The COVID-19 pandemic served up a heavy hit to the food and beverage industry in 2020, but with vaccination rates rising, daily life is set to return to something more reflective of pre-COVID normalcy.
As we return to restaurants and the homes of friends and loved ones, food and beverage marketers will be wise to take steps to ensure their brands are poised to capitalize on the upswing. With what seems like endless options for reaching your audience online, Centro recommends trying the following strategies to strengthen your brand’s transition into the post-pandemic world.
You’ve heard it a thousand times: location, location, location. Food and Wine Magazine reports that 63% of respondents to a poll asking diners to list the factors they considered when choosing a dining establishment named location as a priority. In fact, location was third on the list, behind only health and safety ratings and price point. This means your customers are all around you.
Hyperlocal targeting can be a very effective tool for reaching your resident neighbors and those just passing through. Leveraging technology that is based on mobile phone GPS location data to target consumers who are physically present within a radius of your establishment, as opposed to the location their IP address is linked to, gives you an edge in reaching those who are nearby as they are making decisions about how to fill their bellies.
Leveraging a PMP, or Private Marketplace, gives marketers access to premium inventory that will appear adjacent to content that your target consumer is already interested in. As Didgiday explains, open ad exchanges are the public pools of the web where anyone can come take a dip, and PMP’s are the country clubs that allow select swimmers access to the pools with the palm tree fountain and swim-up bar.
How does it work? Publishers sell premium inventory to advertisers whose brands align with the user experience they want to provide their readers, allowing those advertisers the opportunity to reach a highly engaged audience with a greater level of interest in in their products.
Basis DSP provides access to over 2,000 PMPs, including those targeting users who seek out drinks, dining, entertainment, and lifestyle content. Travel-related PMPs put you on the radar of visitors who will be in your area soon, but would be missed by location targeting as they’re planning their trip from home.
Once you’ve chosen the ideal programmatic tactics to get in front of your audience, you’ll want to support those efforts with creative that draws them further in. The key to any good creative strategy is to be sure the tactics you’ve selected and the creative that will run against them are aligned. Tactics that focus on awareness are common among advertisers in the food and beverage vertical, and often utilize video creative.
Video is a great choice for any awareness campaign. Its visually captivating nature makes it effective at keeping attention longer than standard display creative. Programmatic video typically can run for six, fifteen, or thirty seconds. This allows for restaurant industry advertisers to showcase their kitchen’s work by featuring menu items they are most proud of, as well as the atmosphere diners would enjoy it in.
Video allows B2B advertisers selling everything from industrial kitchen equipment or linen laundry services to demonstrate the advantages they offer over competitors. Something to remember about video creative is that video completion rates are lower for longer videos. A good creative agency will be able to help you create video ads that leverage the attention that video creative draws in, but get the point across quickly.
Display creative is also effective when strategically paired to a programmatic tactic that aligns well with the content. For example, display is an effective means of advertising promotional offers to users who have already visited your website via a retargeting tactic. If you are using a tactic that seeks to bring new customers into a restaurant, featuring mouthwatering food photography in your creative is a great way to entice consumers to try something new.
Food and beverage marketers face a variety of challenges in 2021 as we reemerge from the pandemic—read more about how to help your marketing program recover from COVID-19 here.