Chocolate Marketing 103: Creating Better Content on Instagram

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Promoting your company is among the most beneficial actions you can do for its success.

If you are putting out excellent content (a chocolate bar, raw cacao, research papers, books, videos, etc.), then the market will reward you once people are really able to see it and give you their attention. This is true whether you are selling a chocolate bar or raw cacao. It makes little difference whether this results in an increase in revenue, views, or actual visits to the location. It won’t happen overnight, but if you consistently create good content and share that content in ways that people want to consume it, you’ll be able to build a memorable brand for your company and connect with your customers as much as you choose to. This will allow you to connect with your customers as much as you want.

When people think of chocolate, they frequently have a picture associated with it before they have a sound associated with it, before they even have a smell associated with it, and even before they have a taste associated with it. For this reason, Instagram is the best platform for marketing chocolate. You want them to initially think of your chocolate or any chocolate that you’ve given to them before picturing any other kind of chocolate. The most important thing you can do to make this a reality is to become dominant on Instagram, which is one of your most visual platforms.

Please make sure that you have fully comprehended the information presented in the first and second parts of the Chocolate Marketing 101 crash course before continuing to read.

Life (& Social Media) is like a…

7 Tips for Taking Great Chocolate Pictures

The first thing you need to do to improve your chocolate marketing is to concentrate on the entire aesthetic you’re striving for while manufacturing items. This includes everything from the color and temper of the chocolate to the design of the mold or form, as well as the packaging. Your items should have an appealing appearance from every angle and photograph well in a variety of lighting conditions (which implies that holographics, silver, and gold should be avoided at all costs!). Customers make purchases based on what they see, and a growing number of them are seeing your things online rather than in-store. This is a reality that we would like to ignore, but it can’t be helped.

  1. Don’t just take pictures of what’s going on in the world around you. If necessary, items may be rearranged, and new elements can be added to the environment. It may be sufficient to just set down a truffle and take a snapshot in order to create an Instagram story that provides a sneak look of new items or articles; nevertheless, keep in mind that you want to attract the attention of other people.
  2. Imagine what the shot would look like before you take it; this can help you identify any minor flaws, such as an uneven distribution of colors, insufficient light, missing logos, and so on. When it comes to photography, there is an old adage that goes something like this: “The gap between the image you conceive and the picture you really shoot should be as narrow as possible.” It could seem pointless at first, but putting in the effort to do this will enable you to evaluate your progress in the future.
  3. Check to ensure that you have enough illumination. When it comes to capturing pictures, lighting is really crucial, and I believe that natural light is always the greatest option.
  4. By zooming in on a certain component of the mold, truffles, coloring, etc., and allowing the rest of the shot to fade somewhat, you may create emphasis on a specific facet of the mold, truffles, coloring, etc. As strategies for achieving this attention, take use of “negative space,” often known as plain backdrops or huge parts of empty space, and eliminate as many distractions as possible. Your photographs don’t necessarily need to have a lot going on in them; all they need is a narrative and enough lighting to be able to interpret it. If you want to highlight a certain area of the picture you’re shooting with your smartphone, all you have to do is press and hold the screen in that area.
  5. Include something human, even if it’s simply a hand grabbing for a candy bar, in the scene. People have a stronger subconscious connection to images that include other people, even if just a portion of those individuals’ bodies are visible in the photograph.
  6. The most beautiful person wins. If you have beautiful packaging and a gorgeous bar, then you should share both of them, ideally with a satisfied consumer.
  7. Shoot material that is evergreen, meaning it is neither time-sensitive or seasonal, and shoot an excessive amount of photographs. If you have an Instagram account, you should actively use it. This includes uploading new content at least once per day, if not more often, and commenting and like a large number of other users’ photographs. Because this is a social networking platform, the more people who are familiar with your name, the greater the likelihood that they will stop reading, touch on your profile, like your picture, and make a remark on it. This might be the beginning of a connection that continues for as long as you choose to allow it to continue.

As a helpful hint, if you are not yet sure in your own talents as a photographer, intersperse gorgeous re-grams from consumers or clients throughout your feed. This will make them feel unique about their own abilities, while also demonstrating the popularity of your business. It’s a win-win situation here. In this article from Wired, you will learn more about the proper etiquette of re-gramming as well as how to do it.

