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Video Strategy for Food & Recipe Websites

Video strategy for food sites

Being a digital publisher of a recipe or food website can be a lucrative calling. In fact, food sites on our publisher network achieve on average a CPM that is 62% higher than non-food related websites. However, standing out in the online food and recipe market is a tough task. The main problem being that visitors fall into two categories, both with real challenges for site operators.

The first category is people with only a broad outline of what they are looking for. They may be looking for inspiration for a meal for a special occasion or context. They may be looking for ways to use an unfamiliar product that they spotted on a special offer in the grocery store or want to learn how to use up a glut of produce from the garden. If the visitor isn’t sure what they are looking for, it’s even harder for a static web page to meet their needs and the bounce rate keeps on rising.

The second category is people looking for something specific such as a recipe for a particular dish. Standing out here is also tough as often the recipe is a standard and while that special twist or secret ingredient makes a mouthwatering difference, search engines don’t have taste buds.

Many sites instead try to distinguish themselves with personality, telling an epic backstory of family tradition or foreign travel before getting to the recipe, but the big risk here is readers who simply want to get to the “how to” and click away in frustration. That’s shown in stats from SimilarWeb showing even some top ten food websites have average visits barely beating the one minute mark and bounce rates exceeding 80 percent.

Culinary Vision

video on food sitesGiven these challenges, it’s no wonder video has proven to be key in the food and recipe world online. It’s no secret that video is the secret ingredient for any website in building traffic: pages with video not only bring in more traffic, but make sites more sticky. The culinary world is particularly ripe for taking advantage of video.

At its most basic, video enhances the sensual experience of the online food enthusiast. Perhaps more importantly, it brings an element that plain text and static images can’t provide. Video is the best way to demonstrate a specific technique, while for less confident home chefs, it’s incredibly helpful to know what food should look like at a given stage of the preparation and cooking process.

Mobile Maturity

Technology will only increase the appetite for video on food sites. 4G and 5G networks and the slow-but-discernible decline of the data cap means being at a desktop computer or having wi-fi is no longer necessary to get the full foodie experience in video form. 

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The dominance of the tablet computer also lends itself to video sites: few home cooks have the space for a laptop on their kitchen counter, but a tablet is small and portable enough to use even in the messiest kitchen.

Video Discovery on Cooking Websites

video discovery on food websitesSo, what’s the best way to take advantage of the market for food and recipe video? Enticing users to watch additional videos, whether produced in-house or commissioned externally is certainly an option that works well for many sites, but it’s not the only solution.

Externally sourced video brings a welcome form of double-dipping: engaging content that attracts and retains visitors to a site by building on existing content while opening a source of income through a slice of ad revenues. It’s also a great way to adjust to seasonal variations in marketing campaigns and budgets.

Manually figuring out what’s right to show a particular visitor to a particular page can be a time consuming and imprecise proposition, however.

That’s where video discovery platforms fit the bill. They use smart technology to deliver relevant and targeted content that keeps users sticking on a site for second helpings and more. Thinking back to the challenges facing food websites, it’s the ideal way to serve both types of visitor: the ones looking for inspiration and the ones looking for a specific recipe. Video discovery platforms help foodies find what they are looking for, but also the idea or technique they didn’t know they needed.

The secret is the way a well-designed discovery platform can figure out context. By analyzing what the user is reading or watching, it can spot clues such as dietary tastes, preferred cooking styles, key ingredients and so much more. That means offering more relevant videos that the user is more likely to watch.

That is why food publishers using the Primis unit are able to not only achieve industry standard when it comes to time-on-site, but also reach an average duration that is 14% higher than other sites. A big contributing factor is that users watching the Primis unit on food sites spend an average of 26 more seconds watching the video unit than on other sites in the network

The Proof is in the Pudding

The Primis video discovery platform is already satiating the appetites of visitors to food sites. One site that specializes in real recipes from home cooks integrated the Primis player at the start of 2019, combining its existing in-house video inventory with external clips.

Food website revenue

The results were spectacular: in the space of four months, its video ad revenues rose by almost 150%. Just as with diners at the table, presentation counts: a big part of the success was the ease of use and customization, with the recommendation thumbnails attracting the attention of visitors.

The Bottom Line

Video discovery is a perfect fit for food and recipe site visitors, prompting them to spend longer on a site and return more often. Not only can a video discovery platform increase your opportunity to monetize visitors through direct and affiliate sales and on-site advertising, but you can also pick up valuable revenue from delivering external videos that serve your audience’s needs. Contact Primis to learn more about this recipe for success.

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