Social Media Marketing for Food and Beverage Brands

Food and drink is inherently social, whether you are sitting around a dinner table, sharing a recipe with a friend, or meeting a date for cocktails. Social media marketing for food and beverage brands allows you to lean into this element even further. It has proven to be a highly successful tool for driving viral food trends (think avocado toast, macaroons, shaken espressos, etc.). 

But you don’t have to go viral to see the benefits of social media. Food and beverage brands can drive results by identifying and targeting their core audience on their preferred platforms with highly ‘craveable’ content, using tactics like influencers and shoppable ads to showcase their products. 

Understanding Your Core Food/Bev Audience

The first step to finding your audience is to understand who organically engages with your brand. What specific niches are they involved in and how can you share your content with them? Audience research will lead you to a deeper understanding of your likely brand advocates and loyalists. Once a clear audience is defined, creating ads and messaging becomes intuitive.  

Search for the answers to these three questions in your audience research process: 

  1. Who is your core demographic? 

Identify basic demographics such as age, gender, education, geographical location and socioeconomic status. These variables will give you concrete indicators on your key audience profiles – what life stage they are in, what they could be interested in, and more. Age, for example, gives you tips on what kind of content they will likely resonate with. Younger ages tend to enjoy emotional posts (funny or tear-jerking), such as the recent Gushers TikTok campaign. In comparison, older audiences tend to prefer informative, trustworthy content, such as this Clinique campaign

      2. What does your audience value? 

Are they more likely sharing food to present an image of prestige or luxury, or to share a special family recipe? These internal motivations should inform the ad creation process. Creating messaging that resonates with your audience’s core motivators and/or beliefs make them more inclined to click or convert.

      3. Where is your audience active online?

The medium in which your ads run is critical to the success of food and beverage digital marketing campaigns. This ensures each dollar you spend is going towards a platform where your audience actually spends time. Use platform data as well as third party data research platforms to identify your audiences’ media consumption habits. 

Identifying Social Media Influencers

Once your target audience is defined, you can make them come to life by creating personas. Or better yet, finding an influencer online that matches your brand’s beliefs, values and aesthetic. Brands that have a strong image and story can easily find influencers that complement their mission. 

Food and beverage social media marketing is primed for influencer partnerships. There are endless YouTube cooking channels, food review websites, and food bloggers across all social media platforms. The creators have a huge impact on consumer purchase decisions. In fact, 49% of consumers depend on influencer decisions. This virtual word of mouth is extremely influential in the consumer journey. 

Adding influencers into your strategy can also drive conversions, not just awareness. This is particularly helpful for food and bev brands with an ecommerce presence. Use affiliate links and coupon codes to link POS data back to influencer campaigns in addition to awareness metrics, such as reach and engagement.

Creating Compelling Content

Food and beverage brands have a unique opportunity to engage audiences with user-generated marketing content on social media. People are eager to share recipes or new food explorations online, which is a win-win for brand and consumer. Brands are able to capitalize on authentic content that builds trust, while consumers are fulfilled by interaction and admiration. 

Beyond UGC, there are many ways brands can create compelling content on each unique platform. For example, how-to/recipe videos, Instagram Ready Images, and short form videos are all popular ad variations. Keep your audience learnings in mind and tailor your content to each unique social platform to resonate with consumers. 

Measuring Food and Bev Social Media Marketing Success

To measure the impact of advertising you can first look at granular, platform-level data. These metrics show campaign-level data, such as video completions, ad clicks, and site visits. Additionally, brands can utilize tactics like coupon/QR codes, flash sales, and hashtag challenges to track media’s success in driving immediate conversions and online buzz. 

However, the majority of food/bev sales still happen in-store, so it is important that brands keep themselves top of mind during that experience. Also, brands need a method of tracing media’s impact on in-store sales. Whether in a grocery store or a restaurant, brands can utilize CRM connections to track offline data or offer coupon codes/QR codes that translate both in-person or online. 

To better understand marketing’s impact, consider advanced measurement studies. These are surveys that can measure the incremental lift in metrics such as foot traffic and in-store sales due to marketing campaigns. 

Eating and drinking is, and has always been, social. Food and beverage brands should lean into this and explore the vast opportunities social media platforms offer to create and build community. Get creative with your media execution to stand out from competitors and drive sales. 

Recommended Reading

The CPG Digital Marketing Playbook

How to Choose the Right Influencers for Your Brand

How to Prove ROI for CPG Brands Using Loyalty and Purchase Data

The Top 7 Digital Marketing Trends We’ve Seen in 2022

The digital advertising world moves fast, are you struggling to keep up? In this article, we debrief the top seven digital marketing trends from Q1 to prime the rest of your 2022 marketing plans for success.