Instagram users @thechocolatewebsite, @chokoladeoglykke, and @utopick chocolates are three examples of chocolate-focused accounts that regularly post high-quality images of chocolate products. And me (@damecacao). Just saying. See the examples below.

A post shared by Max Gandy | ??? (@damecacao) on Feb 27, 2018 at 6:37am PST

Chocolate Marketing: Photo Ideas

Outside. Simply holding up a chocolate bar against a breathtaking backdrop is a posture that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. The majority of the time, this is an extremely distracting background; however, it can be nice if you are in a very unusual location and want to convey a certain message (such as that your product is well-liked all over the world, that you travel to visit farmers, that your cafe is gorgeous, etc.). In this case, however, the background is nice. Therefore, if you want to photograph outdoors, you should do it with the intention of capturing natural light. Look for backdrops that are not too distracting, such as walls, wooden tables, blue skies, chairs, or even just good walls. Bring attention to the person or item that serves as the primary focus of the photograph. It would be helpful to locate natural props such as flowers, unusual textures, and distinctive shadows.


When you’re operating a company, time really is money, particularly in the long term. The majority of people prefer to take shots of their products or fast Instagrams indoors, but I strongly encourage you to seek out natural light instead. This will make your photographs seem the most realistic and aesthetically attractive with the least amount of work on your part, and it will also enable you to create a limited area in which to capture the bulk of your photographs. In light of the fact that include individuals in your Instagram photos will make them more approachable, you should, in the event that you decide to take your photographs inside, make it a point to include some of the patrons of the establishment in your photographs.

Some simple photo ideas you can use now are:

  • bars stacked slightly off center
  • bonbons on a skewer (like a kebob)
  • cacao beans strewn around in unusual locations
  • shattered candies arranged in a line.
  • “offering” whatever it is that you have in your hand
  • a truffle accompanied with a cup of espresso
  • Check out the #beantobar to see what catches your eye, and then consider how you may recreate the photographs using your own photography skills. Keep in mind that the narrative that accompanies a photograph may make or break its appeal, but that it is not an essential component for each and every picture.

For instance, one of my objectives is to improve my photography skills so that I can take better pictures of chocolate. In order to achieve this objective, I practice taking pictures in a variety of lighting conditions and with a variety of color schemes and backdrops.

5 Basic Props to Invest In

Hold on to them and place them strategically throughout the restaurant, factory, or home you choose to take your photographs in. You may use them to create a distinct atmosphere or to make the backdrop of what you’re showing. When you are shooting images for Instagram, keep in mind that your audience is likely either browsing through their feed or looking at a specific hashtag in search of something fascinating to look at. You want to be the one to grab people’s attention when it is aimlessly roaming since the majority of people aren’t looking for anything in particular. Be sure to make use of some of the gorgeous surfaces and decorations that you already have in your property so that you can create aspects that are noticeable when people come to visit in person. These are some of the tools that will be of assistance to you in accomplishing that goal.

  1. A smooth and creamy white surface, even if it’s simply a huge sheet of paper (as I use for some of my bar review pictures)
  2. A set of matte (read: not shining) gold or silver cutlery (knives, spoons, and forks), which may be used to preserve a certain color scheme, give a touch of refinement to the scene, or for any other purpose that comes to mind.
  3. A cutting board made of wood that may be used either in or as the backdrop of shots, offering a new texture, surface, or visual aspect to attract the viewer’s attention and draw their focus.
  4. A simple, white plate with no decoration that could be used to contain anything, from a row of candy bars to a stack of bars to a child’s sloppy yet adorable masterpiece.
  5. 2-4 cups, each of which has a different color. It is in your best interest to provide prospective consumers with as many different applications for your chocolate as you can, even if your store or brand does not sell any beverages. It is possible to create something that is both eye-catching and motivating by doing something like submerging a bar in a bath of hot milk or placing a bonbon on top of an espresso con panna.

I took this picture on a big, thick piece of white paper.

