Influencer Marketing Masterclass For Food and Beverage Brands

Influencer marketing ideas from brands like Graza, Olipop, and Magic Spoon to help you craft a successful, & profitable marketing strategy

Priya Nain

Priya Nain

April 6, 2024

Blog Image


In this blog, we'll dive into the strategies and tactics for your food and beverage brand to create an influencer marketing community and leave the competitors starving for market share.

🌯 🥤 Why is influencer marketing impactful for food and beverage brands?

🤳 Lifestyle Alignment

Food and beverages are deeply ingrained in people's lifestyles and values. And they follow influencers who share their values and preferences. When an influencer they admire recommends a food or beverage product that aligns with their lifestyle, it feels like a personalized suggestion from a trusted friend.

By partnering with influencers who genuinely embody their target audience's values, food and beverage brands can reach consumers who are more likely to try (and like) their products.

🍳 Creativity and content creation

Recipes, meal prep, snacks, party food, and pairing recommendations are all types of content where food and beverage can be featured. This versatility is perfect for influencers because they can create engaging content that resonates with their audience while seamlessly integrating the brand's products into their content.

The creative nature of food and beverage content also encourages user-generated content by inspiring people to recreate recipes or share their own experiences with the products.

✨ Targeted reach

Food and beverage preferences vary greatly based on age, location, and cultural background. Influencers with niche audiences (e.g., vegan, gluten-free, or locale-specific cuisines) allow brands to effectively target specific consumer segments.

☕ Low-risk, inexpensive products

Food and beverage products often fall under impulse buys, as they are relatively low-risk and inexpensive. Customers can skip multiple stages before purchasing, like awareness, consideration, and decision-making. A single influencer post can move a follower from awareness to purchase in minutes.

Let’s get into the tactics. As a F&B brand, here are the steps you need to follow to build your full-stack influencer marketing program.

🍻 Step 1 — Find the right food and beverage influencers

Defining the ideal influencer profile is the first step in creating a successful influencer marketing campaign for your food and beverage brand.

Go beyond just looking for someone famous or with a large following. Opt for creators who have the same target audience as your brand. Their values should align with yours.

For example: Let's say your brand is committed to using only organic, locally sourced ingredients. You should seek out influencers who share these values and promote a sustainable lifestyle to their followers. And most importantly, their content should be engaging & authentic.

What’s engaging content? Content that is creative, visually appealing, and compelling enough to make you stop scrolling and pay attention. Authenticity in content means it feels real, honest, and relatable.

Once you have a clear picture of your ideal influencer, it's time to start your search. 🔍

🌟 Identify brand advocates within your customer base

  1. Check your customer list and social media mentions to find people who have posted about your brand or products without being asked to do so.
  2. Look at their profiles to see if they have a good following (around 5,000 or more followers) and if their content receives high engagement (likes, comments, shares).
  3. When you reach out to a customer who already loves your brand, you don't have to convince them of your product's value or quality.  They're already believers! This makes the partnership process smoother. Their endorsements will come out as more authentic and trustworthy.

🔖 Hashtag research

Influencers often use specific hashtags related to their niche or content themes. By searching through these hashtags, you can narrow down the pool of potential partners and ensure that the influencers you connect with are more likely to have an audience relevant to your products.

hashtag search on insagram

Here are 2 tips to note:

  • Brainstorm hashtags specific to your product category, target audience, and brand values, not just food-related. For example, if you're selling organic granola, don't just go for #organicgranola; you can also search using #glutenfreesnacks or #consciouseating.
  • Prioritize niche-specific hashtags instead of broad, generic ones to find influencers who specialize in your area. 🎯

Let's say you're a brand specialising in organic, plant-based snacks. Instead of using broad hashtags like #snacks or #foodie, prioritize niche-specific hashtags to find influencers who specialize in your area: #plantbasedsnacks #organicsnacks #glutenfreesnacks

Once you have an initial list of ~20 influencers from hashtag searches, follow all of them and check out the recommended profiles Instagram suggests. Some of those profiles would also be a good fit for your program. Add them to your list. By doing this, you should easily have a list of 50 food and beverage influencers.

