Foodies with a Following.
Updated: Oct 30, 2018
Food and Beverage Industry Influencers can pack your restaurant or sells hundreds of thousands of detox teas. If you haven't already been convinced that influencer marketing + a kick-butt omnichannel strategy is valuable and viable for your brand, product, restaurant, bar, only online goods- you need to read this. Seriously, as nicely as we can say it, you're behind the times, my friend. DIVE IN.
Younger audiences, and let's be real- all of us have fractured attention spans stretched across multiple device-screens at once. Television used to provide saturated mass market messaging, but thanks to entrancing hand-held devices all marketers need to be more creative. Omni-channel marketing is no longer just a best practice, but an absolute necessity! A customer should be able to move seamlessly from a brand's Instagram feed and into the previously viewed bar etc. and feel/see/hear the same experience that took place via their smartphone. Want to take a look at a great example? Starbucks. Start with their Instagram that has amassed 17 million followers... Read over their highlighted story titles, take a peek at their video/imagery, and read the captions. It all aligns with what Starbucks stands for, and you can bet that the experience will feel/look similar in their app and in-store. Now put your marketing hat on and analyze if their channels are doing two major things.
1. Starbucks is giving you more and more reason to pop into their store and pick-up that delicious drink (and maybe even a cake pop, yum).
2. They are giving you more reasons to LIKE, KNOW, and TRUST their brand.
Moreover, while Starbucks has everything wrapped in a shiny venti-cup, it's only reaching their direct audience. Not to mention that the actual organic reach of most brand Instagram handles is less than 3% (drop a comment if you want to know Starbuck's engagement rate!). Let's assume for now that Starbucks is at 3%. That's only half a million people. Ouch! Lack of reach is an issue that prevents all brands from garnering the reach of their full audience, and any would be followers that haven't hit the blue 'follow' button. What to do?
Insert. Native Advertising a la Influencers.
Influencers range from micros to big hitters with their own millions of followers. Even tagging this influencer on your brand's channel can generate the needed additional awareness to push your quarter's sales over the benchmark. However, how you partner with them should be dependent on your brand's marketing strategy and budget. A few examples are below:
1. In-store Events: advertising that 'X' influencer is going to be at your event can be a big draw. Or, you can host private events for just the influencer(s) to post about your product and potentially create their content on-site.
2. Affiliate marketing: an influencer can post about your product and earn a commission on any sales that pass through their channel. Yes, this includes alcohol delivery services just be wary of in-state and national regulations. There are quite a few DISCUS rules that will need to be followed.
3. Content creation or content co-creation: these collaborations blend the influencer's perspective + audience with the brands.
4. Co-create a product, dish, or drink WITH the influencer: You may have seen BlueApron do this with Chrissy Tiegen this past May. Teigen had stated that the in-home meal service provided fans with the opportunity to “cook with me in their home kitchens”, sounds pretty fun. I would cook with Chrissy any day- anyone else? Which brings us to our next point.
5. Sponsor a cocktail or cookbook: an influencer can generate the appeal needed to have your book flying off shelves, and into Amazon shipping boxes. Plus, when it comes to the ingredient(s) that you sell. They are listed in EVERY recipe. Now, that's delicious.
6. Straight-up sponsored posts: if an influencer is going to place a #ad post on their channel ensure that they have your brand guidelines and the rest should be left up to the content creator. They know what their audience likes so let them churn out the scroll-stopping work they are used to doing.
7. Full-blown ambassador partnerships: many influencers these days are looking for long-term partnerships so if you have multiple opportunities for them throughout the year your offer as a brand is more appealing. Plus, there are some FTC advantages that we will explain in our client meeting with you.
What questions do you have? We know this was a lot to take-in, but it's so important! We will share more influencer marketing information in the near future.