December 10, 2013
Let me start this post with a confession that I am a big foodie! It’s not like I eat a lot but I have a good sense when it comes to food and I can actually differentiate between good quality food and food that looks nice but doesn’t excite me.
I recently got invitations for three different bloggers’meet-ups (all from food brands) and I attended two of them and intentionally declined the invite to one of them. In this post, I will discuss what I have learned from these bloggers meetups and what they can do to take their brand a step further.
Why I declined one invite?
As I said earlier, I skipped one event because they wanted me to fill out a Google doc form in which they asked me some questions that are considered as private, at least for any professional blogger. Ethically, it is not acceptable to ask questions about my GA data unless you need to advertise on my website.
When you are calling bloggers to a meetup, try not to force them to write about you and you will witness that they will do it automatically. Try to design your event in such a way that encourages them to talk about you.
Always remember not to ask me (or any other blogger) private questions because that will just cause me to start hating you.
Bloggers’ Meetup by Pizza Hut
Thanks to @SadiyaAzhar for the picture
Even though the Facebook page of Pizza Hut was poorly managed and not up to the mark, the event was pulled off very well. I really appreciate the effort the team at Pizza Hut put in to gather bloggers and discuss how they can become the most popular pizza place, especially when they are not the only pizza parlor anymore in K-town and they face a lot of competition.
The only thing I found lacking in the Pizza Hut event was powerful content. I mean they should have included a little more fun element to it instead of the marketing talk only.
But, overall I will consider it as an above average event and I really would love to join more events organized by them.
Bloggers’ Meetup by Foodpanda
I think the event was planned in a bit of a hurry and was last minute ,which is why many bloggers weren’t able to make it but content wise they were organized and the food was delicious .
Thank you Foodpanda.pk for such a quick yet interesting event and yes the pizzas were awesome.
So, is that it?
Obviously not! These brands invest on these bloggers’ meetups for branding purposes and to reach out to a wider audience but as a professional digital marketer there was a lot for me to learn and think about this.
While driving back to home from the last bloggers’ meetup, I asked myself, “What would be my ideal digital marketing plan to expand my market reach and make a reputed name if I was one of these brands?”
My Digital Marketing Plan for a Food Brand
If I was the owner or responsible for branding of a food brand, I would have done the following things to attract a wider audience and engage them in a way that positive word about the brand spreads in order for effective coverage.
I am talking about no rocket science here but still I see many brands that have no idea of how to use a blog and how powerful this tool is in attracting prospective customers.
You need a blog on your website, but having a WP blog installed on your website is not enough and you need to have valuable content on your website from time to time. Just updating GIF images on your blog from time to time simply doesn’t do the trick.
Try to make your blog more engaging by updating it not only with offers and events your brand is up to, but also with general information that encourages the visitors to keep coming back to your blog. You can do a lot with your blog like updating recipes, how to cook, inviting food bloggers to write on your blog and more. When it comes to blogging, let your creative side shine.
When it comes to food, I personally like Picky Palate as they always have something new that caters my eye balls.
I really like the idea of inviting bloggers to discuss the brand in detail, share the plans and ideas to get better at things, and provide better services to the target audience but after attending quite a few bloggers’ meetups, here are the following things I think are important to consider:
- When calling out bloggers both quality and quantity matters.
- Prepare the event outline focusing on solid content about what you want to deliver instead of talking about the marketing techniques only.
- Event is incomplete without the word “FUN” so it is important to add the fun element to your event.
- Do not ask them to write about you but make sure your content is powerful enough to excite them and they will naturally talk about you.
- Do not measure the ROI in only links and tweets, these meetups are more than just that!
- A bloggers’ event is actually merging offline marketing tactic with online so try to have a good internet connection at your place so that they can talk about your offline efforts on digital mediums.
- Have coverage of the event through photographs and videos, so when a blogger needs it to post it on his blog it is readily available.
There may be more things that one should keep in mind but these are some that I have learned after attending few meetups.
You don’t always need a celebrity, public figure or an icon to be your brand ambassador but you can even choose the common people and pick few of them to become your brand’s ambassador and they will put in more effort.
Try to pick the people who are very active on social media platforms and whose opinions are trusted by others. Then give them some incentives like discounts on food and similar stuff. After some time you’ll see results, they will automatically talk about you in public, among friends and write about you online.
Your celebrity may help you catch your audience’s attention offline but when it comes to food, people make their decisions on basis of reviews and public opinions that are usually available online. Brand ambassadors from the common people will help you generate positive online reviews which later can help you build your positive name within the target market and increase your sales.
This is very powerful link that many food brands are missing, having a social media account is different and using is properly is very different. If I was having a food brand I would have used social media for multiple different ways.
- It is ideal to use social media as a customer service center, which means you have to be very quick in responding to people’s queries online.
- It is also powerful if I use social media to promote my product/service and make offers available.
- It is also a great medium to interact and engage with your target audience.
- If you have any special deal or offer lined up you can reach out to a wider audience by using paid social media ads.
Once, your social media platform becomes interactive and engaging you will see your organic traffic flow and word of mouth will increase.
This space has less traffic and not many competitors are doing this so I would highly suggest any brand to invest on video channels. Here I mean series of videos and not like a single video of recipe. Ideally, the channel I am talking about is more like IISuperWomenII or ChikiPedia.
If your content will be powerful you will see that more and more people in your target audience will not only check and like your video contents but will also share it with their circles, this way your market reach will expand.
While creating video content, here are the following guidelines to consider:
- Include the FUN element in it, because no one likes to listen to 5 minute videos that talk about how to make chocolate cookies.
- Do not drag the video or else people might lose interest.
- Don’t force but do request them to subscribe to your channels.
- Make a schedule and strictly follow it so that people know when the new video will be updated.
- Try to craft the new videos based on public requests and responses.
- Consider negative comments as important but don’t think that you have to make every person happy!
Obviously every industry is different so try to look in to your videos and create new videos accordingly.
Digital Marketing is a long term game so you have to be consistent in your efforts, you should not stop creating videos or blogging just because it didn’t work once. Try to plan a three month digital marketing plan and see how it goes. Then on basis of your data and stats try to create the next three month marketing plan.
There are many other things you can do to grow the community and reach but what I have discussed are the few innovative ideas that do not cost much and offer greater return on investment.
Have you ever tried any of the tactics that I discussed? Please share your experiences in the comment section.