Have you ever received a meal at a restaurant that practically demanded you photograph it before digging in?
Since the beginning of time, food and beverage has been deeply ingrained in human society’s social circles. In many cultures, food represents togetherness, family, and love. With sharing food being an important part of various global traditions, it's no surprise that the internet developed its own culture of sharing food through recipes, photos and videos.
Social media platforms provide food and beverage brands with endless opportunities to scale their growth and revenue with ambassador marketing. With #food compiling over 466 million posts on Instagram, there's no shortage of content creators chomping at the bit to share the food they love - pun intended.
Most often food and beverage (F&B) ambassadors fall under the umbrella category of “lifestyle” social media stars. These overlap with other categories like nutrition, beauty, photography, fitness and even fashion, making a brand very possible.
Brands that fall directly under the F&B umbrella should be leveraging their communities to generate social buzz to bring maximum brand awareness. However, not all ambassadors you come across will be the perfect fit for your F&B brand.
Here are 4 ways you can identify the perfect F&B ambassador for your brand.
1. Define the Goals You Want Your Ambassador to Achieve
Brand ambassadors aren't mind readers. You need to be clear on your goals in order for your community to achieve them.
There are numerous ways you can utilise ambassador marketing so it’s up to you, as the brand, to decide what you would like your ambassadors to achieve. Maybe you only want to raise brand awareness and not necessarily generate sales through your ambassadors? Perhaps sales and revenue is your only end goal, or you just want a friendly face leaving great reviews about your products.
Whatever your goal, it’s important to workshop it, refine it and define it.
Be mindful of your brand ethos when establishing your ambassador marketing strategy and desired outcomes. This will ensure you effectively and efficiently recruit people to your ambassador program who align with the nature of your brand.
If this step is neglected, you may end up with a community of ambassadors who don’t align with your brand values. The message portrayed by your ambassadors may not suit your brand voice. This inconsistency may leave future customers, followers and fans confused and result in lower levels of engagement.
2. Brainstorm Ambassador Personas
You're likely well aware of ideal customer personas. But have you created the ideal ambassador persona? Choosing who you want to represent your brand will impact the types of buyers your ambassador marketing campaigns reach.
After identifying the goals you want to achieve with an ambassador marketing campaign, arrange a few brainstorming sessions where you define a few ambassador personas. These are fictional people who perfectly resemble your ideal brand ambassador.
We suggest defining what they look like, the kind of profile picture they might use, what kind of photographs they post, the kind of captions they write and most importantly what their interests and demographic are. For example, your ideal brand ambassador persona might look like this:
29, female finance professional with an interest in plant-based food
Posts high quality images 2-3 times a week
800-4000 Instagram followers
Has self taught styling skills and enjoys a glass of prosecco
Regularly engages with her audience and has done collaborations with brands in the past
3. Identify if the Ambassador's Audience Aligns With Yours
Even if your ambassador aligns with your brand's vision, their audience may follow them for other reasons. Perhaps Lily posts about plant-based food at times, but her followers are primarily made up of people who are interested in her financial knowledge or styling tips. As an F&B brand, she may match your ambassador persona, but still not be the best fit.
At the end of the day, your ambassadors are the voice of your brand. Therefore, they need to be speaking to future customers- or at least people who may be inclined to try your product one day.
Defining your ambassador personas in Step 2 helps you to filter out people who don’t align with your brand audience. Step 3 helps to refine that process even further.
But why are we eliminating people? Shouldn't we be spreading your brand to as many people as possible?
It may seem counterintuitive to filter people out. Many people think that the more followers you have on Instagram the more successful your brand is. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Quality of leads trumps quantity of leads. Follower numbers don’t guarantee success.
Be specific. It’s better to ensure your brand is being put in front of people who align with your ethos and have a higher chance of converting.
4. Identify Your Customers, Followers & Fans and Turn Them Into Your Ambassadors
There's no better ambassador than someone who already loves and recommends your products. The perfect ambassador is already posting reviews, sharing your products with their friends and family, and following your updates without incentive. They are creating social buzz for your brand before even being asked.
Recruiting your most valuable consumers and fans offers you a way to have more control over the content they create. It rewards your followers for their loyalty and advocacy while giving you the chance to keep their content coming long-term.
Try searching through tags for your brand on social media and checking reviews to find people who are already excited about your brand.
Bonus Tips to Get the Most From Your Ambassador Community
- Experiment with sponsoring or boosting your ambassador’s content. This is a big one, especially for your huge YouTube vloggers and rising TikTok stars. in their early experimental phase of using TikTok to boost their ambassadors’ content
- Generate trustworthy reviews through your ambassadors. Everyone loves a good review. And most consumers don’t buy a product without a strong review to back it up. Now think about your community all sharing positivity around your brand; that kind of news will spread like wildfire.
- Hashtag those #hashtags! It was recently announced that the recommended amount of hashtags is no more than 1-3 extremely relevant hashtags per social media post. Narrow down your tags to find the ones that generate the most engagement. Your ambassadors can share your hashtags on every social post and potentially create a hashtag trend.
Where To Next?
If you're looking to start or revamp your ambassador marketing strategy and want guidance from a team of professionals who specialise in ambassador marketing, then drop us a line!
Our ambassador marketing platform is the perfect place to set up and manage an ambassador marketing programme for your food and beverage brand.
UGC cover image:@laureanmartinez for Nutravita. Second image: @blue_magic013 for BLK.