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Growth Tips: Instagram for CPG Food Brands

May 10 Laura Ward



With over 500 million monthly active users, Instagram is an opportune platform to market your business and food product(s). 

• Reach new markets. Post consistently to gain enough influence (grow your following) that other awesome brands and people will want to partner with you to feature your products.

• Brand awareness and loyalty. Connect with consumers in a more personal way than traditional advertising by providing a window into the culture behind your brand. 

• It's free. Your customers are on Instagram — and so are grocers that source new products. What better way to identify with consumers than by using a platform they already interact with on a daily basis.



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Be consistent

Unlike Facebook and Twitter where growth is correlated with a certain number of posts per day, Instagram success is reliant on consistency — in theme, tone, and frequency.

Create a cohesive theme on your company’s Instagram by setting posting guidelines to stick to. Do your best to use the same filter when editing photos, be particular when deciding which images to use, and maintain a similar writing tone.

Whether you choose to post once a day, every three days, or once a week — teach your followers how often they can expect to hear from you by staying consistent.


Put your content in context

Posting photos of your packaging can get boring. Work to capture your product in the context it is enjoyed. If you sell dehydrated meals for backpackers, post pictures of it being cooked over a fire in the woods— allow your followers to see where your product might fit into their lives. Think of your company’s profile as a live portfolio of how your products weave into everyday life.

"It's a sense of community that you can't achieve via just display. If you follow a brand on Instagram, you are joining a community of likeminded people and content." - Kevin Purcer, runs the Instagram account of Califia Farms, as quoted by Campaign Live.

USE hashtagS

Set a hashtag for your brand to make it easy for your fans to tag you in their posts. Tagging hashtags that fit with your posts on Instagram is one of the best ways to boost engagement. 

What is a hashtag?  Hashtags turns any word or group of words into a searchable topic simply by preceding it with the pound sign (#). E.g. I snap a photo while shopping at The Big Carrot in Toronto and tag #thebigcarrot — it then compiles with every other post that has tagged #thebigcarrot to create an open-source photo library.  


Spotlight your fans

Build community by acknowledging individuals who tag your company or use your hashtag — even repost their images on your account if they align with your brand style.


Share team culture and the people behind your business

People buy things because they identify with the lifestyle the brand represents. Share who you are, be personable, and have fun with your social accounts.  


Partner with other brands to do a giveaway

Once you've reached a certain number of followers, connect with brands that appeal to a similar demographic and do a giveaway or promotion together. Both parties benefit from gaining exposure among each others following and expanding reach by engaging followers to follow/like/comment.

E.g. Partnered companies post to announce giveaway, tag the other companies involved, and provide rules to win: "1. Follow each company page involved, 2. Like this post, and 3. Tag 3 friends in the comments section who would love to hear about this promo." 


Announce promotions, EXCLUSIVE CONTENT, OR DEALS 

Give people a reason to follow you — share exciting announcements.



Link to engaging content ON YOUR WEBSITE

You can reference to a link in your account bio, as that is the only place on Instagram where you can add a link. E.g. “… Click the link in our bio to read more.”



Identify the demographic that you're selling to (e.g. Adventure seekers who love camping) and find micro-infuencers that fit that demographic to promote your product in exchange for free products or incentives each month.

This partnership allows you to tap into their existing network and get a shout-out recommendation from a person your ideal customer already respects and admires. 

"CPG brands see the highest engagement from influencer marketing. Research shows that the average ROI for influencer marketing is $6.85 for every dollar spent. In the CPG industry, the ROI is even higher, where returns are $11.33 for the foods category and $10.48 for retailers."(Bitly, 2016)


There you have it! As you explore further you will find more nuanced features like Instagram stories and Boomerang— but start simple by posting consistently with quality photos that represent the culture behind your company. Utilize Instagram as a free advertising tool to reach new markets, and build brand awareness and loyalty.


About Localize

We are a B-Corporation, certified woman-owned business with a mission to support diverse, social, and ethical products to thrive in retail aisles. Localize was founded in 2011 to answer one question: "Where does our food come from?" Since then, we've evolved to become a connector between food businesses, retailers, and consumers who care.

Interested in exploring how to go beyond the package to tell your story and share more information consumers care about? Learn about our scannable graphics that link to your online Localize profile here. Not yet a Localized vendor? sign-up free! 

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Categories: Food Labeling, Small Business

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