In my last article, How to Market Beverages Through Online Party Planners , I provided tips on working with a variety of online social influencers. So now lets look at how snacks should create a targeted and creative marketing plan to reach party planners.
Snack foods find a place at the table of many celebrations, including the upcoming football season, Halloween, and of course the winter holidays. It's important for brands to understand how to reach two very valuable customers when it comes to celebrations: party hosts and their guests. Hosts plan the celebration from start to finish and coordinate much of the menu, but guests also frequently bring party snacks to an event.
For brands, there is a lot to understand about party planning including timing, planning tasks, and what's most helpful to the host. At Punchbowl, help marketers workwith online party plannersridge the gap between alcohol and celebrations so that brands can reach those who spend billions on celebrations every single year
Recently, Punchbowl ran a survey of active party hosts to determine how they decide on and purchase snack foods for parties. Results from the survey offer CPG companies, especially snack food brands, a deeper look into the celebrations industry, such as how party hosts decide which snack foods to purchase for parties, when they buy, and more. Armed with this data, marketers can successfully reach hosts and guests who spend billions on party snacks each year. Here are a few highlights from the data and relevant tips for snack food marketers:
Provide Value Online
The survey found that 83% of people look for party snack recipes online either on recipe-focused websites (67%), through social media (37%), on blogs (14%), or on consumer brand websites (13%). Hosts have a lot on their plate when planning events so they frequently turn to these sites and others that help them plan a great celebration effortlessly. Snack food brands who seek to reach these hosts want to place their content ( content marketing ) or display ads on similar sites involved in the party planning process, including online invitations, party supplies, and recipe ideas.
Understand Party Planning Schedules
According to the party snacks survey, the majority (63%) of party hosts purchase snack foods for their parties the week of the event, but 21% buy them the day of the party. Timing is critical when it comes to party snack foods. Most hosts begin planning a celebration about 4-6 weeks before the event. At this point only the date and location of the event are typically the only known details. This is the ideal time to show why your brand's party snacks are the best choice through appropriately timed advertising on sites that hosts go to for party planning. This could be a message of creativity (recipes for fun party snacks such as these from Kellogg's SnackPicks.com), value (coupons for volume buys), or another factor that your brand feels can impact the host's decision.
Be Visual and Creative on Social Media
Nearly 40% of hosts look to social media for ideas on what to serve at their parties. Snack foods are visual products that look great in photographs. Brands should showcase their products on social networks like Pinterest and Instagram where a great image can make a big impact with followers. Set aside budget to set up photograph your products in creative and visual appealing ways. Great presentation adds a 'wow' factor to the party, especially when it comes to snacks, but it can be a burden for hosts to come up with new and different presentation ideas. Use your brand's Pinterest and Instagram feeds to show hosts interesting alternatives to organize party snacks that present the food in a festive way. Cabot Cheese encourages consumers with a wealth of imaginative ideas from their site and others on their Appetizers & Tasty Snacks board on Pinterest. These ideas inspire hosts to carry out these suggestions and will be thankful you did the creative legwork for them.
These survey results and others are found in a new whitepaper that provides insights on the $38 billion celebrations industry and gives snack food marketers specific ways to reach party hosts at the exact moment they're gearing up for a celebration. Download the free white paper today.