Writing Captions

It has been suggested in more recent research (read: hearsay), that longer forms of Instagram captions are more successful. When you consider that Instagram’s goal is to get you to use the app for longer periods of time, this makes perfect sense. Because they want you to stop what you’re doing, read each article, and remain interested for a sufficient amount of time to see further advertisements, they are more likely to display you posts that include lengthy captions. Longer captions provide you the opportunity to communicate more information on your company and give your viewers the opportunity to connect with the people who are behind the brand.

If connecting with your audience or consumers on Instagram is the only method, or your preferred way, to do so, then I strongly suggest that you use Instagram as a platform for delivering stories to your audience and customers.

Anecdotes, tips, major corporate news, and changes are all appropriate topics to discuss in this section of the forum. Your brand will become just as vital as the product that you are selling as the internet and the ways in which it influences our lives continue to evolve. You want people to think of you and your company whenever they think of delicious chocolate, therefore you need to make your brand more approachable and memorable. They will look down to the caption after you have successfully captured their attention with a picture that has been well prepared and performed, and here is where you will hook them in. Tell them a narrative that will stay with them forever, or at the very least, one that will stay with them for a sufficient amount of time to make them want to click on your profile.

Capture their attention for longer than the three seconds it takes to click the “like” button on the picture, and you may have just made a new connection on this vast and interconnected network that we all share. This connection is significant not just because it is with a person who may purchase goods from you and encourage their friends to do so as well, but also because the individual was caught by the why behind your company. Tell us who grew the cacao that you use, how many hours it took to manufacture that one bonbon, where you get the paper that you use for your packaging, why you’re headquartered in the location that you are, and anything else that comes to mind. Discuss all of the minute particulars that you have chosen and the reasoning behind your decisions.

Make your Instagram account a place where people can have fun, share memories, and tell tales so that each time followers read one of your captions, they feel as if they’ve acquired a little more insight into the motivations behind your company’s actions.

We will get much further into the topic of how to construct an engaged Instagram audience rather than just a following in the next edition of this series (which will be released in August 2018). This will include which hashtags to utilize.

Seoul’s Salon du Chocolat is litttt ??? . . . It would seem that everyone was able to attend the celebration that was held this year. There is still one more day left of this, everyone. This year, in addition to domestic Asian chocolate, we also have some foreign Asian chocolate in the shape of Marou. Who should we put in our request for the next year? Who is this man? Obama? ?

A post shared by Max Gandy | Chocolate Travel ? (@damecacao) on Jan 20, 2018 at 4:30am PST

What is IGTV & How to Use It

If you aren’t actively engaged in internet marketing or the blogosphere, the only thing you probably know about IGTV is that it’s another feature on Instagram. But for those of us who make our profession working on these platforms, we view IGTV as the Facebook and Instagram fight back against the dominance that Google and YouTube have over lengthy videos. The maximum length of a video that could be uploaded to Instagram used to be one minute; however, with the introduction of this new function, the platform has increased that maximum to ten minutes (or an hour for verified accounts).

But what does this mean for your business?

You may, for example, choose to disregard it entirely or upload every movie you own only to demonstrate that you exist. Yet I’d propose option 3: dominating on it. Instagram is one of the greatest venues on which to shine, and it is also one of the simplest platforms on which to build an audience. There are currently more than one billion people using Instagram. Because prospective consumers may discover you by searching for hashtags and names, a significant number of them will locate you just via the use of that feature. However, if you want to go from a defensive position to an offensive one when it comes to chocolate marketing in particular, you need to find a means to attract them in with your product.

Chocolate has the distinct allure of being both delicious and accessible to a wide audience in terms of price. But what is it that sets what you do apart from anything else out there? Do your chocolates just have a lovely appearance, or do they also taste good? You now have the ability to produce your very own mini-television program on Instagram, thanks to the launch of IGTV, which provides you with a platform on which you already have followers. If you want to share with your followers a weekly recipe, a look at your shop, updates on a project, visits to cacao farms, or anything else you believe they would be interested in, you now have a place to share it that is well-organized and simple to find. You can use this place to share anything you think they would be interested in. The most exciting part? Because the new feature has only been available for a week, the sooner you start using it, the greater the likelihood that someone will discover your channel among the comparatively few films that have already been uploaded.

