BuzzFeed is a source of social news and entertainment for millions of people around the world. The website was founded in 2006 and has since become a global media and technology company, covering topics ranging from politics to cute animals. The source of BuzzFeed’s success lies in their unique content and how it is presented to their viewers. The primary demographic consuming content on the website consists of ever-important millennials.
Video content is the most popular form of content on the BuzzFeed site, with the videos reaching over 1 billion cumulative views. The popularity of their video content presented the opportunity for BuzzFeed to partner with brands to create successful branded content. BuzzFeed is not alone in their plight to offer branded content through their online platform, however, they are unique in the fact that they take the efforts a step further and work with companies to help create the most successful branded content possible. The partnership places BuzzFeed Video as one of the biggest names on the web for branded content that is specifically targeting millennials.
BuzzFeed has cultivated an audience of active decision makers who are comfortable filtering the website for content that is appealing to them. BuzzFeed focuses on presenting content that will appeal to an individual’s identity and emotional state. The GM of video at BuzzFeed stated, “When you can create that piece of content that speaks to somebody about what they’re going through, it’s going to resonate better.”
Some of the brands that have seen the most success on BuzzFeed Video include Purina’s Dear Kitten (14.6 million views) and A Cat’s Guide To Taking Care of Your Human (5.8 million views), and Clean & Clear’s Awkward Things We All Do In Our Teens But Would Never Admit (1.8 million views). BuzzFeed’s skill lies in their ability to create an “advertisement” that people find entertaining, and enjoy, regardless of the fact that they are being sold to. That is the key to creating successful branded content, present content that people connect to emotionally, creating positive associations with the brand.
BuzzFeed’s relatively new branding video operation consists of 40 video producers in LA, with their sole focus on shareable content. BuzzFeed has also introduced a paid residency program, where brands and individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds can utilize BuzzFeed’s resources and interact with the staff for creative ideas for their own personal projects.
Another successful aspect of BuzzFeed’s branded content approach is the content’s capability to reach beyond the website and the video’s sharability on Social networks, particularly YouTube. Each brand approaches their branded message content in a unique way, with their own individualized goals, so BuzzFeed customizes their content generation approach for each project.
The unique combination of thoughtful messaging and branded content makes BuzzFeed an ideal platform for brands trying to reach the massively important millennial demographic. Emotion-centric content is the name of the game. Ultimately, brands should have the goal of creating content that is appealing to viewers and will provoke an emotional reaction. Whether the reaction is laughter, sentimentality, or love, anytime you can create an emotional bond between your brand and an individual can be seen as a massive success. So dig deep, get in touch with your emotions, and consider how your brand can form emotional relationships with your viewers.