Brands in the food and beverage field should really be present online, on social media sites, if they aren’t already, as such content is intensively searched and shared on the web. A study by MSLGroup and The Hartman shows that the leading source that influences US Internet users to purchase a new brand of food or beverage is the online recommendation from a friend, mentioned by 36% of the respondents. 30% would buy the same new brand if another friend than the close one would recommend it online, and other people would try the new product if connections from their social networks, people they know or not, would like their statuses.
So online sharing is very important, what other people say and recommend is perceived as a reliable source and, as eMarketer’s new report “User-Generated Food and Beverage Content: Satisfying a Hunger to Create and Share” points out, customers play a more and more important role in the conversation.
Food content provided and shared online is either photos, for inspiration, or recipes, for the practical side. On Pinterest you’ll find many attractive photos of different dishes and, when clicking on the photo, you are most often directed to a website or blog where you can find the recipe for that particular meal.
The fact that people often look online for recipes is emphasized by a May BlogHer survey which revealed that 89% of internet users interested in food content went online for recipes.
Also, Compete found out in May this year that food was de definite leader of the Pinterest topic categories for interactions on the social network. Moreover, discoveriess lead to conversions, as 25% overall bought a product after first seeing it on Pinterest. A more surprising finding of this study was that on this female dominated network, 37% of male users were tempted to purchase products, compared to only 17% of female users.
Finding great ideas that will involve customers – existing and potential – in the creation and sharing of valuable online content that will help brands sell more is the current challenge any food/beverage company and their agencies are facing.