With SARAL, you can find any beauty influencer on the planet. Easily.You input what you're looking for, like "coffee lover" or "chef," and SARAL sifts through loads of influencer profiles with a few clicks. It pulls up a list of influencers who match your criteria, and you can save them all in one easy-to-handle list without copy-pasting!

SARAL creator discovery

This way, you can ditch the messy spreadsheets and adopt a tidy, easy-to-use system.

We also have a 'Search in bio' feature.

SARAL search in bio

For instance, if you want to find people who make vegan food, they likely have the # veganrecipes in their bio. Simply toggle it on & you'll get a niche list of creators nobody else can find.

Try SARAL's free Chrome extension to vet the influencers — whether they have enough engagement and 'die-hard fans' who listen to them. It allows you to see influencer's stats and even predict a fair fee to pay.

SARAL chrome extension

💬 Step 2 — Reach out to influencers

Once you have a list of influencers, the next step is to reach out to all of them.

The obvious ways to do that are — email, or DM.

Don't choose one way over the other just based on what you 'feel like doing.' Here's a strategic approach —

  • Less than 10,000 followers: Send DMs. They're more likely to be noticed.
  • Over 10,000 followers: DMs can get lost in the crowd. Email is better for standing out.

In your first email, you should focus on these key points:

  1. Introduce yourself and your brand
  2. Show that you're familiar with their content and appreciate their work
  3. Explain why you think your product would be a good fit for their audience
  4. Express interest in a collaboration and invite them to discuss further

Feel free to customize the templates below to fit your brand's voice and style while keeping the key elements that make them effective.

Email 1—

Hey [Influencer's First Name],

I'm [Your Name] from [Brand Name]. We’re fans of your content at [Channel], especially how you [specific compliment about their content/style].

The whole team thinks [Product/Value Proposition] could be a great fit for your audience, given our shared interest in [shared value, e.g., healthy eating, sustainable food choices].

I'd love to discuss a potential collaboration if you're open to it. Let me know how this sounds and we can chat more!


[Your Name]

[Your Role] at [Brand Name]

Don't stress if some influencers don't hit you back right away. Life gets crazy, and emails can slip through the cracks.  Just follow up to make sure they got your message.

DM 1 - Day 6

Hey [Influencer's First Name],

Is [] the best way to reach you about a potential collab with [Brand Name]?

I sent you an email, but I wanted to catch you here, too.

We're so excited about the idea of working with you!

Talk soon, [Your Name]

Email 3 - Day 8

Subject: Still dreaming about our potential collab! 🌟

Hey [Influencer's First Name],

Hope you've been having an awesome week! I just wanted to remind you how [Brand Name] and you are like a match made in foodie heaven.

We're fans of your work and know your audience would go wild for what we've got to offer. Plus, we think you'd love our products too.

Let me know if you're down to collab or if the timing isn't quite right.


[Your Name]

Comment 1 - Day 8 or 9

[Custom line related to their post]

P.S. Did you get a chance to check out our collab idea? Would love to chat more about it!

The secret sauce to crushing influencer outreach is keeping it personal, staying on top of things, and being clear and respectful in your communication.

SARAL streamlines the follow-up process by allowing you to set up your messages in advance. The platform then sends these messages at the time you would've set.

It automatically pauses follow-ups when an influencer responds, preventing any unnecessary messages. Get access for free.

🎁 Step 3 — Onboard influencers as ambassadors

Onboarding influencers as ambassadors means bringing influencers into your brand's ecosystem so that they feel like they’re part of the ‘inner circle’, and want to promote your product.

There are 4 basic things you should do to onboard influencers:

Curate product selection and presentation

Select products that showcase the best of what your brand offers. Don't just ship these products in any old packaging when sending them to influencers. Invest in creating an aesthetically pleasing unboxing experience that reflects your brand's quality and attention to detail.This first interaction sets the tone for the influencer's relationship with your brand. A positive unboxing experience can generate excitement and encourage the influencer to share the experience with their audience, providing authentic and engaging content right from the start.

