The Top 10 Food and Drink Social Media Influencers?
27th April 2018
written by George Hughes
Food and Beverage (F&B) is big business on social media. This is reflected by F&B brands getting the most mentions on Twitter, with a 32% share of tweets. Coinciding with the food and drink social media boom is the growth of influencer marketing, which has an estimated worth of $15bn.
Marry the two together, and you have an opportunity to exponentially grow your audience while improving the bottom line. It bodes well for food and drink social media influencers, but who are these influencers making waves in the world of F&B? The Small Films team check out the top food and drink influencers to watch.
With more than one million followers, Michaela Vais is one of the biggest food bloggers around. She creates vegan recipes and shares them with fans. Since starting her food blogging, she has gone on to become an author, photographer and one of the most recognised influencers in F&B.
Sweden-based Anna Lindberg is the queen of the smoothies. Her Instagram page, memysmoothiesandlife, has amassed more than 84k followers as she creates eye-catching imagery based on delicious-looking smoothies. Anna covers everything from superfruits to easy-to-make smoothie recipes.
Sonia, from Switzerland, and Vishnu, from India, form TransAtlanticFoodies, an Instagram page that explores the best foods from around the world. So far, the duo has 30k followers, who log in to see the latest dishes that feature on the account.
Nicole Cogan built her 200k-plus following by finding tasty gluten-free desserts from around the world. She uses social media to display her latest gluten-free findings, as well as travel around the world and her own recipes. Nicole has a large following on Instagram and TikTok.
Being one of the Queen’s personal wine consultants clearly wasn’t enough for Jancis Robinson, who has gone on to build up quite the following on social media. Jancis is also a BBC producer when she’s not advising the queen or advising her 81k followers about the best wines around.
If you’re looking for versatile recipe creators, then look no further than Natalie Mortimer and Holly Erikson. Their account features a wealth of recipes that use favourites like pasta, soups, gluten-free options, meat dishes and more.
When Vogue describes you as “America’s most relevant chef”, you know you’re onto something. David Chang, food experimenter and restaurateur, has captured the hearts and minds of many with his Asian dish tutorials that have seen him build a following of 1.7 million on Instagram.
The majority of F&B influencers have mastered Instagram, which isn’t much of a surprise considering its image-led appeal. Joshua Weissman, however, has achieved a following of three million people on TikTok, a social media platform still in its infancy when it comes to F&B. The chef uploads short and snappy recipe videos that don’t take themselves too seriously.
Guili Mule records her travels, where she partakes in fine dining and plenty of coffee tasting. When she’s not jet setting around the world, Guli creates her own recipes and shares them with her 57k fans on Instagram.
The super-talented chef Gizzi Erskine has an Instagram full of her own luscious recipes, her new haunt in Margate and delicious meals she’s tasted around London and beyond. This is a page to visit if you want to see drool-worthy comfort-style food.
Named by The Telegraph as someone who is ‘shaking up the wine world’ Georgie Fenn is a wine influencer who educates her audience about anything from chablis to pinot noir.
Cooking up a storm on social media
Influencers are continuously coming up with new and fun ways to depict recipes and grow their audience. It’s no surprise that many F&B brands desire to work with them, so they can tap into their audience and increase their social media outputs.
Summer is a really important time for many FMCG brands – it’s a happy time filled with a lot of fun and excitement, good weather, holidays and late night sunsets, and is therefore a massive selling point for both businesses and consumers. Some brands depend solely on their summer campaigns and will spend the whole year working towards the months of July, August and September, where they release new products, run promotions and do big advertising online and out of home. For food and drink brands especially summer is a massive highlight of the year, it’s when all of the big food shows roll around like Taste and Lunch, and when consumers are more eager to be out and about, which unsurprisingly means they eat on-the-go a lot more. In fact, consumers are prepared to spend more on things like food in the summer because they spend more time outside and last year we saw a 5% rise in consumer spending during the summer holidays (Barclays). Because of that, the months of “summer” are some of the best times to be making video content and getting your brand as much attention and exposure as you possibly can, so that when your customers are out and about, they will spend their extra cash on your products.
