Influencer Marketing Best Practices All Food and Beverage Brands Need to Know

Thu Nov 15 2018
Terilyn Walker

Whether you’re selling a food delivery service, a granola bar, or an organic juice, influencer marketing is going to be an inexpensive yet effective way to increase brand awareness and encourage sales. But marketing a bag of chips is a lot different than, let’s say, a $300 handbag. That’s why AspireIQ is “spilling the tea” when it comes to leveraging influencers to market your food and beverage brand.

If you’re looking for influencer marketing basics that cover everything you need to know to plan and execute a high performing influencer marketing campaign from A to Z, check out The Ultimate Guide to Influencer Marketing. This guide will give you an in-depth guide to find influencers, make contracts, determine payments, track ROI, and help you build a strategy tailored to your marketing objectives.

In this 4-part series, we’ll be exploring influencer marketing strategies for food and beverage brands specifically. In part one, we’ll do a deep dive into 7 influencer marketing best practices we’ve compiled after examining hundreds of successful collaborations on AspireIQ.

So, get your appetite ready, and let’s dig in!


Ensure content looks yummy – the quality of content should be the top priority

For examples of some amazing influencer content generated for AspireIQ food clients, check out our Pinterest Board.

Let’s face it, a picture of a granola bar has the potential to be a bit stale and stagnant. But imagine someone on a bike ride on a snow-capped mountain staying energized by an easy-to-carry yet nutritious and delicious power bar. Seems much more appealing, right?

How can you make sure you’re getting the best quality content from influencers? Start by sourcing influencers who have a track record of creating professional quality content. Once you’ve vetted content and made a list of influencers who create content that’s on brand, make sure you’re creating tightly defined collaboration terms. Do you want influencers to showcase your packaging or would you prefer to have images featuring the yummy goodness inside?

Read all about how to create collaboration terms that get you the content you want every time.

Instead of just telling an influencer what type of content you want, the best trick to getting the right content every time is to send influencers sample content. It’s much more efficient to provide specific instructions visually than it is through text. By including visual communication as part of your contract you can ensure that your expectations are clearly communicated so you get consistent, on-brand content every time.


Don’t just work with foodie influencers. Venture into different verticals

Food and beverage products generally have a mass appeal and a wide variety of consumers. This means you’ll need a large volume and variety of content in order to hyper-target all of your various customers.

While foodie influencers do make some of the highest quality content (we’ll dive deeper into foodie influencers in part 3 of this series) don’t feel like you have to stick to working with influencers who only talk about food and cooking. Mommy bloggers, lifestyle influencers, and travel influencers are all examples of people who can also bring your content to life in images and videos that show how your product is incorporated into someone’s everyday routine.

Try working with a few different types of influencers and use performance data to determine the type that works best for your brand. Then, re-invest in similar influencers during your next campaign.




Stay on top of seasons and trends

When the first leaf falls off the tree in your front yard, what’s the first thing you do? Rush out to get your hands on pumpkin spice flavored everything, of course.

Some of the top performing social media campaigns for food and beverage brands have themes which focus on holidays and the season. For a huge boost in engagement, make sure you’re planning ahead so that you can run a campaign that will evoke the feelings associated with different times of the year.

Likewise, it seems like every week there’s a new trendy diet. Whether it is paleo, kangatarian (think pescatarian but substitute kangaroo instead of fish - yes, it’s a thing), or keto. There always seems to be new trends in the foodie influencer community. Make sure you’re keeping track of popular hashtags within the community so that you can craft relevant campaigns.


Partner with influencers to promote “like-worthy” recipes

The majority of people choose what they'll eat about 2 hours before doing so, and in a Facebook Survey, 31% of respondents said they find inspiration on an app when cooking for a meal.

As a high-performing campaign idea, ask influencers to incorporate your product into their favorite recipe. For example, Kodiak Cakes is a healthy alternative to waffle and pancake mix. Since partnering with influencer mixes, they have become the “number one best-selling pancake mix brand with a 54 percent category share, beating out big names like Aunt Jemima, and Bisquick at Target.” Not only do recipes boosts engagement because people like to save them for later, but it makes for much more interesting content that you can repurpose on your own social media and website.


Leverage Pinterest


82% of millennials said they look online to plan their next meal.

Besides Instagram, Pinterest might be one of the best social media platforms that all food and beverage brands should be using to promote their products. Unlike Instagram, Pinterest acts as a search board rather than a news feed. Meaning consumers go to Pinterest specifically looking for fun recipes that they can duplicate for parties, dinners, or a midday snack.

Partner with influencers who can share amazing content that links to recipes posted on their blog. Then people can “pin” these recipes and refer back to them when they’re ready to get cooking!


Make some tasty video content

Why do Olive Garden commercials make you immediately crave lasagna? Because who can resist close up, slow-motion shots of gooey good cheese and savory marinara sauce? When it comes to food and beverage brands, high quality, appetizing videos are what will really stick in a consumer’s mind.

Video content is the biggest trend in marketing leading into the new year. And mobile video, in particular, is set to increase 870% from 2016 to 2021. For food and beverage brands, the possibilities are endless. Partner with influencers to sponsor a “what I eat in a day” Instagram story, an oh-so-popular Mukbang on Youtube, or a Buzzfeed-style video showing how to make a quick meal featuring your products.


In part two, we’ll cover real-life examples of 3 food and beverage brands with amazing influencer marketing strategies and show you why their campaigns were successful. Check it out here.

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