Send a handwritten note with a personalized code

Include a handwritten note or a personalized message that addresses the influencer by name, expressing excitement about the partnership. A personal touch makes influencers feel valued and establishes a connection between them and your brand.

Give influencers a personalized discount code that they can share with their followers. This approach serves a dual purpose: it offers value to their followers and allows you to track the effectiveness of the influencer's promotion efforts.

Share a creative guideline document

This doesn't mean restricting their creativity but providing a framework that aligns with your brand identity.Include information about :

  • Your target audience
  • What content has been successful before
  • Any brand elements like logos and color schemes that should be incorporated into their content.

This ensures that while influencers bring their unique voice and style to the promotion, they also maintain a consistency that resonates with your brand image.

Organize a session

Organize a brief session (a webinar or a digital meetup) to walk through your brand's story, mission, and the features/benefits of the products they will be promoting.Educating influencers about your brand and products ensures they can speak about them knowledgeably and passionately. It helps create informative and engaging content, driving deeper interest and trust among their followers.

📈 Step 4 — Track posts and performance

Most social media platforms provide native analytics that can give insights into a post's performance, including reach, likes, comments, shares, and more. Encourage influencers to share these analytics for posts related to your campaign.

But you've also got to look at the bigger picture.

Analyze how your brand's perception has shifted since teaming up with influencers. Are people talking about your brand more? Notice the cool, unique content creators are crafting with your products. And keep an eye on brand mentions—has there been more chatter about your brand?

These nuances can show you the value of your influencer collaborations beyond just the basic metrics.Use SARAL's social listening feature to monitor and analyze online conversations about your brand.

You can use SARAL's detailed performance reports to complement this with an objective approach. These will get you clarity and focus, not just an overwhelming array of figures.

You will gain access to insightful data that highlights your successes and areas for improvement. Show stakeholders the direct impact of your actions on results & make informed decisions that can improve your profitability.

🤝 Step 5 — Build long-term relationships with your ambassadors

A relationship with an influencer goes beyond mere transactions of payment for promotion. It's built on mutual respect, shared values, and a common goal to grow the influencer's and the brand's reach and impact. This involves regular communication, understanding each other's expectations, and supporting each other's growth. For the influencer, it means having a consistent and reliable partner who values their creative freedom and offers growth opportunities.

When you establish a long-term relationship with influencers, they regularly showcase and endorse your brand to their followers. Over time, as the influencer continues to express genuine support for your brand, their audience—which already trusts the influencer's opinions and recommendations—also begins to develop a sense of trust in your brand.

Building long-term relationships can also be more cost-effective than constantly seeking new influencers for short-term promotions. Long-term partners may offer better rates for ongoing collaborations, providing more value for your investment.

Here are 8 ideas we've gathered after observing how influencer-favorite brands treat their partners:

  1. Give influencers early access to new products or services before launching them to the public, making them feel valued and part of an exclusive group.
  2. Propose collaborative content projects, such as co-branded videos or social media takeovers, that allow influencers to showcase their creativity while promoting your brand.
  3. Regularly feature content influencers create on your brand's platforms, giving them credit and exposure to your audience.
  4. Create mentorship opportunities where influencers can learn from seasoned professionals in your network, whether it's about branding, business management, or creative content production.
  5. Share licenses or subscriptions for useful tools to help influencers in their content creation or business operations, such as social media management platforms, photo editing software, or productivity apps.
  6. Invite influencers to industry events, product launches, or networking meetups where they can connect with others in the field, increasing their exposure and providing new collaboration opportunities.
  7. Have regular check-ins that are sometimes about something other than business or campaigns. Show interest in their personal or professional well-being, achievements, and challenges.
  8. Send personalized gifts on special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, or after the completion of a big project, showing appreciation for their efforts and personal milestones.

When implementing your influencer marketing strategy, you might observe that some influencers don’t post as frequently as expected, despite the promise of sales commissions or the effort to establish a solid relationship with them.

Wait to write off these influencers. Re-engaging them can often be more efficient and beneficial than starting from scratch with new ones.

Check out these creative ideas For inspiration on how to energize your ambassadors and boost their sales efforts.

