2015/16 Season marketing review

Elisa King, Marketing Manager, Horticulture Innovation Australia

The 2015-2016 season’s public relations and social media activity drew to a close in April, allowing us the opportunity to reflect on the season that was. This year’s success was not only the result of an effective combination of traditional and online media activity, but it highlighted the love that the media, and their communities, have for Aussie mangoes. This love for Aussie Mangoes continues to grow every season, presenting greater opportunities to feature the King of fruit in Australia’s newspapers, magazines, TV and radio programs, and social media channels.

The season kicked off with a bang at the annual Brisbane Mango Auction as Channel 7’s Sunrise captured this season’s Mango Queen with her tray of Katherine mangoes, which was auctioned off for Diabetes Queensland and Life Education Australia for a massive $30,000. News of the auction was shared around the nation on Channel 7 and 9’s television news bulletins, the Courier Mail, The Queensland Times, ABC radio and Nova 106.9. Also in attendance were some of Brisbane’s top foodie and events social influencers, such as The Cook’s Notebook and Brisgramer, who shared news of the Brisbane Auction on their blogs and social media platforms.

Throughout the season, media kits were sent to health and wellness influencers, cooks and foodies to encourage them to use mangoes in their cooking and share their mango recipes and images on social media. Kits were sent out at the beginning of mango season, during the festive season and at the peak of Summer, containing everything the influencers would need to prepare and enjoy the versatile Aussie mango. This resulted in a stunning array of beautiful image posts advocating mangoes as the fruit of summer on social media, culminating in nearly 100,000 likes and reaching over 1,500,000 people!

Supporting key influencer kit activity was our ongoing outreach to social media influencers, which saw 14 of Australia’s most engaging Instagrammers receive delicious trays of mangoes throughout the season. In addition to helping us forge strong relationships with some of our greatest advocates in the media, their posts reached nearly 1,500,000 people and received over 150,000 likes. This considerable engagement signifies the love our social media community has for the beloved Aussie mango, and the huge potential for further consumer connectivity through influencer engagement.

We also saw video recipes posted by some of Australia’s most-followed YouTube chefs, including Nicko’s Kitchen, Todd’s Kitchen and Cooking With Karma. The videos have now reached a combined 1,697,556 people, marking a 158% increase on last year’s YouTube activity.

Our wonderful growers were once again profiled across print, TV, radio and online media outlets, giving the spotlight to the hard-working faces behind Australia’s most-loved fruit. Throughout the season, 11 pieces of coverage featured in outlets such as the Katherine Times, NT News, WIN TV and the ABC, highlighting the love that the media and their communities share for not only Aussie mangoes, but the growers who are dedicated to their production throughout the year.

Each year we invite select media to take a further behind-the-scenes look at the mango production process so they can share their insight, knowledge and experience with their community. This year Australia’s number one food blog, Recipe Tin Eats, aka Nagi Maehashi, visited the Groves Grown farm at Yeppoon, where she was treated to a tour of the farm, learnt about the science behind growing the perfect mango, taste-tested different varieties, and experimented with some recipes in the kitchen. She shared her story, images, and recipe for spicy Thai mango dipping sauce across her blog and social media platforms. She said, “this trip is possibly the one that has affected me most profoundly as an avid foodie, a cook, and a writer”, which is a testament to the passion of our mango growers around Australia, and the potential that media visits have for forging lasting connections between the mango industry and media, and for shaping friendships among those who share a passion for the delicious and versatile fruit.

To ensure mangoes were kept front of mind throughout the entirety of the season, mango recipes, imagery and preparation information were sent to the media every month. Whether it was tips for selecting mangoes at the supermarket, reminders to buy mango trays as Christmas gifts, festive recipes for the BBQ season, refreshing popsicle recipes for hot summer days, or freezing tips at the end of the season, Australia’s food and lifestyle media consistently displayed a great love for Aussie mangoes. The golden fruit appeared in the pages of top-tier publications such as Donna Hay, Weight Watchers, Women’s Weekly, Who Weekly, Woman’s Day, Taste Magazine, Best Weekend, Prevention Magazine and Better Homes and Gardens. This coverage provided a solid foundation for continued media presence, which kept building momentum right up until the end of the season.

This targeted distribution of recipes and tips was also the anchor for coverage in other outlets and mediums across Australia. This year saw a 50% increase in total media coverage, including news in TV, print, radio and online, covering everything from industry and growers, to season updates and mango recipes.

Whilst the PR campaign has enjoyed much success over the 2015-2016 season, the Aussie Mangoes social channels’ reach and engagement have increased in leaps and bounds. The Facebook page posts reached a total of 2,285,814 people and received 466,823 engagements, with an average engagement rate of 5.4%, 2.4% higher than the industry standard of 3%. Posts included images and videos of recipes, regional harvest updates, preparation tips, mango trivia and event news. The post that resonated the most with the Facebook community was the mango popsicle recipe video that reached 212,780 people and received 55,236 engagements!
The Aussie Mangoes Instagram page also saw record numbers, with 28,953 likes and comments and an audience growth of 516% since last season. This season’s most successful post was an Australia-Day themed recipe image of mango matcha lime raw cheesecake topped with fresh mango and lime by health foodie, @healthyeating_jo, which received a huge 523 engagements.

Over the season, the page has picked up incredible momentum, and has found its niche amongst the plethora of food-based Instagram pages, whilst generating a dedicated community of followers. With the platform’s newly introduced content capabilities and evolving algorithms, we’re excited to see what next season brings for the Aussie Mangoes Instagram.

In what has been a hugely successful season across traditional and online media channels, it is clear to see Aussie mangoes have cemented their iconography of being Australia’s fruit of summer. The season’s media activity included grower profiling, social influencer outreach, product placement, recipes and preparation tips in magazines, media coverage of the Brisbane Auction and annual Mess-tival, and social media content, which all contributed to the overall success of the 2015-2016 season and paved the way for next season.

Look out in the next Mango Matters to find out exactly what we have in store for the upcoming season.

For more information contact Elisa King at Horticulture Innovation Australia: elisa.king@horticulture.com.au or (02) 8295 2332