Foodies100 is the UK’s largest community of food bloggers and social media influencers. Since launching in 2011, we have worked on thousands of brand campaigns, from restaurant reviews to recipe campaigns and competitions.
Over that time, we’ve learned a lot about what influencers look for in brand partnerships. So today we are sharing some top tips for PR and marketing pros looking to build successful relationships with top UK food bloggers.
Set a realistic budget.
Creating high quality food content is time-consuming, and requires a lot of skill. Top food bloggers don’t just need to be great cooks; they also need to be able to explain recipes clearly, style food attractively AND capture great photography. So you should always plan for food content to be more expensive than other types of content.
Send Products with Care
Most bloggers will expect to use a product before reviewing it. And ideally they’d like to see it in one piece.
I honestly cannot count the number of times I’ve seen Easter Eggs sent in flimsy boxes, crisps and biscuits packaged in padded envelopes and chilled fresh meat left on a blogger’s doorstep all day.
Perhaps consider whether bloggers can source the product themselves locally, OR plan for proper packaging that ensures they won’t be struggling to make a recipe from a packet of crumbs.
Send Two Products (at least)
Related to the above tip – consider sending 2 of a product. This means the blogger has one product to cook with, and another to use in photography. You want your branding to look at its very best, right?
Recipes, Recipes, Recipes
By and large, food bloggers want to work on content that delights their readers and brings in the biggest possible audience. For many of the recipe-focused blogs, this means content with recipes.
With this in mind, consider whether your campaign lends itself to including or featuring a recipe – either one devised by the brand, or from the blogger.
If you are definitely NOT going to feature recipes, potentially consider working with lifestyle or family bloggers, who are more likely to feature product news and reviews. HIBS100 and Tots100 are great resources to find these bloggers (and of course, you can contact and identify influencers in all niches using Fleamail).
Make Competitions Pay
These days, running a competition isn’t necessarily something bloggers will be happy to do for free. Running and promoting a competition takes time. So don’t be surprised if a blogger asks for a sponsored post fee or a prize to keep for themselves as a thanks for running your promotion.
Also, if a blogger is running a competition, don’t send the prize to the blogger and expect them to send it to the winner. Postage is expensive and nobody wants to waste their lunch hour queueing at the Post Office.
Just because you pay an influencer to create a recipe and share it on their blog doesn’t mean you own that recipe. In fact, by default, copyright of the recipe remains with the publisher/blogger.
Many bloggers will be thrilled if you share their Facebook video, or promote their blog post in your newsletter. But you can’t simply lift an entire recipe and publish it on your brand Instagram or website.
If you’re likely to want to use blogger photography, video or recipes in other settings, then ensure you negotiate separately. This can be done before or after the recipe is created. If you want to purchase all-rights to content, then do expect to pay double the original fee (at least).
Use Less Packaging
We understand that products need to be well packaged to reach influencers safely (see above). But so often we see product being sent in packaging that is non-recyclable, non-biodegradable and hugely wasteful. When you’re receiving multiple deliveries per week, it’s nice to know that you’re able to dispose of the leftovers responsibly.
Don’t Surprise Us!
Everyone loves surprises, but if you do send an influencer an unsolicited item, then there are two things to remember.
First, include a compliment slip so the influencer knows who sent the item (and how to hashtag it if they share an image on social). And second, remember that the influencer isn’t obliged to offer any coverage of something they never asked for.
Personalise your Approach
One of the most consistent comments we hear from influencers is how much they appreciate it when someone takes the time to read their blog, know their name, and understand the sort of food they write about.
You’d be surprised (we hope) how often vegetarian blogs are pitched meat-based products, or allergy based blogs are offered conventional baked products. At the very least, learn someone’s name, and take a look at their most recent blog and social posts before you pitch them.
Food bloggers are an extremely professional community, and are usually very aware of the latest ASA, OFT and other requirements. Don’t ask bloggers to skip disclosing a payment or commercial relationship. Don’t ask for content to be shared that breaches the rules of a social network.
Top food bloggers are expert at creating engaging, high quality content – and they can do that easily while remaining inside the law. And on the right side of their followers!
What would you add to this list.