Why User-Generated Content is What Consumers Crave

Beverage Marketing post by Bill Sipper

Beverage Marketing: Why User-Generated Content is What Consumers Crave

Fans create brands. And when it comes to brand marketing, there is nothing stronger than peer-to-peer promotion. Brand ambassadors and fans motivate other people to choose and use your products and services, like your beverages. In marketing, this is called user-generated content (UGC), and it’s what beverage companies need to offer their consumers because it’s how they want to be marketed and what they crave. Beverage Marketing is strong in peer-to-peer promotion.

UGC Increases Engagement

User-generated content relies on a successful content strategy.  In turn, follows the latest industry news and allows for such marketing efforts to be included. It also relies heavily on the technology behind promotional channels beverage business use.  There are a lot of different types of UGC content:

  • Blogs – relieves some of the pressure from the marketing team and gives consumers a highly personal perspective on the brand;
  • Comments – increase engagement on websites and social media and promote the brand through peer-to-peer communication about the brand;
  • Reviews – impact consumers psychologically by increasing trust and credibility, and have the potential to affect 46% of consumer decisions.
  • Images – establish visual contact between consumers and the brand through the direct use of the product and its promotion of personal and official online channels;
  • Videos – increase brand awareness and brand perception through different interpretations of the brand and the direct use of the product.

Content like this requires promotion, so consumers become aware of its existence. Targeting different channels, allows more users to take part in and generate content.

Additionally, beverage companies should consider including consumer incentives for consumers to create content. Campaigns can include prizes, like discounts, special offers, a free supply of drinks, or branded material like flash drives, T-shirts, and even concert tickets. Just remember to make them useful.

UGC Builds Valuable Relationships

Brand identity relies a lot on the relationship a company has with its audience. Brands have to look towards aligning their value proposition with their brand message – core beliefs, mission statements, and goals. This type of communication is customer-centric and focuses on establishing a shared system of value on which a brand can build a relationship with its audience.

User-generated content can make this happen for beverage companies. It essentially allows consumers to take part in the development of the brand. For example, if your company wants to develop a new drink, it issues a campaign that gives an opportunity for customers to come up with a name for it. It empowers consumers, and they are more likely to consume the drink regularly (interact with the brand.)

UGC Inspires Loyalty and Creates Fans

According to marketing professional Kevin Kelly, a brand only needs 1000 true fans to succeed. In that sense, beverage companies need to focus their attention on returning customers and allow them to create user-generated content as a reward. In turn, this creates a loyal following of faithful fans, who know the company values their efforts.

It also creates trust – an essential element of loyalty. And with mutual trust coming from both sides, fans will become brand ambassadors of your company promoting the company to other consumers (what you want,) while you continue rewarding their loyalty (what they want.)

Conclusion on Beverage Marketing

A brand is only active if it has a strong following. And for a beverage company, beverage marketing is following the latest trends in the industry and creating user-generated content campaigns can be a great way to create a loyal backing. After all, it gives consumers the type of promotion they want and crave – created by them and created for them.

How the Trump Tariffs Are Set to Drive Food and Beverage Prices Higher

Trump Tariffs post by Bill Sipper

Imposed Tariffs Under Trump

Like any tariff, the Trump Tariffs are a collective series of government-issued duties on imported goods. In 2018, President Donald Trump imposed the first tariffs in January.  In turn, affected the import of solar panels and washing machines into the US. Later, in June another series increased the tariffs of imported steel (25%) and aluminum (10%). According to Morgan Stanley, this covers 4.1% of all US imports.

These government measures sparked were intended at China.  However, also managed to anger US trading partners, most notably Canada, the European Union, Mexico, and India. In July, all of the countries most affected by Trump Tariffs hit back and issued their tariffs on US imports. And a trade war began.

What Can We Expect?

