Food has been a trending topic on social media since the very beginning. This is great news for the food brand industry as images of food, recipes, and kitchen hacks can easily be shared with an authentic voice. However, it also means standing out from the crowd can be a challenge. There are many social media platforms and Influencer Marketing activation ideas to consider when raising awareness for your food brand. In order to see the highest possible return on investment (ROI) for your influencer marketing campaign, it’s important to take advantage of both underused activations and the new content that is collected once your campaign ends. 

This post will discuss useful tips and ideas for helping your food or beverage brand present a captivating and successful Influencer Marketing campaign that drives high ROI. 

Influencer Activations for Your Food Brand

For a food brand, standing out among the plethora of snack, recipe, and beverage posts can be tough … but not impossible. Optimize your campaign strategy by incorporating videos, real-time interaction, sampling, challenges, Pinterest, and TikTok. By incorporating these unique influencer activations into your campaign strategy, you will successfully meet campaign goals and see long-term success.

Videos

Using videos as part of a marketing campaign is not a new idea. However, many still haven’t taken advantage of the many benefits of this eye-catching activation. Videos on social media continue to be more popular and receive more engagement than static posts. They capture attention, communicate strong messages, build credibility, and ensure long-term commitment from your community. Above all, videos are favored by social media platform algorithms ensuring your post will be seen by more viewers.  

Consider sharing a video about how your food is produced, cooked, or decorated, where the ingredients come from, or how it is served. You can always let the influencer get creative with their ideas as well. For example, in this video from Always Hungry, she ordered one of every single donut from Dunkin Donuts and then rated them on a scale of 1-10. 

Remember, a video doesn’t need to be long in order to reap the benefits. It could be a half-hour cooking show on YouTube or IGTV or it could be short clips on Instagram Stories or Pinterest. Take, for example, this Buzz + Bloom short featuring a quick recipe demonstration. As long as the viewer feels like there is someone on the other side of the screen, your brand will benefit from long-term success. 

Real-Time Interaction  

For a food brand, promotion doesn’t stop at having a delicious tasting product. It must also be trusted and transparent. Going live enhances the benefits of video by allowing the viewer to be part of the conversation and presenting the brand as a credible resource. It allows brands to promote their product while also building relationships with key influencers. Live activations are also the most likely to be seen by your followers as they are the most heavily supported by algorithms.  

Live Video

Instagram or Facebook live are great ideas for Influencer Marketing because they open up real-time conversations with your community. One way to do this is to host a live video from your brand’s accounts. Consider interviewing the CEO of your company and allowing viewers to ask real-time questions. You can also break into a new community by allowing influencers to guide the conversation. Have an influencer tour your factory while viewers ask questions about the space. 

Twitter Parties

Twitter parties are another way to encourage real-time interactions and engage with your community. They are fast paced, real-time conversations relating to your product. Conversation is generated through open-ended questions so it encourages everyone, including the brand, to learn and share together. To bring the most success to your Twitter party, come prepared with recipes, links, and images of your tasty product(s). Images are great at grabbing attention and increasing participation at your party while also increasing the understanding of your brand. 

Check out these Twitter Parties sponsored by Avocados from Mexico that earned them the title of one of the most talked about advertisers online during the Super Bowl of 2018. 

Sampling

If you’re trying to market anything in the food industry, you already know the best thing you can do to get more people to fall in love with your product is to allow them to try it. You can tell them all day that it’s delicious, that it will make them feel more powerful at the gym, or that their kids will go crazy over these healthy snacks, but until they try it, they won’t know just how good it is. Consumers won’t make an emotional connection. However, there are a few ways to create this type of connection. 

Influencer-Hosted Events:

One way to get your influencers and their friends to sample your product is to sponsor an influencer-hosted event. During these events, influencers invite friends to experience your product firsthand. This can be done in-person or through a private group video call. The benefit of influencer-hosted events is the power of a group of people in your target audience gathered with the purpose of trying your product and discussing key messages. Their experience is then shared on social media and through word of mouth. 

To promote your brand through an influencer-hosted event, consider sponsoring a “happy hour” virtual event. Guests can be provided your snacks or beverages to enjoy while they discuss topics and answer questions relating to your product or your brand culture. Other Influencer content ideas could include an intimate group fitness session with a favorite fitness guru who discusses your brand and answers nutrition questions or a cooking class where your foodie influencer guides their guests through a new recipe. Allow your influencer to get creative with their parties. It’s always exciting to see how they will present your product to their friends. 

For example, during the Honey Bunches of Oats sweepstakes, “Smile While You Shake It” influencers hosted pajama and cereal parties in their home and made videos to submit to the contest. 

Coupons

Another way to encourage sampling is to offer coupons. Coupons are popular among consumers of all ages and are a great way to encourage sampling. Don’t let your influencer talk about how good something is without offering either a free or discounted sample by screenshotting a coupon on Instagram Stories or by signing up for email or text coupons.

