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When Partnering with #foodie Influencers, Savor the Relationship for Award-Winning Results

Baraons Market Instagram stories

Anyone with an Instagram account will tell you the social media platform is flooded with drool-worthy foodie photos.

Each item at Barons Market’s neighborhood grocery stores, our public relations and social media client for six years, induces the same drooling effect. Barons wanted to unite these in-person and digital experiences, so it turned to Mixte to tell its brand story in a way that honored its brand through the eyes of social influencers


Enter: The strategic brainchild that is Mixte’s Instagram influencer marketing.

More than anything, in our years working with Barons, we’ve learned how this family-owned small business does things differently in the grocery industry. So clearly we knew we needed to share its approach to the community at-large via social media.

What better way to tell Barons’ story in an authentic way than to share its culture with mission-aligned influencers who could tell it best.

Here’s how we connected Barons with San Diego’s top influencers – and won a Bernays award in the process.


Discovering authentic, values-aligned social influencers

Mixte’s process started with research. Our team looked for influencers who were aligned with Barons’ brand and perhaps more importantly, whose followers would be thrilled to hear about Barons. We offered partnerships with a wide range of influencers, spanning from food bloggers to spin instructors and vegan photographers. Some were familiar with Barons, some were not. We didn’t discriminate.

Since Barons believes nutritious foods should be accessible for each and every person, it prices its items 25 percent cheaper than competitors. To demonstrate this to new online audiences, Barons challenged its selected influencers to show people just how far $25 could stretch at its store.

Here’s what we offered:

  • One $25 Barons gift card to make a meal and post on their Instagram
  • Three $25 gift cards to challenge their followers to win
  • One $100 gift card to keep for themselves as a thank you
  • All the creative liberties in the world


Empowering influencers to use their creative strengths

We all do Barons a little differently, and that’s the point. The goal was not to dictate the influencer’s content, but rather, let them interact with the Barons brand in a way that was truly authentic to them.

As they captured themselves strolling down the beer aisle in the North Park location, hiking with their dog and favorite granola bar, or preparing dinner for loved ones, we saw the Barons brand represented perfectly as it won over the influencers and their followers’ hearts.

Influencers invited their followers to comment and tag friends to be entered to win one of three $25 Barons gift cards.


Delivering results as sweet as Barons cinnamon bread

Mixte Pro Tip: Visit Barons at lunchtime to snag samples of this sweet midday treat.

Our first campaign delivered more than 1,000 likes, 200 comments, four tagged posts and a helluva lot new followers. Our second campaign doubled in likes. Both our influencers and their followers became Barons regulars and show it by tagging the store in their Instagram stories and posts – even long after the campaign. Another perk of all this? The Barons partners get to know our family of employees, and we get to know our community that much better. It’s the most fun to read the positive Instagram comments of people naming their favorite Barons items.

We’ve also learned valuable lessons in partnerships, and we want to share them with you:

  • Specific is better – Be clear about the results you would like to see and detail these campaign requirements somewhere partners can reference, like in an email.
  • Good things take time – Remember to get to know your partner, brainstorm with them, and coordinate the moving pieces with everyone involved.
  • Quality over quantity – Instagrammers’ quality of engagement means more than their number of followers; and it goes way further in gaining followers’ trust.

Since first kicking off this challenge, we’ve asked our favorite Instagrammers to partner with us again— and it’s even more fun when they dig in and customize the parameters of our giveaway based on what they know their audience will love.

Did reading this spark some ideas of how to connect with your online audiences? Go on, then, leverage influencer marketing and tell your brand’s story authentically on social media.

For inquiries about Mixte’s social media and influencer marketing services, please contact Jamie Hampton:, (858) 337-7466

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