What Foodies Can Teach Content Marketers
One of the best practices a content marketer can implement is to emulate what works for others. I’m not talking about plagiarism here—but picking up on the tried and true best practices of people that have been there and done that.
Throughout my browsing of endless web content I’ve found time and again that one type of blog in particular has a crazy amount of social shares and engagement: the food blog.
Yes, everyone has to eat, and therefore everyone has at least some interest in food, which makes it easy to create content for a human, food-eating audience, right? Yes, but foodies don’t just get the content right, they’re implementing a lot of digital marketing best practices that small businesses and their content marketers should adopt for themselves.
Therefore, I milled through one of the most respected food publications and found seven things foodies can teach content marketers.
Here’s a look at what they’re doing right, and how you can do it too.
1. They use visuals, and lots of ‘em.
I don’t know about you, but the first thing I think of when it comes to food blogs is photography: glorious photos of decadent truffles, delicately shaved Parmesan, and melting chocolate chip cookies. Foodies know how to use their photos and use them well. They intricately interweave photos and videos of their subject matter into their content—something content writers could do more of.
2. They’re approachable.
One of the great things about food bloggers is that they’re down-to-earth. They too, eat food, and you can eat what they’re eating. They’ll tell you where to get it, and, if they’re cooking, how to make it, where they failed, and what you can do to avoid the same mistakes. In essence, food bloggers are letting their readers know they can try their hand at the foodie life too, and if they fail, it’s okay. Content marketers would be smart to try a similar approach; after all, being honest about your subject at hand and encouraging others to join you in your adventure is great for relationship building.
3. They teach you.
Foodies show their readers how much fun they’re having and get them excited to participate. They provide countless recipes and explain processes step-by-step so that no one gets lost. One thing I’d love to see more content writers and marketers do is be more thorough and explanatory; don’t just show, teach. Make sure you provide true value to your readers.
4. They’re clever and have a sense of humor.
Foodies don’t take themselves too seriously, which is a refreshing perspective in an online world populated by pompous content. Content marketers may find their own content more widely- and well-received if they add a little personality to the content they peddle.
5. They’re engaging.
Food bloggers are endlessly engaging, pulling you in with images and fun prose, and then offering you valuable information. They’ll most likely respond to your inquiries in the comments section of their posts, and will want to know how your experiment went. This sense of genuine follow-up is a great way to make a target audience feel engaged and important.
6. They offer intimacy.
Food blogging—and food preparation and consumption in general—is an intimate affair. Foodies often welcome their audience into their homes, establishing a sense of comfort and trust. The way food bloggers craft their writer-reader relationships are unique and something content marketers should emulate.
7. They know how to leverage social media.
Foodies are borderline obsessed with posting pictures of their every meal on social media sites like Instagram. That’s because they know the value of social sharing. Just take the Instagram account for I Am A Food Blog; not only do they have 236K followers, the photos make you want to check out their website ASAP to learn just how you too can make homemade garganelli pasta for dinner tonight.
As many content marketers know, using the same methods over and over again to promote content can become tiresome and ineffective. That’s why it’s important to occasionally step back, see what others are doing, and incorporate fresh, alternative approaches—even if from seemingly unrelated industries or sources.
This post was originally published in 2016 and updated in 2021.