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Food And Beverage Marketing: 7 Digital Strategies To Gain More Customers

By 2024, the food and beverage industry is expected to reach a market volume of $105.7 billion.

This market’s growth rate and volume of consumption will make it more competitive than ever.

If you run a food and beverage company, you’ll need to tap into some highly efficient ways of reaching out to prospects and converting them.

In this article, we will look into some of the most effective digital trends that will help you take your food and beverage marketing tactics to the next level, to attract more customers and ultimately increase revenue.

The top food and beverage marketing strategies are:

  1. Social Media
  2. Blogging
  3. YouTube Vlogging And Tutorials
  4. Reputation Management
  5. Google My Business
  6. Customer Advocacy
  7. Company Website
  8. SEO Content
  9. Email Marketing
  10. Augmented Reality
  11. Paid Campaigns
  12. Virtual Events

Top 7 Food And Beverage Marketing Tactics To Attract More Customers To Your Brand

Of the many ways to attract new customers, the following 12 tactics will prove to be the most efficient this year – and we have the research to prove it.

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1. Social Media Loves Food And Beverage Brands. Leverage Their Enthusiasm.

Social media is one of the most lucrative channels for the food and beverage sector, because:

6 out 10 of the most followed brands on Facebook are in the food and beverage industry

Instagram, Twitter and Facebook users love food & beverage brands, making these some of the most effective channels to leverage in your digital strategy, in terms of cost and results.

So how can your brand incorporate social media into your digital strategy?

  • Place your product in popular contexts: From reinventing popular recipes to emphasizing the health and environmental benefits of your production process, create posts and campaigns that incorporate your products into relevant discussions among your target audiences.
  • Encourage user-generated content: Encourage your followers to share their experiences with your food & beverage products via photos, video reviews and more. This encourages a constant stream of content from customers, builds lasting relationships with your brand and engages potential new consumers.
  • Take advantage of the evolving social ads: Use sophisticated targeting algorithms and innovative formats to optimize spending and attract highly qualified leads into your sales funnel.
  • Form partnerships: Create strategic partnerships with brands and influencers. Collaborative social media campaigns can educate your audience on the versatility of your products, as well as grow your follower base.

 

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A post shared by Kentucky Fried Chicken (@kfc)

2. 79% Of Consumers Trust Food Blogs. Channel That Trust To Your Brand.

Food bloggers command one of the highest degrees of trust online.

Their educational and/or entertaining content provides great opportunity for food and beverage businesses to increase brand awareness and retention, as well as gain new customers.

For example, let’s take a look at a food and beverage blog that focuses on educating users about how to eliminate food waste.

Did you know that you can make marinade from pickle juice? Imperfect Foods creates inspiring blogs to show how you can use fruits, vegetables and other foods you might toss, to create something new.

Screenshot from Imperfect Foods
[Source: Imperfect Foods]
Another inspiring example ais food and beverage blog, Siete Foods.

From traditional Mexican cuisine recipes to posts about how food can either heal or harm your body, Siete Foods creates content that engages and educates, paired with high-quality, vivid photography.

Screenshot from Siete Foods
[Source: Siete Foods]
Partner with food bloggers to:

  • Introduce your product to new audiences and gain a larger following
  • Educate audiences on the use and versatility of your products
  • Increase trust in the quality of your product

Extra tip: 2021 saw the growth of the organic, vegan and sustainable food and beverage trends. Brands that uphold these values are well-positioned to benefit from the increase in environmental and health awareness.

To make the most out of it, create content around:

  • Organic / vegan / allergen-free products
  • Environmental and social benefits of your production process
  • Environmentally and socially responsible values and motives
Looking to grow your brand online? Let us give you ideas!

3. 86% Of Millennials Turn To YouTube For Food & Beverage-Related Tips. Serve Them Your Products Via Vlogs, Tutorials Or Ads.

