The Best Food and Beverage Advertising Trends of 2017

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Social media became even more integral to successful marketing strategies in 2017 and the food and beverage industry is no exception. While many food & beverage companies may not have benefitted from big developments in e-commerce on social media, there was no shortage of advertising trends. Keep reading for some of our favorites.

Live Video

Facebook Live has been around since 2015 and Instagram Live launched at the end of 2016 but this was the year live video took off for food and beverage brands on social. According to icuc.social, Facebook users in 2017 spent 50x more time watching live video than regular video. Live video is a particularly good option for bars and restaurants, which can post engaging content such as behind-the-scenes tours, live events, menu announcements and more.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing was bigger than ever in 2017, leading Instagram to introduce its new “paid partnership” designation. With the plethora of food-oriented influencers on Instagram, Pinterest and beyond, influencer marketing is a critical trend for food and beverage companies to take advantage of. It's authentic, engaging and scalable– brands can choose anything from an influencer with a massive international following to a local influencer in a specific city.

Engagement Campaigns

A perennially strong tactic for food and beverage companies is to advertise the lifestyle that goes along with their brand– whether it’s family-friendly, health-oriented or the life of the party. Social media has always been the perfect platform for creating a community of like-minded fans and sharing content relevant to their interests. With organic reach at an all-time low, smart food and beverage brands this year took advantage of branded hashtags and promoted their best-performing content by boosting posts on Facebook and Instagram and promoting pins on Pinterest.

Humor and Customer Interaction

Humor and customer interaction aren’t technically trends; they’re both reliable strategies used on social media. However, 2017 saw some standout campaigns from food and beverage brands using humor, and knowledge of their audience, in wildly successful ways.

There was the #NuggsforCarter campaign that Wendy’s took advantage of, earning a record 3.4 million retweets. Denny’s also took to Twitter to capitalize on the platform’s unique brand of humor and popular content with a Tweet asking followers to zoom in for a hidden message reading, “has this distracted you from overwhelming existential dread lol.” The Tweet became the brand's most successful.

Those are just two examples of many but the moral of the story is that humor sells, especially if you know your audience and what they like. The most successful brands in 2017 acted swiftly when opportunities presented themselves, jumping on trending topics and memes to use to their advantage.

2017 isn’t over yet and with the holidays approaching, we’re sure to see these tactics and more from the food and beverage industry. Give these trends a try or head to the comments to share your favorites!

Story by: Kelsey Thompson