Camera Recommendations

Your smartphone undoubtedly has all the capabilities you need in this day and age.

I’m not going to attempt to talk you into buying a fancy camera or hiring a professional photographer; instead, I suggest that you experiment with the camera settings and spend some time getting to know the device that’s already in your pocket. This should be sufficient. It’s hard to say, but it could even turn out well. If, on the other hand, you want to take photographs of a professional level, or at the very least of a high quality, for your website, Instagram account, Facebook page, Pinterest account, or any of the other social media platforms that you use, then I can tell you from personal experience that even the best camera on a smartphone won’t be enough. There is really no justification for you not to invest in the aesthetics of your company, considering all of the capabilities that are available on cameras that cost far less than your iPhone did.

If you need evidence, just revisit any of the articles that I published before to January 2018 and look at the accompanying photographs. Go ahead. Before January, each one of them was photographed with a smartphone, and there is a noticeable contrast between the two sets. I won’t recommend anything that takes photos that aren’t as good as a smartphone’s, but if you don’t have a smartphone or just want a separate camera, these are some very highly-rated cameras (as told by both my photographer friends and confirmed by customers on Amazon!). I won’t recommend anything that takes photos that aren’t as good as a smartphone’s.

$100 Recommendation

Sony DSCW830

When purchasing a camera with 20.1 megapixels for little more than one hundred dollars, the quality of the images captured will already be superior to that of any smartphone now available on the market. If you want to take great images of things but aren’t quite ready to invest in anything bigger or more sophisticated, this is the camera for you. It has all the features you need to get the job done. This camera is about as straightforward as it gets for a point-and-shoot model and yet manages to produce high-quality images despite its decent sensor. Simply keep in mind that you’ll need to purchase a memory card.

$200 Recommendation

Canon PowerShot SX620

This 20.2 megapixel camera comes with a price tag of little over two hundred dollars, and at first glance, it would not seem to provide much more than the more affordable Sony that was previously mentioned. The Canon PowerShot, on the other hand, has a zoom capacity of 25 times and the ability to connect to wifi. This will enable you to capture images from a great distance and transfer them directly to your phone. Aside from the speed with which it can upload, the PowerShot also produces significantly higher-quality video thanks to the fact that it captures a greater number of megapixels in each each frame. In addition, much like the Sony, this is a point-and-shoot camera, which means that taking pictures with it is as easy as turning it on, focussing on the subject, and pressing the shutter button.

$400 Recommendation

Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera

At this price range, you can make a seamless transition from point-and-shoot cameras such as the two that were discussed before to cameras that have a few distinct moving components. After the lens broke on my inexpensive Lumix point-and-shoot camera, the very first digital single-lens reflex camera I purchased was this same model. The fact that this camera cannot auto-focus makes it less than ideal for shooting movies of things that are constantly moving toward and away from the camera. However, I like this camera all the same. But despite having only 18 megapixels, it has wifi technology, a lens that can be removed (so if you decide to get more into photography, you can buy other lenses to use for other purposes), and a top-of-the-line sensor that will detect colors and capture them much better than either of the two cameras described above.

$500 Recommendation

Panasonic Lumix GX850

It may come as a surprise to people who are just somewhat knowledgeable about photography that the megapixels continue to decrease; this Lumix only has 16 megapixels. However, if you want to take both still photographs and videos, this is one of the most highly recommended yet yet reasonably priced cameras now available. It has the greatest video quality of all of the cameras on our list in addition to having a screen that can be flipped up and used for taking “selfies” or vlogging. If you want to expand onto other social media platforms such as Snapchat, Youtube, or Facebook, or even if you just want to add high-quality videos to your Instagram feed, then I would recommend going with this option.

$600 Recommendation

Nikon D5500

It may come as a surprise to some of you to hear that despite being the model that is most obviously designed for professionals among all of the cameras that are included on this list, this camera is nevertheless regarded as being among the models that are most suited for novice photographers. However, when compared to other so-called “beginning cameras,” this one is at the top of its class. With 24.2 megapixels, 39 separate focus points, the ability to connect to WiFi, and a screen that can be touched, this camera has all the functions while maintaining a high level of accessibility. You can easily use it like a point-and-shoot once you learn how to correctly put on the lens, but I would only recommend purchasing this camera if you intend to learn how to use all of the features it has to offer. Once you learn how to correctly put on the lens, you can easily use it like a point-and-shoot. As with the other Digital SLR camera that was discussed before, the Nikon will provide you with hundreds of various settings to experiment with and a very high quality video; nevertheless, you should only make the investment in this camera if you are certain that you will make full use of it.

