How Do You Market a Food and Beverage Business Online? (+examples)

Like many manufacturing companies, food businesses typically require a large initial investment:

Sourcing ingredients and raw materials, managing the supply chain, container storage, seals, documentation, shipping, receiving, temperature control, anti-contamination systems, information systems, on and on. 

Marketing a food and beverage business online requires the regular maintenance of your Marketing Mix, including your price, product, place and promotions. Food and beverage companies usually have a solid digital marketing plan consisting of a mobile-first customer experience, social media marketing, online advertising, search engine optimization, shopping sites marketing and email marketing.

And these operations and marketing procedures often require a significant amount of ongoing maintenance, potentially increasing fixed costs at almost every step.

But the good news is that the potential for food and beverage businesses to generate high revenues is a great opportunity. For instance, the American online food and beverage industry generated $34.2 Billion in 2021. Go here to review the top 10 food brands and manufacturers: Marketing lessons from the most popular food companies (Top 10 brands).

With the battle for competing for net-profits getting more intense each year, you need a bullet-proof marketing strategy to succeed in a fiercely competitive market. As we get started developing this online and digital marketing strategy for food and beverage companies, be sure to review this important tutorial: The best marketing strategy in a competitive environment (Game-changer).

Ok, let’s get started and create a successful online marketing plan for a food and beverage business.   

9 Ways to Build Your Digital Marketing Plan in the Food and Beverage Industry

Digital marketing has become a crucial part of any food company’s sales and marketing strategy because you can connect directly with customers, thereby building your brand, communicating directly with your customers, getting feedback from the people that matter most and having more control over sales distribution. As we get started, and if you can benefit from an increase in local customers, please go here.

Here are some of the ways you can market your food and beverage business online:

1. Leverage social media

Research shows that about 1 out of 2 Americans make a decision to try new foods based on social media accounts they follow.  Food trends may be even higher based on the demographics and psychographics of the target market..

Notice how simply Muscle Milk handles their social media icons on their home page. Easy for the customer to engage and only three accounts, which is easily managed by their marketing department:

Your food and beverage business can leverage this and create versatile menus exploiting online sharing, creative uses, and a heightened user experience. Positive engagement with consumers and referrals on social media can dramatically increase visits and orders.

2. Promotions and announcements

Your online food and beverage business can use promotional products to endorse your brand. They can take many forms, including branded packaging, promotional items, and printed staff clothing.

There are two types of promotional products commonly used in the food industry; point-of-purchase (POP) and in-store displays. These include:

  • Product samples
  • Giveaways
  • Educational tools
  • Interactive displays

We really like what Primal Kitchen (a Kraft-Heinz brand)is doing for their promotions and list building. You'll see we also feature them below for their rewards strategy, but this is a far more important part of their online marketing strategy which is why it is prominently served up to all new visitors. That's because this is how they are building their list and gaining actual customers. You should do something similar, and do it immediately.

3. Upselling

An up-sell is when a seller convinces a customer to buy another product, upgrade, or something more expensive. When upselling your online food and beverage business, give your customers all their options, such as what dishes go better with other dishes or drinks. You’ll find that about half of your customers will welcome suggestions to make their experience even better!

Not suggesting an improvement to your customers is a common overlooked opportunity that many companies miss.

This will help the customer make a better decision and increase customer loyalty, thus more revenue for the business.

4. Email marketing

It would help if you considered using email marketing to target specific audiences. This tactic allows your business to gain exposure to potential consumers that may not have heard about you before.

Your food and beverage business can use email campaigns to maintain contact with current customers. In addition, you can use emails to announce new products, promotions, events, provide customer service, and ask for feedback. Go here to set up your email marketing systems.

5. Abandoned cart automation

This is a fairly advanced strategy after you have set up your email marketing systems, but becoming more mainstream by the day. We develop these systems for our brands daily, among many others.

Why? Because it better serves the customer and adds hundreds of thousands of dollars of value.

On your e-commerce platform, you can automate reminders for your customers when they abandon their shopping carts without checking out. It shows that you pay attention to the customers’ activities.

Depending on why they left the cart, you can offer solutions to issues encountered, such as alternative modes of payment if the payment failed. Sending email reminders can convert abandoned carts into sales, increasing your revenue. 

 6. Brand awareness ads

Brand awareness advertising is also known as paid search. It is a form of marketing where your food and beverage business pays Google or other search engines to show your ads at the top of the organic search results.

The more clicks you get, the more likely consumers will click through to your business’ site. Brand awareness campaigns are typically long-term investments. 

7. Make helpful content to better serve your customer

The best food bloggers earn millions of dollars every year from their content. And they don’t even have to write fancy stuff – they share recipes, cooking tips, and other helpful information. You can do the same by leveraging many of these bloggers and by writing your own content.

8. Google my business

Google My Business is a free and effective service that helps local businesses get found online. It makes it easier for customers to discover and connect with your business through maps, reviews, and photos.

In addition, it helps your business manage customer data and offers tools to improve marketing. Being on Google My Business makes it easy for customers to find you online. 

9. Loyalty and referral programs

Loyalty programs are a great way to reward customers for their loyalty and encourage repeat visits. They also provide a unique opportunity to attract new customers through referrals. While there are excellent software solutions to manage this process for you, depending on the size and scale of your company, it doesn't have to be too hard to set up. Keeping it simple is usually a good rule of thumb. 

Here’s an example of how Primal Kitchen handles their rewards program. Primal Kitchen is a Kraft-Heinz brand. This is featured on their home page, lower on the page as it does offers a benefit to the user. Some eCommerce platforms have a built-in rewards program, but others will require a 3rd party solution. While a rewards program generally isn't a Law of 80/20 activity in your marketing, especially in the customer acquisition phase, a rewards program is a strategy that needs to be tested depending upon your model.


Conclusion

As your customer base grows, your business should find new ways to connect with them digitally. Your food brand can benefit from digital marketing strategies to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and improve conversion rates.

Additionally, you can leverage business and marketing analytics to gain valuable insights into customer behavior. As a result, you will plan future campaigns better and tailor offerings to specific groups of customers.

References

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