If you’re a developing food or beverage brand, you’ve probably heard about SEO, SEM, and social media marketing. But do you know what happens when they work together to create a fully integrated digital campaign for developing your brand?
Today, if you’re not using digital, you’re missing out on important tools that could increase brand awareness, cross-selling, distribution, shelf visibility, and more.
Not sure what a plan would look like? Check out these basic digital marketing strategies for emerging food and beverage brands.
How Digital Marketing Has Affected the Food Industry and Food Business
The digitization of the food and beverage sector like so many others have had a huge effect.
In fact, over 40% of people learn about food via a digital method
We are not just referring to the fact social media sites, Instagram in particular, are overrun with food and drink promotional posts and reviews, but looking beyond that there are also all the review sites, the bookings sites and delivery services. Everything has been affected.
As a result of this shift, there is one form of marketing that is most important to any business and that’s digital marketing. Food and beverage brands like yours need it.
If you are a food brand or have a business in the food and drinks industry and are looking to capitalise on digital marketing, you may feel a little like a fish out of water.
Don’t worry as we are here to help. In this post, we are going to discuss what some businesses and brands do when it comes to having successful digital food marketing strategies, as well as offering some tips and suggestions as to how you can market your food brand.
How do you market an F&B Brand?
When it comes to having success in such a busy industry, you may be wondering how you can push your F&B brand ahead of the rest and have success.
What you need is an outstanding digital marketing strategy. If you are new to the industry in general or digital marketing, you may wonder how you go about marketing a F&B brand.
You have many options including:
- video ads (food is very visual)
- social networks and social media influencers
- SEO (search engine optimisation)
- Content marketing
- Email newsletters
- Press releases
In this next section we will look at some of the above in greater detail and provide tips you need to put into action and the trends you need to be aware of to have success marketing your food & beverage brand digitally.
1. Brand awareness for developing food and beverage brands
The first stop in your marketing plan is to increase brand awareness. Brand awareness is about building a relationship, an emotional connection, between your brand and your audience. A strong brand awareness will ultimately enhance loyalty and drive your brand over the long haul. The trick to creating an emotional connection with your audience is to make sure it’s a two-way conversation and not a one-way diatribe.
Digital marketing tools such as social media, SEM, SEO, display advertising, and more can be used to accomplish the following marketing goals that in turn help build brand awareness:
- Expose your target audience to your brand
- Create emotional connections
- Recruit brand ambassadors and influencers
- Generate consumer engagement
- Build thought leadership
- Generate product trial
- Drive pantry loading
Digital tactics of email marketing and remarketing can be used to cross-sell additional products. After all, if your customers are already enjoying one product, they are the perfect people to tell about another.
3. Gaining on Consumer feedback and insights
Find out what your customers think of you – and want from you – through website surveys and social media polls. Not only will you gain insight into them, but you will generate engagement with your brand and make your product more recognizable on the shelf.
4. Growing distribution by demonstrating support for stores
Familiarity with and willingness to use geotargeting can help make brands more attractive to distributors. How so? Let prospective distributors know you can help them sell your brand through geotargeted digital ad campaigns. Location targeting lets you show your ads to customers located in a specific geographic location – even one as small as a neighborhood/radius around a store.
5. Focus on local SEO
One of the most important steps in F&B’s digital marketing is perfecting your search engine optimization. SEO is everything in terms of getting organic traffic to your website, and ultimately, customers in your seats. When someone types in “Italian (or whatever) restaurants near me,” your SEO rating will determine how quickly they find you.
Whether people are locals or travelers, you need to make sure your website’s SEO makes you a local hotspot. You can boost your SEO by taking the following actions:
- Create a blog on your website full of engaging and relevant content
- Make sure every page of your website utilizes local keywords and other forms of SEO coding (metadata embedded in pictures, videos, headings, etc.)
- Use both internal links (to other pages of your site) and external links (to affiliate websites, sources of data, etc.)
- Create a Google My Business Account
- Make sure your contact information and address is listed multiple times and is easy to find
6. Personalise Content And Target Customers And Target Audience Directly
Whatever approach you take, whatever social media platforms you use and whatever other methods you use to target your customers and target audience, personalisation is vital.
When you personalise content and your correspondence with customers, it shows you understand them.
There is lots of evidence to support the fact that when you are using email marketing, people are more likely to read and react to emails, for instance, that are addressed to them specifically. The same is true of ads.
It shows them you are more than just a faceless entity and that you emphasise with them and are there to help them.
7. Press Release
Press releases still work if you have the right contacts or you have a large budget. The other way to get featured in a high traffic publication is to ensure your story is SO newsworthy that it can’t be ignored.
Often what we think is newsworthy and what enters a busy journalists inbox are two different things.
Make the news as interesting as possible, perhaps focussing on a trend with some interesting statistics.
To finish, make a journalists work as easy as possible when publishing the story. Don’t expect them to chase you around.
Stay away from cheap press release distributors who tend to send your story to automated, low quality sites for the purpose of SEO only. Good food either costs or takes effort to do well.