The need for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands to explore innovative advertising models has never been greater. Research shows that the average UK consumer spends £43 per online visit, compared to just £10 in a bricks-and-mortar store, and that 23% of their annual online FMCG spend is tied to a single internet trader.

In light of this, and considering the growing use of social media platforms through mobile devices, it’s vital that FMCG brands integrate social media advertising into the wider mix, particularly focusing on three key areas.

Millennials and mums

Millennials and mums are the primary shoppers for FMCG products within households.

Over half (61%) of Snapchat’s 10 million UK users are between 18 and 29 years old, making it a strong platform on which to deliver FMCG brand stories. Use Snap Ads for powerful vertical video to drive impact and awareness or explore the platform’s new swipe-up attachment capability to direct users to a long-form video, a customised ‘web view,’ or to drive them to download an app. Reaching young mums with quirky, playful content will help raise awareness of FMCG products.

Overall, studies show that UK mothers are avid social media users. For example, 88% admit they access their Facebook page every day. Leverage the platform to target specific demographics based on lifestyle metrics, such as new mums, mums of school children, big city mums, etc, as well as data on household compositions, like family-based households, parents, and so on; and income levels, for instance, £40K+, £60K+, and more.

UK mums are also three times more likely to post to Pinterest as other user groups and, according to Pinterest internal data, ‘food & drink’ and ‘beauty’ are two of the most popular categories. Use a combination of keywords, interests, and actalike targets to capitalise on the entire planning process throughout these users’ time on the channel, but keep in mind that keywords should encompass both broad and specific terms.

Multiscreen activity

In terms of awareness, remember that two screens are better than one. Run activity on Facebook and Twitter alongside traditional TV channels to drive incremental reach of core audiences. Research shows that 62% of Britons use Facebook while watching TV. The same goes for three in five of UK Twitter mobile users, so utilise the platform’s TV targeting tool to reach people on their second screen.

Snap Ads, which can be viewed in a similar way to TV spots, offer a unique experience and brands can use the format to engage Snapchatters with motion and sound through high-quality content.

Harnessing social

Use social channels for e-commerce. Online shopping in the FMCG world is still a relatively new tactic so focus on audiences that are click-heavy and test different creatives to determine which generates the most site traffic. Drive messaging home to shoppers who have already expressed interest in a brand and funnel users to conversion.

Tell a story through sequential messaging with Facebook’s Reach and Frequency tool and use Pinterest’s retargeting capabilities to tell a more in-depth story. Utilise a combination of long-form video, short-form video/gifs, and lastly, static photos.

Showcase multiple products and/or deals with Facebook Carousel Ads. This works really well during key seasonal events such as Valentine’s and Mother’s Day, when you can package multiple products together.

Given people tend to use Pinterest for forward planning, create content that resonates throughout the funnel and refresh this to fit with seasonality, big moments, and always-on initiatives. It’s also worth keeping in mind that Pins live in perpetuity, so content will continue to surface where relevant.

Ultimately, FMCG companies have to adapt to rapidly changing consumer behaviours in order to remain competitive. Millennials, who have surpassed boomers as the largest living generation in the UK, are also more likely to trial new products. Going forward, FMCGs should seize the opportunity to win over this growing demographic and keep them loyal by using social advertising to appeal to their interest in online discovery and shopping, which will rapidly evolve to mobile purchasing.