Recipe for success: What goes into great food content?




Robert Anderson

Our Director of Content & Social, provides some thoughts and insights from our breakfast event with BuzzFeed and Christian Stevenson aka. DJ BBQ.  

“Last week we welcomed two great guests to Good Relations: Jordan Ballentine from Proper Tasty, the UK spin-off of Buzzfeed’s hugely popular Tasty food channel, and DJ BBQ to talk us through the magic of making food content.

If you’re an active Facebook user, and most of us are, it’s likely you’ve seen a Proper Tasty recipe video in the past week or so. With 18 million fans, the page reaches 77% of users in the UK and its first-person perspective videos regularly clock up over 2 million views. It’s colossal.

DJ BBQ (a.k.a. Christian Stevenson) offers something very different; part man, part whirlwind, he specialises in high-octane videos bubbling over with personality, produced under the banner of Jamie Oliver’s collective, FoodTube.

Despite their contrasting approaches to the business of food content creation, both offer irresistible entertainment value. So what’s their secret sauce?

Just half a teaspoon of gimmick

When it first launched, Tasty was famous for its elaborate concoctions (guacamole onion rings anyone?) and while they were very entertaining, according to Jordan the team realised there really is such a thing as a gimmick too far. Ultimately, viewers just want to make a relatively simple dinner (50% of Tasty subscribers have tried at least one of the dishes at home). So little twists, like serving a Chinese pineapple chicken stir fry IN a scooped-out pineapple, work really well.

The bottom line? Make your video fun by all means, but keep it do-able.

…unless you go really BIG

On the other hand, as DJ BBQ can attest, doing something totally nuts really can really pay off. His spit roast recipe video, where the spit was powered by a self-built water wheel, took weeks of planning but is remains his most-watched. Time well spent.

Keep testing and learning 

Viewers’ tastes are constantly shifting, so it’s important to pay attention to feedback in the comments and experiment. Proper Tasty just published a hummus four ways recipe – something they don’t think would have excited viewers a year ago but was received enthusiastically last month by an audience that is becoming increasingly health conscious.

Give the people a 360 experience 

Want to make fans AND keep them? Exist IRL (In Real Life). Launch a book like Proper Tasty or appear at events up and down the country in a custom built meatwagon, complete with vertical exhaust flamethrowers and subwoofers, like DJ BBQ. It means that fans can build a deeper connection and thereby become even more invested in your content.

And there you have it. Good luck with your creation!”

This was published by…

Robert Anderson

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