Digital marketing during the summer can be very loud, fun and exciting, and your content can be as colourful and summery as you like. Using a season to help promote your brand is an easy and effective way at engaging customers and reaching new audiences And making video is an even better strategy as it can be cheaper, more versatile and a lot more engaging. Consumers already prefer watching video to static imagery and text and during seasons of fun like the summer holidays they are even more receptive to adverts that reflect the positive and happy vibes they are trying to achieve during the summer months. Here are some examples of videos your food or drink brand can make this summer…
Social Media Videos
You can go really basic with Instagram video ads like this one from Costa Coffee – Iced Coffee Range.
Really simple but yet very engaging; they’ve made the coffee and the foam look like the ocean and placed it in front of a blue “sky” background. It’s eye catching because it looks like the beach and reminds you of summer holidays, vacations and calming times spent looking at blue skies It instantly gives you a positive feeling.
These Instagram videos from Holland and Barrett work well at promoting products using a happy and summery vibe.
The great thing about a summer campaign is that they can be as extravagant or as simple as you like. They can range from a massive stunt in Waterloo Station, to a pop up shop on Oxford Street, to a simple out of home billboard or online advertisement. Either way if your food or drink brand has anything planned this summer you’d be a fool not to film it. If you’re attending an event then you should film it, if you’re handing out samples then you should film it. Even if you’re going on a work outing to the Zoo, you should film it! We did a summer campaign video last month for UpBeat Drinks for the launch of their new juicy protein water products and to promote their new re-brand. The video was a 22 second social media advert and a 6 second cut down version for YouTube pre-roll as well as a 15 second version for out of home digital display.
Filming your street sampling is one of the quickest, easiest and most effective ways at getting great customer feedback, market research and providing audiences with a first hand, genuine account of what people think of your product! We created this video for Emily Crisps last year to promote their Whole Foods front window display on Kensington High Street!
Promotional videos are a really effective way at targeting and engaging consumers and work really well across all forms of social media and online advertising. These can be as short as 6 seconds and can advertise your products online to target audiences that you really want to market to. They can be short and snappy and therefore really eye catching, like this promotional advert by McDonalds which is promoting their iced coffee range.
It’s striking and definitely takes you into a summer hypnotism. Really cheaply, you could film your cold drink bottles close up with water slipping down the side – its eye catching and reminds you of summer – great for an instagram video.
So, Boot’s isn’t exactly a food and drink brand but they do stock and promote a lot of food and drink products. This advert they’ve recently released called “Summer” created by marketing agency Ogilvy is a great example of the types of promotional video adverts you could make online. Whilst this had significant budget behind it, you can still take aspects of this video advert and utilise in your own video marketing on a much smaller budget. This is a montage of a child’s summer experience, from the school summer dresses to watering the plants in the garden. A food and drink brand could make short video content for online advertising that shows a child in the garden playing with water and mum calls them in for a snack. Or, people in a park playing frisbee and reaching for your product.
If you are exhibiting at an event this summer then 100% make sure to film it and make sure to create some promotional content around it. Exhibitions are the perfect place to get video content for your social media pages, online advertising and even for your brand film, because you have first hand footage of consumers sampling and trying your products. Event videos make great case studies and customer testimonials. Don’t be afraid to ask the visitors what they think of your product and film their reactions. It’s great to show your audience that you are out there, attending events, making the most of your summer and keeping them in the loop. Event videos work well at developing your brand identity and personality. You can live stream these events, take videos for your instagram and facebook story or you can get a professional to film it and get interviews.
Be creative this summer with video and get your brand out there, show off your fun personality and engage with as many audiences and customers as you can. Summer is a huge promotional attraction to any brand, influencer and consumer, so regardless of the budget just make sure you’ve got a lot of summer related posts and videos going up onto socials, through your stories and feeds. This way you can effectively stay at the front of people’s minds and slot into their news feeds with relevant content.
If your food or drink brand doesn’t have a great personality, you’ll leave a very bitter taste with your customers and will struggle to connect with the Millennials and Generation Z consumers of today…
1600 new food and drink products are brought to market each year in the UK (LSEG). That’s a sh*t ton of choice, and this abundance means consumers are incredibly discerning about the brands they buy into. In fact, Millennials are said to be the pickiest generation when it comes to food (NYPost) and yet at the same time the most impulsive buyers, with nearly 1 in 5 Millennials admitting to impulse shopping every day (Finder).
