WEEK 5: A Conversation with Guest Speaker Babette Pepaj by Evelyn Icarro

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By UCLA X469.21 Student Evelyn Icarro

Picture_347_400x400-300x300The love for food is universal. So it’s not surprising that food is a popular content theme across all forms of media. Like millions of people, I enjoy photos of food and video cooking demonstrations on my different social media platforms. Some of my favorite movies are about food. Is there anyone who hasn’t watched a sumptuous feast being prepared on the big screen and wondered if it is real and how it tastes?

Well, wonder no more. That mouth-watering Mojo Pork Cubano in the 2014 movie Chef – the recipe is available in a digital cookbook called “Recipes from El Jefe” on BakeSpace.com. I love that it’s free for everyone, including fans of the film, to download. As a marketing professional, I find the seamless integration between the brand and BakeSpace.com is done in a way that’s brilliant.

chef movie cookbookSocial media also plays a part in the film’s storyline when the chef, played by Jon Favreau, has an online meltdown that ultimately leads him to rediscover his love for food and life. It just makes so much sense that the recipes from the film are shared on Bakespace.com—a site whose members swap recipes, upload videos and share their passion for food.

While it all sounds like common sense, it’s no easy task to create engaging branded content and distribute it on the right platform with the right partner or influencer in a way that doesn’t feel forced.

“Don’t be discouraged,” said Babette Pepaj, founder of Bakespace.com, as she shared a few tips for working with influencers.

  • Identify your goals: Understanding what you want to achieve is the foundation for determining the most appropriate type of content, platform and partners.
  • Find the right influencers: Look for those who are relevant and genuinely interested in the brand. A few resources to find influencers include:
    • Google keywords – Find high-ranking blog posts on relevant topics.
    • Twitter – Search relevant hashtags and usernames to identify users posting on a given topic.
    • Instagram – Look at hashtags and top posts (a tool called Websta.me provides a bird’s eye view of people discussing a given topic).
    • Pinterest – Look at boards/posts, and check your own page to identify who’s posting on it.
    • Events – Attend offline influencer events such as TECHmunch and Blogher to meet influencers.
    • Influencer Networks – There are several networks out there, but a few that Babette mentioned include:
      • Speakr.com (Vine)
      • HelloSociety.com (lifestyle tastemaker)
      • Snapfluence.com (Instagram)
      • Naritiv (Snapchat)
      • Instabrand.com
  • Learn to work with influencers
    • Reach out before you need them (i.e., build relationships today and get on their radar).
    • Be friends with their friends – If you find it difficult to reach an influencer, try reaching out to their circle of friends.
    • They’re increasingly savvy about what their influence is worth, so don’t try to get anything past them.
    • Don’t work with them because you think it will be cheaper than traditional ads (those days are gone).
    • Don’t pretend to be one of them and then send a pitch their way.
    • Don’t assume they won’t share your pitches with fellow bloggers (and even critique your pitch in a blog post).

Thanks to Babette for her awesome tips, and for sharing the recipes that bring movie magic into our homes!

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