Learn how to take reeeeeally close up shots.

Food Photography Tips

Assuming that your emphasis is on the chocolate and cacao, it would be really beneficial for you to spend an hour or two each day for only one week studying how to take better images of chocolate. You can get more information about this topic here. If you want to sell chocolate, sell the components to manufacture chocolate, or even if you simply want to write about chocolate, you need to be able to shoot it. If your chocolate company does not post any images of its products on social media, then how are we meant to believe that your chocolate is of high quality? This is only some reading material and pictures to get you familiar with the fundamentals of the topic.

Books & Articles

An Introduction to Food Photography for Serious Eaters / This is one of the clearest written manuals I’ve ever come across, and it’s a far more in-depth approach to taking beautiful photographs than any other I’ve seen before. I would suggest reading through this if you just have fifteen minutes to spare but are interested in learning more about new skills via reading.

Tips for Capturing Mouthwatering Dessert Photographs / Here, Sheri focuses considerably more intently on improving the quality of the photographs she takes of desserts and other delicacies served after meals. She provides thirteen pointers that may be confusing to someone who is just starting out, but which build upon one another and reinforce crucial principles from the Serious Eats handbook.

Advice on Using Artificial Lighting for Food Photography / Once again, lighting is the most important factor in stunning images. You will be able to shoot high-quality photographs if you educate yourself on various lighting strategies (though I offer no guarantees that you actually will). Spend the next 10 minutes of your time going over some lighting fundamentals, and you may even pick up a few new tips and techniques along the way.

99 Photography Tips That Will Blow Your Mind That Involve Food / To tell you the truth, many of these pointers will be completely lost on you. If, on the other hand, you believe that you have mastered the fundamentals and are seeking for a few important takeaways to move up a level, you should go through all of these suggestions and put a few of them into practice each day for a month. I can promise that one half of them will be of little use, but one sixth of them will be a treasure trove. If only it were feasible to film a video titled “99 Tips,” but it’s not.

Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography and Styling by Helene Dujardin / Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography and Styling You are going to want to make an investment in a book if you are wanting to build up not just a gorgeous picture for Instagram and social media in general, but also amazing product photographs that can be used on a website, in a press release, or even as a decoration in a café. You probably have books on chocolate all around your house that you can refer to, and in the same way, you should have at least one or two photography books so that you may draw inspiration from them and be motivated by them. Instead of just taking pictures of what is available, the emphasis of this book is on how to create the images you want to take by way of style and composition.

by Corinna Gissemann / Food Photography: A Beginner’s Guide to Creating Images That Are Tempting to the Eye This is one of the greatest reference books for food photographers available, and it is written in a way that makes it easy for novices to understand. Corinna teaches students how to handle a DSLR camera, as well as food styling, lighting, props, and how to troubleshoot a photograph that just doesn’t seem quite right. This is a book you should have close to your camera at all times.

The Fundamentals of Food Photography: Light / An Introduction / Lighting is the most fundamental component of food photography, and this image does an excellent job of explaining it. It’s by far the finest picture I’ve ever seen explaining it. Genius Kitchen illustrates and simplifies how you may manage light sources to capture the images you want to shoot in only two minutes. Once you’ve seen it, the technique looks so simple that you won’t be able to forget it even if you try.

Advice on Food Photography from Andrew Scrivani / For Photographers Just Starting Out / I have completed the food photography course that Andrew Scrivani offers on CreativeLive, and one of my favorite parts is listening to how well he explains everything. When explaining concepts that, once you have the appropriate language, you are likely to convey with jargon, he sticks to the most fundamental phrase possible. Simply put, he is an excellent educator, and it will unquestionably be time well spent on your part to spend the next seven minutes learning the dozen or so ideas that are presented (additional brief pointers are shown on screen, along with visual illustrations).

