Supplement Marketing: 9 Best Supplement Marketing Strategies In 2021

Most supplement marketing strategies are overused, but there is a solution.

The trick is to focus on supplement marketing strategies used by the world’s fastest health and wellness brands. These days, it’s not enough to sell supplements like if it was 1990’s or even the 2000’s. The supplement industry is much more competitive these days, so if you want your message to reach and be believed by the masses, you have to update your marketing.

Let’s talk about how to do that…

Build A High Converting Email Funnel

Supplements are one of the most regulated categories in all of business. This makes it harder to get the most out of advertising since you’re so limited in what you can say. It’s also crazy competitive, which leads to higher CAC. The solution? Triple down on your email marketing. More specifically, you need to build a complete ecommerce email marketing funnel that takes your customer through the entire customer journey to maximize LTV.

The goal should be to generate at least 30% of your total revenue from email marketing. For this to happen, there can’t be any “holes” in your email funnel. This means having all of your email flows covered and consistently sending out multiple email campaigns per week, every week. This also includes regularly testing offers, messaging, and segments to maximize results. This is not about sending a “valuable” newsletter. This is about showing up as often as possible.

Action Plan:

Optimize all Klaviyo flows
Send 2-4 campaigns per week
Clean your list every 2-3 months
Maximize your segmentation
Focus on your best sellers
Test messaging/offers

Launch Or Acquire A Content Brand

Most DTC brands, including supplement brands, heavily rely on Facebook ads. This is fine, but if you don’t have a strong content brand to drive organic traffic to your site, then the moment Facebook makes any negative changes, your brand will die. Plus, with CAC increasing as bigger brands start to pour money into online advertising, it’s important to have your own audience.

So if you’re running a supplement brand, you’ll want to start your own blog, Youtube channel, or TikTok that is separate from your brand. In this content brand, you want to post consistent content with the goal of building an audience of people who are likely to buy your product and may even buy your product directly off of your content. This typically takes 18 months to see business changing results. If this is too slow, then buying an already existing content brand works too.

Action Plan:

Decide who is your best customer
Create content every single week
Distribute those pieces of content
Use the traffic to build an email list
Link to products within content

Radical Transparency With Supply Chain

The supplement industry is notorious for literally selling “magic pills”. They do this through a process called “pixie dusting”, which means adding in ingredients and “proprietary blends” that are sold as game changers, but don’t do anything and might even be unhealthy. In addition, more health enthusiasts than ever want to know exactly what they’re consuming, especially with studies of heavy metals being a big thing in the past few years.

If you were to open the kimono and reveal everything so that there was absolutely no question about your supplements and your motives as a brand, you can really stand out. The trick here isn’t to just be transparent though. You want to name name’s, show screenshots, have university studies, and more. Then you want to do everything possible to let people know that all of these assets exist. Trust is everything when selling supplements and there’s no better way to position yourself as the most “honest” brand in your category than to truly be transparent.

Action Plan:

Reveal your supply chain
Have 3rd parties confirm claims
Share original documents
Promote assets everywhere
Make transparency your brand

Niche Down To Specific Fitness Lifestyles

These days, it’s impossible to build a generic supplement brand. It’s just too competitive. At the same time, it’s also getting increasingly more difficult to build a brand around new ingredients. The solution is then to niche down to the smallest viable audience you need to still be profitable. The secret to doing this is to focus on niching the brand to specific fitness lifestyles.

Right now, the most popular and effective “niche” supplement brands are pivoting too is the “plant-based” lifestyle. A few years ago, if you would have pivoted to keto supplements, you would be making huge money today. Other types of lifestyles to consider should be activity-based such as yoga, Crossfit, and even gaming. This is the foundation of all supplement marketing.

Action Plan:

Find untapped or growing lifestyle
Pivot all messaging to fit that lifestyle
Modify products to focus on that lifestyle

Write Compliant, Benefit-Driven Copy

Copywriting and supplements have an “iffy” history. There are two schools of thought. The first is the hardcore direct response route, which includes making huge claims. This route is generally very legally challenging. The second route is the branding route, which includes almost zero claims. This route is really inefficient when it comes to making sales.

The solution is the middle, where you write benefit-driven messaging with compliant copywriting. Many “new school” supplement brands are starting to use this by accurately labeling their supplements based on what that supplement can do for you. The trick is to understand the law when it comes to the claims you can make and making sure you’re nowhere near the borderline.

Action Plan:

Understand supplement compliance laws
Focus on claims you can prove in court
When possible, use benefits to sell
For everything else, use features to prove

Produce Lots Of High Converting Ad Creative

Most supplement business owners think the trick to advertising is all of the “hacks”. The truth is though, it’s the actual videos and images (aka the creative) that determines the success of an ad campaign. If you were to give an A+ media buyer C- creative and a C- media buyer A+ creative, the latter would perform better. 

This is why the answer to improve your advertising is in producing lots of great ad creative. More specifically, you want to create ad creative to promote new offers, new angles, and new audiences. In practical terms, new offers would include new bundles, new angles would include different attributes, and new audiences would include new psychographics. No supplement marketing operation is complete without amazing ad creative.

Action Plan:

List new offers, angles, audiences
Test with image advertising first
Winners should be turned into videos
Optimize videos based on data

Invest In MOFU Advertising

Trust is the biggest barrier to most supplement sales because of how shady the supplement industry has been since its conception. It’s also one of the most competitive industries in the entire world. Not to mention alternatives and substitutes. So when you sell your supplements, you have to give people extremely compelling reasons why they should buy from you.

This is where middle of funnel (MOFU) creative comes into play. This is the type of ad creative where you prove to potential customers that you’re the only logical solution to their needs. Considering most supplement brands do not invest in this type of creative, it means that there is a huge opportunity to tell your side of the story while everyone else stays quiet.

Action Plan:

Nail down your USP
Collect best proof elements
Prepare for radical transparency
Create ads based on above

Focus On Premium/Luxury Branding

The supplement industry is littered with thousands upon thousands of brands. Yet, the premium category is still the least competitive. In addition, it’s expensive to create high quality supplements. The only way to keep your margins while still affording better ingredients is to raise prices, which is only possible in the premium category. 

When selling premium supplements though, you cannot use the same sales tactics other supplement brands use. Instead, you have to switch out discounts and “deals” with status, scarcity, and exclusivity. In other words, you want to sell your supplements as if you were selling $10,000 handbags. You can still use direct response, but you have to elevate the brand.

Action Plan:

Raise your prices
Build status with influencers
Try scarcity with limited inventory
Implement exclusivity with “drops”

Use Content That Drives Supplement Consumption

One of the most unique ways to sell a supplement is to increase the demand for that entire category of supplements. This is the complete opposite of what is usually done, which includes focusing on just your particular brand of supplement. The brand that can do this effectively will have the opportunity to grab market share like no one’s business.

The best way to do this is with content that includes your products as recommendations for “best results”. For example, if you sell a plant-based protein powder, then coming up with a 90 day workout plan that recommends your powder will lead to sales. Body For Life did this by launching a best selling fitness book that contained their supplements as recommendations, which led to millions in sales. This is the most “unique” supplement marketing tactic on this list.

Action Plan:

Ideate fitness content
Recommend your products
Promote the content everywhere