When I’m not enjoying delicious food and writing my thoughts about food on this blog I run a PR business which means I know a thing or two about how to effectively promote brands. After coming across a number of food businesses since starting this blog I have figured out four very simple ways that EVERY single food business can promote their brands.
Invest in Good Visuals
Food photography is an amazingly powerful way of showcasing a brand, with the right images a simple meal can look like a work of art. Make sure you take the time to invest in good photography for your website, promotional material and social media. Review your food photography every year (bi-annually preferably) and if you change your menu make sure you get a new set of images done. Build a relationship with a reliable photographer so that they can become part of your food business journey. If you have food products it is possible to keep images for longer but its still worth considering refreshing them every couple of years as your range grows.
If you are a start up and cannot afford to hire a photographer (I really encourage you to try to save up for professional photography) then invest in a quality camera, lighting and take good pictures – there are even good camera phones on the market however it might be worth taking a short course on how to use your phone effectively. Just make sure your images look good enough to eat!
Use Social Media
This might seem obvious but sometimes the most obvious seems to cause the most anxiety for some new business owners. Social media is one of the most effective ways of promoting a business and once you learn how to use the right platforms for your business you can turn followers into customers. The best social media platforms for food businesses from my experience are:
- Instagram – Great visual platform
- Facebook – Great customer relationship building platform
- YouTube – Powerful means of engaging with customer base
- Twitter – Combined with simplicity of structure and quality images can be a great way to engage with customers.
Here’s an eGuide that you can use that will teach you how to use social media effectively and provides more details on how to develop a social media strategy.
Invest in Public Relations
There are so many ways to use PR to build your food business credibility and enhance your brand visibility. Aside from getting standard press coverage it is a great way to solidify customer relations, build trust and incorporate your food business story into a long term PR strategy. Getting media coverage for your food brand is a great way to enhance your food brand’s visibility. Being featured on traditional media outlets such as TV, radio, newspapers and magazines is always going to be powerful but do not lose sight of new media platforms such as blogs (like this one) and podcasts. Working with bloggers can be a great way to develop a digital footprint that makes an impact and also promote your food brand consistently.
You can also use PR to understand how to deal with a crisis if that ever becomes an issue for your food business. Take the time to attend seminars, hire a quality PR agency or keep reading and watching videos on how PR can help your business.
Create Video Content
Videos are such a powerful and easy way to promote food businesses. Using videos to give an insight into your food business journey or provide customers with a chance to take a look behind the scenes can build a bond between brands and their customer base.
- Livestream – Periscope on twitter, Facebook Live and Instagram gives you a chance to tell a story and show your customers a different perspective into your business. Film while you’re creating, in the kitchen or at an event! It’s easy and fun.
- YouTube – There is absolutely no reason why your food business can’t have a food channel on YouTube. It offers an opportunity for you as the founder to showcase your skills and it can really bring your food brand to life. It doesn’t have to be “TV perfect” it just has to be clear and easy to listen to, so get a good camera/camera-phone and a well lit kitchen and get filming.
- Clips on social media – Short clips on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook are sometimes the best way to make an impact. They can go viral in the blink of an eye and change the way your food business is received pretty much overnight. A great example is a Turkish chef named Nusret Gökçe whose Instagram clip of himself seasoning a steak was one of the most shared visuals in 2017. It not only turned him into an online celebrity but the impact on his chain of Nusr-et steak restaurants was immense! I can’t wait for him to open one in London. Of course there is no way of knowing whether your clip will go viral, that’s something you can’t control but if you persist and are consistent it will make an impact on your food brand.
I hope that you have found these tips useful and that you get to work using them in your food business.