Mark Zuckerberg is concerned about us, and he has a solution: Fewer viral videos on Facebook. In a lengthy Facebook post, Zuckerberg told the community that Facebook had 'made changes to show fewer viral videos to make sure people's time is well spent.' In doing so, Facebook is prioritising 'meaningful connections between people' over 'passive consumption of content.' The intention is a noble one. There's no doubt that the world could use more meaningful connections between people. There's also no doubt that this change will have an impact on content publishers on Facebook. Over 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook daily, and in recent years its news feed algorithm has favoured video, leading to an increase in brand reliance on video content. None of this means that video is about to disappear completely, however. This is particularly true in the food space. Food is visual, and food videos consistently appear in annual 'most watched' lists. What it does mean is that food brands will need to double down on their efforts to create engaging, inspiring video content that resonates enough to appear on Facebook news feeds.
Of course, the popularity of online video goes far beyond the reaches of Facebook, and its dominance as a content marketing strategy is set to continue. Here are three reasons why video is vital in food marketing.
1. 80% of global internet consumption will be video content by 2019
In 2017, video content accounted for 69% of global consumer internet traffic. By 2019, this figure is expected to rise to 80%. Given the trend for short, highly shareable video content, this is no surprise. Recipe content producers such as Buzzfeed Tasty and Tastemade have mastered this trend. In one year, a Tasty recipe video for 'Sliders - 4 Ways' amassed a staggering 194 million views on Facebook alone. The creators of these popular overhead instructional videos are mindful of the fact that 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. Facebook's latest decision may pave the way for food brands to try a fresh approach and embrace long-form recipe videos, presented by engaging, inspiring influencers and chefs and hosted on YouTube or brand websites.
2. Millennials are lapping up video
According to a 2014 Think With Google report, millennials are eating up YouTube food videos. And although a number of years have passed since that report was released, the continued popularity of online videos means that its findings may be more relevant than ever. The report found that 68% of millennial mothers watch videos while cooking, opening up opportunities for food brands to reach their target audience right there in the kitchen. Not only that, but 69% of millennial mothers purchase food products featured in the videos they watch. The influence of online food videos does not just extend to women. 42% of millennial fathers will make special trips to the supermarket to purchase products they learn about in food videos. In such a competitive space, food brands need to stand out in order to grab the attention of these digital natives, whether through unique recipes or exciting collaborations. In fact, millennial men are more likely to watch food videos to be entertained by food personalities, influencers and celebrity chefs.
3. Videos on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more
While native videos on social media platforms achieve incredible engagement rates, videos on landing pages have the potential to increase conversions by an astonishing 80% of more. Consumers have access to more product information and options than ever, and digital supermarket aisles are competitive spaces. Grabbing consumer attention at the research stage through engaging videos with high production values is a vital first step in fostering loyalty. For food brands that are not involved in direct-to-consumer selling, this may mean partnering with grocery retailers to create high-quality video content to enhance recipe landing pages right on the grocery store website. This sort of collaboration has benefits for both sides. Retailers benefit from fresh, enticing content that drives traffic to the website, and food brands and retailers benefit from increased basket value.
What's clear is that video still dominates online food marketing. While it remains to be seen what impact Facebook's changes will have on video engagement for food brands, the release of smart screens from Amazon and Google, and the increased consumption of video content by consumers will certainly reinvigorate the role videos play in communicating a brand's message.
For more on why we think smart screens such as the Echo Show are a game-changer in the kitchen, click here.