Food Styling for the Purpose of Taking Stunning Photographs of Food / Beginning Level / The staff at We Eat Up has put together a beginner’s guide to food photography that is a little lengthier than the previous two introductions to food photography since it focuses more on common errors and how to prevent them. The process involves arranging the shots and adjusting the focus by moving the camera around the different components of the scene. If you want to get a great overview of how to take product pictures in less than a half an hour, I would highly recommend watching the first three videos on this list, and then going out and putting what you’ve learned into practice. If you want to learn how to take product pictures in less than a half an hour, click here.

Food Photography for Novices / An Introduction for Novices and Intermediates / The title pretty much sums up everything about it. Both iPhone photography and photography with a DSLR camera are covered in Josh and Alexa’s advice (admittedly using a bit of terminology for the DSLR camera Josh uses). However, this is better suited for someone who already has some experience with photography and is interested in honing their abilities with regard to taking photographs of food in particular.

The Beginner to Intermediate Food Photographer’s Guide to the 6 ESSENTIAL Props Necessary for Food Photography, Along with REAL Photoshoot Examples In this section, Kelly discusses the various food photography props that I had mentioned before. This will be of particular use to you if you are considering creating a modest place in which you will routinely shoot chocolate marketing images for Instagram or other platforms. You will discover that this provides a lot of value. It is beneficial to have a little armory of items that will help you get that fresh and unique look in a world where new and unique photographs are highly prized. In this world, it pays to take new and distinctive photographs.

How to improve your food photography at home (without needing to spend a lot of money on expensive equipment) / Intermediate Level / Sean offers some advice on how to take better photographs in more home or cafe/factory settings. Among other topics, he discusses the equipment, how to style the food, how to set up backdrops, and how to manipulate light sources. I have redirected the URL to the video so that it begins playing with the recommendations rather than his lengthy introduction.


Food Photography Basics: Light // Beginner Level // This is hands-down the best visual I’ve ever seen that explains the most basic element of food photography: lighting. In just 2 minutes, Genius Kitchen demonstrates and simplifies how you can manipulate light sources to take the photos you want, and it seems so obvious that once you see it you won’t forget it.

Food Photography Tips with Andrew Scrivani // Beginner Level // I’ve taken Andrew Scrivani’s CreativeLive course of food photography, and I love hearing how clearly he explains things. He uses the most basic terminology to explain things that you tend to use jargon for as soon as you learn the proper vocabulary. Basically, he’s just a great teacher, and it’s certainly worth 7 minutes of your time to learn these dozen or so tips (more small tips appear on screen, along with photo examples.

Food Styling For Stunning Food Photography // Beginner Level // A bit longer than the first two introductions to food photography, the crew at We Eat Together has put together more of a common mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them for beginners. It goes into setting up pictures and moving around the various parts to get the focus where you want it. If you’re looking to get a great overview of how to take product pictures in less than half an hour, I’d definitely recommend watching the first three videos on this list, and then going out and putting it into practice.

Food Photography for Beginners // Beginner-Intermediate Level // The title basically says it all. Josh and Alexa give you tips for both iPhone photography and DSLR photography (admittedly using a bit of terminology for the DSLR camera Josh uses). However, this is geared more towards someone who already dabbles in photography and wants to improve their skills with shooting food in particular.

6 ESSENTIAL Food Photography Props + REAL Photoshoot Examples // Beginner-Intermediate Level // Here Kelly goes into the food photography props I was mentioning above. You’ll especially find value in this if you’re looking into building a small space in which you consistently take your Instagram or chocolate marketing photos for other platforms. In a world in which new and unique photos are most highly valued, it pays to have a small arsenal of things which will help you achieve that new and unique look.

How to improve your food photography at home (without having to buy fancy gear) // Intermediate Level // Sean shares some insight into taking better photos in more home or cafe/factory settings, and he touches on gear, styling the food, setting up backgrounds, and manipulating light sources. I’ve linked the video so that it starts with the tips and skips his long-ish intro.

Read Part 4 HERE.

A post shared by Max Gandy | ??? (@damecacao) on Feb 28, 2018 at 4:38am PST

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