5 tips for effective FMCG digital marketing to create seamless omnichannel customer experiences
The average adult in the UK spends nearly 6 hours per day engaging with digital media. This figure is rising. FMCG brands, that were previously reliant on expensive ‘above the line’ media options such as TV, press and outdoor advertising, have a range of new options to engage with customers and stimulate sales.
By complementing traditional campaigns with digital options FMCG marketers have a plethora of opportunities to extend the reach of marketing activity. A brand website, social media channels and email marketing provide the opportunity to forge bonds with consumers that were previously unattainable.
Coca-Cola were one of the first household names to really put customisation and personalisation at the forefront of their campaigns. This forged a bond between the brand and named individuals, rather than anonymous customers. An added benefit of this activity was the fact that participants became brand advocates, with the Coca Cola campaign amplified across social media by new found brand advocates.
Innovation in FMCG marketing is often the preserve of new brands that are using exciting, innovative ways to get ahead of the competition. So which channels should FMCG organisations be prioritised in FMCG digital marketing? What makes FMCG digital marketing successful?
The number one priority for FMCG brands is to own their brand space in digital channels. Many well-known household names ignore this first step in omnichannel marketing. This means that brands need to be prominent when a user searches for the brand name in channels such as Google, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Snap Chat and LinkedIn.
To do this it is key for brands to secure their brand assets, such as domain names or social media handles. Marketers that are investing millions on TV advertising or premium positioning of their products in offline stores often neglect this. A quick search for .co.uk domain names of the leading FMCG brands is revealing. It shows how slow marketers are at securing brand assets.
Securing a top position in Google’s organic rankings requires more than simply the appropriate domain name. On average Google receives over 72,000 searches per second making it the most used search engine in the world, followed by its subsidiary video search engine, YouTube. It’s estimated that around 50% of internet users use YouTube, that’s billions of brand visibility opportunities that could be missed if FMCG brands don’t have a presence.
Brands can’t expect their target audience to view them as the number one choice if they’re not able to demonstrate the same brand authority online as they do offline. Equally not being the top result on platform searches (Google, YouTube etc) fractures the overall customer journey.
The top 5 keys to successful FMCG digital marketing
There isn’t one simple secret for FMCG marketing success. For brands to get ahead of their competition and remain relevant, selling at a competitive price isn’t a sustainable strategy. Their approach needs to deliver a memorable omnichannel experience. 90% of consumer expect their experience to be similar across all channels and almost all purchasing decisions are believed to be made subconsciously, driven by emotion. Therefore, organisations must win over the hearts and minds of their audience, evoking positive emotions at every touchpoint.
Brand perception is important, how customers feel about a brand can directly influence sales. 91% of consumers say they’re more likely to buy from an authentic brand, though this statistic varies across generations and demographic values, it’s a worthy factor for organisations to consider when positioning themselves with their marketing. Is your brand’s content aligned with your values and is it consistent across all channels?
1. Reflect your brand in every digital channel
The brand website, social media channels, content and messaging should reflect the brand. The look and feel of logos, deign assets and media should be consistent with offline activity. When a user encounters a social media update or lands on the brand website they should recognise that they are getting authoritative content from the brand they trust.
2. Know your target audience
This is key to getting your FMCG digital marketing moving in the right direction. Techniques to build an accurate picture of who your customers are, including behaviour analysis, focus groups, secondary data or one to one interviews with key customer segments. This research can help inform the rest of the marketing activity and how you choose to segment your marketing campaigns.
Once you have customer personas established that are based on behavioural data (hobbies, priorities etc.) and other demographics (locations, age etc.) the next advisable step is to identify where your target audience is digitally active. The customer journey between platforms, offline and online should be seamless.
Customer data is gold dust for marketers if used properly. Website platforms like Sitecore that have customer experience features like marketing personalisation and machine learning (Sitecore Cortex) can transform relationships between brands and their customers. It’s not just organisations that are keen to build personalised user experiences, 58% of customers want a more personalised experience. McKinsey reported that personalisation not only reduces acquisition costs by 50% but can increase revenues by 15% as well as improving marketing efficiency by up to 30%. Brands that fail to adopt this approach risk falling behind their competitors.
