Who is a Food Influencer? And Six Effective Ways of Working with them
Food is an integral part of any culture and life in general. In all social gatherings, be it a casual meet-up with friends or a festivity, the occasion is incomplete without sumptuous food.
Food also offers instant gratification, whether one gets it from cooking, eating or watching a video. Most platforms and channels associated with food get very high views. Take the example of Tasty, a food channel run by internet media company Buzzfeed. Since its inception in 2016, the platform has grown exponentially with 21 million subscribers and 5.6 billion views as of today. It is undoubtedly one of the most successful and followed food platforms on the internet.
Besides the big giants, there are also a growing number of local food influencers who are making a big impact with their work. They are creating very interesting content that consists of restaurant reviews, innovative recipes, exploration of local food culture and much more. An interesting finding about this content space is that nearly 30% of viewership comes from the Millennial and Gen Z population aged between 18-34 years.
It's hardly surprising that social media is flooded with food-related videos. Whether it is TikTok or Instagram, food videos get viral pretty quickly. In fact, many popular food recipes in recent times like the dalgona coffee or Korean style maggie originated on these platforms.
Food influencers are a big part of the internet ecosystem and it offers innovative marketing opportunities for businesses associated with this industry. The reach of these influencers is vast and their viewers are hooked to their content. They are a great fit for restaurateurs, FMCG brands, manufacturers, and the hospitality sector.
To successfully work with food influencers, it is important to first identify them and get an understanding of whether their audience is relevant to the core of one's business. Then develop a compelling marketing campaign which is both interesting for the creator and his or her audience.
Here are some examples of how businesses can work with content creators in the food and beverages space -
Make Them Brand Ambassadors
For a food and beverage brand, it makes absolute sense to rope in celebrity chefs or social media influencers as the face of the brand. Ranveer Brar who is a professional chef is chosen to be the brand ambassador of one of India’s largest spice manufacturers, Everest.
The celebrated chef has over 2 Million followers on Instagram and 5.77 million subscribers on YouTube. Videos posted on his recipe channel get millions of views. He has made several TV appearances as well and is currently one of the mentors and judges on Masterchef India Season 7.
Someone like Ranveer who is active on social media and well-known on television is the best fit for the role of ambassador.
Sponsor Posts on Social Media Platforms
Getting a celebrity chef or a mega influencer as a brand ambassador for a brand can weigh heavily on the marketing budget. Also, there are more than one ways to successfully collaborate with a content creator who is doing wonders on social media. Sponsoring a post is the next best thing.
The beauty of this approach is that brands can work with a plethora of influencers ranging from high-profile ones with over 1 million followers to nano influencers who may have a modest follower count of 1000-10000.
It offers ample opportunities and flexibility to the brand to find the best influencers for the job. In the past, some really big brands have had great success while working with nano or micro-level influencers. Brands can also split the marketing budget amongst several mid-range influencers and make a comparative analysis of the best-performing content creators in terms of reach, impression and content quality.
Inviting local influencers for hospitality review
Food businesses operating as coffee shops, bars, restaurants, pubs, concept restaurants, food trucks, takeaway joints etc can invite local food bloggers or influencers for an in-person review of their establishment.
It is a great way to create relevant content for the people living in and around the local area. The success of a brick-and-mortar set-up depends upon how well it is being received by the local community.
Working with local food influencers makes more sense in such scenarios. The influencer can create content and share it with their followers (who are likely to be local or from the same city or area) will have a greater impact.
Reviewing the product
Letting the influencer review the product and share the experience with their audience is also a good way to create brand visibility and promotion. It is particularly helpful when launching a new product range or a new flavour from the existing line of products.
This is a great approach for brands working on a tight marketing budget. Brands can send out free samples of the products to the influencers and ask them to create a content review of the product.
Although a great way to promote a product, brands should be wary of undue patronage and encourage influencers to post honest reviews. This can also be a great way to receive feedback for product improvement.
Help sponsor a cookbook
This is yet another way for brand promotion. Backing a cookbook is a great way to not only generate a parallel revenue channel (through sales of the book) but a great way to associate with a popular food blogger or celebrity chef.
As per a Guardian article “Nielsen BookScan data shows that cookbook sales in the US grew 8% year-on-year between 2010 and 2020, with sales numbers boosted even further by the pandemic.”
This is fascinating and opposes the popular notion that the sale and purchase of actual books are on a decline.
Sponsoring a cookbook is a great way to achieve brand recognition and visibility.
Collaborating with creators to create a new product range
Although this is resource intensive and an uphill task, brands can choose to work with talented food influencers or chefs in the social media space to create new product ranges.
The influencer can use his or her platform to promote the new products and it is a great way to achieve both brand awareness and sales.
Closing thoughts -
Social media has opened doors for both big and small brands to get the reach they want. The success of a social media influencer campaign is not just dependent on how much the brand is willing to spend, but how to use the power of content to make an impact.
Food influencers are master content creators and know the art well. It is all about story-telling and the use of the visual medium in the most aesthetic way.
galleri5 offers a powerful creator stack in different industry verticals, including the world of epicurean. We have a team who can help you launch a successful social media campaign with great insights, content, and ace marketing results.