I’ve noticed an influx of video content in my Facebook Newsfeed over the past couple years. I don’t know how many times I’ve been transfixed on my commute home by the Tasty videos my friends share incessantly (these cheese stuffed chicken nuggets have been on my to-cook list for a while). I’m pretty much obsessed with these short videos, even if I’m not that interested in the content.
I’m not the only one who has found these bite-sized videos impossible to resist. Today, most people are too busy or distracted to sit through a long video. If you want to get your audience’s attention, you need to go where they spend most of their time and hook them with convenient and quick content. Brands from BuzzFeed to Bacardi are utilizing pithy video content to provide value to their audiences in a minute or less.
Snackable content—content that’s short and sweet—is comprised of three key ingredients:
- It’s eye-catching.
- It’s short.
- It’s easy to follow.
Let’s explore 4 examples of brands who have nailed the recipe for snackable video content. Be sure to share your favorite examples in the comments!
Grocery stores may not seem very interesting from a brand perspective, but I’m absolutely fascinated by them. I’m a big grocery store nerd and sometimes, when I’m walking around the produce section, I find myself wondering what their content marketing programs look like. After all, it seems like the only time I’m confronted with grocery store marketing is in radio ads or when I toss the circulars they mail me in the trash. This kind of marketing feels dated and tired. No one wants one-way communication, and most people don’t have time to leaf through pages of coupons. This strategy also feels very impersonal, as well as time consuming and expensive to produce.
Wanting to drive engagement with valuable and interesting content, Safeway decided to develop snackable videos that deliver content that’s high-quality and budget friendly. Senior Social Marketing Manager Paul Albright mentioned that they first tried capturing audience attention via static visuals and recipes. This traditional strategy wasn’t creating the kind of engagement they wanted. Safeway worked with their agency to develop short, 15 to 20 second long videos for Facebook that focused less on selling and more on providing their audience with valuable culinary tips and cooking advice. With their new snackable videos, Safeway saw their organic reach grow more than 11x and engagement rates soar by 487%.
Bite-sized videos don’t require a big budget. Albright told AdWeek the reason they were able to experiment with a Facebook video campaign was because it wasn’t high-production. He said, “It was easy for them to do something with their iPhone. There’s no SAG involved in this. It was very low-budget and that’s the only reason why we got approved.” By getting creative with a small budget, Safeway was able to think outside the box and create personable content their audience actually wants to engage with.
Content giant BuzzFeed got in on the snackable video game early with their highly-addictive, quick-to-produce Tasty brand content. Devoted to flooding your newsfeed with delicious (and nutritiously questionable) cooking how-tos, Tasty launched on Facebook last July has almost 48 million likes. Their content is informative, gratifying, and entertaining. Even though I have yet to actually make any of Tasty’s recipes, I can’t help but stop and watch their videos every time they pop up on my Newsfeed. It’s easy to watch them without feeling like doing so is a major commitment. With each video typically less than 90 seconds, pausing in the middle of my day to learn how to make Nutella dumplings doesn’t feel like a huge waste of time.
Wanting to replicate Tasty’s success, BuzzFeed launched Nifty—a DIY video brand—in mid-March. BuzzFeed’s instinct for snackable content seems to be pretty on point. After less than a month, Nifty already has 4 million Facebook likes, and that number is growing daily. The reason for Nifty’s success is due in large part to BuzzFeed understanding its audience. According to recent stats, more than half of BuzzFeed’s visitors are between 18-34 years old, with 56% of those being women. It makes sense that BuzzFeed produces instructional DIY and cooking videos, since this kind of content generally appeals to a younger audience in search of life hacks.
When creating short video content for your audience, really focus on what interests them. BuzzFeed understands its audience’s desires better than most brands. Younger generations are more interested in DIY activities, and by creating snackable how-to content that taps into these interests, BuzzFeed is giving their audience valuable information that meets their needs. Look to stats before making snackable video and get to know your audience to ensure the content you’re producing provides value.
Liquor giant Bacardi, has a household name and an array of beloved products. It would seem that such a well-established brand might not need an engagement boost from snackable videos. Even so, Bacardi’s marketing team understands the importance of keeping your product in front of your audience and doing so in a creative way. Being such a big brand means Bacardi could have taken the typical approach with their marketing by using copy and a static image to insert themselves into their fans’ Facebook feeds. But when your brand skews to a younger demographic, it’s important to position yourself in a way that appeals to them.
Rather than stick with traditional marketing methods, Bacardi started creating snackable videos for their Facebook page. Their videos are relatively short—the longest is around 4 minutes, most are under 30 seconds—and offer audiences a view of the Bacardi lifestyle, as well as a cocktail recipe series (Made in Moments) that can be made with their products. By providing both entertaining and highly-informative content, Bacardi is ensuring they’re a brand that offers a wide range of interesting videos their audience can consume in less than a minute. Bacardi has seen major engagement with their snackable videos. For example, the Limonade recipe posted three weeks ago already has over 2.3 million views, over 14,000 likes, and over 1,000 comments.
Just because your tried-and-true marketing methods are working now, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be experimenting with different content types. With more than half of 18 to 54 year olds sharing videos on social networks, creating videos highlighting your products or services isn’t as much of a risk as it used to be. As mentioned, snackable videos don’t have to require a big budget or lengthy production process—just a great concept and a thorough understanding of your audience. By offering a wide range of bite-sized videos, Bacardi is making sure their fans not only engage with their content, but that they’re also remembering them as a brand that provides value.
Aerie, a sub-brand of American Eagle, is one of the few clothing brands of my youth that’s actually managing to remain relevant with today’s young adults. Rather than clinging to a dated idea of beauty, Aerie has taken a different approach in marketing its lingerie and pajamas. In 2014, the brand announced their Aerie Real campaign. As part of this campaign, Aerie used models of all shapes and sizes and didn’t retouch images in Photoshop.
The Aerie Real campaign has been a major success, particularly on social media where the brand is able to interact directly with its fans. Aerie has even taken a step further in humanizing their brand by creating short, easy-to-digest videos for their Facebook page. One reason video works so well for retail brands is because consumers are able to see the clothing in action and actually envision how it might look on them. Many of Aerie’s videos feature models sporting their swimsuits and pajamas, which helps consumers see the clothes in action. However, where Aerie sees the most engagement is on videos made for their Real campaign. This content, often paired with the slogan “the real you is sexy”, generates the most audience participation. By telling a compelling story in their seconds-long videos, Aerie’s content forges a connection with their fans while still showing off their clothes.
Being able to tell a story in less than 30 seconds can be a challenge, but it’s doable. It may seem like short videos won’t work with your brand if you don’t have a product or service that’s instructional. But not every snackable video needs to be educational. Aerie uses their videos to further their Real campaign, announce sales, and show off new merchandise, all of which are wrapped in a narrative that aligns with their mission. With over 1.5 million likes on Facebook, Aerie remains a relevant brand by constantly experimenting with progressive marketing campaigns and content types.
The Bottom Line
Snackable videos don’t need a big budget or tons of time to develop. All you need is a little creativity, a strong narrative, and insight into your audience’s needs. By coming up with an interesting story that can be conveyed in a limited timeframe, you can leverage this content type to create a major impact with your audience.