For many large specialty food brands, the holidays are a prime selling period. Each year, Star Fine Foods, a manufacturer of a variety of Mediterranean food products — including olives, olive oil and vinegar — sees an increase in sales during the holidays. Olives are especially popular during this time of year. However, as soon as the busy holiday season is over, Star Fine Foods’ olive sales can taper off.
Looking to educate consumers about ways to use olives and expand their high sales beyond the holidays, Star Fine Foods planned a giveaway for their consumers.
In this case study, we’ll show you how Star Fine Foods worked with ShortStack to build and execute an integrated and interactive campaign to engage their users and increase their website visits by 288 percent, after the company’s peak holiday season had passed.
Here’s what you’ll learn from this case study.
• How Star Fine Foods set clear strategies and tactics to reach their goals.
• How they worked with ShortStack to turn their ideas into an engaging campaign.
• How Star Fine Foods ran a multi-faceted giveaway without compromising their fans’ interest.
• How they used their online and offline presence to promote their giveaway for huge success.
Here’s a step-by-step look at what Star Fine Foods did to accomplish their goals and how you can apply these tips to your own campaigns.
Step #1: Pick a Goal
Setting defined goals is one key to running a successful Campaign. Decide: What are the top one or two things (three at the most) you want to achieve?
Here are some common goals we see among ShortStack users.
• Increase brand awareness
• Promote a new product or service
• Boost user engagement
• Gather user feedback
• Gather user-generated content (photos, video, etc.)
• Develop brand advocates
• Convert followers into leads
• Convert followers into sales
• Grow a social media presence
Star Fine Foods’ primary goal was to educate and excite their consumers about the different ways they could use olives, even after the holiday season had passed. As a result of educating consumers, Star hoped to see an increase in olive sales and to grow their email database.
“Our peak olive sales are around the holidays; people put them on their tables while entertaining and they cook with them. Usually olive sales drop off after the holidays, but during that time people are still hosting parties and olives can be a great addition to the festivities. Our goal was to educate consumers on ways to use olives throughout the year.” – Crystal Moritz, Account Specific Marketing & Social Media, Star Fine Foods
A key priority for Star Fine Foods’ giveaway was to engage with their fans. This meant Star Fine Foods was looking for an interactive campaign that educated, engaged and sold.
The Takeaway: When dealing with a brand that has multiple products, focus on increasing awareness and sales for one product at a time.
#2: Determine the Best Strategy for Executing Your Campaign
Star Fine Foods knew they wanted to run a multi-tiered Campaign that would engage their fans, but they were unsure of the best method to execute the Campaign. They also had all of the design elements in place, but needed some help with custom coding to bring their Campaign to life. Knowing their key elements, they turned to the ShortStack custom design services team to help build the most effective Campaign to meet their needs.
“We had done a large campaign like this previously, but it was cost prohibitive. Using ShortStack we were able to have the interaction we wanted at a more reasonable cost and with graphics/content we wanted. I had my goals in mind and some ideas of how we could get there, but Adam helped me buckle down the best execution.” – Crystal Moritz, Account Specific Marketing & Social Media, Star Fine Foods
The key to running a successful multi-tiered Campaign — one that offers users a variety of ways to enter so they can increase their odds of winning — is to keep each entry section organized and easy to enter. It’s also important to properly set up the size and order of your prizes.
Star Fine Foods decided to have a giveaway with three separate opportunities to enter. Fans could enter only one section or they could enter the additional two sections for more chances to win. Their three options were; upload a photo of “how you o-live”; vote on your favorite olive recipe, and/or take a quiz about olives.
Each section included a different way to enter and all together the three sections boosted user generated content
Star Fine Foods clearly outlined all three of their entry sections on the homepage of their Campaign.
The Takeaway: If you’re building a multi-tiered giveaway, keep your concept and entry requirements simple as not to confuse your entrants.
