Blogs we love: Vega Life

Welcome to the first installment of Pressboard’s Blogs we love series.  In this series we highlight brand blogs that are successfully realizing the potential of content marketing.  These companies have a solid understanding of who they are and the value that they can bring to readers and customers through education, entertainment and insightful storytelling.  We hope that through the sharing of these success stories we can all learn from one another to develop our own content marketing strategies.

In this installment we highlight Vancouver based nutrition company, Vega.

Vega Life blog

Vega (previously Sequel Naturals) was founded in 2001 and has established itself as the leader in the plant-based natural health and performance products industry.  Vega Life is the hub of the brand’s content marketing efforts.  With sections including the Vega blog, recipe center, meal plans, success stories, videos and an open forum, Vega Life is a seemingly endless treasure trove of educational information on how to live a sustainable, plant-based lifestyle.

To say that Vega has built a following on social media is an understatement.  Over the past few years Vega has attracted more than 170,000 Facebook Fans, 55,000 Twitter followers, over 9,000 Pinterest followers and a whopping 150,000 Google+ followers, in addition to a highly engaged newsletter subscription community.  The growth curve has been even steeper recently with organic and referral traffic to Vega Life nearly doubling in the last 6 months, driven significantly through social media.

The cornerstone of Vega Life is providing education on plant-based nutrition.  This educational approach is at the heart of everything Vega does and goes back to Brendan Brazier, the former professional Ironman triathlete (yes, that means swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and running 26.2 miles) and two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion who formulated the award winning line of plant-based Vega nutritional products.  Brendan first discovered plant-based nutrition as a way to optimize his performance and is now sharing his methods, recipes and successes through his best selling Thrive book series.

In speaking with Melanie Roy, Vega’s content lead, we were able to dig deeper into what makes Vega Life so special.  Melanie joined Vega two years ago, having finally found a place where she could combine her passion for Nutritional Sciences (which she studied at UBC) and digital marketing (which she majored in at BCIT and further honed at Vancouver ad agency Cowie and Fox).

Melanie Roy, Vega's Online Marketing Manager

Melanie Roy, Vega’s Online Marketing Specialist and content lead

Pressboard: What sort of content is being posted on Vega Life?

Melanie: The primary focus of our content is educational.  We aim to help people live a more sustainable, plant-based lifestyle.  Every week we create and post 4-5 new recipes as well as 4-5 pieces of blog content, including Vega product education and stories from our Vegotopians.

Pressboard: We first came across Vega Life through the recipes, is that an area where you see a lot of engagement?

Melanie: Definitely, recipes are a big part of why people come to Vega Life.  The recipes themselves are responsible for about half of all of our visits.  The recipes are created by the Vega team, including our in house chef, education team and myself.

Pressboard: So you actually create some of the recipes yourself?  What is your favorite Vega recipe?

Melanie: Yes, I love coming up with recipes and I love to bake.  I would say that my favorite recipe is the Vegan banana protein pancakes.

Pressboard: Mmmm, that’s going to be tomorrow’s breakfast.  I noticed that some of the recipes, like the Cauliflower Buffalo Wings, don’t actually contain Vega product, can you explain why it’s important to have these recipes in the recipe center and on the meal plans as well?

Melanie: Our mission is to provide people with the tools to help them optimize their life through sustainable, plant-based nutrition.  For us that means sharing recipes that we love, even if they don’t contain Vega ingredients.

Pressboard: That explains the more lifestyle focused pieces like “How to Compost“.

Melanie: Yes, sustainability is important to Vega and also to our audience.  A sustainable life goes well beyond just what you eat, we posted the starter guide on composting to coincide with Earth Day.

Pressboard: Speaking of your audience, Vega has a core audience of vegans but has grown to reach a much broader and likely less vegan consumer base.  How do you make sure to maintain credibility with your core while staying relevant to new audiences?

Melanie: Great question, we have fans of the brand that cover the entire spectrum of a plant-based lifestyle.  Many of our audience are raw vegans while others are just beginning to introduce plant-based nutrition into their diets.  For us it’s all about balance, it’s one of the reasons we produce so much content.  Some pieces are geared towards our vegan audience while other pieces, for example a new recipe, can help a newcomer to Vega simply introduce plant-based nutrition for one or two meals per week.

Pressboard: With such a strong following across multiple social media accounts, have you found that any one particular outlet has stood out more than the others?

Melanie: The primary ways we communicate with our audience online is through our website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and our weekly email newsletter.  Facebook continues to be the standout from a reach and engagement perspective while our newsletter is a great way for us to consistently provide new recipes and stories to a community of people that have specifically opted in and requested to receive it from us.

Pressboard: With such a large following, and a highly engaged one at that, how is Vega able to respond to all of the comments, mentions and requests from your audience?

Melanie: There is huge value from a customer experience perspective to listen, respond and connect with every person that shows an interest in our content, our products and our brand. Our goal is to engage with our community at every opportunity we spot, we have some amazing supporters and great online conversations with them.

Pressboard: What does the future of Vega’s content marketing look like?

Melanie: Realistically the next step for us at Vega is to fine tune how our content can be used to it’s full potential across our marketing as a whole, online and offline.  We are seeing the value of content and education in our PR, at trade and retail, basically everywhere that Vega interacts with our customers and stakeholders.  Making sure that we can maximize the returns our content strategy is generating will be a major focus for us.

We thank Melanie for taking the time to tell us more about one of our favorite blogs, Vega Life.  If you would like to check out the recipes, meal plans and stories being told on Vega Life follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest or sign up for their newsletter on the Vega website.  We’ll leave you now with one of our favorite recipes, the chocolate avocado smoothie.

Chocolate Avacado Smoothie recipe from Vega

-P

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If you liked this post check out “Setting guidelines for your company blog”

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