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Marketing snapshot - 2020/21

Publication date: 30 September 2020

Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the sweetpotato marketing levy into a range of activities to drive frequency of purchase and consumption, under the Hort Innovation Sweetpotato Fund. Here’s a quick look at some of the activities and achievements of 2020/21.

The marketing program for 2020/21 drove awareness and consideration of sweetpotato among consumers with the aim of positioning the vegetable as the preferred choice in meal repertoires. Key messages about its health benefits and flavour were highlighted through the campaign activities, including public relations, social media including influencer activity and retail initiatives.

Public relations

To secure media coverage, dietitian Marika Day was engaged to be the campaign spokesperson, to bolster the health credentials of sweetpotatoes. Marika developed six new quick, tasty and healthy recipes with sweetpotatoes as the hero of the dish. To ensure the recipe content would be suitable for editorial media coverage and tailored for social media feeds, Australian Sweetpotatoes also engaged food photographer and stylist Bonnie Coumbe to capture the recipes created by Marika.

To maintain momentum with media over the remainder of the campaign duration, key Australian Sweetpotato influencers were also leveraged for media opportunities, creating brand-new recipe content to deliver high impact earned media coverage.

The public relations campaign achieved 20 pieces of media coverage, equating to 12.1 million opportunities to see the sweetpotato-inspired content. Australian Sweetpotatoes featured in top tier outlets including Daily Mail, Lifehacker, Yahoo, Interiors Addict and Australian Women’s Health.

Influencer program

Celebrity influencers

Three popular and relatable influencers were engaged to share how they fuel their busy lifestyles with Australian Sweetpotatoes – tapping into ease, taste, health and versatility.

The influencers selected spoke to various demographics within the target audience – an ex-sprinter who was appearing in reality TV show Big Brother at the same time, Katie Williams; ex-footballer and fitness instructor, Ben Seymour; and viral TikTok foodie sensation, Cooking with Ayeh.

The three influencers all created content showcasing their favourite usage ideas with sweetpotatoes – providing recipes, images, and video, ensuring content was compelling enough to cut through and gain attention via earned and owned channels.

Key highlights of this activity were:

  • Cooking with Ayeh’s sweetpotato toast hack went viral and clocked up more than 880,000 views across her large Instagram and TikTok channels
  • Ayeh’s recipe content was compelling with earned media, with coverage generated from her recipe content earning 9.7 million opportunities to see
  • When shared on the Australian Sweetpotatoes social channel, Ayeh’s content earned 32,750 engagements including views, 1,692 likes, comments, shares and saves, and reached 80,000 people. The video also earned an engagement rate of 2 per cent, which is high for video content
  • Katie Williams appealed to media given her time on Big Brother coincided with the sweetpotatoes campaign. Katie’s ‘Day in the Life’ video was shared, on Yahoo Lifestyle social channels, and the post on Katie’s channels earned an impressive number of engagements for an organic post
  • The activity overall reached 1.1 million people, achieving over 900,000 video views and 220,000 engagements.

Micro-influencer campaign

To create an impact and a ‘big bang’ with the sweetpotatoes messaging, Australian Sweetpotatoes executed a micro-influencer campaign via the Vamp platform to help launch the #GetSupercharged series on social and keep sweetpotatoes top of mind.

This involved engaging eight influencers to create quick, healthy meals aligned with the themes of our #GetSupercharged social series showcasing the versatility of sweet potatoes: (i) sweet potato traybakes, (ii) sweet potato salads, (iii) simple sweet potato usage ideas, and (iv) sweet potato desserts.

Key highlights of this activity were:

  • Total of eight new recipes / usage ideas shared with a total of 530k opportunities to see
  • Total of 5,079 engagements – including 773 saves of micro-influencer content (high quality engagement showcasing intent to try)
  • Average engagement rate of 8.8 per cent across all posts shared.\

Social media

Australian Sweetpotatoes social media activity occurred throughout the year, with ongoing posting through Facebook ( and Instagram ( to remind and inspire audiences with sweetpotato usage ideas. The content addressed three key themes: super tasty, super healthy and super helpful.

The #GetSupercharged campaign showcased the versatility of sweet potatoes, with inspiring usage ideas. The #GetSupercharged series was also incentivised via two social competitions with compelling prizes on offer to encourage user-generated content, increase followers and engagement while gathering insights of how the target audience is eating Australian Sweetpotatoes.

Overall, the social media campaign was successful generating more than 4.4 million impressions (opportunities to see the content) across Facebook and Instagram. There were more than 30,000 engagements (such as likes, shares and comments) across both platforms, achieving the KPIs set.

Retailer activity

To support conversion, Australian Sweetpotatoes featured in several Coles platforms:

  • A full-page colour brand advertisement which included a seasonally relevant sweetpotato recipe was featured in the June issue of Coles Magazine. Coles Magazine is Australia’s #1 magazine Coles Magazine, which has more than 4.4 million monthly readers.
  • Australian Sweetpotatoes also had a dedicated shop page in Coles Online in June. To drive awareness and traffic to this page, Australian Sweetpotato branded banners and tiles were situated in the Vegetable page of Coles Online.
  • Australian Sweetpotatoes also featured in the June Flybuys eDM.

A social post was shared across both the Australian Sweetpotatoes Facebook and Instagram pages sharing messaging about the availability of sweetpotatoes, and a strong call to action to buy now at your local retailer. The post was optimised for link clicks on both channels and drove consumers directly to the Coles Online Australian Sweetpotatoes shop page.

Key highlights of this activity were:

  • 22,000 total impressions and more than 760 link clicks
  • Click-through rate of 1.86 per cent, higher than the industry benchmark of 1.59 per cent for retail

These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Sweetpotato Fund