Church's Butchers

Since 1888, Church’s Butchers has been a fixture on Epping High Street in Essex. More than 130 years after the shop first opened, the Church family still own the business and still sell their meat from the same site where the shop originally opened.

The family today operates on the same principles that has made the business so successful – ensuring the best quality of produce and being meticulous about sourcing their meat locally, ethically and sustainably.

The world has, of course, changed a lot since Stephen John Church first opened his shop all those years ago, and even local high-street businesses have very different needs than they did in the Victorian era. So, Church’s Butchers approached the team here at Top Frog asking us to revamp their website, accelerate their social marketing and turbo-charge their brand’s digital life. We were only too happy to say yes! If you’re wondering about the sort of stuff we do and how it can help your business grow, have a read of the story of Church’s Butchers to find out more...

First Steps – Building a Website

When we first started working with Church’s, the only asset we really had was a logo. We had the entirety of the journey of taking a business digital stretching out before us – but fortunately, we love a challenge! We met up with Church’s at their shop in Epping to find out more about their requirements for a website – what information would need to be conveyed, such as the location of the store and the selection of meats on offer.

From there, we were able to start on the wireframe process – this essentially means the blueprint of a website, identifying all the different pages the site needs and how they link together.

From here, we could start making the pages themselves – and first, of course, was the homepage. We experimented with many different styles to find the one we felt was right for Church’s, and then passed it back to them so we could check they were happy with it. Once this was signed off, we had the look and structure of the website nailed down, and this meant we had everything we needed to crack on and make a great-looking and well-functioning website for Church’s Butchers. We involved the clients in every step of the build, regularly soliciting their feedback so we could ensure the site was matching their vision.

The site needed to be a place where customers could easily get in touch with Church’s, order products online or just check what’s in stock. We wanted it to be bursting with fantastic content, from imagery to recipes, so we straight away we conducted a full photoshoot in the Church’s shop itself to build up our library of dynamic imagery, and we worked with our amazing team of writers to fill the site to bursting with blogs, news and inspiration for customers.

Finally, the site was ready to launch. But we were just getting started...

Taking it Further – Turbo-Charging the Brand

Church’s is a local business. Its customers are not people on far-flung shores – they’re the locals of Epping who pop in to pick up something tasty for dinner. The digital strategy we developed for Church’s had to reflect this – there would be no point in working hard to up a social following if it was all just low-hanging fruit like other butchers or BBQ enthusiasts from around the world, as none of these people are going to come and spend money on Epping High Street. A social/digital strategy that might work for, say, a global music service, would not work for Church’s. So we tailored our strategy specifically with this in mind.

One of Church’s strongest brand values is their commitment to local values – supporting small business and the local high street. All our content reflected this, from blogs about the important of buying locals to images of the latest meats the shop had ordered in.

We identified Instagram and Facebook as the strongest channels for Church’s, i.e. the ones its potential future customers were mostly using. This allowed us to show off all the great imagery we had capture in our photography sessions, and as a result we grew Church’s Instagram following from nothing to well into the hundreds within a couple of months. It may sound small potatoes compared to some of the huge Instagram accounts out there, but remember our strategy – we’re not chasing big follower counts, but instead we’re looking to attract local Epping people who might want to pay Church’s a visit. Just one of these followers is worth thousands from somewhere else as far as Church’s are concerned!

The Future

We’re still working with Church’s Butchers today, keeping regular content flowing to their social channels and their website, and we couldn’t be prouder that we’ve been able to help a local business grow by turbo-charging its digital life. We loved the challenge and camaraderie of working with the team at Church’s, doing everything from taking photos in-store to publishing great blog posts, and we’re positive they’ve got a fantastic future ahead of them.

Thanks to Church’s Butchers for a great challenge and a fantastic experience for the Top Frog team!

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