Everything Food Conference Recap

Everything Food Conference Recap

What a whirlwind couple of days it was at the Everything Food Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah! I’m pretty sure I echo most attendees sentiments when I say that we were beyond impressed with the speakers, vendors, food and overall experience at the conference. Typically, first year conferences have lots of hits and misses. But this conference blew it out of the park.

The Gateway, Salt Lake City

The Gateway, a huge complex where the blogger conference was held, was a beautiful space. I felt safe at all times walking around by myself. I did a short recap video of my key takeaways the Sunday after the conference. Here they are:

  1. Be your authentic self. Don’t compare
  2. Don’t doubt yourself.
  3. Consistency is important.
  4. Get comfortable with video. It’s the way of the future.
  5. Don’t try to do all social media. Be a rockstar at 3.
Phil Pallen, successful brand marketing, explains social media and branding

Thursday morning, the VIPs were ready to get things kicked off with a food styling class. But I didn’t go since I’m not a recipe blogger. I wanted to listen in on what the experts had to say and listened to the sponsors and how they work with us. Plus some of us are approached by brands to develop and manage influencer campaigns, so it was worth a listen.

When it comes to working with influencers, it is important to have clear objectives going into the project. If you don’t know what you are trying to measure, you certainly will fail. Obviously you want to have a way to measure views, but it is important to have a very clear Call to Action . Do you want readers to sign up for your list, like your Facebook page, use a coupon?

How do Brands Define Influencers?

Top Tier – 300 -500 K
Power Middle – 50k
Up and Comers – <50k

                                             How Brands Classify Bloggers by reach

They really like to encourage influencers to share other influencers’ work.

Brands look for this criteria on our blogs – Attractive blog layout and images, active on social, consistent posting.

They don’t like all sponsored content. Looking for 1 in 5 posts to be sponsored.

                                                                           Keynote from Pat Flynn

The opening keynote speaker, Pat Flynn was incredible.  He was candid and open about his journey, but sincere and funny too. He even gave us copies of his book, Will it Fly? and I’ll definitely be subscribing to his podcast. He gave us insights as entrepreneurs as to how to get things done faster and more efficiently.

                                    We loved meeting the various sponsors at the Food Blogger Conference

During a break in the day we were able to network with some of the sponsors like Ruby Snap (delicious cookies), Shotbox, a great idea for taking magazine worthy photos and Kroger, who filled us up with their gorgeous sushi. There seemed to be about 20 or so sponsors, so there was definitely ample time during the conference to speak to all of them.

                                                                Kroger Kept Us Well Fed at the EFC

I liked that there were enough duplicates of sessions that you didn’t feel like you were missing out on one by attending another. However, as with any conference there were a couple duds. Not the fault of the organizers, I just wish some of them had been more clear on their topics, as some spoke to different types of bloggers more than others.

The first session was by far the best. I don’t know about you, but I like them to be chock full of actionable information. And the social media marketing session did just that. First started off with Amanda of IamBaker.net. I love that she didn’t hold back on sharing her stats or income with us, $15 – 30k per month!

how to use clickbait on facebook
                        The right way to use Clickbait explained by Amanda of IAmBaker.net

She shared examples of how clickbait on Facebook works really well for her. And you know what? I implemented that as soon as I got back home and have seen a jump in traffic from Facebook. As long as you are providing useful information, clickbait is okay. There are three parts to this strategy: a compelling headline, a pretty image and a disguised URL (see the above example where she enticed readers to click through to see her brownie recipe). Make it so the reader cannot stand to not click on your link and find out what secret you have to share.

She also said you must start using Facebook if you want to work with brands. That’s where they are hanging out to find people to work with. Also, try more live video on Facebook, as it is the way to get more engagement. I did that too!

The second part of this session was Camille with Six Sisters Stuff. If you don’t know them, they are killing it on Pinterest with their recipes and she shared a ton of information with us. First up was the make sure you having your branding set – use the image across all social media platforms to make your brand easily recognizable.  Also, put the link to your email opt in in the description on Pinterest.

Six Sisters Stuff gave us lots of helpful tips to working with Pinterest

Part of a group board? They are not all they are cracked up to be. There is so much sharing going on they might not get you the traffic you think it will. So put those group boards at the bottom of your boards list.

Out with the cutsie names. Why? Google indexes pinterest boards, so you titles should be searchable. Got a board called “Yum”? Rename it. Now!

Other Pinterest Tips:

  • Pins take 3-6 months to become active. So plan months in advance for holiday recipes, etc.
  • Use secret boards to pin content for later.
  • Make an image and link to an index page. Ex. Slow Cooker Recipes.
  • Use a pin scheduler like Tailwind which will save you a lot of time.
  • Ads with pinterst. Choose traffic to your site. $1 Daily budget. Sunday is the best day for pinning.
  • Use 10 keywords.
  • You can now pin affiliate links.

Monday – Fitness, healthy recipes
Tuesday – Technology
Wednesday – Inspiration quotes
Thursday – Fashion (affiliate links)
Friday – Funny memes
Saturday – Travel
Sunday – Food / crafts

If you can’t tell that I was amazed by how smoothly everything went at this first year conference or the quality of presenters they had, I bought my ticket for next year if that tells you anything. I can’t wait to see what Kami and Sabrina have in store for next year. I hope to see you there.

I was bummed I couldn’t take ALL of this swag home with me, but I just didn’t have room!