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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How mobile apps are influencing the food and beverage industry
We live in the age of mobile phones, and the majority of smartphone owners use their phones to engage in multiple activities. The impact of mobile apps on the food and beverage industry is continuing to create change.
Consumers love to share culinary experiences and give recommendations on social networks with photos as evidence. This takes customer influence to the next level. Restaurants are also using mobile apps to help streamline customer service.
On-demand food delivery apps
These apps are extremely popular with consumers who are very busy or prefer not to cook. Fewer customers may be attracted to a physical location, but the ease of online ordering usually makes up the difference in more orders. Discounts for new customers and specials can attract more customers.
This change is difficult for less tech-savvy restaurant owners not listed on apps but listing a restaurant, or even placing adverts on these apps can significantly increase traffic to an establishment and they need to explore this to remain competitive.
These apps make it easier to find reservations at restaurants where you want to eat. OpenTable is one of these apps. One of the problems of such apps is no-shows at restaurants after bookings have been made. This means restaurant owners miss out and it reflects on the app too. Apps and restaurants both need to continue to explore and improve these new ways of doing business. In turn, customers who use them need to play the game too.
BonApp is a popular app used in China. It lists all the restaurants in the largest Chinese cities and can also be used in Singapore, Bangkok, Taipei, and Tokyo. It is simple to use, and restaurants are classified by cuisine style, price, location proximity, customer rating and the possibility of delivery.
Users can use photos of meals with their comments. Users are even linked to maps to find out how to get to the restaurant and can book a table via the app. On the homepage, a Top 10 of best restaurants in various categories appears on a daily basis.
Review apps, such as Yelp, have served to increase attention on customer service. They have also forced restaurant owners to be aware of more than just the need to serve good food. They have to embrace new technologies to remain competitive.
One way they can use social media to their advantage is by using it to create a buzz and amplify audiences for special events such as a special Valentine’s day menu or a St Patrick’s Day Celebration.
An app like DealNews works with restaurants to bring in new customers by offering special deals. Apps like this have influenced how restaurants price menus because they have to take into account that customers may use coupons or discounts.
Individual restaurant app
These can be gamechanger but are usually only used by big companies. Starbucks, for example, gives users the opportunity to order and pay for drinks from their app. Members earn loyalty points by making purchases with the app.
The food and beverage industry is changing rapidly, partly due to the widespread use of mobile apps to streamline processes.
Will beverage sales drop as more electric cars take to the road?
When electric cars hit the road and drivers don’t have to fill up tanks at gas stations, could impulse purchases at convenience stores drop? Morgan Stanley analysts have concluded that this could take place.
Convenience stores could take a hit
In a report published recently, they noted that only a small fraction of vehicles on the road are electronic, but this could change in the future. Electric vehicles could account for 94% of car sales by 2040.
The analysts believe that convenience stores and beverage companies could suffer losses as a result. Particularly companies like Monster Beverages, as 63% of its sales in the U.S. are made in convenience stores. The analysts did not see alcoholic drinks or tobacco products taking the same hit because beverages are often bought impulsively, and people drink them on the spot.
The Convenience store industry is more concerned about other factors
Those in the convenience store industry are more concerned about their competitors such as other retailers and online stores than about the effect of electric vehicles. They see this threat as being decades away.
Electric cars will not present a challenge unless they are adopted en masse. They are more concerned about the fact that everyone is selling convenience today. With online outlets offering food delivery and grocery services and even hardware stores and clothing shops are selling beverages at checkout counters. New laws that impose taxes on sugary beverages are another current concern that pre-empts any worries about electric cars.
Current sales of electric vehicles
Sales of electric vehicles in 2017 reached nearly 200,000. This was a significant increase in sales in 2016 and happened despite the fact that new car sales overall were down. Still, to stay in context, over 17 million new cars were sold in 2017.
This may fuel the belief that widespread adoption of electric vehicles is still far in the future. In turn, changes in consumer behavior and technological advances always tend to happen faster than we anticipate.
Ways convenience stores could respond
Fuel appears to account for less than half of the profit for gas stations. Much of their money is made from drinks and other items bought inside the store.