The Top 7 Digital Marketing Trends of 2022

  1. The metaverse becoming mainstream
  2. Use of AI as a key tool for media efficiency and optimization
  3. Proliferation of retail media
  4. Replacing attribution with advanced measurement and modeling
  5. Preparation for a cookieless targeting solution
  6. Challenger brands continue to rise 
  7. Brand authenticity is priority, especially with younger generations

Continue reading to learn the factors driving these trends and how to capitalize on them to drive your brand’s marketing success. 

#1 The Metaverse Becoming Mainstream

The metaverse may reach upwards of $1T in value by 2024, according to a Grayscale report.

Consumers are spending more time in these blockchain-based communities of decentralized transactions, immersive digital worlds, gaming and much, much more. Therefore, the metaverse marketing potential is boundless. Brands should start exploring these technologies now to capitalize on the advantages of being first movers in the space.

For tips to start marketing in the metaverse, view this article or view our webinar on-demand: The Metaverse, Crypto, & NFTs: What Marketers Need to Know.

#2 Use Of AI As A Key Tool For Media Efficiency And Optimization

45% of users believe AI creates competitive advantage in marketing.

AI takes data analysis to the next level by making predictive models about future performance and then suggesting ways to prepare for those events. In 2022, we will see more media buyers release control of media optimization and personalization to AI. As a result, this will provide more time to spend on strategic planning and analysis. For more benefits on using AI in your marketing, view this video

#3 Proliferation Of Retail Media

of all ecommerce digital ad spend is now on retail media. With 50% YOY growth in 2021, this figure is only expected to grow. 

Retail media is a must-have tactic for CPG brands to drive ecommerce sales in 2022, but the value extends beyond CPG alone. It allows advertisers to be more data-driven. Also, it provides a reliable targeting solution through first party shopper data and closed loop measurement solutions. View our full POV on retail media and connected commerce

#4 Replacing Attribution With Advanced Measurement And Modeling

Media mix modeling and advanced measurement studies are critical in 2022 and beyond. As cookies go away, it will be even more important to have a data-driven lens. Use these tools to aggregate marketing metrics and see how changes in spend and channel mix impact the business. Without these holistic campaign views, it’s easy to get lost in vanity metrics

Additionally, advanced measurement studies answer meaningful brand questions such as: 

  • Did my campaign improve brand recall? 
  • Did my campaign drive sales lift? 
  • Is my audience considering my brand over competitors?

To implement a more strategic measurement plan, view our 5 Step Guide to Successful Marketing Measurement

#5 Preparation For Cookieless Targeting Solution

Marketers are prioritizing first party data collection in 2022. As ROAS and attribution will decrease without cookies, greater rigor and strategy will be needed. Having a data-driven system for audience-based media that is tied to an integrated measurement solution will be critical to see marketing success.

Cookieless Prep Tips

  • Benchmark your current performance 
  • Experiment with alternative targeting and measurement solutions
  • Use predictive analytics to identify best performing marketing tactics 
  • Place more emphasis on directional business and sales performance data

#6 Challenger Brands Continue To Rise 

Challenger brands are on the rise, especially as brand loyalty to household names is dwindling and consumers are seeking new brands to try. 

Emerging brands have historically focused on challenging the competition, but today that has shifted to redefining the customer experience. Cultivating a strong brand community and culture drives word-of-mouth referrals and builds reputation among core audiences.

To compete with national brands, maximize marketing spend by leading with strategic digital marketing tactics rather than solely relying on mass media placements. 

#7 Brand Authenticity Is A Priority, Especially With Younger Generations

Today’s shopper is looking for authenticity. If a person loses trust in a brand, they are quick to pivot to a different brand offering a similar product. 

To find your brand’s magic, first take a step out of the data to examine qualitative signals of where authenticity lives for your brand. Understand where your customers feel your brand is most trustworthy to inform your channel placement. 

Authenticity is often less about the brand and more about the consumer. With this in mind, your messaging should be fluid and strategically adjusted depending on the audience segment you are targeting and where they are in the consumer journey. Additionally, the creative content you make for each platform should be adjusted to feel authentic to that placement. 


Use these trends to analyze your current marketing strategy. Then identify opportunities to lean into these high growth areas and take your marketing to the next level. 

Stay tuned for more trends in Q2. In the meantime, contact Coegi to learn how to implement these tactics for your brand.

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