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Today more business niches are getting benefitted from digital marketing and this helps them to stand ahead in the competition. Things have not been different in the case of food and beverages industry! Just like any other business niche, food & beverages industry have their share of challenges in case of new customer acquisition, customer retention, customer engagement, etc. Lately, they found out that they need to find more innovative and creative ways to face them and resolve them eventually. All this can be intimidating for a new business and frustrating for an existing one, but with right digital marketing company as partner you will be able to overcome them with ease.
Affects of digital marketing on the food industry
Just like any other industry, food and beverage sector is undergoing digitization and it is said to make a huge impact on the market. As per a report of 2017, 40% of people know about food through digital channels. This means there is a big scope hidden in these channels and you can win when you utilize them wisely.
Now this is not just about social media sites like Instagram where you will find millions of posts and reviews all related to food and drinks affecting people. It does not end here! It includes the booking sites, review sites, and delivery services apart from just social media platforms.
As businesses are going through a shift or say transition for many reasons, strong marketing efforts becomes all the more critical. Here digital marketing turns out to be the best form of marketing. This means businesses that are in the food and beverages industry needs it for sure.
In case you are part of the foods and drinks industry or say a famous food brand yourself, capitalizing on digital marketing skills is invaluable. Yet, you may find it overwhelming to grasp everything.
Top Digital Marketing Trends To Follow For Your Food Business
- ‘Sustainability’ and ‘health’ becoming the new keywords
Over the years the keywords used across the food industry has evolved. There has been quite a change in the buyer sentiments too. This has directly influenced the marketing and production strategy set by brands. Two important trends have been seen to come up amidst all this.
First of all, the focus is now more on environmental ‘sustainability’. This thing has now turned to be more mainstream now rather than just being a niche awareness step. This is because younger population are more inclined towards having such products that does not have any negative or say have low effect on the environment. Now this is more than just considering the product lines in the food and beverages industry, but also considering the packaging involved. This means making use of bio-sustainable materials instead of plastics.
Another one is the use of keyword ‘health’. With younger generation becoming more inclined towards healthy eating the attention is more on words or terms like fitness, organic food, slow food, and food intolerances.
If you go through the menu section of COOK you will see that the meals have been categorized into Healthy in the main category. Then there is a By Diet section that talks about vegan meals, dairy free and gluten free meals. This makes it easy for the customers to find the products they are looking for easily.
- Investing in influencer marketing
In the digital marketplace, influencer marketing is considered to be the greatest and latest trend. The main reason for it is that it is much result driven and much effective. As per a recent article written on influencer marketing, it is said that influence marketing is used by 94% of elite marketers today and it helps them generate 11x more revenue compared to other traditional channels of digital marketing. When you team up with an influencer for your digital marketing needs, you will not only be gaining more attention and traffic to your online store, but you will be opening up a new range of food products in front of their social users who might not have planned to buy such products otherwise.
- Use of video tutorials
Lately, there has been increase in video marketing across businesses and so you should think about ways in which you can use videos in unique ways for your business benefit. Make a series of videos on how-tos, cooking or even product demonstrations. Take some time to research your food industry niche and come up with videos with trends or recipes that you think will indulge your audience and keep them engaged for a long time.
For example, just check out how this video shows making of different food products like marshmallows, donuts, biscuits, ready to eat kits, etc. at the industry level. This will give your consumers an idea about what you are actually doing and what your products are.
For Instagram, you will need 1 min videos or the ones that are like below:
Just think about coming up with videos with healthy recipes that are not longer than a minute and easily promote it through your Instagram and YouTube accounts. Small videos give away the information quickly and there are higher chance of them getting viewed and shared. The main agenda behind coming up with such ads is to get directly to your audience that are looking for healthy and easy-to-cook meal ideas.
Make it a point to use different social media platforms like Twitter and also your own website to increase the reach of your videos and get more views in the process.
- Focus on social networks
If you look across social networks, you will find that food & beverages remains as the most interesting subject. Their reach is wide and huge. The number of active people on social media across the world has reached 3.96 billion in 2020. This was 10.9% increase from what it was in 2019 i.e. 3.48 billion. This is the reason why you should give importance to strategies that focuses on mobile devices.
