4 Must-Have Tools for Food & Recipe Marketing
1. A blog. A blog is important in its own right. It helps people find out about you and your food product, either through simple searches (“vegetarian recipes”) or longer tail searches (“southern great northern beans and cornbread recipe”). Both are important. Blogs help both people who know exactly what they want and those who are just waiting to be introduced to your awesomeness. They’re the place to show off recipes, pictures, ways your customers are using your product, profiles on food producers or chefs, creative pairings with beer, wine or cocktails. The list is endless. Just don’t forget to include photographs! This will be important later, as that blog serves as a base of command for almost all the other tools we’ll discuss. Content that’s produced for your blog can be sprinkled, like cinnamon on top of a latte, across the rest of the web.
2. Great relationships with other bloggers. There are so many talented food and drink bloggers out there in the world. They create fantastic recipes and entertain and delight audiences with stories of their everyday lives. Some wind up with cookbooks and cooking shows of their own. They’re a tremendous resource. If you sell a product, give them a sample and ask them to develop a recipe. If you’re a restaurant, invite them in for a tasting and show them how to prepare your recipes; maybe even ask them to put a spin on it for the home cook. Now, in most cases you’ll need to pay the blogger in question; how much will usually depend on the size of his or her following. But if you find a good recipe developer who’s willing to share with his or her audience, they’re worth their weight in gold in traffic, interest, good will and, eventually, purchases.
3. Pinterest. How big is food on Pinterest? Food & Drink is the single biggest category on the photo-driven site, with 11.9% of all pins being of tempting food and delicious beverages. People go to the site looking for inspiration: for recipes to make, restaurants to try and products to purchase. No, really: 70% of pinners say they go to the site to “get inspiration on what to buy.” Best of all, every picture you pin can have a link back to your website, whether that’s a long form recipe, a form to reserve a table or buy online. Get those pictures and get to pinning.
4. Tastespotting/Foodgawker. This is especially critical if you’re posting recipes of any kind to your site. Remember how we talked about the importance of pictures? Yeah, they’re not just for Pinterest. This foodie-focused site features hundreds of thousands of gorgeously photographed dishes that will have anyone drooling. People visit the site obsessively (Foodgawker boasts 13 million unique visits a month) in search of something new for their dinner tables. It’s free for anyone to submit to the sites, and getting to the front page can mean lots of new people learning about your product. I also use these sites to fuel my Pinterest boards. You shouldn’t just pin your own content, so spicing things up with some recipes discovered on one of these sites can be just the ticket. Both sites are very similar in functionality, and there’s a great deal of recipe overlap, so don’t be afraid to submit recipes to both. You can also purchase ads if you want more prolonged exposure.
Basically, the Internet is a food lover’s wonderland. Get out there, get pictures and recipes and share them. The results in terms of traffic (if you’re in it for the ad revenue) and new customers can be delicious.