YouTube enjoys a great following among food and beverage customers. Whether they are seeking culinary tutorials or reaction-video entertainment, this audience is highly engaged – an ideal opportunity to gain more eyes and dollars for your brand.

  • Almost half of all adults watch food videos on YouTube.
  • Interest in cooking skill videos skyrocketed 110% in 2018.
  • 86% of millennials turn to YouTube for guidance on topics like preparing meals.
  • Millennial food lovers are a loyal audience—one that’s powered a 280% growth in food channel subscriptions year over year.
  • Food content has generated nearly 41 billion views on YouTube.

Incorporate video, or more specifically, YouTube food and beverage marketing into your digital strategy via:

  • Owned channels to distribute culinary tips and campaigns
  • YouTube partnerships for endorsements and follower base growth
  • Ads for greater brand awareness among target demographics

Video can help your food and beverage marketing efforts:

  • Introduce your product to new audiences and gain a larger following
  • Educate the audiences on the use of your products, production process and/or brand values
  • Reinforce your brand identity through behind-the-scenes, endorsements and/or storytelling

4. 91% Of Customers Read Reviews. Consider Reputation Management As One Of The Pillars Of Your Digital Strategy.

Your food and beverage marketing tactics should encourage customers to leave reviews, which you should monitor closely for higher customer satisfaction. Why? A 2020 Local Consumer Review Survey found that:

  • 91% of users say that positive reviews make them more likely to buy the product.
  • Online reviews are the second most trusted source of information for users.
  • As much as 97% of review readers read the account owner’s replies to reviews.
  • 76% of users trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from their friends and family.

Food and beverage marketing product reviews
[Source: productreview.com.au]
Some general tips on how to set up a profitable online review system for your business include:

  • Use poor reviews to your advantage: Getting a negative review of a product can be reversed by responding directly to the reviewer by asking questions, validating their feelings and focusing on solving the problem. Disappointed customers could, through good customer service, reverse their opinion and update their review.
  • Improve your customer experience by addressing customer feedback: While responding to customer reviews is one step in making your customer experience better, you should also use this feedback to improve your processes. For example, let’s say you’ve gotten a lot of reviews about the dim lighting in your dining area or there is a consistent flow of people saying that the pasta in your spaghetti bolognese isn’t al dente enough. What would you do to improve these concerns? Solution: Improve the lighting in your dining area and update your cooking specifications for your pasta.
  • Encourage positive reviews on targeted platforms or owned channels: Encourage your users to review your products or share their experience with your customer service in exchange for perks. This will help grow your brand awareness and trust.
  • Monitor the right platforms: Users are sharing their experiences on social media pages, Yelp, Tripadvisor and similar platforms. Identify and monitor these platforms as part of your brand reputation management strategy.

food and beverage - the importance of positive reviews

5. 64% Of Consumers Use Google My Business To Find Business Info. Optimize Your Profile To Drive More Traffic To Your Physical And Online Stores.

Google My Business (GMB) is an overlooked business directory that is ideal for companies in this niche and one of the hottest digital trends in the food and beverage industry.

According to a Google My Business Insights Study:

  • 64% of consumers have used Google My Business to find the address or phone number of a local business.
  • Each month, an average business gets 59 actions from Google My Business listing.

Registering your food and beverage business, be it a wine and cheese shop, artisanal ice cream stand or brand headquarters, establishes credibility and allows you to attract the near-me searchers and organic online store traffic.

Google My Business:

  • Improves business visibility through local SEO
  • Lets you connect with new audiences
  • Helps you understand your customers’ behavior

NYC Wine Merchants Google My Business listing
[Source: NYC Wine Merchants Google My Business]
When a prospective customer searches for your business on Google, the GMB page will show your working hours, website, location and photos at the top of the search results.

These points help educate users about your business and help them find, contact, visit and visualize it.

