You can’t login to your favorite social media site these days without seeing one of those BuzzFeed food videos. Admittedly, the chocolate almond braid dessert video is hard to pass up (nearly 50 million views and counting).
There’s a lot foodservice marketers can learn from the format that is dominating social media circles. Studies find that 17 out of the 20 most popular Facebook videos provided by Buzzfeed are food-related.
The video format is short. Needs no explanation beyond the pictures. And focuses on recipes most human beings can handle — no high-end cooking skills required (which is the case in the vast majority of restaurant kitchens!).
Restaurant cooks and school cafeteria managers are likely to flock to this format perhaps more than the average consumer. The standard food pro has an even shorter attention span than the bewildered dad in the kitchen trying to whip up dinner for the kids.
Operators I talk to say they value mundane “prep” videos on how to make a gravy mix or whip up a simple tuna recipe as much as an impressive display of culinary mastery. Why? Because they need to constantly train new staff on the basics. And these short-form videos fill the bill, even though they defy conventional wisdom:
- Shot from one angle. We video creators like to, well, create! We love to shoot a product 12 different ways. Yet buzzyworthy videos typically shoot every scene from one angle — directly above. But boredom doesn’t set in because the videos move so fast.
- No narration required. Silent movies are a thing of the past, right? Not when it comes to these recipe videos — no commentary is needed. Just watch and learn.
- Breaks the language barrier. Without narration, it’s much easier for a non-English speaker to follow the video. The pictures tell it all. The few captions that appear — like setting the oven to 350° F — are fairly universal to interpret across English, Spanish, French and other languages.
The other upside… producing buzzworthy videos is much more cost efficient than traditional recipe videos. It’s the ultimate “do more with less” concept.