For years now it seems that a cooking craze has taken over America with brand new reality cooking shows popping up every other week. If you have a personal cooking blog or cooking channel, this is both a blessing and a curse for your brand. Marketing amongst the big guys is tough, sure, but not impossible.
Almost all cooking brands have a Pinterest page, which is great, but Pinterest should only be a part of your overall marketing strategy. Don’t pour all of your blood, sweat, and tears into a perfect Pinterest presence. Social media marketing for cooking brands is hugely important, and here are a few tips on putting together an effective marketing strategy for your personal cooking brand.
Start in the Trenches
To begin your own marketing campaign, research is in order. Use SEO data as much as possible to determine your initial content and keywords to gain a following. After you grow your audience, you can go your own way a bit more with unique content, but if you have a slew of people searching for “how to roast a chicken,” you better get that bird in the oven and get moving on propelling your content to the top of search rankings. Basic SEO principles apply here as with all other web content: keep it original, relevant, useful, and always updated with new content.
Experiment with Podcasts
Podcasts are especially great for cooking brands. First, this type of media allows you to feature “specialty” topics and/or guests that might not do as well on video or text. Secondly, it allows you to extend your reach across multiple channels. People can listen from pretty much anywhere; in the car, at home, etc. Finally, it’s pretty much free and almost anyone can do it. There are free editing tools, and it doesn’t require a lot of time.
Podcasts should be a part of your marketing strategy as a cooking brand and here are some great ways to go about it:
- Try to get guests on your podcast series that have a lot of followers, or who are respected thought leaders in the industry. This can be a popular restaurateur or a fellow food blogger. Their followers might just become yours.
- Transcribe all podcasts to up your SEO value. A well-optimized MP3 title track of the audio will also help listeners find your content.
Join Niche Photo Communities
For cooking brands, “content marketing is about establishing authority by sharing expertise.”
A strong visual presence is imperative for cooking brands, and it’s not hard to do. If you can take some nice professional photos to feature on your website/blog, join some niche food photo communities. This approach is more targeted than Pinterest and you’ll be able to garner views as well as some possible collaborations with fellow bloggers/brands. Check out these top communities:
- Foodily is the world’s largest recipe search engine. As with other social media sites, users can follow others and collect recipes that interest them. What’s best is that Foodily just shows images; users must click on the image to get the instructions to the recipe (which, of course, translates as increased web traffic to your website).
- Foodgawker is the largest non-Pinterest food sharing site. This network of curated, blogger-submitted, photos is organized by category, allowing users to visually search and discover recipes and techniques from other bloggers. Submission requirements can be pretty stringent so check their FAQ!
- Finding Vegan is great for reaching new audiences even if you aren’t a vegan brand, and what’s great about this site is that they allow for unlimited tags on photos (SEO, yes sir!). There’s also an app; however, it’s not free.
- Dishfolio has the motto “eat, share, drool,” and that’s about right. You can collect recipes with “My dishfolio” and browse recipes by category. A downfall of this site is that the ingredients are listed along with the photo, so you don’t get traffic to your website; however, users can leave comments on each recipe.
Get a YouTube Channel
This may seem obvious, but your brand should have its own YouTube channel. Use best SEO practices for posting videos and make them as professional as possible. The best YouTube videos to post are How-to videos, so make sure your channel has a nice arsenal of those. Another marketing idea for YouTube is to try to guest host or partner with established cooking personalities/brands. Nestle recently did this with their wildly popular YouTube campaign “Bake my Day.” They created an original web series but combined that with partnerships and SEO data that earned the company tons of views.
Bottom line? Social media marketing should be at the core of your marketing plan as a cooking brand and it should reach well beyond Pinterest. Remember to vary content type and platform. Food is hot right now so take advantage while you can.