Do Snack Brands Need Content?

I was recently asked by Mobile Commerce Daily to provide commentary if Snack brands need meaningful content to drive in-store purchases via social. Below are my full responses to the various topics discussed.

(Mobile Commerce Daily) To what extent are food and snacks CPG brands starting to understand and activate social media within the purchase funnel?

Social media has been an integral part of the marketing mix for CPG brands for some time now. CPG social strategy has evolved with the evolution of social platforms and shifting consumer behaviors. Many platforms such as Facebook are shifting away from engagement as a primary metric and focused on reach, resonance and reaction, which aligns social media activation further down the purchase funnel.

(MCD) What are the challenges CPG companies face in leveraging social media to drive purchases?

The snack category is highly dependent on context and timing. With the convergence of social, mobile and digital and the focus shifting to targeted cross screen engagement, there is a renewed interest in aligning digital, physical and data to impact purchase decisions.

(MCD) Besides motivating purchases, what additional benefits/negatives in terms of consumer engagement does a social campaign bring the CPG company?

Social centric campaigns allow brands to deepen their connection with their consumers, empower them to help drive the brand forward (Doritos Legion of the Bold and Do Us A Flavor), impact brand perception and for a number of brands provide impactful reach through social engagement.

(MCD) What are some examples of top food and snacks CPG companies that have effectively leveraged social to drive consumers deeper into the purchase funnel?

Frito-Lay is a company that is continually looking to leverage social as a means to drive consumers further into the purchase funnel. Whether it is a brand campaign that empowers consumers such as Lay’s Do Us a Flavor, or it is creating a community of brand advocates like Doritos Legion of the bold, or connecting in-store elements seamlessly into socially centric campaigns, Frito-Lay is approaching social in a smart and relevant way that connects with consumers and ultimately impacts purchase.

(MCD) What’s your favorite example of a food and snacks CPG social campaign that drove purchases?

My favorite examples are Lay’s Do Us a Flavor and Doritos Crash the Superbowl programs.

Snacks brands need meaningful content to drive in-store purchases via social - Mobile Marketer - Advertising 2014-11-09 21-34-09

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Budweiser Extends Sports Sponsorship with M2M

I was recently asked by Mobile Marketer to provide commentary on Budweiser extending sports sponsorships into bars via M2M wireless & social. My commentary highlights Anheuser-Busch’s focus on innovation and their understanding of the need to enhance the on-premise experience in a unique and relevant way.

Budweiser extends sports sponsorships into bars via M2M wireless, social - Mobile Marketer - Software and technology

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Enhancing the In-Stadium Experience Via Mobile

I was recently asked by Mobile Commerce Daily to provide commentary on the Montreal Canadians NHL team enhancing the in-game experience via mobile. The discussion focused on how the consumer expectation tied to in-person events is a more seamless physical to digital experience that enhances the experience.

Mobile Food Ordering, game highlights in-stadium

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Evolution of Social Media Marketing

Here is a preview of my latest take on the evolution of social media marketing.

 

The presentation starts with a trip down memory lane by reviewing the rise of social media platforms across the globe.

Evolution of Social Marketing Timelines - Tom Edwards

Next is a look at the impact social media trends have had on consumer behavior. Everything from viral videos, #selfies and the rise of YouTube celebrities.

Evolution of Social Media Trends - Tom Edwards

Then focus shifts to the evolution of social marketing globally and the role that content plays in today’s social marketing programs.

Evolution of Social Marketing Content - Tom Edwards

The journey wraps with a look at the future state of social marketing.

Evolution of Social Marketing Future - Tom Edwards

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Followers Only a Small Piece of Pinterest Content Discovery

Acquisition of fans, followers and likes was a staple of the early days of social marketing. The issue is that many organizations still map success to their follower count vs. focusing on the real value created by social marketing.

I have written many posts recently on the importance of organic reach, influencer impact, earned media value and the move towards discovery vs. retrieval and I am constantly working with my brand partners to keep them ahead of the curve while being focused on creating value.

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Part of this process is to work closely with publisher & platform partners to stay informed not only on the latest features, but more importantly to understand strategic positioning of their platform and how they create value for brands.

I have worked closely with Kevin Knight of the Pinterest Marketing team for a few years now. He was at Facebook when we initially met and then made the transition to Pinterest. His background provides the ideal experience to outline the role of a follower on Pinterest and he did so with a great post on the Pinterest business blog “Why you don’t need as many followers as you think“.

Pinterest is less about followers and more about discovery with followers being a “gateway”.

10.8-followers-blog

Here are some excerpts from Kevin’s post.

Instead of thinking of followers as your audience on Pinterest, think of them as the gateway to your audience on Pinterest.

Here’s what we mean: People use Pinterest to discover, save and do things that inspire them. Repinning is the action they take when they save things they want to do or buy later. While people’s main motivation to Pin is to save things for themselves, anything they repin spreads to their own followers who are looking at their home feeds to discover things from people with similar tastes and interests.

That means the number of people who actually see your Pins is often far greater than your number of followers. In fact, the average Pin gets repinned 11 times. Don’t forget that if you have a website with the Pin It button installed, there are probably already people Pinning from your website. That means your Pins are getting discovered by people who follow those Pinners and people who find your Pins in search results and category feeds — a group that may or may not include people who follow your Pinterest profile.

So, while it’s nice to have lots of followers, they’re just one part of spreading your Pins to many, many more people on Pinterest.”

In addition to what Kevin’s post outlines is the importance of the Pinterest Interest Graph. To recap, an interest graph is an online representation of the specific things in which an individual is interested. And because the focus of Pinterest is based on what people are indexing on the web and then categorizing by interests, the Pinterest Interest Graph is the foundation for their business

interest-graph

The key to the interest graph for Pinterest is the ability to create personalized experiences that change based on an individuals life stage and interests. The association is less with people and more with things. This may include life events such as marriage, children, etc… and Pinterest hopes that by focusing on interests they are building a sustainable platform that can grow with users over time and continue to provide both utility and relevance based on discovery.

In order to map value, it is important to not only understand the bits & bytes of a platform, but to dig deeper and focus on the role that the consumer plays in the distribution, amplification and discovery of content as this is a key element of driving value from social marketing.

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