The content strategy consulting agency Ultramedia has published the 3rd edition of its annual barometer “Brands: who are the new opinion leaders? ". A document classifying the biggest players in the agrifood industry, according to their ability to exercise opinion leadership.

Preserves, salads, yogurts, sodas, if for ordinary consumers these products (the list of which is not exhaustive) are only everyday references placed on displays or in refrigerators, they represent real levers for brands. Advertisers who, with confinement, have sometimes rethought their entire communication strategy to stay close to their targets. And gain (again) places in opinion leadership rankings; both in departments and in digital. Thus, according to the document proposed by Ultramedia, it is Bonduelle which exercises the highest opinion leadership with an overall score of 73 out of 100, followed by Coca-Cola (66) and Danette who is awarded the first walk of the podium after two consecutive years of increase. Conversely, some brands drop out. Like Pasquier moving from 2nd to 5th place and Fleury Michon, 3rd in 2019, only becoming 7th this year. The reason for these differences? The implementation of different editorial strategies and contrasting situations.

COVID to the plate

Good news for brands in the food industry; the latter will not have been too impacted in their communication by the health crisis. Indeed, over the period studied and among the top 10 hashtags and keywords most used by Internet users citing one of the brands in the sector, only 3 are directly linked to the Covid virus. Sign that Internet users were not particularly expecting brands on this subject. Supermarkets will not have suffered any supply problems, contrary to the fears of the French who had rushed to supermarkets at the time of the first confinement. Regarding the content of advertisers, however, the author of the study will have noticed significant organizational changes. This in terms of content production ... increasing!

Brand content on the rise

These would have increased by 65% compared to last year, confirming a priori the recurring editorial inflation of recent years. But on closer inspection, it would be wrong to make it a basic trend, as the situations are so contrasting, even opposed. Also, while some brands will have slowed down their production, such as Fleury Michon (-75%), Coca-Cola (-60%), Herta (-55%) or Pasquier (-30%), others, even in lowering the sails, will have remained in the top 3 (Bonduelle, again). In contrast, Danette will have multiplied by 30 its production, to represent half of the content produced during the period. The brand has thus opted for a strategy centered on Twitter to engage in direct dialogue with consumers. As for Panzani, it signs a similar increase with 6 times more content produced than the average.

Focus on the challenge of engagement

Over the period observed, the average engagement rate is up compared to last year (from 1.68% to 2.2%). In this game, the champions respond to the name of Elle & Vire and Cristaline with averages above 5%, against Bonduelle (4%) who has however found the secret to success: sharing ideas for easy-to-make dishes. at home, with a very close tone anchored in the reality of confinement. At the same time, interactions are increasing, both on Facebook (+ 63%) and on Twitter (+ 30%). Moreover, the social network with the dark blue logo remains by far the preferred media for brands, with on average 30 times more interactions than on Twitter. The only exception: Danette, considered the most dynamic and productive brand on the platform with the bird-shaped logo. As a result, audiences interact more with brands that generate more engagement. However, average communities have not increased compared to last year. Over this same period, brands even recorded an average loss of 51,105 subscribers with very disparate situations. In fact, more than half of the brands have lost subscribers (Activia, Coca-Cola, Danette, Elle & Vire, Fleury Michon, Herta, Panzani). A second consecutive year, moreover, during which many advertisers are no longer able to grow their communities. But the losses recorded were greater this year during the confinement period (-51,105 on average against -4,000 last year). So, is this a symbol of weariness or the sign that Internet users were expecting something else in this period?

Initiatives undertaken are encouraged

Because they are anchored in our daily lives and our lifestyles, brands in the food sector are distinguished by editorial lines that are much less institutional than in other markets. This proximity allows them to communicate easily and engage in direct dialogue with their audiences and around their products. However, the latter are not content to capitalize on their ranges. In this period of crisis, they will have shown creativity and proximity to multiply editorial initiatives: # Laplusgrandetablée by Panzani, which encouraged meals shared remotely in front of the same film, or #Labase, action in support of farmers who have suffered during the crisis. With #jaimemonbistrot, Coca-Cola will also have positioned itself as a support for small cafes at the time of deconfinement, such as by creating an after-sales service to inform the curious about its commitments or even relays of competitions. Finally, at Bonduelle, topics around agriculture (#lanaturenotreavenir), nutrition and the promotion of employee commitments (#foodheroes) were the most popular. Danette for her part, will have played the confinement friends, using her social network as a space for conversation with her audiences and animated full time. With familiarity, schoolboy jokes, challenges, memes, the community approach will have worked (#Danettelovers).

Photo credit: Freepik - Timolina