Before taking off an influencer marketing campaign, it can be beneficial to know this statistical information – every investment in food influencer marketing generated 12 times its value in earned media. Unlike the owned media which is brand’s social media accounts and website and paid media like bought advertising, earned media is the visibility received by a brand with third-party means (blogs, social media and so on).
Nowadays a word-of-mouth technique is the most effective way to sell, the extent to which social media has taken up space in our lives means it’s now possible to use social media on a full scale by mobilizing the right influencers.
Influencers are people that have achieved a large following on social media by posting videos or photos that take the interest of a certain demographic and by remaining authentic to their audience over time.
Traditional influencer marketing was about leveraging the top industry influencers and celebrities as brand ambassadors and running ads on TV and radio. It is not only expensive but also irrelevant for food brands which are not in the top of the industry with several outlets in different geographies. Micro influencer marketing is definitely the way to go for a small food brand.
These micro influencers have a niche following that is usually specific to a particular region. For instance, food bloggers of Istanbul would have the majority of their followers from Istanbul. If you collaborate with such food influencers, they would talk about your product, post pictures, videos, and put up reviews on social media and the product review sites. This, in turn, will help you increase your visibility, and garner credibility for your product and brand.
It is more effective when food brands equip their consumers and influencers with a challenge or event they can participate in using a set hashtag. This engages the influencer’s network and creates a community and camaraderie for everyone participating or following the challenge.
“Activia”s campaign for Ramadan
“Activia” is a yogurt brand of “Danone” company and launched under the “Bio” brand name. It is classified as a functional food, designed to improve digestive health. Emphasizing this feature, the company started a campaign during Ramadan, a month of fasting in the Muslim countries.
The Ramadan campaign targeted people who were fasting for the whole month. The idea behind the campaign was to focus more on the functional benefit and more on the product. Throughout the campaign, influencers showcased Activia yogurts in their iftar tables and shared their experiences how the yogurt helps them to feel relieved after a heavy meal. The campaign involved 12 influencers, however, received over 50.000 engagement during the first six days. The campaign lasted the whole Ramadan and reached nearly 300.000 audiences across Instagram and Facebook.
“Hello Fresh”s approach
“Hello Fresh” is a company that sends weekly menus to families and busy people who don’t have time for cooking. They work with a variety of influencer from vegan food bloggers to multitasking mothers.
The foremost goal of the campaigns was to demonstrate the advantage of the service for busy people, especially those who take care of their health. Through these influencer marketing campaigns, Hello Fresh wanted to reach broader audiences and raise awareness around its brand. The company provided many of the influencers with the discounts by special promo codes and even apron with a personal touch, creative gifts and so on. As a core part of their lead generation strategy, the company invested mainly in influencer marketing.
Besides providing them with promo codes, influencers were asked to share branded hashtags like #hellofreshpics and #freshfriends. They also encouraged their audience to do so.
By demonstrating how the product solved influencers’ problems, the company achieved raising awareness of its delivery boxes in an authentic way.
This is an Australian food brand, which wanted to promote its newly launched winter menu with the help of influencer marketing. They leveraged a range of influencers with the niches related to food, fitness, and health. The brand runs an influencer marketing campaign with 81 influencers which resulted.
During the campaign influencers managed to create more than 162 Instagram stories and in total 167 pieces of content. As a result, the campaign saw 507.909 impressions from the content, 70.000 engagements and reached 1.5 million audiences on Instagram and Facebook.
How to nail your influencer campaign
These are all excellent ways to demonstrate how to leverage influencers to have the desired brand impact. But the key to success behind each of them is finding the right influencers to work with. With that in mind, here are a few things you should remember when looking for influencers:
- Alignment – Will your campaign content look good coming from them, given their respective niches? Do they align with your industry and brand values?
- Popularity – Are they someone your target audience can relate to? How popular are they amongst your target audience?
- Reach – Is the influencer capable of engaging your target audience?
- Demographic – Is their fan base similar to the buyer personas you’ve built for your company?
Here are strategies how food brands capitalize on influencer marketing trends and stand out in cluttered digital environments.
Show the origin of food
It is more common for food brands to experience rumors about where their food products come from. Showcasing the origins of products with the help of influencers have helped many food brands to save their reputations. They may monitor the factory where their products are produced or fields where ingredients were gathered from and share their experiences on social media accounts.
Promote in-person events
Of course, it’s ideal when brand representatives can interact in-person but plenty of brands work with influencers to be ambassadors and host events for a brand.
What’s fantastic about working with influencers to host a party or event is all of the sharable content that results. Think about the posts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and blogs that get created with any party.
Be part of a greater brand
Millennial consumers especially demand that a brand fulfills its responsibility to do good for the world, not just making money.
There is no reason that food brands should be sharing a really cool story with their advocates and influencers they partner with.
Seasonal influencer planning
Working with influencers more than once, on an ongoing basis, creates more authentic and trusted earned media. Thought behind it is that consumers trust an influencer when they talk about a brand at least three times.
Having a plan in place to work with the same network of influencers for an entire year is key. Food brands do this exceptionally well by planning their marketing partnerships according to the seasons. Think autumn pumpkin spice lattes and summer peach deserts.
Influencers love to be in the loop and in the know when it comes to a new flavor and product launches so use this to work with them to help your brand announce new products throughout the year.
Even though influencer marketing can bring you a huge success, it has a dark side too.
Let’s say you newly opened restaurant mainly focused on vegan food. You heavily invested in influencer marketing and suddenly hundreds of people are posting about your restaurant and also recommend their friends. You will definitely get noticed but as you are new in the industry, the skill set of all your restaurant staff might not be trained or experienced enough to handle such a huge crowd.
And consequently, in a hurry to manage the huge crowd, your food and service might get compromised with. And compromising with these basic things for which your customers visit your restaurant at such an early stage, will not leave a very good impression on your customers. Thus, it is essential to not venture into this until you are absolutely ready.