How do Food Influencers Make Money Beyond Food?
With restaurants closed for a large proportion of 2020, and travel restrictions still in place in many countries, several food influencers have had to find new ways to make money – and to keep serving their audiences with fresh content.
Creators with successful blogs continued to gain revenue from advertising, as they are paid a small amount each time a visitor to their site sees or clicks on an advert. However, most food creators rely on a considerable percentage of their monthly income coming from brand collaborations, attending launches of new venues, menu tasting, and other partnerships. These partnerships have largely been cancelled since the coronavirus outbreak last year.
Luckily, these creative professionals are willing to multitask and not afraid of a good challenge.
“Content creators build valuable communities around a common passion, but this is only the starting point. We must remember that, beyond becoming an influencer with thousands of followers, be it a food, travel or fashion influencer, they are still a real person – with real needs and habits – and brands are always keen to tap into their ability to engage their social demographic.” – explains Marcio Delgado, an Influencer Marketing Campaign Manager and Digital Consultant working with brands and content creators since 2013.
As food bloggers and influencers are not always in the kitchen or visiting glamourous restaurants to sample the latest menu additions, I have selected five other ways they make money. But remember, for good creators with a strong reach, the potential for collaborations and partnerships beyond their niche are limitless.
Over the past five years, content creators have been turning to paid online courses as a way of increasing their revenue streams. From short courses to more elaborate serialised education that requires paid subscriptions to watch online or to download, influencers can leverage their knowledge – and their audience – with income-generating content separate from their social media posts.
Influencers often lend their expertise to brands and marketing agencies to help them to better understand the vast and evolving digital world. And the variety of help they can offer a digital consultancy is considerable. Creators, for example, can analyse a company website to find out how it is performing. Subsequently, they can offer valuable insights regarding an improved content strategy, and help with community management and outreach to other influencers.
Bespoke branded content
Who is in a better position to create content on demand than content creators already doing it daily for themselves?
“Savvy brands and their agencies know that food bloggers can do much more than posting photos of beautiful dishes. They have been leveraging this even before the pandemic started, because fresh content is a valuable asset for any business and brands no longer do it all themselves.” – says Marcio Delgado, who is experienced in coordinating influencers and producing content for campaigns in countries from the United Kingdom to Portugal, Brazil, India, and the Philippines.
Another excellent way for influencers to make money on social media is by tapping into a loyal audience. Affiliate marketing is a popular strategy where influencers are provided with a unique link or code to share with their followers, usually offering a product or service. Every time someone uses that link to make a purchase the content creator gets a commission, as those bespoke links and codes are used for tracking conversions.
Many brands currently offer programmes to bring influencers on board to work on an affiliate marketing basis, but the commission rates paid can vary greatly. Amazon, for example, has one of the largest affiliate marketing programs in the world. They enable content creators, publishers, and bloggers to monetise their traffic and commissions, starting at 1%. In comparison, British online fashion, and cosmetic retailer ASOS has a popular scheme paying a 5% commission for every conversion influencers drive to the site.
Exclusive guides and books
Away from the kitchen, food influencers can also make money by turning to their writing and photography skills to create exclusive gastronomy guides for retailers within the food sector and travel bureaus. In a time where publishing a book is becoming more and more accessible, with self-publishing tools and agencies, food creators often launch their own recipe books, online and offline, to increase revenue and expand their personal branding.