Content that Connects

Content that Connects - As part of the Ceres Insiders project, plant-based food blogger and influencer Niki Webster looks at how influencers and brands need to follow similar rules.

When it comes to social content, there's no one-size-fits-all approach, as it can vary depending on your audience, industry, and content style.

Although brands and influencers will have different end goals, the same rules apply in terms of ensuring the content they create is right for the platform and, most importantly, the audience.

Here are a few areas I think brands (as well as influencers) should be looking at right now.

The Power of Video

There’s no doubt video content still reigns supreme. Videos work because, when done properly, they're incredibly engaging, fun to watch, and adaptable. They grab the viewers’ attention and keep them hooked in a way that other forms of content can't – particularly those with short attention spans.

Platforms like Facebook and Instagram love video content, and give it more visibility than other types of content (after all it keeps people on the platform for longer), and TikTok has built a whole entertainment-first platform based on video content.

We are still very much seeing the trend for close up and fast moving video content, but the optimum length is constantly changing – TikToks for example, were originally just seconds long and can now be up to 10 minutes. The video doesn’t necessarily need to be short then, but it needs to keep interest and stop people scrolling to the next one.

Videos can also make it easier to showcase personality and authenticity, both for influencers and brand representatives. When you're on camera, you're out there and letting your audience get to know you in in a deeper way. This helps build trust and connection, and that's what social media is all about. After all people love people.

So, to grow your audience and get more eyes on your content, videos are definitely a route that should be considered.

A picture (still) paints a thousand words

It’s not just about video though, pictures still have power too. Despite the prevalence of video content, high-quality visuals are still key and are making somewhat of a resurgence on Instagram. The jury is out on whether that sees a return to the image-driven platform it launched as, but if it does, the food industry in particular has a great advantage – we love seeing pictures of food!

By presenting food in a beautiful, appetising way, creators, and brands, can inspire viewers to try new recipes and experiment with different ingredients and cooking techniques.

As a food blogger, I know that beautiful, well-lit, visually appealing, delicious food images are super important to capture my audience's attention. And the same would be true for any food brand. Brands should think like bloggers when posting, making sure they have a consistent look and feel. Each of my fellow food bloggers work hard to develop, and stick to, a look and feel that is right for them, whether that’s the beautifully styled food shots (check out Twiggstudios or thelittleplantation), retro kitsch (I love Louise Hagger), or simple close up shots (Lucy and Lentils and Happy Skin Kitchen do this brilliantly).

It doesn’t need to be just a single image too. Carousels with multiple images can add value, show versatility of a product by sharing different dishes, or even be used to create step by step guides where video isn’t available. If you want some inspiration I’d recommend taking a look at Lazy Cat Kitchen, Panaceas Pantry and Rainbow Plant Life.  

Think topical, even in the kitchen

People want to see things relevant to what’s’ happening in their lives.

That’s why cost of living solutions and budget recipes have been making waves on social media this year. The best performing content will offer practical tips, easy-to-implement solutions and realistic advice. By sharing these, creators, and brands alike, can connect with their audience and provide them with valuable information that can make a real difference in their lives.

It also played a part in the remarkable rise of the air fryer because people were  looking for ways to cook healthy, budget friendly, tasty meals without using a lot of oil. I think that’s one trend that is here to stay for a while at least – as people are always looking for ways to eat healthier and tastier meals, and air fryers offer a great solution.

While air fryers are the new kitchen must have (for now!), slow cookers have been around for ages -  but in recent years they've become super popular again They are convenient, as you can just toss all your ingredients in there in the morning, turn it on, and come back hours later to a delicious meal. It's perfect for busy people who want to eat healthy, home-cooked meals but don't have a lot of time to spare – and again a budget friendly option, so consumers are seeking out recipes and content to make the most of them.

More value and cause based content

People are increasingly looking for authenticity and transparency in the content they consume. They want to support brands and creators who stand for something they believe in and share their values.

Value and cause-based content can show audiences what you stand for and why you do what you do. This builds trust and credibility and can help to attract a loyal and engaged following, all while having a positive impact on the world and making a difference.

But make sure that anything you share is ‘real’ – consumers are becoming savvy towards any greenwashing.

The potential of social commerce

I think social commerce is an exciting trend that's revolutionizing the way we shop online. As social media platforms continue to evolve and offer new features to support social commerce, we can expect to see this trend grow even more in the future

As social platforms are highly visual, it makes it easy to showcase products and generate interest in them. Plus, with features like shoppable posts and product tags, they can buy products right from your feed – perfect for impulse purchases – or have the ability to save for later, for the more considered shopper.

Brands that want to succeed in this area, should offer personalized shopping experiences with targeted ads and product recommendations, as well as benefits, based on interests and browsing history.


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