28 Mar Food Digital Marketing: What’s the Benefit? Why Bother?
This isn’t your usual list of food digital marketing benefits – traffic, leads, sales – of course, we all aim for that! But no.
This list gives you the ultimate strategic benefits to food digital marketing. It focuses purely on the food and beverage sector.
By maintaining a focused, continued digital growth plan, you WILL achieve these benefits.
If you’re a sales or marketing director in a Food or drinks business, then look no further.
If you need a cost vs benefit plan for digital marketing, you’re in the right place.
It’s easy to overlook growing your food business through digital channels.
Especially when branding, packaging and even corporate retail listings are all super important too.
It’s often about making sales now.
And yes, the best way to achieve sales NOW is to get yourself in front of buyers and maybe even Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and after the recent M&S news, them too.
However, it’s no secret that the retail giants are ruthless when it comes to squeezing margins on smaller food companies.
They also hire some of the best negotiators in the business to make sure that happens.
On the other hand..
You may have spent blood, sweat and tears producing a beautiful website. So, you can’t possibly spend more money on marketing that website.
But if you don’t, then it’s only decreasing in value – like your car.
This post will help you turn your website into an asset that makes it the fuel of business growth.
When you bring digital marketing into the marketing mix, there are lots of challenges.
You don’t have the in-house capabilities, or the time to learn.
Or you just don’t know if an agency will deliver a return on investment.
Or the gem of an agency who will deliver doesn’t come cheap.
All these are the reasons that OG Guru works with food marketing clients, to find the most cost-effective way of delivering growth.
But why should you even bother with food digital marketing?
This post tells you exactly why it’s super important to have a food digital marketing plan.
I also give you clear examples showing how to achieve each of the benefits listed.
Let’s look at the list of benefits, which I cover in this post.
An overview of the benefits
- Broaden your target markets
- Increase your profit margins
- Naturally increase brand awareness
- Increase Consumer knowledge
- Improve Support for NPD
- Increase usage of product research
Detailed insights into each benefit of Food Digital Marketing
1. Broaden your customer-base with food digital marketing
Selling business to business is tough.
But what if they came to you?
Digital Marketing is one of the best ways to get your products “out there”, in front of prospects you never knew existed.
Even when you write content for a specific target market, it’s all but guaranteed to be read by many different people.
Here’s the perfect example:
A meal prep company set up an amazing meal delivery service.
From their digital marketing efforts, they were contacted by Football teams and gym groups.
These clients wanted to buy several months worth of meals in one go. The owners of the meal prep business would never have thought about reaching out to this type of client.
That’s not all.
Once you have an enquiry, you can step up your outbound marketing methods in that industry. Fueling growth that was initially driven from your food digital marketing.
What’s more, when you promote your content with outreach, you’re maximizing visibility and the potential for new clients, with different needs finding your food or drinks brand.
2. Increase your profit margins
I already mentioned that corporate retailers squeeze margins.
So, food digital marketing is the perfect opportunity to target higher volume markets and hold your price.
When you have the strength to hold your price, your margins will increase.
Also, if your website is set up to sell direct to consumers, you’re simply cutting out the middle man.
With Digital Marketing, smaller independent businesses, who have are usually happy to pay the asking price, will find you. So, you don’t need to be chasing them constantly. Thereby helping you maintain a healthy profit.
3. Naturally increase your food product’s brand awareness
Doing outreach so you can obtain backlinks is a great way to grow your website in the search engines.
But there’s more to outreach than meets the eye.
One of the benefits of producing fantastic food or drink product, is that you have the perfect something to put in front of people.
When you do that, more people are tasting your product. This means more people will talk about your product, which is perfect for brand awareness.
Here’s a perfect example:
We helped a client work with a group of bloggers. We sent them a sample of our client’s food product and a nice accessory to go with it.
While we only sent 5 items, the products themselves reached around 10-15 bloggers, because they all did an event together.
We managed to obtain ongoing sales from the bloggers who loved our product.
We got loads of referral traffic from their blogs.
And a nice bump up in the search engines for our highest converting keywords.
Blogger outreach isn’t just about backlinks. When done properly, it’s an essential form of outbound marketing for your beloved brand.
On another note, regularly tagging influential people on social media, as well as engaging in conversations, is a perfect method of brand awareness.
Helping others achieve their digital goals, will also hugely increase the likelihood of them helping you.
4. Increase consumer knowledge with food digital marketing
Getting to know your consumers is an essential part of growing any food brand. Email marketing is one of the best ways to achieve that, especially in food digital marketing.
By actively building your email database and keeping your target markets engaged, you can hugely increase your own knowledge about what your customer really needs and why they buy your products.
Simply create a survey that asks questions about their behaviours, tastes, and preferences.
Then send it out with a nice incentive for them to complete the survey.
Social media is another great way to entice your customers and obtain much needed information about your customer’s palates.
Build up your audience, keep them engaged, then hit them with a quick-fire survey.
People love ticking boxes!
5. Food Digital Marketing to Improve the success rate of NPD
“The product failure rate in food is 40%” – [Source]
Any food brand would pay an arm and a leg to find out exactly what consumers want from a potential new product, for reasons mentioned in the previous section.
One of the ultimate benefits of food digital marketing is the ability to test new products that you’re looking to launch into the market.
First, you can share insights to upcoming products with your followers, customers and email subscribers. Who are all but guaranteed to be your target market.
You can collect information about what people want, particularly information you don’t currently have. And begin your NPD from these initial consumer insights.
Digital Marketing even throws up a great opportunity for the NPD and marketing department to build a stronger bond.
And together, create the best chance of success when delivering new products to the market.
6. Utilise food product research for digital marketing
Have you ever thought of food SEO? You might have heard about the process – Content, content, content – just kidding.
However, when you collect information from the public, it’s super valuable to your SEO efforts when you use it correctly.
Research & data pieces are one of the best ways to generate backlinks to your site. Especially from larger news websites.
This article is a prime example:
I was looking for the success rate of newly developed food products. So I simply typed a long-tail keyword into Google.
I found a great, hopefully trustworthy source, and then referenced it in this post.
How easy was that for the author? I’ve given him a backlink and probably additional rankings in the search engines.
When you conduct research campaigns, make sure you use them to benefit your digital marketing and content efforts.
7. Increased sales channels
There are lots of ways to get your food products onto the taste buds of your target consumers.
And sometimes, online sales channels can be the last to spring to mind.
However, selling online is a superb method of increasing the avenues from which customers can access your products.
We’ve already discussed how digital marketing can increase your potential customer-base, your margins and even your brand perception.
So, don’t delay, maximise today, the ways in which people can purchase your food.
8. Reduce (long-term) Risk
This isn’t just offline vs online, it’s also PPC vs SEO.
I would generally choose SEO over paid, when attempting to reduce long-term risk.
Because once you stop paid advertising your sales will drop off a cliff. No one will know about you.
That doesn’t mean PPC isn’t super important. By increasing the number of digital channels, you use for business growth, you will massively reduce the risk of an immediate downfall in sales.
When you couple that with a consistent outbound marketing process, you WILL have a fledgling business.
In business, reducing risk, over a sustained time period, is a no-brainer.
Do you have any other benefits you have experienced from digital marketing. Let me know in the comments below. I’ll be sure to add a link to your website.