Examples of food and beverage brands crushing it with influencer marketing

🫒 Graza

They launched their olive oil brand with a clever product seeding strategy that got people talking before it even hit the shelves.

Graza identified food enthusiasts who loved pizzas, BBQs, salads, and more – influencers who would genuinely appreciate high-quality olive oil.

Social Media Marketing manager Kendall Dickieson slid into influencers' DMs with fun, engaging messages like: "How much easier would life be if olive oil came in a squeezy bottle?" 🍾 This personal touch made influencers feel special and intrigued.

If an influencer was interested, Graza sent them a free bottle of their finest olive oil. No payment demands, no obligations – just a genuine offer to try the product.

Each package included a handwritten note, adding a personal touch that made the gift even more memorable. It showed that the brand valued the influencers as individuals, not just as marketing tools.

Influencers loved the olive oil and couldn't help but share it on social media, leading to soaring engagement and people buying their products until they ran out of stock.

🥤 Olipop

Olipop, a soda brand, has discovered that subtle product placements in influencer content work better than pushy, dedicated promo videos. Instead of forcing influencers to share scripted information and discount codes, Olipop opts for an organic approach.

On TikTok, you'll find hundreds of videos tagged with #OlipopPartner, showcasing the product in funny, relatable content. For example, influencer @juandchan drinks Magic Spoon in a humorous video —

While @mariandcandicee features it as their choice of breakfast —

These authentic partnerships blend seamlessly with the influencers' usual content.

The brand understands that people come to TikTok for entertainment and education, not sales pitches. By featuring Olipop in the natural content of influencers, they tap into the platform's organic and authentic culture.

This approach has gained them over 560 million views on the #OlipopPartner hashtag.

🥣 Magic Spoon

Magic Spoon has created a specific landing page for their affiliate program, a smart approach that maximizes creators’ inbound interest. The landing page is short, sweet, and packed with all the essential details:

  1. The type of creators Magic Spoon is looking for
  2. The commissions offered
  3. The discount coupons available

Using SARAL, you can create a dedicated affiliate landing page like Magic Spoon's in just a few minutes. This streamlines influencer marketing by allowing influencers to come to you, saving time and resources while attracting creators who genuinely align with your brand.

Can you afford to miss out?

You've seen the strategies and examples of successful influencer marketing in the food and beverage industry. Now, the question is: will you seize this opportunity to transform your brand or let it slip away?

The world of influencer marketing is rapidly evolving, and brands that fail to adapt risk being left behind. Your competitors are already leveraging influencer partnerships to capture your target audience's attention and loyalty.

Can you afford to miss out?

Imagine the impact on your business if you could:

🌟 De-risk your marketing strategy by reducing dependence on paid advertising

💰 Slash your customer acquisition costs and gain fiercely loyal, vocal advocates

🛡️ Build an influencer-community moat around your brand that competitors can't penetrate

These game-changing benefits are within your reach & there's a tool we've built to make them happen — SARAL — an all-in-one, full-stack influencer marketing platform.

SARAL is a tool that can help you:

  1. Manage all types of influencer partnerships and replace 5+ tools with just one
  2. Start your influencer program quickly with a user-friendly interface
  3. Scale up or down depending on your goals. No annual contracts, hidden fees, or convoluted pricing.
  4. Automate tasks and reward influencers to build strong relationships
  5. Make data-driven decisions that will skyrocket your brand's success.

Claim your free trial of SARAL now. Explore the features, experience the dedicated support, and even run your first campaign. If you're not seeing results, you can cancel anytime – but we're confident you'll be blown away by the impact.

Weekly Influencer Marketing Insights

Learn what’s working in real-time with influencer marketing for otherbrands.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Learn how to
win creators and influence people

Step-by-step playbook on findinf untapped influencers, scaling outreach, and relationship building lessons

Influencer marketing ideas from brands like Graza, Olipop, and Magic Spoon to help you craft a successful, & profitable marketing strategy

Ready to build a full-stack influencer program?

If you want to build a community of influencers that can’t stop talking about you, consider giving the free trial a shot!