Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

How Halo Top Increased Sales By 2,500% With Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Halo Top has pretty much conquered the ice cream business.

For the uninitiated, the company sells healthy ice cream.

No, this is not a joke!

Halo Top was founded in 2011 by Justin Woolverton. The company is famous for its low-calorie, high-protein and low-sugar ice cream! Every gallon of its product is filled with all-natural ingredients so that it tastes just like, or even better than regular ice cream.

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Fast forward to 2017, and the product is sold out everywhere all the time.

“We can’t keep Halo Top on shelves, whether it’s in L.A., New York or Wyoming,” said founder and CEO Justin Woolverton in an interview with AdAge.

What sort of marketing strategy has Halo Top used to make their way to the top?

Sure, the product itself played a huge role, but for the most part, the company’s success can be attributed to its word-of-mouth strategy and social media.

1. Reliance on Social Media Ads to Propel Its Message

If you’ve heard about Halo Top, it’s most likely because of social media.

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Rather than traditional media, the brand uses Facebook ads to target customers demographically, psychographically and geographically. These ads feature irresistible food porn with a modern twist.

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The strategy seems to be working.

In fact, the brand’s sales hit nearly $66.1 million in 52 weeks, ending in February 19!

The Takeaway:

Social media is the most cost-effective way to advertise. Statistics on cross-channel media comparison show that social media costs $2.50 per thousand impressions, while direct mail costs $57 and TV costs $28 per thousand impressions.

By using social media to advertise, Halo Top was able to spread the word about their brand, and provide avenues for loyal customers to promote their message.

2. Engaging Brand Personality– creates authentic and hip posts

Halo Top has accumulated over 400,000 likes on Facebook, 350,000 followers on Instagram and 20,000 followers on Twitter, so it is safe to say that it’s on the right track.

In fact, statistics show that their Twitter followers have increased by 2,233% for the past 2 years, while its Facebook fans have increased by 59,282% at the same period.

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What makes the brand successful?

Halo Top understands that social media users are drawn to brands with an authentic voice. As a result, the brand does not rely on media agencies or ad agencies to create its content. Instead, its in-house marketing manages its social media accounts and digital ads.

“We cringe at the thought of giving canned, corporate answers to everything. It’s so boring,” Mr. Woolverton said in an interview. “We came to the conclusion that no one could get our voice down as authentically as we can, so we decided to pull it back in-house.”

Its emphasis on authenticity and personality has led the company to create hips posts filled with product giveaways, conversational copy and mouthwatering photos.

The Takeaway:

Social media users love a brand with a unique personality.

By engaging its customers on social media, and publishing posts infused with pop culture references and sassy words, Halo Top creates promotions that resonates with its customers.

More importantly, since Halo Top’s posts are accompanied by creative food photos, customers are more likely to take notice. Since the pictures can quickly grab a viewer’s attention, the company can effectively increase product awareness.

3. Recommendations from Youtube Fitness Gurus

When Halo Top released their ten new flavors, it sent free samples to fitness gurus such as Amanda Bucci, Travis S and ObesetoBeast.

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Since these vloggers have posted top-rated reviews of the ice cream product, it’s safe to say that the strategy was a success.

Not only are these fitness gurus influential, but their reviews have also proved that people can stay fit and indulge in gallons of ice cream—at the same time.

The Takeaway:

For Halo Top, fitness gurus the ideal influencers to collaborate with. After all, if a fitness guru is promoting an ice cream product, then it must be really special.

By tapping influencers in their marketing strategy, Halo Top successfully spreads the word about their new products at a low-cost.

4. Glowing Product Reviews on Mainstream Media Outlets

Product reviews are a classic word-of-mouth strategy.

Not only does it help increase brand awareness, but it also allows consumers to remember the product for future consideration.

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What makes Halo Top a magnet for top-rated recommendations, is its focus on its unique qualities. The brand highlights that its ice cream products are low-calorie, high-protein, low-sugar and all-natural.

Not surprisingly, the bold product description can turn heads.

Halo Top’s emphasis on its distinction from other ice cream brands has successfully grabbed the attention of mainstream media outlets. Its positive reviews in Spoon University, Buzzfeed, USA Today and Popsugar are a testament to the fact.

The Takeaway

With the help of reviews from mainstream media outlets, the company can charm customers to try out their product.

Here’s a recap of the lessons from Halo Top’s Success:

  1. Post Ads on Social Media
  2. Create an Authentic Brand Personality
  3. Collaborate with Influencers
  4. Emphasize Uniqueness

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Read next: How Sriracha became the world’s favorite hot sauce

Monique Danao

Monique Danao is a writer and content creator with an expertise in marketing and SEO. When she's not writing, you'll find her enjoying funky food, listening to music and marketing startups.

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