Influencer marketing has quickly become the go-to strategy for businesses when it comes to building and expanding their brand. The rise in popularity of social media has made it faster and easier for people to connect and share their everyday lives with the public all around the world in a matter of seconds, including how they interact with companies and reviewing their favorite products and brands. Based on a 2018 survey by Media Kix, over 80% of marketers say the ROI of an influencer marketing program is as good as, or better than other marketing channels.
A good example of an industry that expands their brand appeal is the hospitality industry. They leverage food influencers who document and share some of their favorite local food, restaurants, recipes, and food trucks around the world. Food is something that appeals to everyone in one way or another as it is a part of everyday life, it is comforting and brings family and friends together. An experienced food influencer is able to connect brands with consumers by creating exposure for food and beverage products and bringing them into everyday life through social media. Some of the most popular food influencer accounts on Instagram have millions of followers (Statista) around the world, making them a valuable tool for a business looking to expand their reach.
It isn’t uncommon for an influencer to focus on one industry when it comes to marketing, getting to know a specific demographic of customers–a niche–and directing efforts towards them, and food influencers are no different. They are able to take their love of food and use that to find and connect with other foodie influencers and fans. If working with a niche-market influencer is new for your business, check out this guide to learn more about how working with niche influencers may be able to help your brand. If your business is looking at utilizing a food influencer marketing strategy for the first time, here are a few ways a food influencer could help build your brand and promote your businesses in this industry looking to expand their reach.
Top Ways Businesses are Using Food Influencers
As the general public becomes more tech-savvy, people are finding more ways to filter the content that reaches them, meaning traditional ads may have a harder time making it into the public eye with the invention of technology like ad blockers. According to a study by DSIM, 64% of people use Adblockers because they find ads annoying. This can prove a challenge for companies that are trying to promote their products online. Enter: Food Influencers, who are seasoned pros at helping promote a specific product or business through writing compelling reviews and sharing it with their followers. People may be more likely to trust an honest review from one of their favorite social media accounts rather than a promoted ad from a company. Invite a top influencer to try a product and write a review on their social media profiles. This will help promote awareness and get followers excited and talking about a company.
An easy way to test an early relationship with a food influencer with little commitment is through sponsored content postings. This is an effective way to work with a variety of influencers of any size to raise awareness of a brand and promote a product. It can also be a great way to drive social engagement with the public. Influencers will get the chance to promote and showcase a product with their followers and prove their value to a business before any long-term commitments are made for either side.
Another low-investment marketing strategy that will give a business and a food influencer the opportunity to test the waters before making a larger commitment. With Affiliate marketing, the influencer has the freedom to craft messaging that is customized to their followers and has a customized link to drive traffic back to a specific business. These custom links allow a business to see who the strongest influencers are and who can best suit the needs of the company. Utilizing an influencer marketing software system will help track influencers across multiple campaigns and take the legwork out of reporting.
Many food influencers enjoy not just eating food, but also writing about their experiences and publishing recipes. They are often great at bringing stories to life with great photos that capture their day to day adventures and can use these skills to help grow a business with blog posts. Having a food influencer write a blog that can show how a company or product is incorporated in everyday life is a great low-key way to get a brand promoted in the public eye.
Events and Appearances
One of the reasons social media influencers have a bigger impact over celebrities with the general public is because they are seen as more relatable, as many started out as just an average person who documented their lives through social media. Many followers may not have an opportunity to meet their favorite food influencers in their day-to-day lives, but that can be easily changed by having an event with them in attendance. Brining a popular influencer to a business for an event can help increase the connection between them and their followers and is a great chance for a business to meet the public and expand its own following.
Recruiting the Right Food Influencers
As with any marketing tactic, planning and execution are key to the success of a food influencer marketing strategy through social media. While it may be tempting to partner with one of the world’s top food influencers, going for quality over quantity when it comes to followers may prove more beneficial. It is important for businesses to understand their audiences and what they want to achieve through a food influencer marketing campaign. Companies who are looking to increase foot traffic within traditional brick and mortar stores will have more success with a food influencer showing up to an on-site event; whereas other companies who just want to increase their own follower count will have better luck with a customized blog post.
While finding and managing a multitude of food influencers may seem like a daunting task, it can easily be done with an influencer marketing software, like GRIN, that houses all the information you need and takes the manual processes out of influencer management. Quickly find the perfect influencer to promote your brand and pull reports to find out who your top influencers are for a specific campaign. Manage all of your influencers in one place and easily reach out to current and prospective influencers with proven templated messages. Best of all, automate the ROI tracking for any campaign with reports that track ROI.