Some of the best practices for optimizing your GMB page this year include:

  • High quality photography: A recent study found there is a strong connection between the number of photos on GMB and the search performance; Businesses with more photos get more search and Maps views, and they appear in more direct and discovery searches.
  • Use of GMB’s features: Go beyond the basic profile setup and focus on the additional features such as Review Management, Insights, Bookings, Posts and Q&A. Creating an Offer Post (an Update, Event, Offer or Product) can engage audiences to share your news, offers and products.
  • Advanced information: This may include a store code, labels, Google ads location and more, which can help new customers find your business more easily.

google my business

6. 92% Of Consumers Trust Peer Recommendations. Encourage Customer Advocacy To Increase Sales & Retention.

Word-of-mouth has been one of the most powerful marketing channels since the infancy of trade and its power translates to the digital environment unscathed.

  • An overwhelming 92% of people trust recommendations from people they know.
  • Prospects who come via referrals are 37% more likely to become returning customers than those who enter the sales funnel via other channels.
  • Revenue increases twofold with a 12% rise in advocacy.
  • 67% of marketers say that advocate marketing campaigns helped them engage with their target audiences.

Food and drink products are something your customers are passionate about. Encourage the sharing of this passion to stimulate brand advocacy and reap its benefits.

Looking to grow your brand online? Let us give you ideas!

To incorporate consumer advocacy in your food and beverage marketing businesses:

  • Find the perfect consumer advocate for your brand: Target social media civilians (i.e. non-influencers) who are active and passionate about your brand. Reward their passion with attention, freebies and other online or offline perks.
  • Build an advocacy marketing program that attracts high-profile advocates: Create exciting content, using storytelling, value-driven campaigns and/or interactive campaigns such as contests with exclusive prizing to gain the attention and engagement of influencers.
  • Identify where to recruit these advocates: Look at your customer base and your competition to identify the right candidates for your food and beverage marketing advocacy strategy.

For example, car brand Tesla referral program when the company promised $1,000 to every Tesla owner who convinced friends or family members buy a new Tesla. That, paired with another $1.000 discount for the new car owner.

Think Starbucks’ Tweet-A-Coffee campaign in 2013, where customers could get a $5 gift card for themselves and another gift card for their friends through Twitter. The only thing they had to do was to tweet the @tweetacoffee handle, together with the recipient’s own Twitter handle.

The result was hundreds of brand advocates joining in, national attention, engagement and brand advocacy.

tweet-a-coffee campaign by Starbucks
[Source: Starbucks]

7. Almost 50% Of The Small Businesses In The US Do Not Have A Website. Capitalize On This Opportunity Whether Your Are Selling Online Or Not.

Food and beverage brands stand to gain a lot from eCommerce:

Whether you are looking to sell online or not, digital presence can be a powerful tool to expand your market and support almost every stage of your sales funnel.

A simple website can help your food and beverage brand:

  • Strengthen brand identity
  • Educate your audience about your products
  • Gain customer loyalty through user-generated content
  • Run promotional campaigns to increase store traffic

over 50% of US small businesses don't have a website

8. 87% Of Consumers Perform Their Product Searches Online. Optimize Your Content For Search Engines.

Optimize your website for search engines by including a title tag, meta descriptions, alt tags and image names.

Use specific keywords related to search terms your food and beverage customers might use. Include the keywords in your landing pages, blogs, marketing campaigns and hashtags.

General recommendations for SEO when it comes to your food and beverage business include:

  • Use keyword research tools such as SEMrush to select the keywords that correspond to your business niche
  • Create quality content based on the selected keywords
  • Include keywords focused on health and environmentally-sustainable products
  • Focus on recyclable and sustainable packaging keywords to demonstrate a commitment to the environment
  • Highlight any health benefits your products may have for the consumer

SEO content will help you:

  • Increase your online visibility
  • Target quality traffic
  • Meet consumers’ demands
  • Boost conversions

9. As Little As $1 Invested In Email Marketing Can Generate Up To $45. Nurture Prospects & Grow Loyalty Via Email.

Email marketing campaigns can be a real game-changer for your F&B business:

  • Every U.S. dollar invested in email marketing results in an average ROI of $45.
  • Email marketing revenue is predicted to reach $10 billion by 2023.

