How much time do you spend on social media each day? 5 minutes, 10 minutes—some, even couple hours. Just think about that, then think about how there are currently over 3 billion social media users and that 69% of US citizens use some type of social media. To put that into perspective, that’s roughly 225 million pairs of eyeballs that could potentially be seeing and spending time with your brand!
For CPG food and beverage brands, the potential of social media advertising is almost unlimited. As marketers, we want to create that appetite appeal and get our brands in front of hungry consumers—in the most authentic and efficient way possible. What better way to do that than on social media networks? These platforms are where people go to ask friends for recipes, recommendations and share their favorite meals and food brands!
What makes advertising on social media crucial to the growth of food and beverage brands is the incredible amount of data that these platforms are able to collect. The targeting capabilities that are offered can put a sizzling cheesesteak, a steaming cup of tea, or a delectable dessert right in front of an active buyer—at the right time.
Stories Sell – Ads Don’t
When it comes to social media, people are there looking for relevant content that applies to their lives—stories. So it’s our job as marketers to create content that connects with these consumers. Sure, you can put an ad out anywhere you want and just try to get some eyeballs on your product, but if you invite a user in and connect with them on a deeper level, they’re more likely to remain engaged and loyal to your brand.
We live in a society where people know they’re being advertised to. Consumers know that brands are putting something in front of them to try and make money. The thing is, being in the CPG and food marketing space, we’re lucky. People love food, and they love the stories and feelings that come along with their favorite foods, so it’s much easier to create engaging content that people actually want to see.
Data Tells a Story
In a digital age, data is king. On social media, we have the ability to see what people have bought, what they like and even where they live and work—basically, their lifestyle and behavior. Then we’re able to track and see who likes the content we’re putting out and how relevant it is to the people we’re trying to reach. It’s the proof that shows us how well we’re telling our story and if we’re telling it to the right people.
If you really think about it, social media marketing is just a big puzzle. You start by building the edges and getting an outline of what your target audience looks like, then as you collect more data, you get to connect all the pieces and figure out what works and what doesn’t. And if you do it right, over time, your costs to reach those audiences will go down. It’s all about creating a funnel and helping warm audiences to move through it.
Now, obviously, that’s easier said than done. Mapping the consumer buying journey and helping them through the conversion funnel isn’t easy. However, social media helps to fill in some of the most common contact points. Social media advertising allows you to increase cross-platform frequency, reduce waste and build up groups of people who have interacted with your brand.
These platforms also have incredibly sophisticated machine learning capabilities. Machine learning makes it possible to take the people who actively engage with your brand and find new people who look just like them. That way, you can reach people who may not know about your brand, but once introduced, are much more likely than a random audience to engage with your product. These lookalike and similar audiences drastically reduce waste and take a lot of the guesswork out of your digital targeting. I mean, why try and guess who to target instead of letting a computer find exactly who those people are?
Retarget, Retarget, Retarget
A huge buzzword in the world of marketing right now is retargeting. Research has shown that it could take up to 7 impressions before someone remembers your brand, and that’s exactly why retargeting is so important. With social media, retargeting is incredibly effective. All the major social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn) have a pixel that you can install on your website that tracks users and how they move throughout your domain. These pixels provide the ability to track a variety of events from page visits to when items are added to shopping carts and even sales conversions, then you can use that data to send targeted ads to people on each network.
For example – let’s say someone visits your website and clicks into your chocolate peanut butter granola bar. If your Facebook (or whatever platform you’re choosing to advertise on) pixel is installed correctly and you’re running a remarketing campaign, then they’ll get an ad sent to them for that granola bar. Simple as that! By retargeting users with dynamic ads, you know that you’re reaching people who are engaged and looking at your products, so they’re much more likely to be activated and purchase your brand.
Digital marketing is only going to continue to grow and innovate, and social media is just one piece of the digital marketing puzzle. However, by utilizing social media marketing as part of the digital mix, your food or beverage brand will be reaching in-market consumers accurately, efficiently and affordably. With so many users online, and the population only continuing to grow, social advertising is a must for CPG brands.