With 90% of Millennials spending time online every day (Google), it’s never been more important for brands to send out the right message and connect with audiences in the digital space.
The proliferation of social media means that consumers have endless access to information, making them more culturally aware. In the last couple of years, people’s attitudes to food and drink has radically changed, particularly in western countries; Millennials and Generation Z has totally redefined the FMCG industry. In fact, 25% of teens aged 15-17 say they worry about staying healthy, and another 49% agree that drinking soda is unhealthy (Mintel). And Millennials are far more attracted to personalisation, with 77% thinking that it makes a food brand more attractive (Askatest).
They aren’t just concerned with the consumption of food; however, with so many Millennials spending a lot more time on social media and having their lives on display, the image and identity of the food they consume is extremely important and acts as an extension of their own personality (Kantarmedia). Now the phrase “How to Cook This” is the most searched on Youtube, and on Instagram, over 3 million posts contain the hashtag #avocado (Onebrandmagic). Incredibly 1 in 4 Millennials and Gen Z share food images and search for food products every day (PSL). According to a study by Maru/Matchbox, 69 percent of millennials take a photo or a video of their food before eating.
Whether you’re a restaurant, smoothie or chocolate bar, your brand’s identity on-and-offline is extremely important. Your consumers today will resonate more with the brands that seem to share their values and lifestyles, represent what they do or want to represent, are building personal connections through relatable and engaging content, and provide them with a more individual experience. Brands like Cadbury show us that you don’t need to be an all plant-based and organic product to do this; instead, you need to connect with them, show them your brand’s personality, and resonate with them on an emotional level. Cadbury recently changed its brand’s personality from being loud and quirky to being more family-led and down-to-earth. This was specifically to “reconnect with consumers” (The Drum), and their recent adverts have been very down-to-earth and relatable to a large UK audience of different ages, gender and status.
Cadbury Inventor – Go Madbury UK
Cadbury – Mum’s Birthday
Cadbury – Coast
Creating video content can be one of the most effective ways to showcase your brand’s personality, especially online, and it’s why many food and drink brands decide to create brand films. A brand film gives the audience an instant deep dive into your brand’s personality, background, and story. It gives the audience something to instantly connect and engage with, making your brand a lot more relatable. It will typically be the first thing a customer sees and help inspire and formulate a positive first impression.
Ugly Drinks exploded onto the UK market last year with this killer brand film which encompasses their personality very well. They’re bold, they’re disruptive, and they have a problem with sugar. Here’s a quote from an interview with the Founder of Ugly Drinks “Our fans love to be seen with the cans, they buy our merch from the website, and they stick our stickers everywhere!” (Business Advice).
Ugly Drinks – It’s Time for the Ugly Truth
Your brand’s personality is going to be what sets you aside from all the other food and drink businesses out there, and it is going to be your greatest asset when building loyal customers. That’s why focusing attention on building a brand personality online through platforms like Instagram, your website and Youtube has become so important. They help you connect with your customers, spread a message and help to build a loyal following. Once you achieve that loyal tribe, it will be easier for your brand to tackle larger demographics. Brands like McDonald’s have always been nailing this part of their marketing and are now providing a relatable personality to millions of customers. It works so well for them because they know who their customers are, what their customers want to see from them, and why their customers buy their products.
In this advert by McDonald’s, “More in Common”, we can see how they connect with multiple demographics based on multiple personalities. This, in turn, showcases McDonald’s as being inclusive, down-to-earth, and enjoyable for everyone.
McDonald’s – More in Common
Consumers today want to see the brand behind the product, they want to see your personality, and they want you to speak to them as individuals. You can read our other blogs to find out how to connect with your customers online, and best spread your brand’s personality through video.
With Christmas now a distant memory and January finally over, food and drink brands need to focus on their subsequent marketing campaigns, and there are many events and public holidays coming up this spring that food and drink brands can take advantage of.
Recent years have seen tremendous growth in the participation of Veganuary and Dry January. So it’s no surprise that it was a hugely popular time for marketing teams of food and drink brands across the UK. So with spring upon us, what special days are coming up that scream for food and drink video content?
