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As anyone that’s ever waited three hours for unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks at Olive Garden on the second Sunday in May will tell you, Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year for restaurants. In fact, 87 million people are already planning on dining out for Mother’s Day this year.

That said, not every family wants to deal with the crowds, the queues, and the cost of dining out. More and more families are opting to celebrate the moms in their family through home-cooked breakfasts and lavish lunches, which translates to a huge sales-driving opportunity for food and beverage brands.

To help your brand take advantage of the Mother’s Day revenue-building opportunity, we’ve put together a short list of our favorite Mother’s Day advocacy marketing tactics. These tactics and contests are designed to help your F&B brand increase market awareness while also driving in-store purchases during the holiday.

What is Advocacy Marketing Anyway?

Before we get too far, let’s breakdown what we mean by the phrase “advocacy marketing”. In a nutshell, an advocacy marketing program is a structured program that empowers and enables your biggest fans to share your content with their social media network.

Key Benefits of an Advocacy Marketing Program

There are a variety of marketing and sales benefits that stem from a well-executed advocacy marketing program; we’ll focus on our favorite three:

a) Increased Content Visibility and Engagement

The average person is connected to around 600 people on social media. Which means that a program of only 1,000 advocates can potentially reach of 600,000 individuals on social media. That increased visibility comes hand-in-hand with an increase in post engagements. The best part, all of this increase in visibility and engagement comes without having to pay to sponsor any branded content.

b) Foster Consumer Trust

Advocacy marketing programs are powerful consumer trust builders. 92% of consumers trust peer and word-of-mouth recommendations. Compare that to the 24% of consumers who trust digital ads and it becomes clear that the key to effectively building consumer trust is to create opportunities for everyday fans to advocate on their social networks on behalf of your brand.

Every time your fans share your content on their social media pages, they’re also endorsing the content (and by extension your brand). Signaling to their network that your brand is one to trust.

c) Drive Sales

Engagement and trust are great, but you can’t cover your payroll on likes and comments. To truly be successful, your marketing efforts need to drive sales. Did you know that conversion rates from earned media (third-party sources, including advocacy marketing), average at 5%? On top of a sky-high conversion rate, 67% of consumers surveyed say that they’re more likely to purchase an item they see on their social feeds.

Pro Tip: Have questions about launching an advocacy marketing program? We can help. SocialToaster has been a leading presence in advocacy marketing space for over 7 years. Our platform makes it easy for brands of all sizes to manage and execute branded advocacy marketing programs.  

How To Drive Food and Beverage Sales With An Advocacy Marketing Program

Now onto the good stuff. Here are a couple of different ways you can drive food and bev sales through the power of an advocacy marketing program.

1) Leverage Your Advocates to Create Mother’s Day-Themed User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful type of content that appeals to the creative and emotional side of users and creators. As a definition, user-generated content is content created by your fans on behalf of your brand. Anytime your fans tag your brand in an Instagram post or mention your brand name in a YouTube video, they’re creating UGC on your behalf.

Nearly 86% of businesses are already utilizing UGC in their everyday marketing strategy. Why? Because UGC works. Not only does UGC costs your brand nothing in terms of production costs, but UGC is also more likely to resonate with your audience. Videos created by users get 10x more views on Youtube than content created by brands. Fans are also 2x as likely to share UGC posts.

Drive sales this Mother’s Day by empowering your advocates to create and share Mother’s Day UGC content on your behalf in the weeks leading up to the big day. A successful UGC effort is built on a solid foundation. Identify the type and theme of the content you want your fans to create on your behalf and then communicate the specifics of your program far and wide.

Here are a couple ideas to help get you started:

a) Like Mother/Like Child – Selfie Contest

Whether it’s the eyes, the nose, or a sense of humor, the resemblance between Mother and child can be uncanny. For this contest, encourage your fans to snap a selfie with their Mom and write a brief post stating the similarities they share.

b) Motherly Magic In The Kitchen – Written Story

Create a space for your advocates to write and share their favorite Mother’s Day cooking stories and memories. Choose your favorites to republish on your social media channels and across your advocacy marketing program.

c) Mother’s Day Breakfast Showcase – Video and/or Image

Hold a fun contest that encourages participants to share the deliciousness they’re creating for the Moms in their lives. This is a perfect opportunity to organically showcase your products in your fan’s UGC. Be sure to create a unique hashtag to tag their post with so that your brand can easily find and moderate the created videos.

If you want to encourage fan participation, include an incentive as part of your content soliction. Offering prizes for creators and their mothers is a great way for you to show moms their love and recognize the creatives. Common prices for UGC include free product or even branded swag (water bottles, sunglasses, etc.).

2) Create Content That Supports Budding Chefs

Moms might carry the whole world on their shoulders, but when it comes to what they want on Mother’s day, they’re surprisingly simple. At the end of the (Mother’s) day, most Moms want something homemade to enjoy together with their family.

That said, cooking that perfect Mother’s Day meal can be intimidating for the rest of the family. It’s not always easy to find recipes that are child-chef friendly and also delicious.

Solve this problem for your audience.

Make your brands indispensable this Mother’s Day by creating and disseminating recipes guaranteed to be a hit for the whole family. From fresh-strawberry french toast to Mimosas, you can create recipes that feature your top selling items that the whole family will love to eat and make together.

Once the recipes have been created, be sure to share them as content through your advocacy marketing program to further increase visibility and adoption.

3) Give Back With Your Advocates

Mother’s Day is all about celebrating the mothers in our lives. However, not every family or Mom is fortunate enough to share in the excitement in the way they’d like. This year, consider using Mother’s Day as an opportunity to give a little back in honor of all of the amazing moms out there.

Whether you’re donating a portion of sales to national charities or branded products to local food banks, your advocates can be activated to help spread the word of your brand’s charitable giving.

Further encourage your advocates to share your branded content by tying your charitable giving directly their efforts. The more content they share, the greater the gift given by your F&B brand in honor of Mother’s Day.

Get Ready For Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day only a couple months away now’s the time to ensure your food and beverage brand has a sales-driving plan in place to fully capitalize on the holiday.

If you need help creating the perfect strategy to build and launch your advocacy marketing program in time for Mother’s Day, SocialToaster can help. Give us a call today or email us to schedule your free demo.