Need a new recipe for success when it comes to food marketing? Try food influencers.
Ever since social media really started to make waves from its humble beginnings in 1997 (from the rise of Myspace in 2003, Facebook in 2004 and how it really started to take off from 2010 along with Instagram) people have always been interested in what others are saying and endorsing. And when it comes to influencers in food marketing, you have the perfect ingredient…food.
After all, who doesn’t love delicious food? Although the trend of posting beautifully prepared dishes isn’t as fresh as it once was, those kind of posts still attract attention by feeding our appetites and showing us what to buy and try.
So, as a food business, how can you use food influencers in food marketing and what are the benefits?
Food influencers come in all shapes and sizes, from celebrities and industry professionals to social media stars. Celebrities and industry professionals are obvious choices as they’re already established and well known. Just think of how sales of certain ingredients exploded when celeb chefs such as Delia Smith, Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver mentioned them. However even unknown passionate foodies have a voice thanks to social media.
From Food Blogger to Food Influencer
A notable mention when it comes to food influencers is Ella Mills, who created her Deliciously Ella account on blogging sites and then Instagram back in 2011 after a particularly dark period in her life when she was diagnosed with an illness called ‘tachycardia syndrome’. Her illness, which left her bed-ridden, led her to look at healthier foods in particular a plant-based diet to manage her condition.
Her beautifully photographed posts and her authenticity soon caught the eye of fellow social media lovers and even now, with a brand that includes books and nutritional bars sold in major stores all over the UK, she still uses social media as her main marketing tool. With 1.3 million and growing followers on Instagram, Ella’s focus on remaining authentic is crucial to her success.
Finding and Using Food Influencers in your Marketing Strategy
As a business, finding the right food influencers can be more challenging, but it just needs a little research and thought. It all begins with knowing your audience and feeding them the right messages. From there, it’s just looking for the right food influencers that fit with your brand and are willing to help spread your message!
There’s so many ways to find the right food influencers for food marketing, including collaborating with your chosen influencer on social media, having an influencer as an ambassador for your brand or asking influencers for product reviews. If you’re unsure where to start, talking to a design agency with experience in reaching out to influencers can be helpful.
Successful Food Influencers and Brand Collaborations
Jamie Oliver’s Collaboration with Sainsbury’s (from 2005 to 2011) is a great example of how using a celebrity food influencer works so well. Many of his campaigns increased their sales, such as his ‘Feed Your Family for a Fiver’ promotion, which saw sales of featured lines leap by up to 200%. Right at the beginning of their collaboration, Jamie’s suggestion to grate nutmeg over spaghetti bolognese in a ‘Try Something Different’ promotion led to Sainsbury’s selling an astonishing nine tonnes of spice over a matter of weeks – with that amount being equivalent to the previous two years’ sales!
More recently, food and fitness influencer Joe Wicks has been working with Gousto – one of the new wave of ‘British meal kit to your home’ food services. Gousto is already becoming a successful home meal service brand, delivering over 1.5 million meals a month. It’s also experience a 170 percent year-on-year growth and now, by incorporating Wicks as their food influencer into their food marketing strategy, sales are set to increase even further. The brand are hoping to accelerate their target to help families by serving 400 million meals in their homes by 2025. Wicks-branded recipes include offerings such as Herby Crusted Fish and Satay Chicken Lettuce Wraps – this collaboration is one to watch, but it is already going well and is a big hit with Gousto customers.
If you would like to explore how you could use influencers in your food marketing strategy, please contact us to find out more.