We’ve got an awesome interview lined up for you today. I’m chatting with Nik Ingersol, Co-Founder of Barnana. Nik is on the list of Forbes 30 Under 30 and just an all around cool dude.

Before starting Barana, Nik founded a digital agency which eventually formed into an augmented reality firm. And today, we dive into how he’s leveraged creative thinking and guerrilla and social marketing tactics to grow Barnana so quickly.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How creative food startups are opening doors with big retail partners using Facebook Ads
  • What it takes to pull off an attention grabbing PR stunt
  • Why traditional industry thinking might stunt your company’s growth

And so much more. It’s a bit of a shorter episode, but it is packed with tons of unfiltered, actionable advice for food marketers.

Listen to the Episode on iTunes >>>

We discuss a lot of extremely useful Facebook Ad Tactics in a short amount of time, so rather than having you pause and write down notes every couple seconds, we’ve compiled all the best tips into a downloadable PDF, at FoodMarketingNerds.com/facebook-ads/.

Show Notes:

Nik utilized his digital background to take an untraditional approach to the food industry.  Using Facebook ads and guerilla marketing tactics, he was able to strategically position his brand in front of potential partners.  And, build hype before Barnana was even on the shelf.

When building a successful CPG brand, arguably two of the biggest things you’re going to focus on are getting the product in the stores, and getting the people to buy the product.  And, Nik tackled both of these using Facebook ads.

Facebook Ad Tactics

When you know your customers, and know where you want your product/where it’s going to be, then Facebook lets you get super granular with your ads.  Nik knew he wanted the product in Target.  So, he got familiar with what goals Target had, and what their message was, aligned Barnana’s message with that and delivered ads to Target employees living within a specific distance of HQ.

In doing so, he was able to get the product in front of employees and create a Barnana buzz in HQ, before his sales rep even stepped foot on the floor.

It’s also important to know where you want your product, and where it already is, because then you can better allocate your ads, and tailor them so that they help you reach your goals.  Some partners will be pretty forthcoming with sales information, but some may not always share as much.  So, Facebook ads can serve as a helpful way to drive traffic into the stores, while also measuring the success of campaigns.

Think: coupons and rebate programs here.  These types of strategies help you drive sales, while also providing you with insights as far as where the most coupons are redeemed, and which specific rebate programs are most successful, so you can better measure your ROI.

In the interview, Nik says, “Facebook ads is where it’s at right now.”  And it’s true.  Whether it’s lead generations or conversions you’re going for, Facebook’s here to help you out.

Facebook ads weren’t the only way Nik chose to build the Barnana brand excitement.  He’s also a big fan of a good PR stunt.

Before Expo West, Nik and the Barnana team decided to have a little fun, and marketed a fake product “Gorrila’s Milk.”  Nik went as far as sending out a press release and buying the URL for this product.  He got people talking about this new product, mostly out of interest, confusion, and some anger, just to use it as a platform for a PSA: just because you can milk a gorilla, doesn’t mean you should.

So, the Gorilla Milk didn’t exist, but that PSA transcended into Barnana’s messaging.  Just because you can make a product with unsavory ingredients, like artificial sweeteners and colors, doesn’t mean you should.  And Barnana doesn’t.  it’s a natural snack, using up-cycled, dehydrated bananas.

The key in building a successful brand is building your audience before you launch.  You want to be on a platform when it’s hot.  And, you don’t want just leave your audience on the platform, but instead use it to build your email list.

Nik used his various social media tactics to grow Barnana, and easily illustrated how an unconventional marketing strategy can really benefit a brand.

For more on Barnana check out www.barnana.com.

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