Is Influencer Marketing A Perfect Recipe for Food Marketing in 2020 and Beyond?
Wednesday Apr 1st, 2020
Food gives us comfort in times of distress. And during these trying times, what is the perfect recipe for food marketing? Will influencer marketing be the ideal blend for food marketing in 2020 and beyond? Let’s find out.
In times like these, when COVID-19 has put the entire world on edge, people are anxious, confused, and worried about how this is going to end. With all the anxiety and distress, food offers comfort. When the worst is over, people will flock out in large numbers to celebrate with food and drinks.
So how do we see food marketing evolve in 2020 and beyond?
During the times of social distancing, people rely on digital channels for entertainment and social media platforms to stay connected with the outside world. And influencers can play a significant role in connecting food, emotions, and people.
Here is how influencer marketing can add spice to food marketing in 2020.
Influencer Marketing Recipe for Food Marketing
The love of food has evolved. From the practical side of choosing what to eat to the thrill of trying a variety of cuisines, learning the art and science of growing raw produce, experimenting with ingredients, preparing, cooking, plating, presenting, and much more. But more importantly, food lovers now want to share their experiences on social media – from how their meal looked to how it tasted, the ambiance of the restaurant, and even their experience with the hospitality team.
With so much happening around food on social media, consumers are bound to look up to influencers for their opinions when they explore food and beverage options.
Here are six influencer marketing ingredients for your Food Marketing cookbook and how to incorporate them into your marketing strategy for 2020.
1. Fire up your content with influencer-driven SEO
The internet and social media are bustling with content, so your primary goal is to ‘be found.’ For that, you need scrumptious content, authoritative backlinks, and web traffic. Influencers can get you all three!
Here is how:
Content – For this, you will need to identify influencers like food-bloggers, vloggers, chefs, and connoisseurs whose content fits your niche. For instance, if you want to promote your bakery products, you can partner with a pastry chef.
Influencers who have a specialty, have a fan following and know their audience well. Thus, they can craft content around your products that resonate well with your target audience. Such content serves as a recommendation and helps create brand awareness.
Backlinks – A strong SEO backlink profile is one of the key factors in Google rankings. You can bake rich content sprinkled with relevant keywords and share them with the food experts.
You could even send out free samples for them to try. Influencing the influencer can motivate them to link back to your content and push up your search rankings.
Traffic – Web traffic is another essential SEO ranking factor because it means your content is relevant for the audience. Use videos and tempting images to capture influencers’ attention.
You can engage with their content, with mentions, comments, and shares, and even request them to read your piece. Because if Gordon Ramsay shares your content on social media, you will not only have web traffic but earn some of his followers, too!
2. Scrumptious images for a visual treat
‘Food-porn’ is a thing!
When influencers share drool-worthy images, it ignites hunger and stimulates the taste buds to ‘invite’ people to satiate their desire. This theory is based on the fact that people eat with their eyes first. Thus when an influencer shares such images with her followers, she is evoking visual hunger, and an emotion of a must-try experience!
Additionally, images labeled with the right keywords can help you with your food SEO too.
Google uses Image Tags and metadata for image search. If tagged right, the ‘food’ image has a high probability of landing on SERP.
Google Lens is now enabling users to explore similar images over the internet. For example, if an influencer has posted an image of your brand’s pizza and tagged it correctly, it is going to land up in search results when a user tries to search for a pizza through her camera.
3. Get your star-ratings with social proofs
Did you know?
According to TripAdvisor, 94% of Americans base their dining decisions on online reviews? And how do you pick a restaurant when you are traveling? Ratings and recommendations on Yelp? Facebook? Google Maps?
Well, social influence marketing can help you with the much-needed star-ratings and reviews. If you can get an influencer to try your product or dine at your restaurant and gather their feedback - it can motivate their community to react and respond favorably to their recommendations.
But how do you garner great reviews?