#3: Boost Your Online Promotion Tactics
The options for hosting a Campaign have grown over the last year. Today, a majority of businesses will host their Campaigns on their website or a stand alone landing page, in addition to Facebook. Whether you host your Campaign on Facebook or publish it to the web, you should be promoting it across all of your social platforms. You should also be using your other online marketing channels to bring awareness to your giveaway.
When Crystal from Star Fine Foods first came to ShortStack with her Campaign idea, she wanted fans to submit their own recipes. We advised her that might be a lot of work to ask of participants, and so she shifted her strategy, opting instead to work with a variety of bloggers to have them submit their recipes that fans could vote on. Fans also had the option to submit their own.
This strategy was doubly effective because it boosted the reach of the Campaign, thanks to the bloggers who wrote about their recipes on their own blogs, and also wrote about about the “How Do You O-live?” giveaway.
Here’s an example from popular food blog Dinners, Dishes and Desserts.
Star Fine Foods also boosted the reach of their Campaign by publishing it on their website as well as their Facebook page, and by using Facebook and Google advertising to drive traffic to the two locations.
They also included their giveaway in their email marketing strategy.
“We had web banners and our in-store advertising which all drove traffic to our website. As a result our website traffic was significantly higher from January through March of last year and it allowed us to see which advertising efforts were most effective.” – Crystal Moritz, Account Specific Marketing & Social Media, Star Fine Foods
The takeaway: When using multiple promotion tactics, properly tracking each effort will better help determine which efforts were most successful for future Campaigns.
#4: Add Offline Promotional Tactics
There are a variety of options for promoting your giveaway offline.
Star Fine Foods took advantage of their product location in grocery stores and adding “shelf talks” to all of the olive aisles in Safeway, Savemart and Lucky stores, where their products are sold. A shelf talk is a printed card or other sign attached to a store shelf to call buyers’ attention to a particular product displayed on that shelf.
They also included neck hangers on their jars of olives.
“This Campaign was a much bigger/farther reaching Campaign that we supported with advertising outside of Facebook. That helped us generate more buzz.” – Crystal Moritz, Account Specific Marketing & Social Media, Star Fine Foods
If you don’t have a product that is sold in stores, you could boost awareness of your giveaway by using QR codes or printed information cards in your storefront, buying traditional advertising such as TV spots, newspaper ad placements or billboards or even through a direct mail campaign.
The takeaway: Even though your giveaway is run online, think of where your audience is offline and promote your giveaway there as well.
#5: Learn from Every Campaign You Run
We’re continually telling brands that the “one and done” theory does not work for social media marketing. Every Campaign is a learning experience and brands should plan to run multiple Campaigns throughout the year.
When your Campaign is finished there are three steps you should take.
1. Analyze your results
2. Create a follow-up marketing strategy
3. Take note of the lessons you learned
Analyze Your Results
Star Fine Foods worked hard to make sure that each promotional strategy they executed was trackable. From unique links on their neck hangers and shelf talkers, to referral links from their bloggers, they knew which promotion strategies were most successful for them. They were also able to compare their entries on their Facebook published Campaign versus their website published Campaign.
Here are the highlights from their giveaway.
Create a Follow-up Marketing Strategy
Probably one of the most common mistakes we see from brands is not having a strategy for all of the entries they collect from their entrants.
We recommend creating a specific outreach strategy for the new emails that you collect from your campaign. After an email campaign that includes a series of three to five separate emails, you can transition people onto your main email list to continue receiving updates from your brand.
Star Fine Foods subscribed everyone who entered their giveaway into their email newsletter and those people now receive special offers and recipes.
Take Note of the Lessons You Learned
Star Fine Foods runs multiple Campaigns a year. They run bi-weekly promotions that they put a small budget behind and then one to two times a year they will run a large Campaign like the “How Do You O-live?” giveaway.
For this Campaign they utilized outside promotional tactics, like their neck hangers and shelf talkers, and it paid off. Moving forward they’re able to use ShortStack to stay within a budget that allows them to build the Campaign they want and promote it across a wide spectrum.
The takeaway: Always analyze your results and look at the aspects that worked and didn’t work from your Campaign and apply that to your next giveaway or promotion.