Building a food brand requires a heady mix of ingredients. These ingredients can sometimes vary depending on your industry, but one thing that never changes is consistency. If you apply consistency to every element of your brand building strategy, you’re onto a winner.
If you’re in the food and drink industry and want to increase the impact of your brand, here are five points to consider.
They work for food bloggers, so they can work for you.
Add a generous sprinkle of consistency to each point.
1. Give your passion for food and drink an online presence
Key focus: Get your brand noticed with consistent, optimised, engaging blog posts.
Enthusiasm is infectious. If you’re passionate about what you do, tell people about it, inspire them and let it be shared!
Just like a good belly laugh or a baby’s chuckle, passion for your profession is infectious and inspiring. Building an online presence is essential if you want to reach like-minded foodies and become a thought leader in your industry.
A strong online presence doesn’t just happen overnight, so be prepared to invest significant thought, energy and time into creating unique, interesting and relevant foodie-based content for your target audience.
It’s this compelling and useful content, combined with the consistency and frequency of your output that will have the greatest influence on your website’s success.
Blogs are a fantastic way to begin building your online presence.
Here are a few popular platforms that you may like to consider:
So, how does blogging work?
Blogging is a long-term marketing strategy that helps to direct traffic and leads to your website. It introduces you as a thought leader within your field and by extension, earns people’s trust.
When you blog regularly, your ranking in search engines increases which allows your content to be found when people search for industry-specific products or services. This means that your blogs enable you to attract relevant organic traffic and familiarise people with you and your business.
Summary: Patience really is a virtue, as is consistency! If your blog is well-optimised, well promoted and most importantly of all, brimming with deliciously rich content, users will find it, love it and share it!
2. Be an early adopter
Key focus: Try out new technology and see what works for you!
Now that you’re establishing yourself as a thought leader and authority within your industry, you can turn your hand to trying out some of the latest apps and social platforms. You might just find that they’re a good fit for your brand’s content.
As a food professional, part of your job is to be fully aware of the current food trends. This means knowing how to find them.
Here are just a few of the resources you might be turning to:
In 2008, The British Larder’s top social referrer was Twitter. Today however, their top social referrer is Pinterest. Pinterest didn’t even exist when the blog was launched! This really highlights how important it is to try out new technology and see what works best for you and your brand.
Summary: Keep your finger on the pulse! Seek out the newest technology and industry trends that might help boost your brand.
3. Learn how to take betters photos of food (and share them!)
Key focus: Do your food and drink justice; photography matters.
‘We eat with our eyes first.’ We’re all familiar with this expression, right? (You’re not? I don’t believe you.)
With this in mind, you need to start feeding your followers with fabulous images of mouthwateringly good-looking food and drink!
Numerous celebrity chefs have cookbooks featuring beautifully photographed dishes, but when it comes to the food photography that appears on their Instagram or Twitter feeds, they often struggle to capture the essence and desirability of their culinary creations.
Before you start merrily posting photographs of your lovely dishes or latest cocktail, make sure you’re aware of the way that they’ll appear on the social channel that you’re posting to. For example, Instagram and Twitter crop your images when you’re composing the shot, so you must allow for this with every image.
Instagram filters can be effective and fun, but the key is to turn your camera flash off. You’ll get a much better result, promise!
Generally, natural (overcast) daylight is best, and it’s free! It’s this light that professional photographers seek to recreate in a studio environment with their large softboxes and diffused light. Clever huh?
Be sure to share your photos via Instagram and Twitter using relevant hashtags. This will ensure that your photos reach as many people as possible who might be interested in your content.
Unlike other social media channels, Instagram doesn’t have a saturation point when it comes to hashtag use. In fact engagement with users is highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags.
Summary: Invest some time into skillfully presenting and photographing your creations. If you really believe that your food and skills are worth talking about, then it follows that should be putting the effort into doing them justice.
4. Get your content found in amongst all the noise
Key focus: Embrace the hashtags!
With the thousands of food professionals trying to connect with like-minded foodie enthusiasts, how on earth do you get your brand noticed in all the hubbub?
One of the best techniques is to use your social networks to full effect. This means understanding how to use hashtags. Hashtags (#) turn the words that directly follow it into a searchable link.
Why is this useful? Well, it enables you to organise your content and track discussion topics based on those keywords. So, if you wanted to post about your latest Kale creation, you would include #Kale in your post to enable others to find your content by clicking on a hashtag. They would then see all the posts that mention #Kale in real time.
You could also try #Kale #Recipe, #Burger or #Chips. Try to avoid using very broad, generic terms such as #food, as the competition on these words will simply be too high for people to see your post.
Summary: Master the art of using hashtags. Remember to think of specific words that describe your food and avoid umbrella terms!
5. Build up your subscribers
Key focus: Make it easy!
People are busy, so even if they’re interested in your content, they’re unlikely to commit to a 5 minutes sign-up process in order to subscribe to your content updates.
Email marketing remains the best way to send and share email newsletters. There are a number of companies that specialise in this field, offering customisable sign-up forms that are easy to share across social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Many of these companies offer this as a free service, so it’s certainly worth investigating as it can make your email marketing process highly effiecient and best of all, hassle-free!
Subscribers are important, so it’s really worth putting the effort into nurturing them. They’re real-life people that you don’t know, all of whom probably have hundreds of other things they could be doing with their precious time but, they’re choosing to read your content. You owe it to them to make it as easy as possible to follow your brand.
Each and every subscriber has the potential to be that like minded-foodie you’re hoping to connect with. You never know who will be the person to offer unimaginable, career-boosting opportunities; whether it be in TV, radio, cookbooks, a restaurant, a product or a professional consultancy…keep your options open!
So, there you have it. Just remember these 5 key principles: