Eating food is very much a social activity. We need to eat. And we like doing it. The social urge to eat together drives our decisions about eating more than our need for nutrition. We share food, we treat mealtimes as events, and food brings us together.
This social aspect of food now extends into the digital realm. People share images and videos of their favourite food widely through social media channels. This is something the food industry cannot afford to ignore.
“Word of mouth has always worked for food and drink, from restaurants and cafés to brands, and social media is a new form of word of mouth,” comments Pete Crouch, Managing Director of Liquid Studios. “The food and drink sector should be taking far greater advantage of this opportunity.”
Eat with Your Eyes
“How many times have you eaten out and watched people videoing or taking pictures of their food to share online with their friends?” Pete asks. “There is an expression that you eat with your eyes. Food is a visual experience as much as it is about taste.”
Images transcend words. The visual language of food and drink, has no real barriers, making it hugely shareable through social media.
This visual aspect of sharing helps democratise the whole marketing process – effectively, anyone can do it. As Pete points out, this puts the onus on food and drink brands to devise ways of emphasising their authenticity online.
“For video and photography to work as content it must resonate with people. Fortunately, good food speaks very much for itself, because you can fill in the gaps in people’s imagination with mouth-watering imagery”
“What is also important here is context”, explains Pete. “How you position your video or photography can create an instant sense of ambience.”
“Not only can you capture the product, but also the setting for it, whether this is domestic or commercial,” Pete continues. “You can instantly communicate where your brand sits socially, and back this up strategically with where you choose to share your food photography or video online.”
Food and Drink is Digital Now
Online grocery sales in the UK are rising fast. Recent retail analysis suggests that the UK is the world’s third largest online grocery market. It is estimated to grow by 68% in the next few years, to be worth £17.6 billion in sales by 2021.
“If you have a food or drink brand, or a restaurant, café or bar and want to establish, or strengthen, your online presence, then video and photography provide an excellent means of making a significant impact”
“Three of the ten most popular brands on Facebook are food companies,”concludes Pete. “And in a survey of food and drink sector industry leaders, over 60% thought social media was significantly affecting sales. Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that?”
For an additional read, please visit Food Festivals, Niche Brands and the Impact of Video Marketing