Delicious Cupcakes with Sprinkles

If you’re on Facebook or Instagram, I’m sure you’ve noticed the rising popularity of the simple, ingenious “food hack” video by now. These videos, which usually feature a “how-to-make-something” theme and show the process in short clips from above, are truly an interesting phenomenon.

They’re short, they’re engaging, and they have the uncanny ability to stop you dead in your scrolling tracks to be totally enthralled by, for example, a recipe for making cookie-and-milk shots, avocados filled neatly with ham and eggs, a banana split milkshake, or a latte with Donald Trump’s face drawn into the foam—you get the idea. It’s food, hacked, and we can’t stop watching.

These eye-catching, drool-worthy clips have racked up billions of views in recent months. In fact, according to ReelSEO’s ranking of Facebook publishers, there are four food channels in the top five spots. Combined, those four food channels attract roughly 4 billion views on their videos on a monthly basis. Clearly, this is a standout category of content.

Mini Cherry Bakewell Cheesecakes

Posted by Proper Tasty on Monday, 4 April 2016

They are really, extremely shareable. The video above went up on April 4th and already has 11 million+ views, and counting.

The numbers simply don’t lie: Buzzfeed’s Tasty Channel, which is basically the king of the food hack video, has 49 million likes (yes, 49 million). Tastemade, another food hack channel, has a not-too-shabby 14 million, and there are hundreds of others that have appeared in the recent past, as you’ve probably noticed in your feeds. This is social video at its best.

The Magic Recipe

So what exactly makes the food hack video so enticing that everyone stops scrolling and pays attention?

1. They’re suited to the platform.

Foodhack videos are designed specifically for Facebook, Instagram, Vine etc. and are often designed specifically for mobile viewing. They shoot food from particular angles and in such a way that things are clear even on a small screen.

2. They’re recognizable.

Once the foodhack phenomenon started to take off, brands creating the videos kept making them in a very similar style: view from above, quick sequence of steps with cuts in between, etc. This gives viewers automatic context for what they’re seeing.

3. Images of food are irresistible.

They make us stop, they make us drool, they make us long for things, they make us click “Like.” Who knows why – it’s brain chemistry.

4. The videos are simple.

Foodhack videos tend to be short (now they can be up to 60 seconds for Instagram) and tell a very simple visual story, in obvious steps.

5. They make it look easy.

A huge point of appeal for the foodhack video is that it makes fancy food items—which we usually think of as something only the talented cooks of the world can create—into something anyone can do.

Will food hack videos be influencing your strategy? Let us know how!

Written by Laci Texter

SproutVideo blog contributor. You can follow her on Twitter and Google+.

Posted April 11, 2016

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