Who is Olivia Brown?
Olivia Brown is a food blogger, food photographer and cooking enthusiast. She lives out and monetizes her passion through her Instagram page Livbyfood and the associated website Livalice.com. She is also a PR, events and marketing professional who works for a food and drink PR agency in London. Livbyfood has 30,000 Instagram followers. She has a bachelor of arts degree in marketing and events management from the University of Hertfordshire. She lives in London, UK.
Born and raised in London, Olivia has worked in the marketing, PR and events industry for the last five years. She now is a full-time PR consultant for a food and drink PR agency in London, where she manages a variety of UK brands. In this role, Olivia manages brand campaigns and does PR marketing on event activation.
Livbyfood and Livalice.com
On the side, she runs Livbyfood, an Instagram food blog she started during the COVID-19 lockdown, as well as Livalice.com, the website for her freelance content creation, event planning and PR consultancy, Live Alice Limited.
“ I started my page when I was on furlough and wasn’t working, but was cooking all the time. I’ve always been the friend who cooked for everyone, had a list of places to go and things to do that all my friends would ask me for. So all my friends said, ‘Why don’t you just make a page where you can share all your foodie inspiration, recipes, things to try and where to go?’…. so that is exactly what I did! I wanted to make a page that shared fabulous foodie inspiration to inspire people and bring happiness during the difficult times of lockdown… so that’s how it started back in May 2020.”
She identifies places to go to by checking sites such as Time Out and DesignMyNight, through word of mouth, accepting event/location invites from PR agencies, and sometimes by observation as she walks through the city.
Olivia does approximately four paid promotions in a month ranging from new apps about great things to do in London, to major supermarkets, to cooking products. She works with the brand to tailor campaign content for optimal engagement and reach.
She believes food photos and colors should help to tell a story.
“I’ve always been very creative about the visual side of things. I studied photography at A-level at school and did design at school. That’s why I like making events look beautiful and taking nice photos. I actually did a food styling course about five years ago before I even thought about Livbyfood. A photo tells a story. And when you have a plate of food and the props around it, you’re telling the story and bringing it to life.“
Olivia is keen on keeping a positive sentiment on her page and therefore only posts on experiences and places she enjoys. She believes food is a very personal preference.
Under Livbyfood, Olivia has worked with different clients including Spotify, Waitrose, Morrisons, HelloFresh, Gaucho and Myprotein. She’s currently working with a client on creating the best things to do in London ranging from activities to bars to restaurants. One of her most memorable campaigns involved an olive oil brand.
“One that was very exciting was, I went to Seville, Spain on a trip with an olive oil brand because they wanted to promote that olive oil in the UK. When I came back, I did some recipe creation for them to showcase how to use olive oil and appreciate its great quality because a lot of people in the UK don’t understand about the taste and quality of the oil.”
She gauges campaign success by looking at reach and engagement on Instagram.
“So it would be likes, comments, saves, shares and reach. So for Reels, it will give your reach. I will know if a campaign or collaboration has done well, depending on the number of likes. And the number of likes is better if you’ve had more reach. And the more the people you reach, the more the likes and saves you get. It’s a bit of a circle because if you get more saves, Instagram pushes your content more. So you get a wider reach and more people like it and more people save it.”
Advice for Brands Working with Influencers
Her fulltime job and part time blogging has allowed her to see both sides of influencer marketing. She offers brands a few tips.
First, pick the right influencer.
“I think it works well if the influencer has good engagement and is genuine. I think brands need to be more savvy when it comes to choosing the right people to make sure they’re getting the most out of it.”
“Brands need to be clear on what they want. I think it’s very important to give a creative brief.”
Third, recognize that the influencer best understands their followers.
“At the end of the day, you’ve chosen that person because you like their content. And you want to reach their audience and they know how to reach their audience best. Brands need to make sure they listen and go with the influencer’s creative direction. Brands should give them the right food for thought, some ideas, the objective and what you’re trying to achieve but then let them go with it.”
Fourth, long term collaboration.
“I personally think getting on someone’s feed as a permanent post or doing multiple projects with them, not just one off, is more beneficial because you’re in the mind of the consumer that’s following them and you are permanently there.”
Fifth, pay on time.
“I think sometimes small brands are not as well organized. So you might have to constantly chase up about getting paid for example. And it’s always a sensitive subject. So you feel bad because you don’t want to constantly be chasing somebody.”
Olivia sees several trends in the London food and drink space.
“People have been stuck inside with the lockdown and they want to go out and experience life. They want to get back out there with their friends. Gone are the days of going to the pub for one drink. They want cooler cocktails. Also there’s more of a trend of people wanting to drink less especially with Gen Z. So having mocktails and better non-alcoholic options is quite a big thing. I think experiential dining and activities is a big trend as well.”
She recommends three restaurants for anyone visiting London.
Other than her account Livbyfood, Olivia recommends the London food blogger Saltandshaikh as an Instagram page useful for a visitor to London looking for tips on dining, what to do or where to go.
“Her name’s Lylaa and I think her content is great. She’s got 70,000 followers and makes really good reels on places to go and what to do.”
Olivia plans to start a few food series, such as TOP ACTIVITIES TO DO IN LONDON, or a cooking series but will reveal more soon. In the future she would love to be able to turn her passion into a full-time career, so watch this space.