At Agency 451 we’re passionate about food. Some of us like to make it, others like to eat it, and we all love to market it. Whether we’re helping a brand to increase share of fridge or stomach, we’re always hungry to tell a great story. But we can’t do it alone; that’s where influencer marketing comes in. At the Everything Food Conference 2017 we spent 3 days uncovering the latest trends and catching up with the hottest foodie content producers. Here’s what we learned:
Current hot menu item – video!
Video creation is a must for food bloggers right now and if you’re not creating it, you’re already behind. Tasty-style videos are still in and offer a quick and easy way for bloggers’ audiences to learn how to make a recipe. Video content is more frequently shared and engaged with on social media than static content and brands are craving this easily digestible media featuring their products and branding.
There’s no prix fixe menu
How do bloggers know how much to charge? How do brands decide what to pay? These questions were on everyone’s lips. The general consensus seemed to be that bloggers should stop undervaluing themselves and should strive to be paid what they deserve. What does this mean for brands? Influencers prices may go up, but when you consider the fact that you’re able to reach your target audience with custom created, personable content, in most cases, the results will be very much worth the fees.
But expanding the menu is essential
Offering blog audiences the same old same old isn’t going to cut it anymore and much of the conference sessions focused on the idea that bloggers need to diversify their content. In addition to adding video, most top bloggers recommended launching a sellable product, like a cookbook, e-book, or other resource that bloggers‘ audiences would be interested in purchasing. Not only will this help bloggers bring in more income, but it will offer more opportunities for bloggers to work with brands.
Dollars to donuts, influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere
The dozens of brands in attendance ranged from household names to up-and-comers. They were all there to demonstrate their commitment to working with influencers and build their programs. And influencers were there to connect with these brands and learn how they can work together in the future. While bloggers were excited to learn about brands’ new products, most were very vocal about wondering, “How do you work with influencers?” Bloggers are being much more proactive about finding opportunities to work with brands and should plan to be approached with opportunities on a more regular basis. Brands should continue to build out their formal influencer programs, but should also set aside additional budget for working with bloggers who bring new and innovative ideas to them.
Bloggers are cooking for the brands
Brands should get excited because bloggers are working hard to put the focus fully on them. While influencers are typically used to talking about themselves and what they can bring to the table, much of the conversation at EFC was focused on how bloggers should become fully educated on brands’ goals and should work to make those goals their own. Bloggers are realizing they must treat brands like their customers and as we all know, the customer is (almost) always right!
Overall, the feel of the show was positive, collaborative, and fun! Huge shout out to Kami Kilgore (@foodbloggercon) for bringing her vision to life and sticking with it even when there were plenty of naysayers. Thank you for creating a platform that both brands and bloggers are sure to find value at for years to come!