Find food influencers

1. Define your ideal food influencer by considering your goals, target audience, budget, and niche within the food industry.

Consider your target audience’s preferred platform, content type, interests, and what types of influencers they follow. For example, Thrive Market is an online grocery store whose audience likes healthy and convenient food, so they found a registered dietitian content creator and sponsored her grocery haul YouTube video. To support the goal of increasing brand awareness and sales, they gave the influencer a promo code for her audience to use. Their ideal influencer profile for this campaign might have included: Makes engaging YouTube videos. Macro-influencers that are between 100,000 and a million followers. Seen as an authority in healthy eating. Female.

2. Create a list of food-related keywords to use in your influencer searches based on your brand and target audience.

Think of words that may be used to describe your ideal food influencer or their content. For example, if your brand is a dessert shop in Pittsburgh, your list of words may include baking, pastries, pastry chef, dessert recipes, Pittsburgh desserts, gluten-free baking, baking videos, cupcakes, and baking for beginners. Consider these categories when thinking of your brand and audience: Food types, like breakfast or dessert. Food regions, like Italian or Vietnamese. Diets, like keto, vegan, or gluten-free. Food goals for your audience, like lose weight, eat healthier, or try new foods.

3. Create a spreadsheet to collect the information for food influencers you are considering.

Make categories such as Influencer name, Social media handle, Main platform, Food niche, Engagement rate, Follower count, and Contact info.

4. Use an influencer marketing platform to search and filter results for food influencers by categories, such as platform, audience, engagement rate, or location.

Some popular food influencer marketing platforms include: Influence: Lets you search for influencers by category and see influencer’s self-made portfolio pages, or create your campaign profile page that food influencers can apply for. Unbox Social: Lets you find influencers by filtering results by category, tier, and platform, shows audience demographics, and vets influencers to fit your brand. Set food as your category to find food influencers. FoodieTribe: A food specific influencer and creative agency that sources food influencers from a vetted list.

5. Find influencers associated with popular food blogs by searching online with your keywords or with a tool like BuzzSumo.

Search top food blogs, and then add specific modifiers, like food region or goal, from your list of keywords. Look for the name and links to socials for the author of a relevant blog. Use a tool like SEOquake to determine the domain authority and engagement metrics for that blog or site.  With BuzzSumo: Use the Topic Content Search to find people who share popular food content: search a content topic keyword > choose an article > View Sharers to see who has shared this content or > View Links Shared to see if that person shares that type of content frequently. Use the Topic Content Search or Top Authors Report feature to find authors of popular food content: search a content topic keyword and click on the author’s name for an article to look through their content. Use the Find Influencers tool to search for food influencers and view their domain authority, followers, retweet ratio, reply ratio, and more. Find influencers who already share your content by looking up your blog posts in the Topic Content Search tool and viewing sharers. Put influencers you find in your spreadsheet with a link to their blog or blog post for future reference.

6. Search through food related hashtags in your desired niche manually or with tools like Hashtagify to find influencers who post in that category.

On Instagram, type a keyword from your list, like cupcake, into the search bar under the Tags category to find related hashtags, like #cupcakedecorating, #cupcakeart, and #cupcakebouquet. Browse by Top to see top posts with that hashtag, or Recent to see recent posts. The Top filter is better for finding influencers who post with that hashtag. Look through the social accounts of potential influencers, and record options in your spreadsheet. Tools like Hashtagify or Keyhole can help you find related hashtags, a list of people with the most influence who have used that hashtag, and hashtag analytics, such as use over time or location it’s most used in.

7. Analyze food influencers' audience demographics, engagement rate, and content to determine if they are authentic and a good fit for your brand.

Review their content to see if it matches your values. For example, if your product is beef jerky, a vegan influencer would not be a good fit. Unbox Social can also tell you if the influencer has posts about politics, alcohol, drugs, or with your competitors.  To gauge authenticity and see how engaged their audience is, compare the follower count to the engagement, look through comments for obvious spam, or use an influencer marketing platform or tool, like Instagram Marketing Hub, that checks for fake followers.

8. Follow your list of influencers to start engaging with their content and to identify their unique selling proposition for use in future campaigns.

Start to form a relationship by following their accounts, leaving positive comments, and learning more about their content and audience. Monitoring their account or using a social listening tool like Hootsuite, can help you define their USP. For example, if you learn from their content that an Instagram food influencer is a talented recipe maker, you can ask them to make a recipe using your product to share with their audience.