The New Face of Influencer Marketing

It’s no secret that social media has changed a lot over the last few years, and that means social media in the food space has changed a lot too. Light and bright feeds with aesthetically pleasing photos of food don’t cut it anymore. People (and the algorithms) want pictures of ingredients bathed in warm natural light, videos edited with jump cuts so fast they give you whiplash, ASMR of sizzling/chopping/whisking sounds, and of course, everything has to be set to an ultra trendy pop song. But most importantly, people are more interested in getting to know the face behind the feed now more than ever. Content might be king, but personality is queen. 

Remember when the internet used to be a place where you didn’t share any personal information, you always used a screen name, and you definitely didn’t show your face? You can forget all that in 2022. Posting your life online isn’t taboo anymore. In fact, it’s highly encouraged if you want a successful career in social media. Let’s be real, the food influencer scene is heavily saturated these days. The one thing that’s going to set you apart is YOU. 

Putting a face to your social channels not only builds brand recognition, but it also builds trust and authority with your audience (not to mention your own self-confidence!). Showing your face, along with sharing personal stories, makes you relatable. The more relatable you are, the more people are going to engage with your content and keep coming back for more. As Entrepreneur says, “Consumers prefer engaging with another person instead of a completely abstract entity. They will be loyal to someone that’s accessible, relatable and inspirational.”

The majority of credit goes to TikTok for catapulting the shift from picture-perfect feeds to raw, candid content. Neoreach puts it simply: “Instagram sells a dream, while TikTok breeds authenticity. People are super open about both their triumphs and their struggles, which helps breed trust between creators and audiences, thus helping brands that decide to partner with these influencers.”

So how do you get more personal with your content as a food creator?
1. Rethink your authority

If you’ve been relying on your content to prove your brand’s value, consider talking about yourself as the authority and your content as evidence of your skills and experience. For example, it requires training, testing, and testing again to get to a recipe you know will work for your followers and taste delicious. Instead of prioritizing the recipe in your content, talk about all that went into its development — talk about your process and why you know this will be the best version of the dish they’ve ever tried.

 

2. Be authentic

Being an influencer is hard, but being an influencer who’s pretending to be someone else is even harder. Just be yourself! Did you cook something that didn’t turn out as planned? Post about it! Did you just land your first big brand deal? Let your audience celebrate with you! Cook things you actually want to eat! Be strategic with your content, don’t partner with brands that don’t align with your content pillars, and don’t be afraid to let your brand grow with you.

3. Build a community

Getting to know your audience, working to understand their problems (and offering them solutions), and inspiring them to achieve their goals is the secret to creating a loyal community of highly engaged followers. Take them with you as you plan out your content (ask them what they’d like to see). Take them into your kitchen and cook with them in real time, answering their questions as you go. Encourage them to “ask you anything” on your stories. Be there for them, and they’ll be there for you!

4. Tell a story

You know how people complain about that often personal,  5-paragraph essay that sometimes precedes a recipe post on a food blog? Well, it turns out people do actually want that story, they just want it presented in a more digestible way — otherwise known as video! Tell that story in a video, while you’re cooking, and watch the likes rise. Use that story to bring your caption to life and spark conversation, and watch your comments grow. Story connects us to each other and personalizes your brand.

Help cultivate your personal brand by showing up and putting your best face forward. Literally. Allowing your community to fall in love with your authentic self is a sure-fire way to set yourself up for success.

Help cultivate your personal brand by showing up and putting your best face forward. Literally. Allowing your community to fall in love with your authentic self is a sure-fire way to set yourself up for success.

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