Self-branding and content creation strategies on Instagram: A case study of foodie influencers

Cristina Miguel, Carl Clare, Catherine Ashworth, Dong Hoang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is to better understand the processes and procedures adopted by micro-influencers to create ‘instagrammable’ content. It is based on 17 in-depth interviews with foodie micro-influencers based in London and Barcelona. Interview data was complemented with participant observation in restaurants or cafes. This paper makes three original contributions. Firstly, the study expands the understanding of the concept of ‘instagrammability’ by approaching it from the perspective of influencers creating content to satisfy and/or grow an audience. Secondly, it illustrates how two dominant factors drive influencers’ content creation process: the self/audience focus content branding orientation. The ‘audience-focus’ content development process varied drastically, with some influencers being very conscious of responding to their audiences’ needs whereas others maintained first and foremost a very strong ‘self-focus’. However, even for the influencers who were the most responsive to their audiences’ perceived wishes, a sense of ‘self-focus’ was maintained as an anchor point in all developed content, often linked to a passion for a certain type of food. Thirdly, this paper maps and describes the behind-the-scenes content creation process adopted by micro-influencers, including four stages (1) Content Planning, (2) Media Gathering, (3) Editing, and (4) Publishing, which was followed by an engagement phase. This study offers a timely contribution to better comprehend the content creation cycle adopted by micro-influencers by using foodie influencers as a case study.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Early online date16 Aug 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Aug 2023

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