7 Digital Strategies Food and Beverage Businesses Should Use for More Customers in 2020, According to Digital Silk

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The food and beverage industry is expected to reach $105.7 billion in market volume by 2024, growing by over 27% in just four years. Digital Silk has identified the best digital strategies food and beverage companies should use to grow their customer base in this highly competitive environment.

In 2020, the food and beverage industry will generate $76.5 billion in revenue, and by 2024, it is expected to reach a market volume of $105.7 billion.

This market’s steady and steep growth rate will make it significantly more competitive in the coming years. As a result, brands are exploring new digital strategies to attract and engage new customers.

Digital Silk, a global digital agency, identified the most effective digital strategies that will attract more customers to food and beverage brands in 2020:

1. Leverage social media’s enthusiasm for food and beverage brands

Social media is one of the most lucrative channels for the food and beverage sector. Food and drink businesses are the most mentioned brands on Twitter – with a 32% share of tweets. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are some of the most effective channels to leverage in a digital strategy, both in terms of cost and results.

A brand can incorporate social media into a digital strategy by placing a product in popular contexts (i.e. engaging in relevant popular discussions), encouraging user-generated content, taking advantage of evolving social ads and forming partnerships with complementary brands and influencers.

2. Build brand awareness and trust via food blogs

79% of consumers trust food blogs, one of the highest degrees of trust online. Their educational and entertaining content provides a great opportunity for food and beverage businesses to increase brand awareness and retention, as well as gain new customers. Brands can partner with food bloggers to introduce a product to new audiences and gain a larger following, educate audiences on the use and versatility of products and increase trust in the quality of a product.

2020 will continue to see the growth of the organic, vegan and sustainable food and beverage trends. Brands that uphold these values are well-positioned to benefit from the increase in environmental and health awareness.

3. Present products via vlogs, tutorials or ads on YouTube

86% of Millennials turn to YouTube for food and beverage-related tips and almost half of all adults watch food videos on YouTube. In total, food content has generated nearly 41 billion views on YouTube.

Businesses can incorporate YouTube into a digital strategy through owned channels to distribute culinary tips and campaigns, YouTuber partnerships for endorsements and follower base growth, and ads for greater brand awareness among target demographics.

4. Consider reputation management

91% of users say that positive reviews make them more likely to buy the product. As many as 97% of review readers also read the account owner’s replies to reviews.

A carefully devised reputation management strategy can help businesses turn negative reviews around, encouraging positive reviews and increase brand advocacy.

5. Optimize Google My Business to drive more traffic to physical and online stores

64% of consumers use Google My Business (GMB) to find business information. Each month, an average business gets 59 actions from a GMB listing.

Registering a food and beverage business establishes credibility with customers researching online and attracts the near-me searchers or organic online store traffic. GMB improves business visibility through local SEO, connects companies with new audiences and helps to understand customers’ behavior.

6. Encourage customer advocacy to increase sales and retention

Word-of-mouth has long been one of the most powerful marketing channels and continues to be in today’s digital environment. An overwhelming 92% of people trust recommendations from people they know. Food and drink products are something customers are passionate about, and encouraging customers to share that passion stimulates brand advocacy.

To incorporate consumer advocacy in food and marketing businesses in 2020, companies should find the perfect consumer advocate for their brand, build an advocacy marketing program that attracts high-profile advocates and identify the places to recruit advocates from.

7. Create a website (even when the business does not sell online)

Food and beverage brands stand to gain a lot from eCommerce; by 2025, online sales are projected to make up 15-20% of overall sales in the food and beverage industry, which is ten times more than 2016. Regardless, whether the company sells online or not, digital presence can be a powerful tool to expand a brand's reach and impact.

A simple website can help a food and beverage company strengthen brand identity, educate an audience on the product portfolio and the products’ use and versatility, gain customer loyalty through user-generated content, increase store traffic through promotional campaigns and more.

As the digital environment grows more sophisticated, food and beverage businesses can employ new tactics to reach a larger audience, resonate with customers and benefit the bottom line.

Digital Silk is a team of experts dedicated to helping brands capitalize on the latest trends in digital marketing such as content marketing, social media marketing, PPC and more.

About Digital Silk: Digital Silk is a creative digital agency focused on growing brands online. From custom websites to digital marketing, Digital Silk creates SUPERIOR digital experiences to drive higher conversions, greater brand engagement & measurable results.

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Emma Debeljak
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