People usually make plenty of ‘pit stops’ at gas stations on long journeys, and they don’t just buy gas. Humans need to rest and refuel their bodies, and this need will not go away. Just because electric vehicle owners could charge their cars at home doesn’t mean they wouldn’t want places to stop on a journey.
One way in which convenience stores could respond to the wide adoption of electric cars would be to install the types of charging stations people would enjoy. Those who currently spend money on gas could pay for a super-charge, a safety inspection, a beverage and a bite to eat. Charging stations could also be popular with those who may not have charging ability where they live.
Selling merchandise during the electric car era is not likely to be a problem to those who are tuned in to providing convenience.
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Generation Z – Marketing to The Most Connected Generation Ever
Generation Z, or Gen Zers, are born after 1995, and they grew up with internet access and mobile technology. This makes them harder to market to than other generations in that they have developed very selective filters. They have a very short attention span! But it also offers marketers plenty of new and interesting opportunities.
Gen Zers are called digital natives – they are used to using five different digital devices. In turn, if you want to market to them, you need to have a strategy. This strategy should utilize these devices and unified across all platforms.
Entrepreneurs From The Start
They are often entrepreneurial because they start building up their online presence from a young age. If they find they have attracted an audience, they are likely to want to leverage it to create their own income.
As such they are not just consumers and they cannot be treated as such. Companies need to think about ways to collaborate with them rather than simply marketing to them.
An example of this is the collaboration of Wat-Ahh! With Ariana Grande. She is a Gen Zer who is living out her dreams and wants to have an influence on other young people.
Ariana Becomes A Face to a Product
Ariana was signed up as a spokesperson but also as an equity partner. She was happy to do so because she could put her heart behind the product. She loves drinking water, enjoys a healthy lifestyle and would like to get other young people to do so too. Humanizing your brand by giving it a face is important to Gen Zers.
Thoughtful Marketing Pays
Gen Zers want to make a difference in the world and are prepared to work with brands in order to facilitate such change. They are also more open-minded and inclusive than previous generations. This being a point that marketers need to remember as they are likely to respond to inclusive, thoughtful marketing.
Engaging with Gen Zers on social platforms is very important. If you can establish a conversation with them that’s beneficial to you and them, they will listen. If you can initiate a two-way conversation online, and address trends and issues that interest them, you will be more successful than if you continue to use more traditional marketing methods.
Strategy And Your Brand
Amazon has been a game changer in the digital marketplace where it has redefined the customer experience. Traditional brands are fighting to stay relevant as they compete with new, digitally experienced companies.Your brand needs to understand Amazon’s strategy.
Prime, Amazon’s membership program, is helping to accelerate its forward momentum. Over 40 million people in the US have a Prime membership. Customers want to know ‘Do you have what I want and how quickly can you get it to me?’ Amazon has been working hard giving a positive answer to these questions.
They want users to keep renewing their membership and buying more products. The more products they purchase, the more data Amazon can use to establish what they want to buy next.
Understand Its Use
Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant, has created an on-demand, personalized experience for users. They can simply give Alexa a voice command, such as for toothpaste to be reordered, and it happens.
Your brand, no matter how big or small, can’t afford to ignore the extraordinary growth of Amazon. You can learn from them to understand more about how customers are using the platform. Work at creating a more customer-centric experience for your own customers.
You need to know more than just what they are buying. In turn, you also need to be aware of the other ways in which they are using the platform, such as using Alexa or Prime Video. You should also be familiar with Amazon’s different selling models to find out what may work for your products.
Connecting with Customers
Amazon has accumulated large amounts of data that can be used to gauge more about customer behavior. Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) and Amazon Retail Analytics (ARA) offer enlightening reports.
Some brands are using third-party apps and other skills to find new methods of connecting with customers. Companies like Uber and Domino’s are enhancing their existing services this way.
Technology can be game changing. It shouldn’t be used just for the sake of using it. Should be used where it can make an improvement to the customer experience.
All brands need to think about making whatever changes are necessary to their marketing strategies in order to thrive in a world that is digitally driven.