A frequently asked question: How to market a food product online successfully? Rightfully so, as now most if not all small businesses in the food industry are selling online. And in this article, we want to talk about two areas that will have an impact on your online store (it could be yours or a third party platform):
Before we move on to these two variables, if you want to sell your food and beverage online, you need customers. Read any online marketing strategy journals or articles on how to sell online, and you will get:
The list goes on but at the heart of all these activities, it is to reach your customers. And there are two customers’ activities that we will be touching on:
If you are in the food and beverage industry, you would definitely have some form of social media, and Instagram is one of the more common platforms. We are showcasing a test case that we have conducted on how we reach thousands using OCM Instagram account.
If you like to learn about how we started and grow this account from 0 to the current 20K, have a look at this video. We relied on and uses just one component - content. More specifically, content that our target audience like.
In the 4 steps customer building process detailed below (we will be talking about 3 of them that are focused on customers), before you can scale and build a business, you need to understand who are your customers (that will consume your content and then buy your products).
The very first step is to have a persona of your customers. Most small businesses have some idea about this, but it is just not as detailed on the various specifics. We will touch on constructing an audience persona at a later stage but as some of our students remarked, it is semi-fictional (as we are mostly imagining what our customers are at this stage).
Once, we have that, we will go out and look for content and hashtags that we believe the persona likes and is relevant to our company. It will advisable to follow the account so that all their posts will be sent to your business account feed (it is appropriate under the scope of your company regulations).
Note: On Instagram (or any social media), content is the conduit on on-boarding your customers. Just think about how often you stop at a “fun” post and then read or watch versus a “buy now” post. So, on social media, to grow your account and to get engagement, you first need to suss out which content your audience will like.
With that done, you can proceed to create or curate similar content and execute your content strategy.
When you post your content, it could be a post, IGTV or a reel. The response might not be the same as what you expected. Sieve out the ones that are performing well and create (or curate) a similar to test if the result is the same.
Frequency of posts. What is the correct post frequency in the food and beverage industry? There isn’t, but think about this, if you are trying to validate the type of posts that your audience prefers, it will be quite difficult to ascertain that with once week posts (not enough data). Do note also that changing the frequency of posts, can have an impact on your engagement and reach,e.g. You were posting twice a day and suddenly you change to twice a week.
Once you have a pool of content about your food items that your audience likes, the next step is to push up the online ordering.
Of the many that like your posts and regularly engage your posts, not everyone will end up as your customer buying your food products. For the ones that ordered, reward them regularly to encourage them to come back for a re-buy, encourage them to buy more and also to bring them, friends along.
Most of the website builders will come with some plugins for your food businesses to encourage the behaviour highlighted above. Just take note to balance these posts (promotion/sales-driven posts) with reach/engagement posts.
A very powerful and more sustainable way to build your traffic to your online store is by optimising your presence on the search engine (primarily Google), also known as Search Engine Optimisation.
We will share more information and case studies around February, but we have prepared weekly stats on the online food delivery industry that you might use immediately. Log in below to download the reports or visit the F&B industry to learn more about the stats or reach out to us for more information.
Learn about the traffic and strategy of the key food delivery platforms in Singapore (updated weekly):
Singapore Online Food Delivery Market Share (access report here)
If you enjoy the article on how to market a food product online, we thought you might be interested in some other restaurant marketing articles as well. If you will like to build your product or campaign with an F&B professional, make an appointment below.
You can also reach out to us to make a free email consultation
The hardest and most critical part of any food and beverage business is looking for the customers. We look forward to working with you to identify your target customers and position your products in front of them.
In-depth Customised Research: Contact us for customised reports and have a consultation on gaps you can capitalise on from each customised report.
Click on the calendar to allow us to assist you to find your audience. Or, scroll down and drop us a message to have a free consultation (limited availability).
OCM (OnCoffeeMakers.com) was started in 2007 with the first webpage about coffee machines. And for a number of years, we focused on helping people find their desired coffee machine (we still are helping folks with that! So, if you are looking for coffee machines for office or restaurants - check out the link).
In 2010, we started getting enquiries on restaurant marketing and we start to help food and beverage brands with their marketing. Below are campaigns and events that we have done over the years:
OCM's campaigns: F&B Marketing Ideas by OCM
OCM's Events: F&B Industry events by or with OCM
Check out this restaurant marketing guide to learn more about the many campaigns and companies we have worked with.
Since then, we have also created many marketing workshops and classes for the F&B industry. Many of these modules are still running in tertiary institutions such as Temasek Polytechnic Skillsfuture Academy and also ITE College East COC classes, below are some snippets of our lectures and workshops:
OCM’s F&B workshops: Food and Beverage Marketing Lectures | Workshops - click to watch classes on customer journey map, JTBD and more.
So, if you are looking for industry practitioners to help you scale your coffee or F&B businesses, do drop us a message or book an appointment. Do also check out our various social media platforms on regular F&B and coffee market updates:
For regular coffee (F&B) related videos: OCM Youtube
For Daily Coffee Inspiration (fun coffee content): OCM IG
For insights into the coffee (F&B) industry: OCM LinkedIN
PS: For the coffee lovers, we continue to share coffee articles (and videos) and have also started a free coffee class section (with free online coffee training supported by coffee partners).