AML
AML
designer & strategist
 

Eater

Strategic communication design for Eater’s Facebook page

Using audience engagement data to build a responsive video program and attract new audiences on an emerging media platform

 
 
 
Flynn.1.1.jpg

Audience-centered design

Understanding the motivations of our mobile-based, fast-scrolling Facebook audience was crucial to our success.

Using the audience engagement data as a starting point, I cultivated a constantly-evolving understanding of the interests and behaviors of our viewers, and took the insights back with me to the drawing board to inform my next round of videos.

Tackling a new platform: the small screens packed a punch with endlessly scrollable content. We were up against some stiff competition for our viewers’ attention.

Tackling a new platform: the small screens packed a punch with endlessly scrollable content. We were up against some stiff competition for our viewers’ attention.

The balance between the background visuals and the foreground text were two technical considerations that I had to be mindful of as I produced each video. Each component had to work in unison to keep the viewer engaged and make it feel impossible to look away.

The balance between the background visuals and the foreground text were two technical considerations that I had to be mindful of as I produced each video. Each component had to work in unison to keep the viewer engaged and make it feel impossible to look away.

Feast.1.1.gif
 
 
 
 
Serpico.1.jpg
 

Content strategy

In order for a view to qualify as 1 view, I needed the audience to stick around for approximately 30 seconds of our video—which made the first ten seconds crucial to the videos overall success. I needed to use that time to set the stage for the rest of the video and motivate the audience to continue watching.

 
 
Whiskey.1.1.jpg
 

Pacing

If the pace of the first ten seconds was too slow, viewers could scroll away. If the pace was too fast, viewers might feel confused and scroll away. Finding the right balance was key.

Whiskey.1.1.gif
Serpico.1.1.gif
Flynn.1.1.gif

 
 
 
 
Piggy.1.1.jpg
 

Editorial planning

When I was out shooting in the field, my head was already back in the studio, mentally editing the final video. Whenever I captured a particularly compelling, outrageous, or mesmerizing shot, I knew that it would be the opening shot of the video when I edited it later. With that in mind, I used the rest of the shoot to capture shots that would support and expand its narrative arc.

 
 

Process-driven

I treated each dish as the main character of the video and followed it from start to finish.

If there were multiple dishes involved, I used a visual marker (like an incrementally-filling tabletop or an on-screen text label) to signal to the audience that each component is part of a larger whole, nudging them to stick around to see it all come together.

Piggy.11.jpg
Piggy.2.jpg
Piggy.3.jpg
Piggy.4.jpg
Piggy.5.jpg
Piggy.7.jpg
Piggy.8.jpg

 
 
 
 
Palmiers.1.1.jpg
 

Scalability

You don’t need a fancy camera or a degree in Media Production to create an ambitious video-driven engagement strategy. I coached 12 of Eater’s city editors to film their own Facebook videos with their smartphones so that they could frequently post a video on their city’s Facebook page.

 
 
BangBang.1.1.gif

Program expansion

By adding video to their pages, Eater’s city editors saw an instant influx of new audience members—like this pie shop video for the Eater Chicago page. The video clocked in at a whopping 5M views, even though their page had less than 100k followers.

BangBang.1.1.jpg
 
Fortune.1.1.gif

Cross-pollination

I taught our Youtube producers to adhere to our tried-and-true best practices and I learned to adhere to theirs, so that we could all simultaneously capture content that would work for both Eater’s Facebook and Youtube pages.

I also worked with our engagement team to repurpose our Facebook content to work on our rapidly growing Instagram page. I recut our biggest hits to be more concise and cropped them to work for square formats.

Balthazar.1.1.gif
 
 
 

Systematization

By categorizing similar videos and codifying our content into recognizable packages, I was able to create a collection of distinct shows and series within our Facebook program.

Each show had its own storytelling structures and motion graphics packages that we could then hand off to the sales team and sell to sponsors.

Leftover.1.1.gif
 

the numbers

 

 

400%

Over the course of 18 months, our Facebook audience grew from 250k followers to just over 1M

158 videos

I filmed and edited a grand total of 158 videos at 86 different locations—56 of those were in different NYC restaurants

142M views

The videos that I edited or filmed (or both!) garnered over 140M views for the Eater Facebook page

 

 Similar projects

MarketWatch

Creating consistency and identifying entry points for innovation for an established brand

Moneyish

A fresh video approach for a brand-new media brand