Success Story

See how a square video got 2X the engagement for

Simply Recipes
Food & Cooking Blog
The Goal

Creating shareworthy social content, quickly

Simply Recipes was founded by Elise Bauer in 2003 as a blog to keep track of recipes she learned from her parents. Fast forward to today, the site features hundreds of healthy, whole-food recipes and receives millions of visitors every month. Video has proven to be an effective way to promote the recipes on the Simply Recipes Facebook page, and Animoto has been a great solution for Elise, as a DIY marketer.

"I've been using Animoto's video tools for months to quickly and easily create highly shareable video content from our recipes," says Elise. "People like to see things move! And even if we only have still photos we can use Animoto's service to build attractive, animated slideshows. It takes only 10 minutes." In anticipation of the launch square Marketing Videos, Elise was interested in testing how the square format could help her videos become even more shareworthy.

Video Details:

Product: Marketing Video

Style: Blank Slate (Square)

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Product: Marketing Video

Style: Blank Slate (Square)

The Solution

Throwing square videos into the mix

Elise ran an A/B test for one of the popular (and delicious-looking) recipes on her website - Italian Meatballs. She created a landscape version of the video and a square version of the video. Aside from the square format, the videos were identical - they were both just over a minute long and were created using the same photos, the same copy, and the same song. Both videos were placed as ads on Facebook, targeting an identical audience with a $50 budget.

"It's no surprise that square format videos result in more engagement than landscape videos on social media. I'm looking forward to making more videos with Animoto's new square format feature!"

– Elise Bauer, Founder of

The Results

Double the engagement for square

In the square video ad vs. landscape video ad A/B test, the square video saw 2X the engagement — twice as many shares and twice the organic reach. It also received 67% more views, 59% more reactions, and 39% more link clicks. It’s no surprise when you consider that square is a format optimized for mobile, and over 90% of Facebook’s daily active users access Facebook via mobile.

Elise decided to post the winning square video organically on Facebook. Without paying anything to boost the video, it got 20,683 views, 644 reactions, and 381 shares. The fact that it only takes 10 minutes to create a video made it easy not only to create two versions of a video ad to test in front of a targeted audience, but also to repurpose that same video to engage with fans.

Key Takeaways

Choose square videos to optimize for mobile

Test ads and post winning videos organically

Use video to promote content on your website

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