A story from Jerrelle of Chocolate for Basil Blog
In the Social Humans podcast, we interview a wide range of influencers. Ranging in audience size, style, and experience. Each of these episodes brings different and relevant insights to help improve your influencer marketing strategies. They’re giving expert tips to help you build relationships with influencers and tips on how they’re building audiences themselves. Along with actionable tips, they also provide higher level insights into the industry help you stay ahead of the tides of influencer marketing.
We touched on the changing trends of influencer marketing during our conversation with food influencer Jerrelle Guy (@chocolateforbasil). Jerrelle has built an audience of over 43,000 Instagram followers with her delectable depictions of dishes and recipes. Jerrelle has found a lot of success with this content on Instagram and she’s also expanding beyond the social network to other mediums. This is a growing trend amongst the influencer community as more and more migrate their content off of their original channels onto more “traditional” channels. For these influencers, Instagram is proving to be a successful “minor league” for their audience development and discovery.
Jerrelle started dabbling with Instagram in 2014, at that time she was following food stories and was inspired by the beautiful things other chefs were creating. She was in Boston studying gastronomy and decided she wanted to make beautiful food too. Instagram was a great outlet for her to show off her recipes and develop her food photography abilities.
As she starting building a following, brand deals began coming her way. These brand partnerships are of course something we write often about and work to help marketers facilitate. For most content creators, these partnerships are a necessity as an important revenue stream. For Jerrelle, the connection to her audience is the most important piece - not the paycheck.
Jerrelle is exploring different ways she can provide content to her devoted audiences. While many would consider a TV cooking show to be the top of the food-creative industry, Jerrelle believes that Instagram and other social networks have largely made TV obsolete for food content. She sees most people satisfying that need on the social channels.
While TV might be outdated, Jerrelle knows that cookbooks hold a special significance for cooks and food lovers. She feels that her content is well-suited for traditional publishing. Her cookbook will feature favorite baking recipes, exceptional photography, and the stories and techniques behind the food.
This might feel like a strange jump. Traditionally, cookbooks are reserved for the big name chefs and TV personalities that are household names. But with the advent of social networks, socially famous chefs are able to secure book deals because they’ve cemented themselves as household names within their very specific and niche audience.
This is a trend that is growing beyond food and beyond just print publishing. Every industry’s media format is being disrupted by the rise of influencers. Like Jerrelle, they’re getting on the social networks to share their passions. Over time, they are refining their craft and building brand partnerships. With an audience built, they’re able to expand - not only to other social networks - but also to other media formats, disrupting the traditional methods for publishing, production, and distribution.