How to cook your way to the top on YouTube
In the latest Academy seminar, members were schooled on video content creation.
There are no rules when it comes to creating content on YouTube — but there are a few ‘management guidelines’ that will help attract more viewers and create an avid community of followers that are hungry for your work — that’s according to Google Italy’s Creative Lead, Giacomo Zanni, who led the latest Academy webinar focused on the video sharing platform.
With more than one billion monthly users, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, so optimising your ‘visibility’ with metadata is key. This includes thumbnails, titles, descriptions and tags.
“Some 90% of users will play a video based on the thumbnail,” Zanni said. “Be appealing, but don’t be clickbait. You want users to ‘click and stick’ to your content.”
When it comes to food-related videos, Zanni said cooking shows and tutorials are popular, as well as “fast recipes” (where the host doesn’t talk and quick cuts see a dish prepared in mere seconds). He also sees potential in mixing content and believes podcasts are an area that chefs can explore further — think behind-the-scenes videos that allow viewers to feel the heat of the kitchen, or cook-along podcasts where chefs explain recipes and describe the inspiration behind some of their favourite dishes.
Collaboration — either with brands or other chefs — is another way to increase engagement and discover like-minded audiences. There’s also a new Community Tab on YouTube that allows creators to ask questions and involve the audience.
Luckily for chefs, Zanni said cooking is “an endless trend” on YouTube, so there is room for every young chef to carve out their niche.
Throughout the seminar Zanni shared several case studies to highlight different types of successful video content and encouraged Academy members to experiment with a variety of content, editing styles, and video length.
“More than 70% of views are via mobile, so optimise your content for the small screen,” he added.
Above all else, Zanni stressed that young chefs should simply start uploading content because “quantity helps quality”.
“Start recording and uploading two to three times a week even if the first few videos are not good,” he said. Just like training for a sport – or preparing a new dish – practice makes perfect.
After a presentation, Zanni was available to answer members’ questions and discussed how to remain authentic when collaborating with big brands, and how to use visual tools like graphics and captions.
The seminar was the second in a dedicated series planned with Google, and followed a previous session with Salvatore Mangione, Senior Industry Manager at Google Italy, which focused on search engine optimisation. This partnership with Google will support the Academy’s goal of empowering the next generation of culinary talent and providing future growth opportunities through a program of opportunity and learning.
The educational program is available exclusively to members in the Academy’s private Facebook group and in a reserved area of the website.
Photo: Getty Images