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The holiday season cometh. For most US consumers, the holiday season is synonymous with the holiday party season. Whether it’s a gathering with friends, a party with family, or a celebration with colleagues, 3/4 of US consumers will host a meal or a party this holiday season. Good news for food and beverage brands! No party is complete without some sort of tasty treat or libation served to its guests. In fact, most people expect to spend more money on groceries in Q4, due in part to the hosting of holiday parties. This holiday season, your food and beverage marketing strategy can make a splash in the market by including a customer advocacy program.

 

How Food and Beverage Marketing Can Benefit from Consumer Advocacy

In an advocacy marketing program, your brand’s biggest fans become your loudest content amplifiers. After joining your program, your fans are empowered to share your latest content directly to their social media profiles. Here, your marketing messages are seen by your users’ social connections, increasing your awareness of your brand and product.

This visibility can have a huge impact on increasing in-store sales. In fact, 67% of consumers surveyed say they are likely to purchase an item or service they see on their social feeds. When an advocate shares one of your brand’s marketing messages to their personal feed, they’re actively endorsing the brand behind the message.

On top of improved product visibility and trust, an advocacy marketing program can also help brands work around the high holiday paid media costs. Historically, the holidays can be an expensive time for marketers. Online marketing costs can increase by 140% over their yearly average during the holidays.  An advocacy marketing program can be an ideal alternative to driving awareness, engagement, and sales without having to pay higher costs per clicks.

 

4 Ways Food and Beverage Brands Can Drive Sales with An Advocacy Marketing Program

The beauty of an advocacy marketing program is that it’s a bit of a marketing blank slate. Brands can use the program to support the sales-driving initiatives most important to their overarching food and beverage marketing strategy including:  

1) Building Awareness of New Products

Launching a product can be a tricky proposition. Not only does your brand have to ensure your customers are aware that you have a new product for the world, you also need to build a bit of trust that the product is worth buying. This trust is paramount to a successful launch. 28% of millennials say that they won’t even try a product if their friends don’t approve of it.

Here’s where your advocacy marketing program can be a huge help in ensuring your new product hits the market running. Through your advocacy marketing program, you can empower your biggest fans to build awareness of your new product by:

  • Sharing press releases and other official statements
  • Highlighting new advertisements or other marketing messages that promote the new product
  • Educating where to purchase the new product

Each shared piece of content includes an advocate’s personal endorsement of the content, helping to build that critical trust foundation.

2) Sharing Holiday Recipes

Party hosts are always on the lookout for a new recipe to wow their party guests. Increase your food and beverage brand’s sales during the holiday season by tapping into your shoppers’ culinary aspirations. You can easily do this by creating and sharing recipes that feature your product(s).

Hungry to share your content, your advocates can help to spread your recipe videos and blog posts across their social network. There, it can be consumed by other potential and current customers.

Even if your customers don’t follow the recipe exactly, that’s fine. The recipe can serve as inspiration fuel for would-be party chefs. The more education you provide, the greater your users’ confidence in their ability to use your product. This leads to increased levels of consumer satisfaction and word-of-mouth marketing.

3) Driving Contest Participation

Many brands support their holiday food and beverage marketing initiatives with a contest or sweepstakes. Whether it’s a call to submit a piece of user-generated content or participate in a “no purchase necessary” sweepstakes, your advocacy marketing program is an ideal channel for driving awareness of your holiday content.

Pro Tip: Consider combining your advocacy marketing program with your holiday contest or sweepstakes. Our SocialToaster platform makes it easy to automatically award advocates with contest entries or points based on their participation in your advocacy marketing program. Not only can a contest help to encourage advocates to share more content, it can also be a powerful tool for driving recruitment into your program.

4) Encouraging Coupon Distribution and Redemption

Between festive decorations, food supplies, and gifts, hosting holiday parties can get a bit expensive for most holiday party throwers. Coupons or discounts may be a powerful tool for driving Q4 sales if your target audience tends to be price sensitive.

Instead of utilizing a paid media channel to distribute your coupon, leverage your advocates instead. The average advocate is connected to around 600 individuals. A program of even 100 advocates can help get your coupon or discount in front of 60,000 people.  

Your brand can even create unique discounts or coupons specifically for your advocates! After all, they are sharing content on your behalf. They’ve proven to be a fan of your brand. Reward their loyalty with a coupon available only to advocates.

 

Still Not Convinced?

Still not convinced that an advocacy marketing program is right for your food and beverage marketing stragegy? We’ll leave you with one last statistic. Did you know that, on average, brands see a 650% ROI for every dollar invested in influencer and advocacy marketing?

Don’t spend your food and beverage marketing dollars on expensive cost-per-click and cost-per-engagement campaigns. Invest those dollars in building an advocacy marketing program. you can use your program to drive sales during the holiday season and then continually leverage your advocates to market on your behalf all year long.

Ready to learn more about launching an advocacy marketing program in time for the holidays? Schedule a free demonstration of the SocialToaster platform today.