According to former deputy assistant Matt Gold, of the US Trade Representative under Obama, these measures will drive higher prices of all consumer goods. The tariffs imposed on the US affect raw materials, the first prices that will rise will be in the manufacturing sector.  Where many rely either on steel parts for their machines or aluminum for packaging. Beverages in aluminum cans will need to increase in price only because of the cost of raw material. Coca-Cola has already stated that it will have to raise prices because of the cost of production.

The most significant effect to small and medium-sized is the trade tariffs imposed by Canada. In 2017, total trade with Canada was 673.9 billion dollars and included everything from goods to services. Most major chain stores and suppliers import products from Canada.  Which can have an effect on smaller and medium businesses across the board. Importers will need to charge more, to account both for their import fees and the export fees of their suppliers.

The tariffs against the US also mean there will be changes in agriculture due to import-export fees farmers have to pay for their farming equipment and resources. USDA proposed a 12 billion dollar aid to US farmers who are impacted by the tariffs. However, this will not stop the rise in prices of food since vital raw foods have been impacted including corn, wheat, dairy and pork products.

What Prices Will Go Up Under Trump Tariffs? 

Currently, there is still food, and beverage surplus all across the US.  Prices will remain the same until the goods imported after the tariffs have been issued hit the stores.

You might expect to see the first prices go up when it comes to raw foods.  Examples like meat, bread, vegetables, fruit and dairy products, especially in small stores. Big stores like Walmart will hold on to their current prices longer, but not too long.

It will also impact the food and beverage service industry since they rely on fresh produce to prepare meals. Eventually, businesses will need to find solutions, and they might be forced to resort to firings, and people will start losing jobs.

Stay informed about all the latest industry news and find out how this story develops the way it will affect your business.

 

5 Ways Your Beverage Business Can Maximize Influencer Marketing

5 Influencer Ways Beverage Business post by William Sipper

Beverage Business Marketing

An influential voice has the power to get people to listen, change their opinion and impact their decision. Therefore, influential people can resonate with their audience to benefit brands in any industry, even the beverage business.

And as one of the latest trends in marketing, beverage companies can use influencer promotion to raise awareness, increase engagement and get more people to drink their product. Here are five ways to maximize the effects of influencer marketing on your beverage business.

  1. Find the Perfect Influencer

When it comes to connecting with a target audience, companies first need to determine a few things, like size, the sphere of influence, and personality before finding the right person for the job.

Micro-influencers have a following between 10,000 and 100,000 followers. It might seem like a small target, but their followers tend to be a tight-knit and loyal community which affect engagement. Micro-influencers are also easier to connect with and are cheaper or even free. And if they’re young, it also means the company is building for the future. In part, that’s why micro-influencers are considered the marketing force of the future.

Macro-influencers have almost celebrity status with several hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers. While their fans might not all be devout, these influencers still have an astounding reach, and their endorsement can have a tremendous impact on brand awareness. However, they are difficult to get a hold of or require substantial contract fees or incentives to promote a company.

It is also crucial that companies research potential influencers to see what kind of content they promote. For beverage companies, this means targeting influential people from the food and beverage industry or people who tend to use those products and publicly review them.

Food and drink bloggers and professional cooks might be the perfect angle to get products promoted through review. Service companies also follow these influencers, which is an excellent way of reaching potential retail partners. As for user-influencers, targeting local social media celebrities is helpful for B2C beverage companies looking to sell more products directly to the consumer.

Finally, once a company selects a shortlist of candidates, it is essential for them to initiate and establish contact with them. Influencer marketing is big business, and it is crucial to determine the price to see if it is a financially viable option.

  1. Target Multiple Channels

Customers respond best to visual advertising when choosing what beverages to buy. Research shows how television food ads have a substantial effect on individual choice, especially in situations when other tasks occupy them. Translated into the digital world, it means there is a definite potential for influencer marketing on visual social media channels, like Instagram for images, YouTube for videos, and Facebook for both.

What companies fail to realize is that these are not the only channels. To truly maximize the impact of influencer marketing, companies need to expand their search and target multiple channels during a campaign. It might open them up to new consumers, or help them find their ideal target audience.

