Partnering with Social Media Influencers

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The National Pork Board is partnering with YouTube creator Binging with Babish to connect with consumers. Binging with Babish is a social media influencer with 3.6 million subscribers on YouTube. Pork Checkoff social media manager Jenna Bieri offers details on this relationship. That includes a Pork Checkoff-sponsored video being featured at the YouTube Cocktail Party at the Sundance Film Festival. Too cool!


Don Wick


Jenna Bleri, Social Media Manager, National Pork Board




Don Wick: 00:16 From the Pork Checkoff in Des Moines Iowa, it’s Pork Pod. Pork Pod, a look at the hot topics in today’s pork industry. The Pork Checkoff is working for you through various forms of research, promotion, and consumer information projects. I’m Don Wick speaking on behalf of the Pork Checkoff, and today our guest is Jenna Bieri, the social strategy manager for the National Pork Board. And there’s been some very unique partnerships between the National Pork Board, the Pork Checkoff, and some of the social media channels. Jenna, bring us up to speed if you would.

Jenna Bieri: 00:32 Yeah. In 2018 we partnered with FameBit. FameBit is a company that helps brands, such as ourselves, partner with influencers on the platform of YouTube. Now FameBit is owned by Google and YouTube. And Google is obviously the number one search platform globally. And YouTube is actually the number two global search platform. So we know that consumers are heading to those two platforms when they have questions or want information. So it makes a lot of sense for us to partner with influencers who are also working on those platforms.

Don Wick: 01:09 So give me the details, how does the partnership work?

Jenna Bieri: 01:14 Yeah, FameBit kind of acts as that in-between to help us identify the correct influencers that would want to partner with pork, who their advocates of pork would speak to our marketing message as well, and they help us workout those contracts, get those messages, those creative briefs across and help the whole process of, from start to finish, of those initial conversations to getting a final polished video with a creator on Instagram and YouTube.

Don Wick: 01:48 Now one of the projects involved Binging with Babish, educate me. What’s that all about?

Jenna Bieri: 01:54 Yeah. Binging with Babish is one of the creators we’ve worked with. And when I say creator, I mean influencer. That term is kind of used hand-in-hand. He has a YouTube channel and puts out content regularly. So he has subscribers to his channel and followers that tune in to see his content and he is largely talking about food. So it works really well for us to partner with him and he can very much speak well to our marketing messages and things that we want to talk about regarding pork, the product.

Don Wick: 02:32 So what kind of an audience would an influencer like this have?

Jenna Bieri: 02:37 Binging with Babish’s audiences, largely foodies, and people who want to learn more about cooking. The cool thing about his channel is he has a basic series. So he’s really dialing back some of those more advanced cooking methods and making them relatable to the average consumer. So not only is he talking about, you know, fun trending things, but he’s really making it relatable for the average home cook.

Don Wick: 03:05 So is there a way to gauge the results in something like this?

Jenna Bieri: 03:09 Yeah, we’re very excited with how things have turned out from our campaigns in 2018. What started as kind of a test and learn campaign with FameBit ended up being five different campaigns throughout the end of the year. And we produced 46 videos with YouTube creators. And across those 46 videos, we had 80 and a half million total minutes watched and that’s just kind of a big fuzzy number. To put that in perspective, that is 391,000 college football games worth of time watched by consumers on the videos we created. So we’re able to reach a very unique audience and people that we normally wouldn’t touch through our normal marketing efforts. The videos we created had 14 and a half million total views and 10 and a half million of those were unique viewers. So that just speaks to the number of people we’re able to reach through these creators that we can’t reach through our own channels.

Don Wick: 04:11 So what would you have in these videos?

Jenna Bieri: 04:14 Yeah. Through our different campaigns this year we focused largely on just the correct endpoint cooking temperature of pork. That’s how this all started was us trying to find a way to get that message out better to consumers. And we know that consumers are overcooking pork and we know that they are often skeptical of the correct endpoint cooking temperature. So we took a step back and kind of brainstormed how we could better get that message out to consumers. And we had just been to a conference with Google in DC and learned about FameBit and also learned the stat that 40 percent of YouTube subscribers say the creators they follow understand them better than their friends do! And I just, that’s crazy to me, but that’s pretty indicative to the world that we live in today. People feel like they have a real connection with the influencers they follow online and on social media and knowing that those influencers have a great deal of credibility with their audience. This has just been a great way for us to leverage that credibility and have them spread the word about pork and what we want to communicate about the product itself.

Don Wick: 05:26 What a cool concept! Tell me, how do you see this moving forward as you go through 2019 and beyond?

Jenna Bieri: 05:32 Yeah, we’re really excited to see where things go with these partnerships in 2019 because like I said, 2018 was largely kind of a test and learn. Let’s see if this works, let’s see what we can accomplish. So taking those insights, we’re excited to build upon them in 2019. We’ve already committed to working with FameBit throughout the year to help us partner with YouTube creators and we have eight campaigns on tap for 2019, starting with a campaign late January into February talking about the health benefits of pork. We know that consumers are largely underestimating the power of pork protein and the nutrients and the many lean cuts that we have to offer. So using those YouTube influencers to help us really amplify the message about the health benefits of pork. So that’s how we’re starting off the year. And then we’ll build from there.

Don Wick: 06:27 The Pork Checkoff worked with Binging with Babish on a unique project with the Sundance Film Festival. We’ve all heard about that. Tell me about this connection.

Jenna Bieri: 06:35 Yeah, we’re really excited to hear this news from our FameBit team that one of our sponsored videos with Binging with Babish is actually being showcased at a YouTube sponsored cocktail party at the Sundance Film Festival! So FameBit selected our video with Babish out of all of the branded content that’s been created on YouTube as being really a best in class way that brands can partner with influencers. So our video is being shown to a very unique audience at the Sundance Film Festival and it’s just really exciting to know that the work we’re doing with creators is not only being looked at by such a big impressive audience, but we’re able to really showcase pork to that unique audience as well at such a well-known event such as the Sundance Film Festival.

Don Wick: 07:26 Jenna Bieri from the Pork Checkoff, the organization’s social strategy manager. That is Pork Pod. Thank you for listening. For more information on this topic or the pork checkoff itself, visit