Vegan lifestyle and plant-based products are undeniably on the rise across the globe.
The number of Americans identifying as “vegan” grew from 1% to 6% between 2014 and 2017; according to GlobalData, that’s a mind-boggling 600% increase. In addition, domestic sales of plant-based alternatives to animal-based foods grew 17% year-on-year over the past year, while overall U.S. food sales rose only 2% year-on-year, according to data from Nielsen and the Good Food Institute. The market for foods under vegetarian and vegan living totaled more than $3.7 billion in 2017 and is only slated to grow even more year on year as this new trend continues to develop at an exponential pace.
Last year, a survey from The Economist showed that 25% of Americans aged 25 to 34 identified as either vegan or vegetarian. A third of consumers are interested in plant-based burgers, while 29% of operators surveyed offer these plant-based meat alternatives burgers according to data.essential.com. A plant-based diet might be one of the current trends but there is still a lot of meat-eaters.
The Covid-19 crisis also helped in the booming of plant-based products. A report from NPR.org found that plant-based diet alternatives sales had a significant rise by +279% in the US in 2020.
The recent spike in U.S. sales of vegan foods is largely attributable to millennials, who are increasingly going vegan. Whatever the reasons may be for the person in question–reduce meat consumption, health reasons, environmental reasons, animal cruelty, to improve world hunger, or any combination therein–more and more Americans are turning to meat-free and plant-based foods.
As a direct market response, meat-alternatives brands like Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, Good Foods, and many others are grabbing a substantial early market share as fully vegan businesses.
In addition, more and more non-vegan brands, restaurants, and food manufacturers are offering vegan food options that are completely free of any animal products whatsoever. People aren’t just searching for vegan options in more historically vegan-dense American cities such as Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, and the San Francisco Bay Area, but all across the world as well!
Organic and natural foods, meat and dairy substitutes like almond milk or soy products, and any other products that represent a healthy lifestyle are more prominent than ever in grocery stores. Even major brands like Fatburger–renowned for their, well, very heavily meat-based burgers–are pivoting meat substitutes to this audience to take advantage of this growing vegan movement.
With all of this information and all signs pointing to a vegan diet trend, it’s not surprising that digital marketing stands poised to expand towards an entirely new audience that is there and very much waiting to be marketed to.
So given all of this, there are some key questions here that need to be asked:
- What kind of vegan marketing strategy should you execute to meet this new market halfway?
- What kind of vegan ads and vegan campaigns should you run to get your message across?
- What kind of vegan food digital advertising will resonate best with your target audience? Similarly, what about vegan product digital advertising?
- How do you use all this information to grow vegan product sales and expand your vegan business?
Read on for all the answers, or download this guide as a PDF to read later!
1. Google Ads for Vegan Searches
- Capture searches for your vegan products or services with Google Ads. Build your keyword list with KWFinder.
- Write vegan ads that speak directly to your target audience.
- Point to appropriate and relevant landing pages.
- Pro-tip: be sure you have analytics and conversion tracking in place to optimize and report performance.
Nurture, re-engage, and retain customers with Google Display Network (GDN) remarketing ads. Place the Google Ads pixel on your website, design vegan-specific ads, and point traffic back to your homepage or use dynamic vegan ads to bring them back to the product they abandoned.
Facebook Ads also offers a good retargeting solution similar to this method.
3. Local Search Listing
For local businesses, such as a vegan restaurant, a high Google Maps ranking is the best thing you can do for your business. We recently put out a full guide on how to rank locally.
4. Vegan Category Page
- Even if you aren’t a 100% vegan business, you can still make it easy for vegans to shop with you by curating a page of the vegan options of your choice. Be sure to implement foundational SEO best practices such as META title and description, H1/H2 title tags, URL naming, and on-page tests that include the keyword “Vegan” with your product or service. For example, your page title would be something similar to the following: “Vegan Mexican Food Menu – Maria’s Cantina Los Angeles, California”.
Start by finding your target keyword list – for this, we recommend KWFinder.com.
Vegan Influencer Marketing
5. Product Reviews with Vegan Influencers
- Etsy, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, and independent blogs have thousands upon thousands of vegan influencers. Every single day they are trying, talking about, and recommending vegan products ranging from food to plant-based products and everything in between.
- Vegan businesses can use their social media marketing channels to drive traffic to their websites, increase their brand awareness, and generate leads.
- For a reasonable rate, you can receive an honest review on their social media page that puts your brand and product in front of a sizable, targeted base of vegan lifestyle enthusiasts!
- As a starting point, NinjaOutreach is a good place to find, research, and connect with vegan influencers to get you started. To scale the program, we recommend creating a landing page where influencers can request a free review sample, followed by emailing or messaging your influencer list, directing them to the page accordingly.
Vegan Social Media Marketing
6. Facebook & Instagram Ads targeting a vegan audience
- Facebook and Instagram are incredibly effective channels for reaching wider vegan audiences. Since social media are mostly used by young people and that vegan meals are eaten by millennials, the vegan message spreads quickly on these two platforms.
- Simply create a vegan ads-focused audience that focuses on “vegan interest” and followers of vegan content (both for vegan food as well as for non-culinary vegan products) therein. Try to think outside the box, and don’t be afraid to be different and create content that is unexpected.
- Once that’s squared away, go ahead and create an ad message that specifically calls out your vegan offering and points to a similar landing page.
7. Pinterest Ads targeting vegan posts and topics
- Users on Pinterest are shoppers, more so than any other social media channel in my experience. Food, design, and fashion are the 3 big topics, so there is loads of vegan content already.
- Pinterest ads are much less competitive than ads on other platforms too, yielding lower CPCs and fewer ads crowding the platform. Even though Pinterest saw a 52% jump in pinned vegan recipes between 2015 and 2016. I recommend creating an ad campaign targeting other vegan posts so you’re getting in front of the right target audience as they’re browsing.
- You’ll want to create a vegan-specific pin to promote which leads to a high conversion landing page offering the product from your pin.
As the vegan movement continues to grow, vegan ads will continuously be in demand. We hope that this article has given you some great insight and pro-tips in order to start your vegan digital advertising and marketing journey!
If you’d like to see how Upgrow can provide a complete digital marketing strategy and manage your online customer acquisition programs, schedule a discovery call with us today and we’d be more than happy to talk to you!
So which vegan strategy are you going to try? Any other ideas that weren’t mentioned here?
Feel free to let us know in the comments below!