Social network is more about storytelling today and Instagram has proved to be right platform for the same by the use of images and videos. This platform has proved to be rich with user generated content that talks about businesses and builds confidence in the process.
As per a study, 70% users prefer to get hand on informative and authentic content compared to the other traditional advertising followed by the brands. The users who add in contents work here as micro-influencers and the new trend in here is to follow them and know more about their audiences.
- Conduct more contests
One of the best ways to engage your audience with the brand is through contests. You can use your social media platforms to connect with audience this way. Ask them to submit their favourite recipe. You can ask them to submit a flavour or name for a product line that you plan to launch soon. Asking them to come up with a new logo design for your brand can be a good way to connect with the users too. You can even conduct polls related to your dishes on your page.
Just see below how British Food Store has conducted a poll between two kinds of dishes available at their store.
In return, you can award them with your best-selling products or a gift card that will let them shop at your brand. Such a step will let your customers know that they are valued and they will contribute towards your business success happily. Before you go ahead, just be clear you have a content strategy in place and also make use of hashtags to turn your business brand. So along with that, think about ways in which you will market your content and put up the related terms and conditions by working with your legal team.
- SEO remains critical
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is actually set of practices or strategies that is used to optimize your site to have a better position on search engines with organic results. With the food sector becoming more competitive with each passing year, it becomes all the more necessary to understand SEO for your better digital marketing efforts. It is important for you as getting good results on Google matters. For many products and services in the market, they don’t seem to be existing at all to the customers if they are not visible on Google. This step is equally important for producers as well as for restaurants and retail shops.
As per Finances Online, 56% of the traffic that come to the food industry from search results come from organic search. This means making SEO part of your marketing strategy is very crucial.
- Targeting and personalization
Whether yours is a small or big business in the food industry it is important for you to understand the people you will be targeting. In short, knowing your target audience. You need to know things like what their preferences are, their behaviours, their demographic location, who they are, what they wish, etc. Now this becomes practical with digital solution like data-driven marketing through proper analysis, and it works for large scale audience well.
The brands need to analyse the sentiments of the users to know more about the current trends before they jump into markets with their products; this will give them competitive edge in the market. Or say, just think about user understanding, then based on that you recommend food that match their preferences, previous purchase history, research categories, and geolocation data – all collected from diverse channels. You should also work towards increasing the rate of loyalty by recognizing the opportunities for the same.
In short, functional analysis of big data will help businesses in the food and beverages industry to know their audience better and this includes the potential ones too. Such information will help the business influence and predict likely user behaviours.
You should start by segregating the target audience into specific groups based on their characteristics. The next thing is to offer personalization that is one-to-one; completely tailored and interactive.
- Focus on local search
Your local community is a big part of your target audience and so reaching out to them locally and online is very important. This will help you turn your brand and its products popular in the market and you can try out different advertising campaigns for the same.
In case yours is a grocery business which is planning to stock up some veg snacks that are kids-friendly then you engage with online and local parents’ groups, nutritionists, and bloggers through meaningful conversations. This will help you create interest among your target audience towards your products. In short, this will encourage them to shop from your local and online stores. When such loyal shoppers support your business, you will be able to build a more successful brand.
- Right blend of Virtual Reality, Voice Technology and Augmented Reality
The future of digital marketing will see three trends reigning and it will be influencing the food & beverages industry too. The use of vocal technologies like Alexa, Siri and Google assistant will be done by businesses in food industry for drive-through orders.
Another set of two technologies that go hand in hand is Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. The implementation of these technologies together has worked wonders for businesses across industries. Their role in food and beverage industry will open up new possibilities of storytelling, better customer service, starting everything from packaging, and finally stretching out your consumer experience.
When you are in the food business like an online grocery store or in the business of brews, your online presence means a lot. It is the digital presentation of your brand and so you need to keep it updated always. The best way to do it is by knowing what is going in the market, understanding the technological advancements, and above all, knowing your audience better. This is where keeping up with the digital marketing trends will help you keep your food business afloat always.