Winning at brand-blogger partnerships is a weekly series from Marketing Profs on how brands are teaming up with bloggers to create winning influencer marketing strategies.
Okay, so maybe you aren’t a foodie. Maybe you don’t care where you buy your morning coffee, or how your lunch looks in natural light. But you need the attention of food bloggers all the same. Connecting with the online foodie culture through their blogosphere can expand your audience. Yet finding a way to forge this connection can seem contrived for a nonfoodie professional. Stop avoiding the fans of avocado toasts and rehashed takeout recipes, and get food bloggers on your side using these tips.
1.Start with the Crème de la Crème
Whether you’re lucky enough to have access to GroupHigh or you have another method for identifying influencers, the most important thing is to identify your influencer personas and start with a niche topic search. So instead of searching through all food bloggers consider more specific topics such as:
- Sustainable harvesting
- Local food
- Paleo diets
- Vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian, ovo-vegetarian, lacto-vegetarian, ovo-lacto vegetarian, etc.
- Restrictive diets, i.e. gluten free, diabetes, lactose intolerant, low sodium, etc.
- Regional foods
- Gourmet cuisine
- Worldly cuisines
- Raw or macrobiotic diets
- Wine and alcoholic beverages
- Desserts and sweet treats
By narrowing down the thousands of food bloggers out there, you’ll have much better luck in finding the perfect one to fit your needs. But given that the food blogosphere has evolved into such a massive marketplace, it can still be difficult to weed out the weaklings in your search for the best.
More resources for Finding Foodies:
The Association of Food Bloggers is a nonprofit organization on a mission to “clearly define standards for food bloggers as well as provide training and tools for food bloggers.” AoFB comes with a code of ethics and a paid membership that requires food blogs to be up to par with the organization’s stringent standards. You can search for food blogs on their member directory.
Another great resource for finding the best food bloggers is via major online publications that feature top food bloggers:
- Food 52
- Food and Wine
- The New York Times food section
- The Wall Street Journal food and drink
Start by searching through the latest articles on these food-focused sites, looking specifically for content that is related to your interests or speaks to your audience. Once you’ve found something exciting, do a quick search of the article’s author to find their website.
2. Food Blogger Found…Now What?
The next part is easier but takes patience. Start reading the blogger’s articles, and join the conversations in comments. Subscribe to their newsletter, and look for information on their blog about guest posting. Food bloggers worth their salt will have a page dedicated to all things related to contacting them, guest posting, sponsorship, and other marketing aspects.
3. The Icing on the Cake: Product Placement
Now that you have the attention of food bloggers, you need a way to seal the deal. Food bloggers enjoy the opportunity to sample items related to their craft. If you are selling a particular food product, send them a sample to review. If you work for a business specializing in a type of food or tool, such as eggs, cashews, or cookware, request that the blogger use the item in a recipe. Make sure to send in a coupon or payment voucher to cover the costs of the ingredients.
In either case, request that you be mentioned as a sponsor of the post. This is important, as bloggers must note when they are paid in any way to promote a product or company.
Just as you are seeking out food bloggers for their informative foodie content and SEO linkage, they are interested in growing their audience by being associated with top brands. That makes for a great opportunity to grow rapidly and build relationships where everyone wins.
Have you worked with food bloggers before? You should share your tip in the comments below!