There are a lot of great dates coming up, like St Patrick’s Day, Easter, and the period building up to Easter like Pancake day and Mother’s Eay. But, it doesn’t just have to be national holidays that inform your video marketing choices; it can also be the changing seasons and the weather.
Walkers did a mini video on YouTube called “Walkers does Spring” with the slogan “Our crisps are hard to bleat this spring.” This type of video is easy to make and easy to market across all online platforms.
Arla created this GIF on Facebook titled “It may not feel like it, but today is the first official day of spring! Who’s looking forward to fresh spring flowers and warmer days?”
It may not feel like it, but today is the first official day of spring! Who’s looking forward to fresh spring flowers and warmer days? #Arla
Creating video content focused on a specific day of the calendar year can be a great way to gain positive exposure for your brand, especially if you run them as video advertisements on social media and target audiences engaging with similar content.
Hellman’s did a short and simple recipe video for Pancake Day last year, which they marketed via Facebook. The mayonnaise is barely used or referenced, but it is branded, and you can tell that it’s a Hellman’s video.
Towering Japanese Fluffy Pancakes; served with crème fraîche, crispy bacon and lashings of maple syrup.
Waitrose created a recipe video on Facebook that shows pancakes being made three ways. It’s a really simple video that has no reference to Waitrose products or services, but it’s engaging, relevant and entertaining, so their audience can take something positive away from it, which overall adds value to Waitrose.
Enjoy these delicious topping ideas for Pancake Day! Which one is your favourite; mango mojito, maple butter and crispy pancetta or chocolate, banana and hazelnut?Read the recipe: http://bit.ly/2EyGZB1
Marks and Spencer held a flower arrangement event last year for Mother’s Day, which they filmed and uploaded onto their YouTube channel.
Easter is perhaps the best spring holiday for food or drink brands to take advantage of because it spreads a positive message, is widely celebrated and, is typically a happy, warm and colourful time of the year. Similar to the Waitrose recipe video, you can create Easter-related recipe videos like this one by Lurpak.
Roasted until golden and crispy, Whole Roasted Sea Bream is not your ordinary lunch. Recipe: http://bit.ly/2GjX24j #SeizeTheLongWeekend
Or, like Marks & Spencers, you could hold an Easter-related event with either your company or customers like an exclusive Easter snack hunt. Film the event and share it with your customers and audiences online to spread a positive and fun message about your brand.
Your videos don’t have to have such a strong reference to holidays or events; it can be as simple as adding the colour yellow or having some daffodils and tulips in the video. Typically, the audience will build their own connection to the event as long as you give them a nudge in the right direction.
Asda created this video advert last year for Easter as part of their “Meal Under £2.50 a Head” (which is a series of videos they run on YouTube). There is no actual reference or connection to Easter during the video except for the dancing daffodil in the middle of the table. Yet the video is effective at capturing people’s attention when thinking about Easter.
There are a lot of great videos food and drink brands can be making this Spring season. Using an event like Pancake Day, Easter or Mother’s Day to aid your monthly marketing campaigns is simple, effective and hugely rewarding. It’s one of the fastest ways to drive organic engagement to your brand, get a great return on investments and reach wider audiences during an exciting and busy period. Think about the types of videos you could make and what your audience would like to see from your brand this spring.
How Food and Drink Brands Can Use Online Video in 2019
The food and drink industry is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the UK contributing £28.8bn to the economy and generating £22bn in export sales (FDF). In recent years we have seen new brands popping up left, right and centre, food networks dominating the online space and “How To Cook That” becoming one of the most searched phrases on Youtube. (OneSpot)
In 2019 food and drink brands should look enthusiastically to content marketing, and choose carefully the best avenues to take in order to achieve sales and growth. Amongst the many marketing opportunities available to food and drink brands, online video is consistently showing the best results and helping propel new brands into the spotlight. We’ve seen food channels like Twisted, Tasty and Tastemade take the industry by storm with their recipe videos. Also, with the popularity of online platforms like Youtube, Facebook and Instagram, it’s never been easier for brands to share content and spread their messages.
So, what are the best ways a food and drink brand can use video online?