This research expands beyond official channels. A savvy FMCG marketer will know all of the digital channels where their target audience congregate. Forums such as mumsnet and Money Saving Expert are filled with discussion about different FMCG brands. This is a great way to find out how FMCG brands are regarded and learn the questions consumers are asking about them. This is an excellent source of content inspiration for social media posts and website content.
3. Content marketing matters
Content marketing is the fuel that is essential in driving FMCG digital marketing through any digital roadmap. 82% of people claim to have bought a product as a result of consuming content. It’s important to note that this is where a lot of brands go wrong, especially on their approach to social media.
Big FMCG brands have been criticised for using social media as broadcasting channels rather than utilising it as a tool for conversation. Key things for brands to consider when planning their content:
- Channels: These are as imperative to the success of your digital marketing strategy as the content itself. Taking time to review your owned, earned and paid media. This auditing exercise might be a little monotonous, however fine-tuning what is currently working and where there’s gaps in your delivery will help to achieve your overall goals.
- Mediums: video, motion graphics, email, copy, audio. Yes, this is partially to influence the target audience throughout each touchpoint and provide rich customer experiences, but it also provides great SEO value. Google loves varied content and will reward brands with high rankings that keep their marketing mix varied.
- Devices: brands can’t get away with not optimising their content for all devices. Of all people that buy products online, 40% do so on mobile. It’s pretty clear that if your business’ website isn’t optimised for mobile (this includes loading speed) then a competitor’s site that is optimised will be capturing the opportunities you’ve lost.
- Subject Matter: When a consumer wants to know how to solve a problem chances are they’ll either search Google, ask their social media network or reach out to similar communities in forums. This is a great opportunity for FMCG marketers. By writing SEO friendly content for the website that answer these questions brands can gain prominent Google listings. FMCG brands will then be best placed to answer the questions relating to the use, consumption or application of their products. Amplifying these messages in social media will extend this reach and maximise the chances of brand content being cited in forums as the authoritative answer to customer questions.
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4. Build an army of influencers
Social video media companies like Jungle Creations or The LadBible Group are some of the most influential advertising channels in the world. Brands using original video content that appears to be a tip rather than an advert often helps brands increase their online engagement and brand awareness on a great scale.
A recent report from Economist Group uncovered that 71% of readers are turned off from companies that produce content that sounds like a sales pitch. With 2 million blog posts being written every day and the growing popularity of subscription services like Netflix and social channels like Instagram that promote original content; people are consuming huge volumes of content and therefore have high expectations. Answer the questions relating to your brand
5. Form a direct relationship with the customer
When a customer subscribes to a social media channel, or signs up for email updates with an FMCG brand, the organisation has a direct relationship with them. Email marketing is consistently regarded as the leading digital tactic in terms of ROI. Despite this, FMCG brands are often reluctant to build a database and use this way of keeping customers informed, engaged and entertained.
Both social media and email are great ways to keep customers aware of new product launches, new content marketing, promotions and upcoming ad campaigns. These options are also great for marketers looking to distribute samples or provide vouchers and offers to strengthen their retail proposition. In the longer term, building a direct relationship with the customer could lead to e-commerce and direct selling.
The direct relationship with the customer works both ways. An official branded social media presence comes with the expectation that FMCG brands are approachable and ready to answer queries. Consumers expect answers to their queries posted via social media to be timely and helpful and be in keeping with the brand presence.
How good is your FMCG digital marketing?
If you’re keen to get more from your FMCG digital marketing, get in touch – we’d love to help. At Kagool we have experience of working with some of the UK’s leading FMCG organisations amongst a long list of other sectors. We specialise in creating great digital experiences using the Sitecore platform, providing support with a range of services including digital strategy, outsourced website development and digital marketing.