5 Exciting Ways to Work with Food Brands as an Influencer
As food bloggers with entrepreneurial spirits, we are constantly exploring different avenues to create income from our blogs. It’s not all fun and games – we’ve got to make ends meet! But there are solutions that go beyond the classic ad revenue that is determined simply by your page views… there’s way more to being an influencer than that.
As a matter of fact, at the core of a successful influencer is his/her ability to connect with others.
Think of your subscribers who respond to the newsletter with that really great sugar cookie recipe; that one fan who seems to always be on Twitter the moment you tweet your new post; or a simple rave about the cheese you just picked up at the market for $19.99.
[tweet_this]When you have people listening to what you have to say, you have officially become an influencer.[/tweet_this]
Moments like when a reader messages you from the grocery store with a photo and question about a product they are about to purchase. These are priceless relationships to be nurtured, and become invaluable to you as an Influencer (and the brands you choose to work with down the road).
So how do I use my influence in a way that will benefit the brand, myself and the audience? Here are a few ideas to get you started!
Sponsored Blog Posts
Pretty self explanatory – a brand pays you to promote their product within one of your blog posts! Maybe it’s a flour company that sponsors the post if you include a photo of their product in the beautiful flat lays of your apple pie recipe. It can also include social distribution on your top media channels (Instagram, Twitter, Email newsletter, etc.)
A financial agreement is reached between the two parties. Both should decide on the budget for their campaign. Services are delivered by an agreed due date… accountability is key! After all, this is one of the most valuable forms of online advertisement for a brand.
Social Media Shout Out
This is probably the simplest of collaborations between Influencers and Brands – a shout out on social media. However simple, it has amazing potential for minimal budget. It helps solidify and brand’s image, and can boost your credibility. Your job as an Influencer is get the Brand’s message in front of your fans and to create positive awareness about a certain product.
Keeping things honest is crucial in maintaining the trust of your followers. Sponsorship should always be disclosed to your fans with a simple #ad or #sponsored hashtag.
This is my favorite way to work with a brand as the benefit is exponential for both parties. It usually requires a contract of anywhere between 4 months to 1 year, in which the influencer agrees to only work with the brand. No competitive posts are allowed!
This benefits the brand in a big way as the Ambassador (you) guarantees that a certain number of posts will feature that brand/product for the duration of the campaign. For example, if you are a canned tomato company, having an Influencer act as Ambassador ensures that your brand will be featured in any post that uses tomatoes in the recipe.
The brand may then tap into all your traffic resources, including active social media channels. It’s Ideal for niche blogs! In my case, running an organic lifestyle California blog, I have the advantage of an audience who is already looking for wholesome organic options in their lifestyle!
This is usually something that the Brand initiates and extends an invitation for Influencers to join. It could be anything from a special dinner or full product launch, but in any case, there is no expectation of a full blog post promotion (unless a Sponsored Blog Post agreement is reached in advance). Social Media mentions are usually agreed upon beforehand!
This is where Influencers go on a press trip sponsored fully by the brand! It includes flight, accommodations and meals for you +1. There should also be at least one personal day for you to enjoy the spot on your own (a nice perk of the job)! But the rest of the time, the Influencer is available to learn about and promote the brand’s products.
Although these kind of sponsorships take a little more advance planning, they’re especially beneficial to the brand as fans like to follow along with the adventure via their social media channels.