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How to capitalize on popularity of cooking-themed mobile videos

As more food enthusiasts turn to mobile for cooking tutorials and culinary-themed videos, marketers are finding an opportunity to insert themselves into the experience through tactics such as sponsorships, partnerships and options to purchase featured products.

The cooking craze has finally made its way to mobile, bringing with it a slew of consumers ranging from dedicated Food Network fans to millennials wanting to brush up on their kitchen skills. To effectively join the conversation surrounding this topic, mobile-savvy marketers will first need to understand this trend?s popularity before brainstorming ways in which they can make their products, brands or services relevant to this audience.

?For starters, it's easy and intuitive to bring your mobile device into the kitchen or supermarket with you, where it becomes a reference tool for planning your shopping list or for access to recipes and inspiration on what to make next,? said Denise Mickelsen, senior acquisitions editor of cooking, baking and drawing at Craftsy.

?Education is another big part of the cooking experience as people want to quickly search for answers to everyday cooking questions, and then there's the celebratory and community-oriented experience of sharing images of what you've made,? she said.

?More than half of Craftsy's students around the world watch our classes on their mobile devices, and that number is going up, not down.?

Stirring up mobile engagement
Online and mobile cooking destinations have taken off in popularity, likely due to the easily digestible format of digital recipes, tutorials and inspiration videos. Smartphones have cemented their status as must-have kitchen companions, particularly among younger consumers seeking to bolster their culinary skills.

Millennials are increasingly relying on their smartphones for help in the kitchen, as 59 percent claim they cook with their tablets or smartphones nearby, according to research from Google.

Cooking-themed mobile sites and applications offer optimal opportunities for advertising, particularly if the content is relevant to what the user is seeking.

Meredith Corporation?s Allrecipes digital hub recently revamped its mobile app with a bevy of new cooking-friendly features, including a personalized food feed displaying trending meal inspiration, profiles for home cooks and easier recipe sharing on Facebook (see story).

Allrecipes monetizes its platforms by displaying geotargeted advertisements for local supermarkets. For example, if a consumer opens up the Allrecipes app while grocery shopping after work, a geotargeted ad can prompt him or her to pick up hamburger patties on sale and make them for dinner.

This opens up massive opportunities for food and beverage ? as well as consumer packaged goods ? brands wanting to connect with potential customers at the moment of purchase. The sales cincher can come in the form of a buy one, get one free mobile coupon or a 20 percent-off code for one item.

Additionally, food and beverage brands can advertise recipes containing their own products on mobile cooking hubs.

?Social and mobile video is lightweight, accessible at all times and designed to be viewed and enjoyed with and without sound,? said Tania Yuki, founder and CEO of Shareablee. ?It enables viewing in the spaces between the busy moments of life, opening up so much additional consumer time.

?The format is also completely native for mobile, no adaptation or concessions needed.?

Sponsorships and partnerships
Brands whose products may not be well-suited to the culinary realm may opt to capitalize on cooking video popularity with sponsorships or partnerships instead.

For example, American Express drove sign-ups for its Blue Cash Everyday Card program by sponsoring videos on BuzzFeed?s food- and DIY-themed channels and enabling consumers to purchase items featured in the tutorials via Instacart?s mobile platform (see story).

American Express ensured that its Everyday Card was shown during the videos, but did not overshadow the content with too many branded pushes.

Other similar marketers can sponsor videos done in accordance with popular mobile platforms, or power purchasing capabilities that enable users to immediately buy the featured ingredients.

Additionally, companies can sponsor a well-known chef or culinary expert to appear in a cooking tutorial. The newfound popularity of live video may see this particular tactic gain steam.

?Live video is by far the thing that I am the most excited about,? Ms. Yuki said. ?The kinds of viewing times and innovation here is like nothing I've seen before, and consumers love it.

?Even though it's relatively new in the food genre on mobile, it is the next best thing to sitting with someone truly skilled at cooking, mixology, etc. and just really cuts through that fourth wall that TV struggles to break through. It's exciting to watch.?

Another way to break through the buzz is to sponsor mobile videos geared toward a specific audience or educational initiative.

?Cooking for health and dietary restrictions is sure to gain even more momentum in the coming year, as well users turning to cooking videos for education and inspiration,? Craftsy?s Ms. Mickelsen said.