“Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” Digital Advertising Campaign Achieving Big Results for Beef

by Mackenzie Jordan, Manager, Communication Content, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff

Summary
This year marks the first year that the Beef Checkoff-funded “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” brand launched its online advertising campaign using a new integrated digital media plan. To date, the digital campaign has been a success, educating millions of consumers on beef’s superior taste, nutrition and ease-of-use, by providing them with the beef-related information that they need, when they need it. Through the checkoff’s digital campaign, consumers are equipped with the beef tips, techniques and recipes they need to ensure a great beef eating experience, each and every time.

Background
There are an estimated 5.5 million daily online food-related searches by millennials. So, with the vast amount of information available to consumers online, just how is the Beef Checkoff-funded program creating such momentum with its brand new digital advertising campaign? By focusing on every interaction and implementing a three-pronged approach to digital. 

  • Be relevant: Be there when consumers are searching for information. Whether consumers are searching recipes, cooking tips or nutrition facts, the checkoff is creating top-of-mind awareness for beef by providing the information people want.  
  • Be inspiring: Remind consumers of the valuable resources available to them online—BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com—at key decision making times like lunchtime or after work when they are deciding what to make for dinner or how to best cook a steak. 
  • Be conversational: Engage with consumers and have meaningful, one-on-one interactions. Through digital, the checkoff connects with consumers on a one-to-one basis, by better understanding their individual questions as it relates to beef and providing the right answers. This leads to a more informed beef consumer.

Discussion
The “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” brand has also created a robust digital toolbox that reaches consumers in a variety of ways, across different platforms.

“Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner” Digital Toolbox

  • Website: BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com serves as the go-to resource for recipes and meal inspirations, cooking tips and techniques, and nutrition information. In the 12 weeks since the launch of the campaign, the website has received almost 1.1 million new site visits – an 800 percent increase over pre-campaign levels. BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com is the internet’s number one website for all things beef. 
  • Search Advertising: A search advertising strategy was implemented to drive consumers that are already proactively searching for recipe, food and cooking information—but may not be thinking about beef—to BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com. Search engine optimization (SEO) helped to increase organic search traffic to the website by 44 percent, while paid search (PPC) resulted in over 676,000 click-throughs to the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” website. 
  • Videos: Five “No-Recipe Recipe” consumer advertising videos were created at the start of the campaign to inspire new meal ideas and cooking techniques, and show how beef can help bring a delicious and nutritious meal to life. Since their launch, the videos have received more than 1.7 million total views. 
  • Telecontext: This cutting-edge social interaction platform has prompted “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” to interact consumers in a new and unique way, in real-time, providing them with beef recipes and cooking tips while they’re watching their favorite cooking shows.
  • Social media: Social plays a large role in the digital advertising campaign through promotion of content like recipes and cooking tips. Since the launch of the new digital campaign, the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” Facebook page has added almost 41,000 new “fans” for a total community of 876,300 beef-loving consumers. Additionally, the checkoff-funded Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” campaign received a total of 434,000 engagements* on Facebook and Twitter in the past 12 weeks.

*Engagements are defined as likes, comments, share, re-tweets and click-throughs to checkoff resources such as recipes, nutrition information, cooking tips, etc.

  • Digital Labs: Over the past several months, the digital advertising experts at the Beef Checkoff have been partnering with various State Beef Councils (SBCs) across the country for digital labs. These digital labs are aimed to help support SBCs by evaluating each state’s online content to identify what resonates most with their local and target audiences. To date, 13 states have participated in these digital labs, and more are interested in future labs.

Conclusions
Since the launch of the first-ever beef checkoff advertising campaign 12 weeks ago, a total of 97 percent of BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com visitors said they held positive opinions about beef after visiting the site. That number alone illustrates that the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” new integrated digital advertising approach is already helping to shift consumer preferences toward beef. 

Additional Resources

Tags: Beef Issues Quarterly, Fall 2014, Issues Updates

October 3, 2014