The food influencer space can be pretty competitive. If you’re a food influencer looking to build a following, keep reading to learn more about how Darragh Milligan built his following through education, appealing to a variety of learning styles, and keeping it real.
Who is Darragh Milligan?
Darragh Milligan has a background as a chef and used to work at various restaurants around Belfast. Currently, he is a parent to two: an eleven-year-old son and a seven-month-old daughter and works in facility management, all while working on his Instagram account belfast_undercover_chef.
The success of his food Instagram was unintentional at first. About a year ago, Darren’s wife suggested that he begin sharing his easy 15 to 20 minute “one-pot” recipes online. She thought it’d be a good way to record his recipes and share them with other busy parents who may need quick, but delicious weeknight recipe ideas.
His account quickly took off, and he’s built a substantial following within a year.
Different Learning Styles and Presentation Tips
Darragh recognizes that many people have different learning styles. Two primary learning styles include writing or text-based learning, and visual learning. He incorporates both of these learning styles into his Instagram to educate others.
“[You have] a short space of time where people get engaged.”
To engage his following, he has to work to share his recipes in a short space of time. For followers who are visual learners, he has many impressive 15 to 20 second Instagram videos and stories that share a play-by-play of the recipe. These videos show each ingredient being added to the pan, often with short text snippets on the screen to expand upon the recipe. He has also started posting content on his TikTok, which features similar short-form video content demonstrating the ingredients and recipe.
For followers who are more interested in a text-based recipe, he has many pinned Instagram stories that share a still image of the end results and a more detailed text breakdown of the recipe. By catering to both learning styles, Darragh can reach more people interested in learning about accessible cooking at home.
Working with Food Brands as a Food Influencer
Darragh is a brand ambassador for Dromona. Dromona is an Irish dairy brand that creates high-quality butter from Northern Irish milk. They make local dairy and many types of tasty cheese. Darragh has also worked with local Belfast shops and even government food agencies.
His favorite brand deal has been being a brand ambassador for Dromona because his grandmother used to use their products constantly, and it has a strong emotional connection for him.
He recommends that influencers are always true to themselves and never take a sponsorship or brand deal purely for monetary reasons. For example, Darragh loves and uses Dromona products daily, so this is a natural and authentic collaboration. He is very choosy about who he decides to work with. His audience also likely uses cheese and butter regularly, so this doesn’t feel like an unnatural product to show on his account. He never wants to make his followers feel like he’s just there to get free stuff or paid either. His authentic connection with his audience is much more important to him.
A Niche Location
Darragh is from Belfast, which has a wide range of fantastic cuisine. He makes it his business to know about different excellent restaurants in the area.
If you live in a unique area and are comfortable sharing your location, consider making yourself an expert in that area. Your audience can reach out to you for recommendations about restaurants, shopping, attractions, and more if they are ever visiting or live nearby. This is a great way to easily niche down and create another notable aspect of your brand.
What Can We Learn From Darragh
When it comes to your audience, look into ways to incorporate multiple learning styles or visual preferences into your content. This may include text and visual learning styles like Darragh or sharing high-energy, fun videos and relaxed, laid-back content to keep your audience’s attention.
Consider your audience’s budget and access to different products. For example, Darragh tries to cook with only food products that his audience can find at a typical grocery store that isn’t extremely expensive. If you’re a beauty or lifestyle influencer, consider your target audience and what would be within their budget. If you haven’t built a following of people interested in luxury products, you may want to consider sharing products from a variety of price points to appeal to your audience more.
@belfast_undercover_chef #focaccia #bread #CloseYourRings #breadtok #foryou #easyrecipe #fypシ #foryoupage #belfast #foodtiktok #kitchenhacks #food #trendtiktok #vrial ♬ Down Under (feat. Colin Hay) – Luude
He also suggests figuring out which social media platforms really work for you and honing in on that. For example, he primarily uses Instagram. Darragh has recently started posting on TikTok, but he mostly uses Instagram because he feels that it’s much easier to use the search engine on Instagram to find specific things, such as recipes. While Darragh likes using TikTok for entertainment, he doesn’t love it as much for his brand and feels that less of his target audience is probably on Tiktok for recipes compared to Instagram.
Keep it real. Darragh recommends only choosing brand deals that genuinely suit your content and are authentic to you. He also keeps it real by not editing everything out. For example, he will be filming something he is cooking, and his young seven-month-old daughter may start making some noise in the background. Instead of editing this out, he keeps it in. This makes him more relatable to the many parents watching his recipe videos since almost everyone has distractions and other things happening around them while they cook.