Facebook called. Recipe videos are still a thing. This is particularly interesting because the popularity of recipe videos (specifically Buzzfeed Tasty) peaked over 3 years ago (that’s like 300 internet years).
Even today, Tasty videos typically get over 1 billion views per month and are Buzzfeed’s fastest growing source of revenue. What makes them so popular? Why do they work? And what can marketers learn from them?
1. Have your content fit your audience
Buzzfeed worked hard to analyze their target audience (millennials) to learn what content they want to interact with. Typically, Buzzfeed chooses recipes and foods that align with the younger generation’s tastes – pizza, tacos, cakes, etc.
This goes to my next point
2. They are brief and simple
As I spoke about in a recent post about targeting Gen Z compared to Millennials, Gen Z and younger millennials typically don’t have the patience when it comes to digital content. Tasty videos are ideal for this target audience because they are usually between 30 seconds and 2 minutes long. They are fast-paced, visually easy to follow, and mainly focus on the recipe, not the chef and background like traditional cooking shows.
3. Visual Power, Beautiful Production, and Mobile Appeal
As mentioned in the previous post, your content must immediately peak the interest of Gen Z and young Millennials for them to stop scrolling and engage. Tasty videos are intentionally produced with vibrant colors to catch the interest of scrolling Millennials. At the same time, they have a soothing quality about them to keep their audience watching.
Tasty videos can also be viewed without sound which means viewers can watch in situations where turning on their sound would be socially unacceptable (you know, ahem, at your desk). This increases the video watch time and, in turn, engagement.
4. Take advantage of the rise of DIY
DIY is a popular trend for things like crafts and home improvement so it makes sense that this trend can be translated into the food world as well. DIY videos are perfect to integrate into a content marketing plan because they’re easily shareable and offer many options for sponsored products.
5. Play by Facebook’s Rules
Native videos are created in or directly uploaded to Facebook. They are highly favored by Facebook’s algorithm which means they generally outperform other similar social media content. They show up in more users’ newsfeeds and play automatically when users scroll by them. Learn the rules and play to your benefits.
6. Make Content Your Audience Wants to Share
Most likely, viewers won’t make most of the recipes they watch. However, they watch them because #chefgoals and with Facebook and Pinterest, they’re easy to share with a foodie friend and save for later. Frank Cooper, BuzzFeed’s chief marketing officer, identified in an interview with Fortune Magazine that the content itself isn’t just well produced but “taps into a simple truth: People love tasty foods and the kind of foods that remind them of their childhood, comfort food, or food that reminds them of an experience.”
7. Create Versatile Content
It doesn’t make sense to take the ‘one-size fits all’ approach if your social media strategy is to engage people all over the world. The original Tasty caters to American tastes by using American ingredients. Other Tasty channels have been created to target a more broad/global audience such as Proper Tasty (UK), Tasty Japan, and Tasty Vegetarian. Your social audience might not be “the whole world” like Buzzfeed’s, but take this idea and incorporate it into your strategy so you’re speaking to each of your audience personas.
8. Use Video
Video is essential to any social media campaign and is here to stay. If you’re not using video already, model your strategy like Tasty’s to focus on consumers, insights, and production style. The data is there that backs up video and its heightened effect on things like social media engagement and e-commerce conversion rate.
9. Tailor your Content
Buzzfeed Tasty Videos are tailor-made for each social media platform, specifically, Facebook where Buzzfeed has an incredible combined 86 million likes. BuzzFeed talks about the importance of precisely targeting social media platforms in an article ‘How BuzzFeed Thinks About Data,’ which reveals CEO Jonah Peretti’s decision to “aggressively publish our content directly to platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Snapchat.” Like mentioned above about playing to Facebook’s rules, each platform has their own algorithm and when you post native, you’ll always get more eyes.
10. Don’t let social media be an afterthought for your brand
Spending a little extra time and money on your brand’s social media can be the difference between a dull online promotion strategy and an innovative, successful one. It’ll show your audience that you’re trustworthy, informed, and generous when disseminating valuable and entertaining content.
Did you get inspired by Buzzfeed’s social media strategy and content? Let us know! Email me below to set up a brainstorm around rejuvenating your content marketing.