The great thing about online advertising is that it’s affordable, it takes advantage of the internet’s wide and global reach and can be accurately targeted when engaging customers and audience. According to Forbes, because of the visual nature, 80% of users can recall a video ad they’ve seen in the past 30 days. (Forbes)
Instagram and Facebook allow you to create sponsored or promoted video ads and carousels that can be targeted to only appear on specific audience’s news feed. These adverts can be targeted by demographics, geographical region, interests, job roles and lifestyles. So, you can produce a video that is specifically made, for example, for females above the age of 50 who work in London, and are interested in fine dining. You can then target these females with a promotional advert for a competition to win a fine dining experience at your restaurant.
Youtube offers a similar experience where you can host a “pre-roll” advert before a video and an “in-video” advert during the video. These adverts have the opportunity of being highly targeted as you can choose the best Youtube Channels to advertise on to suit your company’s products. For example, Asda do pre-roll adverts that run before popular food Vlogs, which look like this.
It’s short, simple and resonates with the audience of foodies as it’s about food and has a similar look to a recipe video. This type of advert maximises on engagement as it’s quick and relates to the audience’s interests.
Simply Cook have a banner ad at the top of a Delish recipe blog. It’s bold and engaging, with clear branding that fits seamlessly across the overall site’s style.
Branded content is regular videos for social media channels churned out daily or weekly, that promote a brand’s products, personality and encourages consistent engagement from their customers.
You can use Youtube to create long form branded video content like recipe videos, videos of your company like “Meet the Team”, “Meet the Chefs” and “Inside the Kitchen”, or cooking shows. Videos like this highlight your company’s personality and gives your audience something insightful or useful to take away. It’s one of the best ways to drive engagement with your brand.
Mindful Chef filled us in on what they had been doing over the Christmas period, collecting food from customers and audiences to give to the homeless.
And Absolut Vodka have done videos on their Youtube channel showing how to create alcoholic cocktails like this one.
Longer form Youtube videos can be easily shortened and included in your social media feeds like Facebook and Instagram Stories. This offers people eye-catching and bite sized content.
These videos are effective at engaging audiences during their on-the-go activities, whether on their lunch, at the gym or on a train, it encourages them to stop and watch what you are up to because it’s exciting.
And seriously think about using Facebook or Instagram Live for highly dynamic videos that will really engage your followers. You can film events, talk shows that you host, something that’s happening in your company or a behind the scenes of a shoot. Because it’s live, people will stop and take notice.
Collaboration videos are a great way for food and drink brands to come together and promote a like minded message. If you’re a cereal brand you can collaborate with a milk brand to create different breakfast recipe ideas. Or, both brands could create a video to promote a trendy activity like Veganuary. You can also collaborate with like minded food bloggers and vloggers to promote your brand. Send them your products to feature on one of their videos and receive direct engagement from their loyal fans.
Food and drink brands can also do paid partnerships and collaboration videos online with food channels like Tasty and have products featured in aTasty recipe video on social media. Tasty recently did one on Instagram with Ciroc.
Influencer Video Marketing
This is a great way for food and drink brands to market their products. Influencer video marketing has become extremely popular in the last couple years. Because of the increasing popularity of social media, we have seen the proliferation of“influential people”, a person with a wide or large network of fans and followers. We have “Public Figures” on Instagram, famous Vloggers on Youtube, bloggers who have turned into celebrities and celebrities in the “traditional sense” like TV chefs. If you can get Kim Kardashian to upload a picture of your product on her Instagram, you have instantly hit 1 million customers. It offers you reach, it has strong promotional value and advertises your products direct to your ideal customers. Just be ready to pay as these guys don’t come cheap!
The Goat Agency used their influencer network to promoteGraze the healthy snacking brand. They selected female influencers with a large female following in the UK and got them to post videos of the Graze products with a promotional code on their Instagram stories.
There are also micro-influencers that won’t have the same 4M followers that a Kardashian has but they do have a solid 10K of loyal fans and followers. This could offer you a better return on your investment as you have more choice and you could spread the sponsorship across a different number of relevant influencers. If you’re a vegan milk brand who wants to break into the Australian market, you could send your products to a vegan lifestyle Vlogger in Australia.