Giveaways

To encourage sampling, but on a smaller scale, try hosting a giveaway. Giveaways allow more people, not just your influencer, to try your product. They also spark the trend to purchase and increase awareness and engagement on social channels. Need ideas for a foodie giveaway? Try a snack pack sampling your products, offer a year supply, or add monetary value to a gift set for an extra drive. 

Challenges and Contests

Influencer Marketing content success is often measured in terms of engagement. In order to encourage engagement and see high ROI, it can be beneficial to provide your influencer with a contest or challenge that gives them something to help engage their audience. Contests and challenges also drive user-generated content (USG) to give you significantly better results in the long run. You can either encourage a hashtag challenge through your brand channel, or you can work with influencers to get your hashtag challenge started. 

Chiquita used influencers to drum up their #ShareYourChiquitaSmile contest. People submitted images to win a trip to Disneyland by posting their smiles with Chiquita bananas. Consider running a contest encouraging users to share an image of their family eating your product or have them recreate a popular recipe and share it using your campaign hashtag. 

Pinterest

When it comes to the food industry, Pinterest is a fundamental platform. By fully incorporating Pinterest into your campaign strategy instead of incorporating it as an afterthought, you maximize on ROI for your Influencer Marketing campaign. One way to tap into Pinterest is to create a Pinterest-focused campaign that encourages engagement through comments and likes. This format will improve algorithms looking for popular posts and push it to be shown to more people. 

For example, McCormick Spices created a virtual bake sale on Pinterest that encouraged engagement from both the influencer and their followers by entering them to win a giveaway after repinning a baked good. 

Since food is a common trending topic on Pinterest, sharing new recipes and kitchen hacks is a successful way to get more eyes on your product. Other common trends include parenting and health and wellness. Consider having your influencer share ideas for kids activities using your food product or tips for staying healthy to promote brand image and visibility.

TikTok

TikTok is quickly becoming a staple platform for brands. However, TikTok has a very different culture than its social platform counterparts and, in order to succeed, it is imperative that your brand matches the TikTok culture. This means we must firstly understand our target audience. Statistically, the majority of users on TikTok are younger than 30, however, we’re gradually seeing an increase in older generations as well. It also means that the creative content is going to look and sound different than posts on other platforms, however it is not less valuable. Check out these TikTok videos from @nicole_thenomad and @thejoebrown to get a taste of the TikTok culture. 

TikTok creators are making short videos that make their viewers react in some way. Maybe it’s funny, maybe it’s bringing back an old childhood memory, or maybe it’s a real life situation. They steer clear from promotional videos with multiple message points focused on the product and, instead, focus on the effect of the product in the influencer’s life. Though content, lighting and cuts may not look very professional to marketers, remember your brand must match the TikTok culture to succeed. 

Another resource on TikTok is the #learnontiktok. Creators use this hashtag to promote videos that look similar to what might be found on YouTube or Instagram such as food hacks and recipe shorts. Even still, you may see some slight differences which help these videos match the style of TikTok. To see the difference, here’s an example from @aldentediva. Notice how she makes a cannoli dip using the content style and voice inflections common to TikTok. 

How to Reach the Highest ROI Post-Campaign

In order to get the very most out of your Influencer Marketing campaign for a food brand, don’t stop once the influencers have posted their last video. Influencer Marketing campaigns generate high-quality content that can be reused post-campaign. Make sure there is a strategy in place to collect the content. Extend your timeline in order to fully take advantage of your new assets. Then, push them out again from your brand channels. 

Try the following suggestions in order to get to reach the highest ROI for your Influencer Marketing campaign. 

  • Repost influencer posts to your food brand’s social platforms.
  • Post new recipes to your blog or to printed material. 
  • Repost UGC from your social community to your food brand’s social platforms.
  • Use new creative for print advertising.
  • Repurpose reviews and quotes for your food brand website and social channels.
  • Research feedback ideas from influencer focus groups and social media comments for new messaging and product development.
  • Work with a new set of influencers to engage with previous influencer campaigns by having them point back to videos, blog posts, or recipes from already completed campaigns. 
  • Check-in with those who tried your product using a coupon to strengthen your community.
  • Be Pinterest savvy by keeping up with trends and adding new content to your brand’s Pinterest boards. Remember, Pinterest is a search engine, so use good SEO practices to see the highest ROI. 

Wrap It All Up

For a food brand, standing out on social media isn’t always easy. Take advantage of influencer activations that aren’t already saturated with competitors. By so doing, you will help you break through the competition noise and rise above the crowd. Optimize your influencer campaign strategy by incorporating ideas such as videos, real-time interaction, sampling, and challenges. Then, if it makes sense for your food brand, try platforms such as Pinterest and TikTok to maximize your visibility. Lastly, ensure ultimate ROI by taking advantage of UGC post-campaign. 

“Which influencer activation will best help you reach your campaign goals?”

Sources

Pinterest Trends

TikTok Revenue and Usage Statistics (2020)

How to Create Results-Driven Influencer Marketing Campaigns

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