Food is no longer just a refueling factor for the human body. In today’s world of diverse food cultures and international cuisines, deviations in eating habits and food choices are getting more varied than ever. Moreover, food is now an art form for most consumers. And consequently, the customers expect that the marketer of food, beverage, and restaurant brands, will put on a show that will both appeal to them and entertain them. This is exactly what the current digital marketing trends in the food industry revolve around. Here are the top trends that food industry marketers will need to adopt and include in their marketing strategy in order to remain a notable player in this competitively diverse industry:
Videos are the main feature with food:
As mentioned before, food is now an entertainment factor. And what can be more entertaining that videos? In fact, most recipe and food-related websites have videos of food, cooking, and even vegetable harvesting online in order to catch the consumer interest. It’s not even just food or making food either that makes interesting videos: The video can even be an introduction to the different kind of cooking knives one can use in the kitchen, or even how to quickly and effectively dice an onion. In short, the actual content of the video doesn’t matter as long as it is related to food and is entertaining or informative to consumers in some way.
Video marketing is thus the trend that currently dominates the food industry. And hence, any brand’s marketing professional’s will need to ensure that they provide a steady stream of food-related video content as part of their marketing strategy. Of course, video content certainly hasn’t replaced text content or images to make them redundant: Using a healthy amount of text content and images is a feasible idea too; just ensure that there’s regular and valuable video content too.
Social media ranks at the top for food-content:
The truth is, more and more people are flocking to social media for information and entertainment. Moreover, in recent years, it is social media that is dominating the highest amount of user-clicked food content online. In fact, social media has overtaken the food industry so thoroughly that having a Facebook page in addition to your food brand’s website is no longer optional. Food brands must engage with consumers via social media, and they are required to engage via social media even more than any other industry is required to in this digital age.
Among all social media, though, it is Facebook (and more specifically, Facebook videos) that is ruling the food sector at the moment. In fact, there are food pages on Facebook that don’t even have a website yet that is doing better than those food brands who only have a website. Twitter is also browsed equally fervently when it comes to food related content. But Facebook is a good notch above it, including both regular and video food content in explicit values.
Consequently, food marketers should focus on social media marketing strategies to get the most out of their food and beverage marketing strategies.
Storytelling is the key to promoting the food industry effectively:
Consumers are in no way impressed by brands that only provide promotional and marketing messages regarding their food brands. For, food is an experience now, not just a product or service; people use food to gain experience about other cultures, to give them comfort, and to give them a means to a better or more interesting lifestyle. And that’s how most food choices work now, in all honesty: It’s akin to a lifestyle.
Hence, people want the food industry to provide them with valuable content that either entertains them or informs them, or both.
Food entertainment is the key marketing theme at the moment (not ads):
Both food connoisseurs and regular shoppers do not want you to tell them why your food and beverage products are better than other brands. They want you to show it. And they don’t want to be bombarded with ads either, for they’re annoying. Instead, give them something entertaining: A TV spot run by a food brand for 30 minute cooking shows will give your brand more value. Or else, forget the TV spot, simply create a YouTube Channel for your brand and upload regular videos (even two-minute videos) that provide the consumer with some valuable food-related information or entertainment. (Even a video on creating food art with fruits would suffice; as long as you do give your customers something entertaining to watch.)
Make no mistake: Ads have their place. But too many video ads over entertainment videos will more likely drive your customers away rather than interest them towards your food brand.
Food brands need to act as a positive influence in order to interest consumers:
Is your brand known for organic food? Is it healthy? Can you tell consumers why it’s healthy? Does it give farmers more of an involvement? Is the produce safe? How are you better than other food brands? Do you offer variety? Do you offer discounts and promotions along with healthy and organic options? If it is milk and meat products, can you ensure your customers that it is naturally raised and “farm fresh”? Is your brand involved in philanthropic or public service activities that will benefit people or animals or the environment? Can you provide information on recipes that use only leftovers? Can you offer delicious recipes that use the often disregarded parts of a meal? Do you have videos that show meals that can be made in 15 minutes or less? Do your recipes have a health index that consumers can refer? Do you have vegetarian and vegan alternatives to the ingredients you mention for non-vegetarian and lactose-inclusive meals?
And so on…
For, these are the kinds of things that will interest your customers and keep them coming to your brand: They want to know that the food they buy from you has more than one positive factor. And make no mistakes, you will definitely need more that one or two factors to keep up with your competitors. (This is one other important factor to consider regarding the information provided in the marketing content of food brands.)