Once you’ve mastered all those different forms of online video you can then begin to tie it all together and create one big multichannel campaign. These work extremely well in the lead up to an event or when promoting a new product or trend. For example, Veganuary is upon us and it happens every year.Greggs just launched their Vegan Sausage roll and promoted it online with a video that looked very similar to the IPhone advert.
For a whole month you can create a multichannel campaign of online videos, advertisements and events that all relate and compliment each other. You can post vegan recipe videos on youtube, post short versions of the recipe videos on social media, run online advertisements of the vegan products, and send out promotional videos of your products – all with the same look and feel. Finally, you hold pop ups around town or in supermarkets allowing the public to taste your product. This all ties together to create one big multichannel campaign that can receive a lot of audience engagement.
Over Christmas, Baileys spent 4.3M on a multichannel campaign called “It’s Not Christmas Without You” comprising of a TV ad, Outdoor ads, social media content and Pop up stalls, samplings and events in shopping centres. (The Grocer)
There are a lot a different ways food and drink brands can use video online but these are some of the ones that will really help push your brand into the limelight in 2019. And, as the number of people watching videos online only continues to grow, with video predicted to make up to 80% of all global traffic by 2019. (Tubular Insights) Why wouldn’t you be looking to creating video this year? Give some of these a go and really spice up your food and drink marketing this year with some awesome video content.
Food glorious food.. Lots of us love eating it, most of us buy it, some of us like cooking it – and we’re all fascinated by it to one degree or another. It’s no surprise then that the food and drink industry is the biggest manufacturer in the UK today and contributes over 28 billion pounds to the UK economy each year. (BDO).
Operating in a landscape of fast-changing technologies and increasingly tech-savvy, online-focused consumers, food and drink companies are now having to take a lot on board when considering how best to promote their brands and reach their target markets. A 30 second ‘buy this product’ TV spot supported by some billboard and press advertising no longer cuts the mustard.
Amongst the challenges and uncertainty, one thing is becoming clear, and that is that video as a marketing tool is increasingly becoming unbeatable for generating reach and engagement in the food industry. Video content has been shown to produce the highest levels of engagement of all advertising formats and views of food-related content on YouTube are increasing 170% year on year (Tubular Insights). Of course, the big global food and drink brands are ahead of the pack with video budgets and strategy, but small brands and start-ups also need to consider video as an essential part of their content marketing efforts in order to be competitive.
And it’s not all food porn and recipe videos. Here are some other great examples of the types of video food and drinks brands are currently producing:
Storytelling/connecting with an audience
Chipotle Mexican Grill – A Love Story.
This sweet, emotion provoking animated short emphasises the brand’s core messages of sustainability and food with integrity, whilst being an entertaining storytelling film in its own right.
Educating/informing on health benefits/ingredients Graze – An introduction to protein.
For a company producing ‘healthy’ alternatives in the snack market, Graze need to share educational information about health and nutrition and show that they have expertise in the market.
Recruitment/Communicating behind the scenes company culture Innocent.
Demonstrating its fun, quirky, independent vibe and customer focus, this film effectively works as a recruitment tool and a way of reinforcing Innocent’s brand values to a wider audience.
‘About us’ video Hello Fresh. A simple but effective introduction to the company’s service and values.
Partnering with influencers/branded content– Captain Morgan Rum partnered with target market influencer, grime star Lady Leshurr on its #livelikeacaptain campaign, promoting its brand through a music video about drinking responsibly.
Demonstrating brand transparency/humour. Absolut Vodka killed two marketing birds with one stone in this amusing video featuring naked Swedish men demonstrating the Absolut Vodka production process – #vodkawithnothingtohide
With a speeded up pastiche of a chef plating up Oreo thins in a fancy restaurant style, this video succeeds in grabbing the attention and getting its message across in the blink of an eye – perfect for bumper ads and mobile marketing. Here is a selection of 20 of the best bumper ads.
Small Films’ founder George Hughes spent 15 years producing and directing content for TV broadcast including serious documentary and food and cookery content. For more information about how Small Films can help your food or drink brand with different types of engaging video content, contact us here.
Small Films are food videographers. By combining strategic minds with creative flair we create powerful stories with video that deeply resonate with audiences, supporting our clients to achieve their ambitions in growing their organisation, brand or campaign.