How to Use Influencer Marketing to Increase Food & Drink Sales

How to Influencer Marketing to Increase Food and Drink sales
Social media is one of the most impactful ways of digital marketing in the 21st century, especially for food and drink businesses.

With the billions of users on each platform, Influencer Marketing has become a popular addition to many businesses’ social media marketing strategy due to the vast amount of sales, traffic, and engagement this tactic has driven for them.

Food and Drink has also been increasingly popular on social media, but it can be hard to reach your target market.

That’s where influencers come into play.

In this article, we will cover:

What type of Food Influencer to use?

When it comes to choosing the best influencer for your brand, there are quite a few things to take into consideration.

  • Do they meet brand ethics and values?
  • Is their engagement at Influencer Level?
  • What budget should I allocate? How much do Influencers charge for ads?

These aspects are the key things to understand before approaching an influencer.

This goes for all brands, but particularly food and drink.

Reaching the maximum engagement level possible to get the most out of your budget is key.

For example, if you’re a Fitness brand wanting to promote a new range of protein cookies, it’s probably best to work with an influencer who has content that revolves around fitness and nutrition.

Same goes for dietary requirements. If you’re planning to introduce a new vegan menu to your restaurant, invite a vegan-based influencer to try the menu for themselves.

Users who follow that influencer tend to have the same interest as them, so finding an influencer that matches what you’re looking to promote will have the most successful and genuine impact.

There are also certain types of influencers you can work with.

Food & Drink Influencer Types

How much do Food influencers charge for ads?

Most influencers charge an average of £10 per 1,000 followers (this may vary), meaning an influencer with approximately 10,000 followers can charge an average of £100, and the bigger influencers with around 100,000 followers can charge £1,000.

Established Food & Drink Influencers (10,000 + followers)

Established influencers work really well within the food and drink industry.

They’re experts at promotional content, so they really know what methods of posting will drive sales for a business.  

The pros of working with an established influencer are the amount of exposure for your business, which will drive more sales or bookings in your restaurant.

They’re also experienced and can be hugely influential on their audience, so if they enjoy the experience or taste of your product, their followers will go ahead and explore your business.

The con, however, is the price.

Most major influencers will only accept paid campaigns, and this may be pretty pricey for your business.

You can offer alternatives such as a restaurant experience or a product affiliate link.

If this doesn’t work, it may be best to work with a Micro-Influencer.

Micro-Influencers in the Food & Drink industry (1,000 – 10,000 followers)

Don’t be fooled by the name, micro influencers can have a huge impact on your food and drink business.

The pro of working with micro-influencers is they tend not to be as price orientated as experienced influencers, as they’re trying to grow their brand. They also have a high engagement rate

This means you can go in with a gifted option, providing them with a product in return for a post, and is a much cheaper option for your brand.

It can be impactful to use your budget to work with a number of micro-influencers than one bigger account, as you can put your product in front of a range of audiences.

A con, however, is less exposure from one account, and there isn’t a guaranteed ROI if follower account is lower.

Different types of Food & Drink Influencer Campaigns

Paying an influencer to promote your food or drink within a post is the most common form of influencer marketing. However, it may be worth considering these options if you are on a tighter budget.

Gifted Food or Beverage Products

Gifted products are a great way Influencer marketing strategy that can have a great impact. Rather than paying for content, gift your chosen influencer an exclusive product.

For example, if you have a new range of tasty brownies that you’re looking to promote, work with a micro-influencer to gift them a box (with you covering shipping & product cost) in exchange for a post of them enjoying the delicious treat.

This type of content will do well, as micro-influencers tend to happily accept gifted posts, and it’s a fraction of the cost to your business which you’ll make back in revenue from the post.

A Restaurant Experience

A great tactic to add to your influencer marketing strategy, experiences are something all influencers jump at.

Experience campaigns work great if you’re a restaurant – invite the influencer to the opening event, or for them and a plus one to come and enjoy a meal in exchange for a post.

This way, you’re still getting a promotional post for your restaurant and menu offering, but just managing and utilising your budget in a way that will be beneficial for your business.

Exclusive menu items are something influencers love to promote.

Food & Drink Giveaways/Collaborations

Following on from the event/experience, collaborate again with the influencer to give away a meal for two for one of their followers at your restaurant.

You’re then working with the influencer again, whilst gaining traction for your own social page.

Giveaways don’t always have to be with influencers.

Team up with another similar brand for a giveaway of a combination of both brand’s products.

You’re still going to be influencer marketing, but it doesn’t have to be with your typical influencer.

For example, a Vegan company selling pizzas may team up with another vegan company who sells ice cream – two different brands with similar values and audiences.

Affiliate Links with Food Influencers

Affiliate links are a great way to work with experienced influencers for a fraction of the cost.

They’ll take a percentage of each sale made through their link or code used, but you will still gain a large number of sales if you provide them with a discount to use with their followers.

It’s great exposure for your brand, and a great way to build customer retention. With food and drink, if a customer enjoys your product, they’re for sure to come back and repurchase.

Influencers on Different Platforms

Instagram Food & Drink Influencers

Being one of the most popular platforms for influencers, Instagram is a great place to connect and work with food and drink influencers.

As Instagram is all about visuals, and it’s a great place to collaborate with influencers to really push the flavours and taste of your food through imagery and video.

With new features being released like Instagram Reels and different story features, you can get really creative making your product look super delectable.

Here are three great food and drink influencers found on Instagram:

Food & Drink Influencers on Facebook

This may come as a surprise, but Facebook is a popular platform for food and drink influencers.

With its super high engagement level, it’s no wonder influencers flock to Facebook to share content.

Video content is popular within the food industry on Facebook, with accounts like Tasty being in the top 10 of Facebook influencers.

Take a look at these amazing Facebook food and drink influencers.

TikTok Food & Drink Creators & Influencers

With over 2 BILLION downloads in the past 2 years, TikTok is increasing in popularity daily.

Food content is one of the most popular types on TikTok, with plenty of influencers at your fingertips.

TikTok influencer marketing is great if you’re on a budget, as you can work with just a handful of influencers in order for your product to go viral.

Creating a campaign with a hashtag.

For example, a company called Bert’s Brownies could use ‘#BertsBrownieChallenge’, where creators have to think of the most delicious ingredient or topping to add to Bert’s Brownies new at home brownie kit.

Influencer challenges can inspire their following to get creative with your products.

Or work with a TikTok food influencer to promote your restaurant, by inviting them down and getting them to post a TikTok of their experience.

Check out these TikTok food influencers below.

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Scarlett Swanston
Scarlett Swanston
Scarlett is a Digital Marketing executive at Online Growth Guru, and started her career by completing a digital marketing apprenticeship in 2018 to get a kick start in the industry. She moved to Online Growth to further her passion for food and drink and helping SME's reach their true potential.

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