As mentioned, food and drink blogs are a great way to receive the endorsement and promote beverages to potential retailers and service providers. Influencer sponsorship is another way to maximize promotion, whereby a company can sponsor specific segments on favorite online events. It works exceptionally well when targeting smaller audiences engaged with podcasts or webinars.

Trying out different mediums at different points in the campaign in combination with customer surveys can maximize influencer marketing as it shows where a company can have the most significant impact. Plus, companies can learn from major brands in their industry, like Coca-Cola, and use some of the ideas on own their campaign.

  1. Set Clear Goals and Track Them Through the Campaign

Before initiating an influencer campaign, a company needs to determine what it wants to achieve. It can be anything from increasing brand awareness to increasing engagement, or even conversion and sales. A company needs to complete a marketing audit to determine the current situation and decide what aspect of a business to improve.

These goals must be presented to the influencer, and a precise schedule and timeline must be determined. Also, a system of reporting must be included so the impact of the campaign can be monitored and improved if necessary. If targeting prospects through social media, companies should stay away from vanity metrics, and instead, focus on key performance indicators. Only like this can a business determine the success of the campaign and its financial viability.

  1. Building a Relationship with the Influencer

Efficient company culture always centers around people. It’s what makes businesses appear more human. Translate this into influencer marketing, and it’s the role of the company to establish a good connection with their influencers, so they accept company culture and become fans of the brand.

Building a relationship with the influencer makes their work more meaningful, and this resonates with their audience. Regularly rewarding the work, sending free drink supplies or surprising them at their events with branded gifts will create a special bond and make their work more successful.

  1. Create Content that Stands Out

One of the primary goals of influencer marketing is to direct potential leads and customers to the company social media and website, or even the page of its best selling product. As the visitors arrive at this location, they need to see the quality of content and recognize its value otherwise they will feel deceived, both by the influencer and the company.

For beverage companies, it could mean having branded content that is both educational and entertaining. Educational, since this type of material, is aimed at industry professionals looking to partner up. But there also needs to be compelling content in the spirit of the brand message or the different drinks, which can drive sales directly through engagement.

Creating regular high-quality content also helps the influencer select the best material to promote on his channels. At the same time, it also allows the company to remain independent and not rely entirely on the influencer and one marketing strategy.

Accept Innovation

Keeping up with the latest innovation trends in soft drinks also means accepting innovation when it comes to marketing. It means staying on top of the latest industry insights, to realize the potential and help the business grow. And creating a company that’s a leading influence in the industry.

Food and Beverage Company Faults

Food and Beverage Company Should Make Use of SM post by William Sipper

A Food and Beverage Company that doesn’t make Good Use of Social Media is Shooting itself in the Foot

The intense competition that exists in the food and beverage industry can make it difficult for smaller brands to gain the attention of consumers. Using social media marketing effectively can make a difference. People tend to try out new foods and beverages based on personal opinions, recommendations, and reviews. This shows how important it is for brands to interact with consumers on social media.

Influencers

Just one post by an influential food blogger about a specific product can generate countless impressions with high conversion rates. A social media presence gives brands the opportunity to connect with such influencers.

Brand personality

The personality of a brand is becoming more and more crucial when it comes to marketing.  Relating to consumers on social media helps to build that personality and create loyal followers. Companies are seeking out creative ways to relate to their customers and get feedback their feedback.

Social media interactions

Millennials love sharing dining experiences and will post about interesting beverages they have tasted. They want multi-sensory experiences and food and drink play a big part in this. Well-presented or well-packaged food is likely to be shared on Instagram or Facebook. Social media interactions provide a way for brands to be recognized and to create a loyal customer base without having to resort to more direct forms of advertising.

Companies that do not use social media to their benefit are definitely shooting themselves in the foot. A strong social media presence is no longer an option for food and beverage brands –it’s an absolute necessity.