Apart from a tempting plate, the dining theme, too, has a positive impact on the diners. So, you will need to work not only on the right temperature of food and beverages but also the ambiance.
Invite influencers for special occasions and treat them to your specials. A conversation with the chef, service quality, and the right atmosphere can win them over and score their shared recommendations with the online community.
Being proactive about requesting feedback. Working on influencers’ suggestions can inspire them to be your brand ambassadors.
4. Find your way with Maps and Check-Ins
Social check-ins are a great way to turn simple dining and take-away moments to marketing opportunities.
When food bloggers, lifestyle and travel influencers share their experiences and escapades on social media, they incorporate minutest details that may entice their followers. These details can range from how they decided on a place, what to try, cooking techniques, and how to reach. But, most importantly, they leave their food and travel trail with social-check-ins.
These check-ins can help your brand in several ways:
Check-ins can help your customers physically locate you with online Maps.
They serve as social proof for your popularity.
Highlight your specialties and make your restaurant a must-visit place in the location
5. Piping Hot User Generated Content
The success of short video platforms, hashtags, and challenges have turned user-generated content (UGC) into a tremendous marketing opportunity.
But how do influencers and UGC fit?
Hashtags – When influencers participate in challenges and use hashtags, it surely motivates them to try those challenges. Why not create a hashtag #mycookie and ask the influencers to bake their special cookie using your products. And they further challenge more people to join in. You get brand awareness, product sales, and consumer engagement all in one shot.
User content – Several brands have collaborated with influencers to post their content, such as images or videos, while using branded products. Most brands invite micro and nano influencers to create such content because they are more relatable, economical, and have a highly targeted audience base. For instance, an alcohol brand could partner with many bartenders to create cocktails and share their recipes. This strategy could inspire users to try out the brand and create cocktails at home.
6. Pack the Purpose Punch
Food has a purpose. Some cultures have different sets of food items and cooking styles for celebrations and mourning, fasting and feasting. For some, an individual food may mean an extension of her individuality or may help her connect with her spiritual side. Nowadays, food is evaluated for more than just taste. People also want to know if it is produced organically, its nutritional value, its long-term impact on the body, and much more before they decide if it forms a part of their diet, apart from medical and religious reasons.
Influencers can help people discover ‘just’ the food they are looking for.
Nano-influencers can help a close-knit, niche community learn about local food products and sources. For instance, if you are a grocery company that delivers organic food items, you can approach nano-influencers in a region to help inform customers about the nutritional value, your local farming partners, and growing and harvesting techniques,
Brands can partner with micro-influencers too, to reach out to their target audience to demonstrate how they can serve them better. For example, a mother looking for nutritional yet attractive snacking options for her grumpy toddler is likely to research the internet and trust a mommy blogger for tips and tricks. So, if you want to promote your millet-based crackers, you can partner with the mommy blogger to reach out to concerned mommies.
Food is a necessity, comfort, and luxury. People need nutritious food to survive, tasty food to feel comforted, and a rich spread to celebrate. And influencers are a relatable, authentic means for people to discover a variety of options available. It's for all of these reasons that influencer-driven food marketing a fiery combination.
Here is a quick round-up of how influencer marketing can help with food marketing
Influencers can help improve your SEO with super content, backlinks, and driving traffic to your website.
By sharing drool-worthy images of your food and beverage products, influencers can tempt customers to order from you.
Reviews and recommendations by influencers can make you popular in your niche.
Social check-ins by influencers are a great way to be physically found by your consumers.
Influencers can motivate consumers to participate in food challenges and contests, create genuine user-generated content that drives brand awareness and improves engagement.
Purpose-driven food marketing can be a huge success with influencers – as they try before recommending products. This makes their content more relatable and reliable for customers to make a purchase decision.
If this post inspires you to collaborate with influencers who best align with your food and beverage brand, we can help you. Schedule a quick chat, and we can help you explore how to create the perfect influencer-driven food marketing campaign.