For marketers distributing videos on Facebook, the goal is to produce “thumb-stoppers”, which are videos or images so compelling that users will stop scrolling through their news feeds, even when there is no sound. It turns out, nothing can stop thumbs like food images. If there is a killer content category in Facebook’s video platform, it is food recipe videos. While YouTube has confessional video bloggers, beauty tutorials and video game clips, close-ups of dripping egg yolk, yummy desserts and crispy bacon dominate Facebook.
Tasty, a BuzzFeed’s food centric channel on Facebook, was launched in July 31, 2015, and in October it generated more video views than any other channel on Facebook. Its recipe videos show just a person’s hands putting together a dish and are filmed in an over-the-head, sped-up style. Tasty now is having more than 73 million likes and being among the most popular Facebook publishers during the past months. Its videos regularly get 10 millions of views. Just when the audience got bigger, Buzzfeed decided to narrow it down by creating many sub-pages, in order to maintain its audience at the main page, but also to provide them with more content through the relevant pages. For example, Proper Tasty focuses on British recipes and it now has 13 million likes. There are also the pages Tasty Demais, Bien Tasty, Tasty Miam, with each one of them still impressing with the engagement.
It might seem obvious that Tasty relies on the impressive engagement that maintains the audience’s interest, but it is not an easy achievement that every page could reach. So what makes Tasty so popular on Facebook?
- Brevity: Tasty’s videos last from 30s to 2 minutes, which is the right amount of time to maintain the audience’s attention. Their fast pace and the quick visual steps help viewers watch them until the end and this contributes to the increase of engagement and the rising completion rate.
- Simplicity: Tasty is all about mouthwatering food that is easy to make, which makes viewers save, share, like the videos, as a way to show their approval of them, but also their intentions to try out the recipes.
- Relevance: As BuzzFeed targets a younger audience for Tasty, the food choices had to be close to their tastes, with many of their popular recipes being about pizza, chocolate cakes, cheesecake, chicken tacos,…
- Highly shareable: The combination of brevity, simplicity and relevance makes Tasty’s videos highly shareable and this has significantly contributed to the virality of the page.
- Optimized autoplay feature: Since Facebook videos autoplay without sound, Tasty uses graphics to identify and walk people through recipes. They also shoot food at specific angles, taking into consideration how clips will look on mobile devices, where the majority of Facebook users analyze their news feeds.
- Demographic: It could be that moms are big Facebook users. Facebook is the prominent place where moms and older demographic consume content, while younger generation prefer YouTube and Snapchat. This Facebook’s demographics is a slightly older demographic but tend to share food videos at a high rate.
- Facebook’s native videos: It is estimated that video will account for 69% of all internet traffic by 2017. Facebook has heavily promoted videos on its platform. Thus, Tasty know that native videos tend to be favoured by Facebook in terms of reach, which increases the chances of engagement, especially if the content is relevant and appealing.
The Internet has an insatiable appetite for food content. Despite all reasons above, it could simply because food is a universal language. Tasty may serve as a great case study on the power of Facebook videos and even if you don’t have the support of Buzzfeed to promote your content, you can still be inspired to create the best outcome, depending on your field, your audience and your goals.