As the Editor of Easy Food magazine, Caroline Gray has years of experience in helping to answer the question, “What’s for dinner?” for her readers. In this post, she talks about the importance of video for food brands and why viewers enjoy them so much.
Scrolling through your News Feed, you’re bound to come across a speedy, drool-inducing food video. And whether you intended to or not, you probably watched it.
Videos have been key to social strategy and content marketing, and food-related videos are reigning supreme. A study this year by Buzzsumo analysed over 100 million videos and found that food is the most popular video topic ranked by Facebook engagement, pulling in more than double the amount of interactions as the second most popular topic, fashion and beauty.
Eat with your eyes
What makes food videos so easy to consume and share? The answer, it seems, is all about the strategy behind the content — what need does the video meet?
At surface level, one can say that since everyone eats, everyone has a connection to food. But cooking videos have been a staple for years and haven’t garnered the following we see in the category today. The food videos that attract millions of likes, shares and comments are the ones that are easy to view and even easier to digest. They’re short in length — anywhere between 60-90 seconds has proven to be the sweet spot — and focus on attention-grabbing, seductive shots of cooking; hence the term, “food porn.”
Maybe it was the slow-motion shot of a gooey grilled cheese being pulled apart, or a thick icing gliding across a cake, but these shots are the visual embodiment of that immersive eyes-closed, head-nodding moment when you get a bite of something too good for words.
Takeaway tip: Make your video as short and sweet as possible. You have approximately five seconds to grab the viewer’s attention so make it good from the start.
Hungry for more
It’s not only the visual appeal of the videos that makes them so popular; the purposes they serve for consumers are as diverse as the audience. Whereas traditional cooking videos were tailored for aspiring cooks, shareable social food videos are casting a wider net with their aim. These videos can fulfill any number of goals for the viewer, whether that’s to educate, inspire or entertain. While viewers are still looking for inspiration or education on new dinner ideas, many — if not most — of the audience is also consuming the video for the calming or entertaining break it offers.
Zoning out while watching a perfect slice removed from a chocolatey four-layer cake? A brief exercise in relaxation.
Fifteen new ways with sausage rolls? Bring it on.
Snappy and satisfying, these videos are ripe for sharing and tagging. They don’t ask anything of its audience, who have proven to be passionate, engaged and — best of all — highly receptive to food content.
Takeaway tip: Know your audience and give them something you would want to watch yourself. It doesn’t have to be rocket science, but it better be entertaining.
Getting a piece of the pie
Brands have been keen to incorporate food videos into their marketing strategies, using products in situ to demonstrate usage and align this highly engaged audience with their brands. While the current trend of recipe videos is still proving popular, brands can maximise their reach by exploring new ways of using food to meet viewers’ needs.
Whether a tech company creates a video of a bizarre new kitchen gadget in use, or a wellbeing centre shares a One-Minute Mindfulness video featuring 10 mesmerising cheesecakes, the food video conduit remains as the constant.
Cooking videos that highlight popular food trends or provide easy-to-replicate, visually intriguing meal ideas have garnered the most engagement on recipe video sites. A study by Millward Brown Digital, Firefly and Google found that nearly half of all adults watch food videos on YouTube, and millennials (aged 18-34) watch nearly 30% more food content than any other demographic. This social-savvy audience is an ideal market for food content, as they’re searching for and engaging with videos that help them become more confident cooks.
The take-home message is that this audience is hungry for more, as long as the content can continue to meet their needs of being educated, entertained or inspired. And as we’ve mentioned before, content marketing is imperative for food brands who want to be found. Food for thought!