Online grocer Misfits Market tailors social media content to evolve with Gen Z, millennials

Misfits Market, the online grocery retailer and fresh produce subscription box, uses social media and outdoor advertising to increase brand awareness while seeking the attention of its target audience: Gen Z and older millennials.

Specifically, Misfits Market caters to 25-49 year olds in the US who are looking for a better, less wasteful and more affordable way to shop for groceries. Misfits Market segments its content specifically by channel. For example, the brand creates posts for its 342,000 followers on Facebook while focusing on content worth saving and sharing for its 471,000 followers on Instagram, where it hosts recipe videos with culinary content creator Emerald Chan and Celebrity Chef Bobby Flay released. And on Twitter and LinkedIn, Misfits Markets focuses on newsworthy posts.

“We’ve seen a big shift toward shorter video content over the past two years, particularly Instagram Reels and TikTok,” said Holly Eagleson, Misfits Market’s vice president of brand, when asked how the company’s marketing strategy evolved from 2020 to 2021 has changed “In 2020, the focus has been on Instagram Stories and creating in-the-moment content. The following year we entered the world of [Instagram] carousels and the creation of evergreen learning content that we have optimized for saving and sharing.”

According to Eagleson, the focus will shift back to video content in 2022, with an emphasis on videos with an aspect ratio of 9 to 16, which can be used on both Instagram Reels and TikTok. Misfits Market also started adding personalities to its TikTok account this year, and the brand has started using TikTok more frequently.

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To create the brand’s content, Misfits Market’s social media editor tapped into frustrations associated with managing social media for a brand, the silliness of being the youngest Gen Z member on a team, and being on food trends to react. “On TikTok, we can test a little bit of everything, and we can be a little bit more playful and personalize our brand,” Eagleson said.

Last month, Misfits Market conducted an OOH activation in new York‘s Chelsea neighborhood, which showcased the brand’s unique way of saving consumers money on groceries amid rising grocery prices and other inflationary pressures. The pop-up was intended to illustrate the difference between the wasteful food supply chains of traditional grocery stores and Misfits Market’s supply chain, which saves consumers money. It featured an interactive Rube Goldberg machine with visual and audio cues that highlighted areas of supply chain inefficiency and gave attendees discounts on their first Misfits Market orders and a chance to win free groceries for a year.

Eagleson said that Instagram and Facebook remain Misfits Market’s largest channels for ad spend because those channels are where target customers spend a lot of time. However, it’s unclear how much of Misfits Market’s total advertising budget goes towards social media marketing or OOH activation, as Eagleson declined to share details of the total budget. According to Pathmatics, the brand has spent just over $23 million on advertising so far in 2022.

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As for OOH campaign spend, Misfits Market’s paid advertising spend, including geo-targeted ads on Facebook and TikTok, accounted for less than 4% of total project spend, according to Eagleson. “We wanted to direct foot traffic to Activation, but as it was an already busy location, driver readiness was a lower priority for us than ensuring Activation was close to the media, hence the decision to activate in New York and the opportunity for strong content capture by our New York-based creative team,” said Eagleson.

Misfits Market’s monthly average engagement rate was 2.2% in July and 3.15% in September, according to social analytics tool Sprout Social. “Our success is due in part to a shifting strategy to include more reels, refine our strategy to focus on passive cooking (meal composition) versus active cooking (recipes involved), and incorporate more provocative writing into our illustrated posts” Eagleson said the result of Misfits Market refining its social strategy. During Q3, Misfits Market released 32 unique Instagram and TikTok Reels targeted at Gen Z users, garnering more than 2.5 million views.

“The valuable and educational content is also very appealing to Generation Z users as it shows them how Misfits products can be used in different recipes,” said Erifili Gounari, Founder and CEO of The Z Link, one of Generation Z-run social media agency . “This helps both spread brand awareness and increase engagement with their videos, as users are more likely to bookmark a recipe on TikTok because it’s directly useful to them.”

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Misfits Market has grown tremendously over the past four years, from its fresh produce subscription box to a fully-fledged online grocery store. The company added new offerings to its grocery store last year, including dairy and wine, launched its own private label, Odds & Ends, and expanded across the continental United States. Misfits Market even recently announced its intention to acquire Imperfect Foods with the goal of improving the shopping experience for consumers.

According to Eagleson, in 2023 Misfits Market plans to increase its investment in YouTube and experiment with new ways to reach customers on TikTok and Pinterest. “We are committed to expanding our private label offering, offering more convenient solutions across our grocery assortment and ultimately reaching more consumers to further our mission of making grocery shopping more affordable, convenient and sustainable,” said Eagleson.

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