As the calendar clicks off days in June, the checkoff’s team of digital strategists are on the edges of their seats. Why? They are watching the number of “Likes” on the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” Facebook page because it’s expected to surpass the one million mark!
Beef’s Digital Advertising History
A very targeted and focused digital advertising campaign was born in 2014, specifically to reach older millennial parents, who were the largest segment on Facebook. The beef checkoff program used Facebook to share beef information with this group so they would feel more confident to purchase, prepare and enjoy beef with family and friends. Through an integrated approach, driven by website advertising and search to reach the target audience, social plays a critical role in establishing a relationship with millennial consumers like never before. It’s a modern approach to customer service, enabling consumer to interact with their favorite brands which builds trust and the ultimate goal of purchase trial.
“Facebook is the optimal platform for connecting with consumers as they’re seeking new information about family, lifestyle and health,” says Janna Stubbs, co-chair of the checkoff’s Consumer Trust committee and a beef producer from Alpine, Texas. “Not only is Facebook efficient for our checkoff dollars, but it is also a key platform to reach those audiences who want to know more about beef in a meaningful way.”
Beef’s New Facebook Strategies
This fiscal year, the checkoff incorporated a variety of Facebook methods to engage people:
- Themed Carousel Ads allow us to generate website page views, notably for checkoff-developed recipes and relevant messaging throughout the year.
- Promoted Posts allow us to capitalize on timely, relevant and highly engaging content throughout the year while pinpointing opportunities to test and learn with messaging.
- Recipe Videos continue to demonstrate positive results in serving up relevant entertaining meal inspiration for specific moments in time like St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo and National Burger Day.
- Telecontext, a proprietary application developed for the Beef Checkoff in 2015, allows us to stay relevant by engaging consumers during popular food and cooking programs- capitalizing on the ‘second screen’ trend of today’s consumer viewing habits.
- Facebook Live, which debuted in 2017, allows us to strengthen our relationship with viewers through “behind the scenes” access to culinary experts with live demonstrations showcasing quick, easy meal solutions from the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” culinary center.
“Eighty percent of Fortune 500 companies have active Facebook pages*,” says Stubbs. “The checkoff needs to be where the conversation is happening to make sure consumers are equipped with the beef tips, techniques and recipes they want so they have a great beef eating experience, every time. We want them to not only learn about beef and get recipes but go out and purchase beef!”
To celebrate the milestone, the checkoff worked with beef farmers and ranchers across the country to share a message of gratitude to the Facebook community. The video is posted on the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” Facebook timeline and can be shared by state affiliates, industry partners and producers.
While Facebook and social platforms are central to the direct-to-consumer marketing efforts, there are additional efforts underway to help evolve and modernize the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner” brand. This includes the launch of an improved and more in-depth “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” website, consolidating nine checkoff websites into one flagship site, in fall 2017; and the introduction of a new Producer Image Campaign in fall 2017, including online videos and 360-experience to help educate consumers about beef production to help increase their trust in the beef community.
For more information about your beef checkoff investment, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com.
*Harvard Business Review, March-April 2017 issue