How Jamie Oliver used video storytelling with FoodTube

Richard Herd attended our Shift London event to discuss how video content can increase engagement on digital platforms and the way FoodTube has adapted its content for a new audience.

It was an interesting session by Richard Herd, Head of FoodTube explaining the challenge the Jamie Oliver brand faced when it decided to target customers on social media. 

How Jamie Oliver’s brand went from offline to online with FoodTube

There was a challenge, but also a huge opportunity to appeal to a passionate and engaged audience, which turned out to be a great lesson for FoodTube and Jamie Oliver.

We thought this would be simple”, said Richard Herd, but apparently the success of FoodTube wasn’t easy, as they soon realised that they had to reeducate themselves, in order to meet the demands of the new target audience.

The first lesson that FoodTube learned very early was the fact that every platform needs its own style of content. It isn’t enough to simply use excerpts from a TV programmes.  

Thus, FoodTube realised that it has to provide content that creates an authentic dialogue with the audience. It has to be relevant.

How Jamie Oliver’s brand went from offline to online with FoodTube

The first attempts to upload content on Youtube weren’t very successful for FoodTube

As 65% of FoodTube’s audience consists of men aged 20 to 40 years old that only want the recipes’ instructions as soon as possible, they realised that they need to adapt the content accordingly.

Thus, experimentation led to FoodTube’s optimal video lengths, which is two to three minutes for Youtube and not more than one minute for Facebook videos, with each type of content fitting to the audience’s expectations from each platform.

According to Richard Herd, it’s all about understanding who you’re talking to, at what moment and for what reason.

Relevance and authenticity are the key words for FoodTube, as they lead to a dialogue with the audience, a mutual understanding from both sides that eventually favours engagement.

For FoodTube “it’s always all about content”, which led to 10 million monthly views on its Youtube channel every month, while the brand has also grown its Facebook audience. The latter led led to a new focus on the creation of native Facebook videos with faster versions of the recipes, relying on graphics and instant appeal to maintain the engagement and create viral content.  

As for the emerging platforms, FoodTube has been experimenting lately with Snapchat, realising its potential and, as Richard Herd mentioned, it might not specifically reflect its target audience, but it still offers a useful platform to build the brand and create great collaborations.

To sum up, here’s what Richard Herd suggests on digital video and storytelling as a way to increase engagement and build an audience:

  1. Be authentic
  2. Understand your audience
  3. Always tailor your content to each platform
  4. Only create relevant content
  5. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new types and lengths of video content

Learn more about FoodTube and how video storytelling led to two million YouTube subscribers.

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