While marketing has been around for a long time, influencer marketing is a relatively recent phenomenon. At least in its current, highly organised form, that is. Increasingly popular across the social media universe, this concept, which is hard to ignore, is becoming more prevalent in the good old marketing mix. The food industry, among others, can benefit greatly from this new advertising tool.

Although in its relative infancy, influencer marketing has already proved its worth:

  • 73% of Canadians have already changed their opinion about a product because of an influencer campaign.
  • 73% have already bought a product following an influencer campaign.

With this in mind, it would be unwise to overlook this marketing approach. What’s more, for the experience with content creators to be positive and conclusive, it’s important to go about it the right way and with all the facts.

1. Think first, then think some more

In the expression "influencer marketing", there's the word "marketing". As with any marketing tool, we strongly advise you to think carefully before taking the plunge. Your content creation strategy must be in line with your brand image, products, audience and values, among others. It must also help you reach your targets.

2. Determine the campaign type

There are two main approaches to content creation: paid campaigns and product/service exchanges.

In a paid campaign, a business relationship is established with the influencer. The agreement must be based on well-defined rules and expectations. With the exchange formula (commonly known as gifting), you “gift” your products to one or more hand-picked influencers in the hope that they will like and share positive content that will raise the profile of your company or product. This solution not only provides low-cost visibility, but also allows products to be tested with a targeted audience. This is one of the reasons why gifting campaigns are particularly well suited to food products.

Good to know: whatever the way you work, there is a legal framework to respect.

3. Combine influencer types

Macro or micro-influencer? If you opt for a macro-influencer, you're mainly aiming to increase your visibility. With a micro-influencer, on the other hand, you're banking on a less impressive number of subscribers, but focusing on engagement and the closeness of the creator to their audience. The ideal campaign is to combine the two types of influencers to optimize results.

Never underestimate the contribution of your own community, or what is commonly known as UGC (user generated content). It is essential to know your audience well, but also to ensure solid community management (on your part and on the part of the content creator). Incidentally, reposting also helps to foster brand loyalty and the desire to be part of a community.

4. Make good choices

It's not always easy to choose an authentic and passionate content creator who will guarantee you quality content. When selecting an influencer, it's essential to remember the objectives you want to achieve with this campaign. When you have a few influencers in your sights and you want to validate the interest of the various communities, you can opt to introduce different promotional codes. The data obtained in this way will enable you to assess the impact of the content creator you have chosen and readjust your aim if necessary.

5. Establish solid, open relationships

Serious content creators want to work with like-minded companies to ensure that they are conveying a consistent message, as much for themselves as for their audience. In this respect, it's important to have confidence in the content creators you work with. Sometimes we focus a little too much on the key message and tend to overlook the creator and their essence. You need to allow the content creators to design their own message in a language and style that reflects them. Otherwise, what's the point?

What's more, by offering content that reflects their personality, influencers are more likely to deliver hard-hitting messages that are likely to engage their audience... and yours.

When it comes to influencer marketing, one thing is clear: content creators now play a major role in campaign success (or failure). They no longer focus solely on the number of subscribers, but rather on engagement, i.e. interaction with a publication or advertisement. All this is changing very quickly. New creators are appearing, certain platforms are making a name for themselves, and certain styles of content are standing out (humour is working particularly well right now). So it’s in all our interests to stay on top of industry trends.

As a company, it’s to your advantage to remain active on all platforms. By reusing generated content, re-sharing publications and interacting with your community, you’ll not only be promoting a 360° strategy and greater consistency, but you’ll also be in the algorithm’s good graces.