Vegan Marketing: 9 Best Vegan Marketing Strategies For 2021

By Danavir Sarria •  Updated: 01/11/21 •  7 min read

Great vegan marketing strategies are extremely rare.

Mostly because vegan brands typically don’t promote their products as if they were in mature and saturated markets. With that said, the new wave in healthy and plant-based DTC brands is starting to change that with vegan marketing strategies that have turned niched vegan products into mass market health products.

These are the vegan marketing strategies we’re going to focus on.

Do this right and you’ll be take any one of the many vegan business ideas and multiply your chances of success.

Let’s get started…

Build An Email Funnel

While advertising is an extremely important vegan marketing strategy, that’s not what should create the foundation of your business. Instead, it should be focused on owned marketing because you own it. The most important owned marketing channel? Email marketing. This is why the first step should be to build a complete, thorough, and effective ecommerce email marketing funnel.

Let’s say you run a $1MM vegan brand. You should be able to generate 30% of your total online revenue from email marketing. In this case, that means $300,000 without having to spend a cent in advertising and without worrying about any platform banning all of your hard work. All additional vegan marketing strategies should use your email operation as a benchmark.

Action Plan:

Complete all Klaviyo flows
Send 2-4 campaigns per week
Clean list every 2-3 months
Send segmented campaigns

Launch A Content Brand

Owned marketing is the most important vegan marketing tactic. So whenever you can double down on it, you should. This includes weaning off advertising just enough to afford your own content brand. Why? Because it’s the most reliable way to reduce your customer acquisition costs, which in turn directly makes your business more profitable.

So what does launching a content brand mean exactly? It means to start a separate channel where you produce consistent content to build an audience of people interested in a single topic. This can be on a blog, Youtube channel, TikTok or something else. This is a process that takes 12-18 months for best results, but it’ll pay dividends if you plan on staying around.

Action Plan:

Figure out your best customer
Publish content for that customers
Distribute those pieces of content
Convert traffic into email newsletter
Link to products within content

Build Off 60 Day LTV Window

In advertising, if the math of acquiring a customer doesn’t work on paper, it won’t work in real life. This is why having a high AOV offer is extremely important. However, most vegan products aren’t expensive in the first place. So while you still want to sell high AOV bundles, if you want to be profitable, you need to calculate your allowable CPA based on your 60 day LTV window.

Your 60 day LTV window is the revenue you earn up to 60 days after someone first buys a product for you. Fortunately, most vegan products are actually subscription friendly. It’s also arguable that 60 days is better than 30 days, but not as potentially chaotic as 90 day LTV. So focus on your site, offers, and owned marketing to get this up at all costs.

Action Plan:

Triple down on post-purchase sequences
Considering implementing SMS
Push your subscription offer whenever possible
Boost AOV with bundles and upsells

Specialize On One Ingredient

It’s not enough to just be a “vegan” brand in most categories unless you’re the first vegan brand in that category. Chances are, you’re going to be competing with hundreds of other vegan brands. So you have to differentiate yourself from those brands. The best way to do that? By focusing your messaging to highlight your primary ingredient.

For example, let’s say you are selling frozen pizza that contains extra protein. You want to focus on the extra protein rather than it just being a “frozen pizza”. This gives people a reason to buy your vegan frozen pizza over everyone else. With that said, you do still want to make your vegan messaging loud and clear.

Action Plan:

Focus on primary ingredient
Position your brand around it
Tell everyone about it

Use “Mass Market” Copywriting

The problem with most vegan marketing tactics is that they rely on advertising the word “vegan”. This is fine if you specifically just want to target vegans. However, because they only represent about 5% of the U.S population, if you want to broaden your potential market, you should switch out vegan since it’s usually seen as a divisive word that translates into bad food.

The alternative? Switch to the word “plant-based”. It’s been shown that it’s a much more consumer friendly term. Most people don’t identify with being a vegan, but everyone understands that plants are healthy. Sure, plant-based is exactly like vegan, but for the purposes of eating, it’s more than a suitable replacement.

Action Plan:

Switch vegan with plant-based
Repeat it on all marketing and packaging
Sell to “flexitarians”, not just vegans

Produce “OAA” Ad creative

The huge mistake most vegan business owners make is assuming the majority of your ad results come down to really knowing every potential “hack” to in platforms like FB ads. However, the truth is that 80% of all your success with advertising actually has to do with the videos and images you use on your ads.

Knowing this, the best ad creative strategy is one that helps you come up with as many reasons why people should buy your product. For this, I’ve discovered that creative based on offers, audiences, and angles works best. For example, you can try an ad that sells a new bundle. Another example is selling based on a secondary benefit of your product.

Action Plan:

Discover new offers, angles, audiences
Test all 3 for winning ads
Turning winning ads into high production video ads

Invest In MOFU Creative

The vegan space is not new. In fact, it’s really old and it’s extremely competitive. This means you can’t win in this space by being “more vegan”. The only way to win is to be the more trustworthy vegan product. This can be in terms of taste, quality, or something else. Either way, the way to prove this is with MOFU creative.

MOFU stands for “middle of funnel”. This is where you teach customers why they should choose you over everyone else. For example, you may want to advertise that your product has 100+ raving reviews or you may want to highlight your supply chain to prove you’re truly vegan. This is the least used type of ad creative, but arguably one of the most important.

Action Plan:

Find best proof elements
Test most impressive proof

Focus On Premium/Luxury Branding

If you’ve ever started a vegan brand before, chances are you’ve realized it’s actually more expensive than if you were to start a non-vegan brand. This is especially true if you ever wanted to add additional premium ingredients. So if you want to compete in the ever growing vegan or plant-based markets, your best bet is to charge more for your products.

There’s a caveat though… you can’t sell premium priced vegan products like you do regular products. The reason is that you’re targeting 2 different buyers and each has their own triggers. Regular buyers focus more on price. Premium buyers focus more on status, scarcity, and exclusivity.

Action Plan:

Increase your pricing
Build status with influencers
Focus on small batches
Sell super premium “drops”

Expand With Omnichannel 

Vegan products fall under the CPG or consumer packaged goods category. By definition, this is a category where products are relatively cheap. This isn’t ideal for scaling with just advertising, especially when your CAC rises as you grow out of your initial “hardcore fanbase”. Yet, you still need volume to get the real benefit of being in CPG. The solution is omnichannel.

Omnichannel is when you use both online and offline methods to sell your products. This means while you’ll start with your Shopify store, you will eventually need to move into “marketplaces” like Amazon and more importantly, need to get your product in physical retail stores. Because CAC is stable in physical retail, all you need to do is focus on getting in more stores.

Action Plan:

Build a strong owned audience
Expand into online marketplaces
Scale with physical retail

Danavir Sarria

Danavir is an ecommerce growth strategist that helps DTC brands scale in record time.