5 Tips To Go Viral For Food Content Creators | Provecho


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5 Tips To Go Viral For Food Content Creators

Conrad DeMasi


Fri Sep 01 2023

It seems like some food content creators go from 0 to millions of followers overnight. While there's no one perfect formula, these tips can help take your food creator career to the next level.

1. Start With A Hook.

If you can't convince people that your video is worth watching in the first 3 seconds, they will swipe away instantly. That's why you need to create a "thumb stopping moment". In the context of food videos, there's a couple ways to do this.

  • Share the Money Shot: Whether it's a cheese pull, slo-mo dip, or a sandwhich cross section. This is the perfect opportunity to show off the recipe you made in all it's glory. Start with showing off the final product, then proceed to explain how you got there in the first place.
  • Tell a Story: Sometime's the thing that hooks viewers in doesn't need to just be the food, it could be the story behind the dish, or something completely unrelated. By starting off the video by saying "this is a story about the time I almost _____" you can capture people's attention and increase your chances of them watching your video through to the end.
  • Create a Confusing Moment: This is harder to pull off, but sometimes you can create an unexpected hook. A great example of this is Patrick Zeinali. Some of Patrick's most viral videos start out by him doing something absurd, like "eating a plant". After Patrick takes a bite, the viewer realizes Patrick's actually somehow created a cake in the shape of a plant, and is then likely to stay to figure out how on earth he created such a thing. This is a much more elaborate example of a recipe video on TikTok that's gone viral, but you can take this same concept and adapt it to your own style. Here's Patrick's video for reference: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZM6CsU6D1/

2. Share, Comment, Save, etc.

Any action that viewers take on your social media post will become powerful algorithm boosters. So, create content with that in mind. Here's a couple examples of how people lead the audience to take action on their post.

  • Call To Action: If you're filming a recipe with a voiceover, you could say "make sure to save this for the next time you cook". Or the first thing in your Instagram caption could be "Save this recipe for a new weeknight meal." You could also mention that your video is worth saving in your story on Instagram, or in one of the first comments. In general, the more obvious you can be with your audience the better.
  • Give People a Reason To Share: One of the most common interactions on social media, is sharing videos. People do this with their significant others, best friends, siblings, etc. So say you're making a chicken wing dish. Instead of just calling it "My Chicken Wing Recipe", you could call it something like "Gameday Chicken Wings". By associating your recipe with an event, now you've given people a reason to share it with those that they'll be celebrating that event with. The same could work with Valentines day, or 4th of July, or anyting else. Point is, create a reason for people to share your recipe on Instagram, with someone else.
  • Create a Debate: One of the underlying secrets in the creator world, is that food creators love when debates break out on their posts. The more people comment on your post, the higher engagement you will have, and the more people it will be shown to (this goes for TikTok, Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat and Facebook.) A way to create this – drawing from our previous example regarding Chicken Wings, could be asking people if they prefer "drums" or "flats". This gives people a reason to proclaim their favorite kind of wing on your post, therefore boosting your recipe video. Just be careful with this, creating a place for unhealthy discussion probably won't serve your account well in the longrun.

3. Start a Series

What's great about having a series, is that it creates spillover from one video to the next. For example, if someone ends up liking video #13 in the series "21 days of soup". There's a good chance they will like soup video number #1, #2, and #3 as well. This leads to more people checking out your profile, engaging with your videos (one of the main drivers in going viral on social media), and having a connection with you as a creator. The thing about series' is that they can be tricky. Usually they are time bound, which means you need to front a lot of content. But, most food creators can look back at a time in their career when they had a recipe series take off. So if you're looking for an inflection point in your career in becoming a full time food content creator, this might be just the strategy for you.

4. Show Your Face

Although it seems simple, this can be one of the scariest things for people about posting on social media. But if you're hoping to increase engagement, it's 100% worth it. Pictures on Instagram with faces on average see 20x higher engagement than posts without faces. One of the fears early on that aspiring food creators talk about is "I don't want to show my face in my videos." This is a normal feeling to have. It can feel weird to stick your face into a video that's really supposed to be just about the food. It can be intimidating to put your face out there to a world of (at times) incencitive commentors. But trust us when we say people want to see you for you. So much of food and culture is about the people and traditions behind the food that's being made. Showing your face is a way for people to see who you are, why you're making the food that you're making, etc.

Another more tactical reason to show your face, is because it's your digital trademark. Anyone can recreate an overhead shot of a bowl. Nobody can recreate you. When you put your face out into the world, people begin to recognize you, and resonate with both you and your food. People might not always remember your username, or the exact dish that you made, but they will remember your face. So make sure to include it in your recipe videos.

5. Have a Shtick

The idea of a digital trademark doesn't just stop at showing your face. Many food creators have "a thing" or a "shtick" that they do somewhere in every video. When @blakemenardcooks first started out making food content and recipe videos, he would take a block of cheese, and throw it onto the ceiling so that it would stick. Like clockwork, the cheese would fall off the ceiling and into the pan, at the precise time that he needed to add cheese to his recipe.

This is a comedic example, but it is one of the best executed shticks we've ever seen online. Nobody else does anything remotely similar to it, and it instantly draws the viewer in. This relates back to the first point about creating a hook through confusion, and the second point about provoking people to comment.

When it comes to building a captive audience, people won't just recognize you for your username. Having a shtick is a wonderful way to keep your videos consistent and therefore recongnizable on an app like Instagram or TikTok with billions of videos. And it's a great way for you to showcase your personality. Don't feel like you need to force it from the beginning. Play around with it, have fun, and once something stick's make it your shtick!

There's no one secret to launching your career as a food content creator. But hopefully these 5 tips for going viral help you along your journey to turn your passion for food into a living as a full time food content creator. Keep it up!