According to Finder, half a million people in the UK gave up meat last year, with an additional 12% of the population planning to go plant-based in 2021. But how can you connect with the growing vegan market and ensure that your product gets visibility?
The vegan market looks different than it did a few years ago. People are now choosing to adopt a vegan lifestyle for a myriad of reasons, and it’s essential that you identify which reason drives your ideal customers. Determining their “why” will allow you to build outreach strategies based on this information and target them more effectively.
Some of the most common reasons people go vegan include:
- For moral/ethical reasons
- For health reasons
- To lose weight
- To help the environment
- To save money
Once you’ve determined which of these fits your vegan audience you can start using these outreach strategies to connect with them:
Regardless of their reason for going vegan, your target audience is hanging out on social media. Both new and seasoned vegans often hit Instagram for vegan inspiration like vegan recipes, vegan fashion ideas, and vegan product tips. You can use generic hashtags such as the ones below to reach a wider vegan audience, but it’s important to incorporate niche hashtags to reach a more targeted audience.
Let’s say that your product is vegan leather handbags. You’ll likely want to target vegans who have chosen the lifestyle based on a passion for animal rights and for ethical reasons. Those who go vegan to lose weight may not be concerned with moral obligations and be ok with purchasing a real leather bag. If you’re targeting ethical vegans, check out some of the best hashtags below.
Another way to reach your vegan audience on Instagram is by engaging with other vegan pages. While you might not want to comment on or share competitor posts you can leverage the audience of established vegan accounts to get your name out there. Being active in the wider vegan community will help keep your brand top of mind when people are in need of your product or service.
2. Google Ads
Google is arguably the most powerful tool that your online vegan business can use to reach your target audience. Those who are searching on Google for a specific product are doing so with the intent to make a purchase. This is different from people scrolling on Instagram or browsing groups on Facebook.
There are a few different ways that you can use Google Ads to reach your target vegan market.
You can target your ads based on the demographics of your ideal audience. While some brands may target based on age, gender and device type, you will benefit most from demographics like interests and ideologies. Google builds demographic profiles based on previous Google searches to effectively target your audience.
In-market targeting is the best way to reach vegans searching for your product or service specifically. If your product is a vegan lip balm and someone searches “vegan lip balm” your ad will appear on the search engine results page.
You can also target your Google Ads based on custom intent. You can build out audiences based on what keywords they are likely to search for, YouTube videos they are likely to watch and even competitor URLs. Your ads will then automatically target those people who likely have intent to purchase a vegan product or service like yours.
Find out more about targeting Google Ads here.
Facebook offers a few different tools to connect with your target vegan audience. The most useful ways you can use Facebook for outreach is with Facebook Ads and Facebook Groups.
Similar to using Google Ads, Facebook Ads allow you to create targeted ad campaigns based on a range of characteristics. There are three audience selection tools that you can use to target vegans in your specific niche: core audiences, custom audiences and lookalike audiences.
Core audiences are those which fit into demographic categories such as location, interests, connections (such as your Facebook page or Facebook event), and behaviour. Some interests you might want to target as a vegan brand include:
- Organic food
- Charity and causes
Custom audiences are people who have already engaged with your brand in some way. It could include people who have already made a purchase from you, or someone who has browsed your website. You can set up a Facebook pixel on your website to automatically track site visitors and add them to your custom audience, or import contact details from your CRM or email list.
Lookalike audiences are automatically generated based on the interests and demographics of those who are already following you. They are the easiest of the three to implement, since you don’t have to build them yourself.
Facebook Groups are an effective outreach tool to connect with your target vegan audience. They allow you to form a genuine connection with potential customers based on establishing your authority in the industry. Joining vegan-based groups and engaging with posts, such as answering questions from the members and making recommendations, will help build your audience’s trust. And when the time is right, you can offer up your product or service as a solution to the members pain points.
Vegans are always looking to connect with others in their community and you can find local vegan groups for just about anywhere. Depending on your location, and whether you sell your product online or in a brick-and-mortar shop, you can choose the most effective groups to target. For example, if you run a vegan bakery in London you might want to join the London Vegans Facebook group.
4. Vegan influencer marketing
There are hundreds of thousands of vegan influencers online whom vegan audiences look to for inspiration. Having one of these influencers promote your product is one of the best ways to get in front of your audience in a genuine way. While ads can be effective, your audience are more likely to trust in the recommendations of vegan influencers who they look up to.
You can join forces with vegan influencers in a variety of different ways. You can pay them for a testimonial or recommendation, or to post about your product on their social feeds. Alternatively, you can make them brand ambassadors, offering a commission on any sales that are made through them. The route you go will depend on the authority that an influencer has in the industry. The larger the vegan following, the more you’ll likely need to pay to work with them.
You can use online tools such as NinjaOutreach, an influencer marketing service or just reach out directly to your favourite vegan influencers to ask to collaborate!
Connect with your vegan audience in 2021
These strategies will help you get relevant eyes on your vegan product or service, but then you need to seal the deal with some quality content. Check out some of the awesome content the Shido team has created for global vegan brands here!