of the sales growth of the Swisse brand in recent years has been due to distribution gains in the grocery channel, with Woolworths and Coles. Most brands will have a broader number of products available for sale than that typically ranged in a supermarket or pharmacy store.
  3. Social Media – Exactly how much the deeper and broader social media footprint has contributed to the Swisse revenue growth from $45M over four years to $170M in 2013, I can only speculate. However, I believe the widespread use of social media has made a significant contribution to the acquisition and engagement of a younger target audience. A younger target audience that potentially equate health & wellness with a high profile, vitality, influence, social relevance, achievement and even celebrity status rather than with the traditional health & wellbeing cues.
  4. Content Marketing – Blackmores has built up fantastic consumer and professional communities that can be leveraged and marketed to. They can target specific product offers to those in the community on particular topics and issues.

by Konrad Markham

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