Use email campaigns to attract customers to your website or social media platforms. Keep your audiences informed about your latest news, events, promotions and discounts.

To create a successful email campaign:

  • Create copy centered on your consumers’ pain points
  • Use high-quality images reflecting the taste and benefits of your products
  • Use enticing and specific CTAs to generate traffic to your food and beverage pages and boost conversion
  • Use personalization to engage consumers

Email marketing will help you:

  • Optimize engagement by serving highly targeted content
  • Nurture your audiences to conversion
  • Increase loyalty and repeat sales

10. Over 1.5 Billion Consumers Worldwide Engage With Augmented Reality. Elevate User Experience With New, Immersive Tech.

Augmented reality (AR) can bring a revolutionary change in the way your consumers perceive your brand and products.

  • By 2024, the number of AR users worldwide is expected to reach 1.7 billion people.
  • One-third of U.S. shoppers will use AR technologies to buy products online by 2025.

From scanning a wine bottle label to learn about the origins of grapes to allowing consumers to visualize a piece of furniture in their home, AR offers an innovative and interactive user experience.

Incorporate AR technology to boost interest, create engagement and increase conversion. Inspire your customers to explore, see, try and learn about your offerings.

AR can help you:

  • Provide a unique and immersive user and brand experience
  • Engage existing and prospective consumers with innovative solutions
  • Enhance product and/or brand education

11. U.S. Companies To Spend $56 Billion On Social Media Paid Advertising In 2022. Reach New, Highly Targeted Audiences With Paid Social.

Launch pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns to bring highly targeted and, therefore, relevant audiences to your website. As a result, you will see your conversion rates go up.

  • U.S. adults viewed 3.98K food and beverage ads in 2016.
  • Adults in the U.S. viewed 2.83K restaurant ads in 2015.
  • Grocery stores advertising spending in the U.S. amounts to $190 billion annually.
  • Frozen, canned, vegetable and specialty foods and preserved fruit advertising spending amounted to $1.36 billion in 2016.

While these insights may seem outdated, consider that the U.S. social media ad spend has grown from 15.63 billion in 2016 to 48.94 billion in 2021 and then guess where those numbers stand today.

PPC campaigns will help you:

  • Grow brand awareness among new, highly qualified audiences
  • Generate leads while controlling your marketing budget
  • Increase social media following and engagement and, in doing so, increase the future impact of your organic campaigns

12. Six Out Of Ten U.S. Wineries Conduct Online Tastings. Connect & Reconnect With Your Audiences Via Virtual Events.

The challenges of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic along with the rise of technology turned online virtual events into an absolute hit.

  • Six out of ten wineries in the U.S. conducted online wine tasting in 2021.
  • Virtual marketing events around the globe in 2022 are expected to reach 40%.
  • The global cloud kitchen market size is expected to reach $71.4 billion by 2027.

From social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to specialized event platforms, organize your remote dinner party, Happy Hour or virtual wine tasting to attract new target groups and create entertainment.

Hosting such an event for your food and beverage business can help you:

  • Create cost-effective events
  • Engage audiences from different geographic locations
  • Provide interactive product education
  • Generate leads

Food And Beverage Marketing Takeaways

The top digital marketing strategies for gaining more customers in the food and beverage industry in 2022 include:

  • Social media
  • Blogging
  • Reputation management
  • Google My Business
  • Customer advocacy
  • Email marketing
  • Augmented Reality
  • Hosting online virtual events

At Digital Silk, we create results-driven marketing strategies based on thorough research of your food and beverage competitors, industry and target audiences.

From creating personalized email campaigns to devising a custom social media presence and writing expert blog posts to encourage education, our experts use research-backed insights for marketing that brings results.

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      2022 Digital Trends Guide