Buzzfeed has been recently in the news for raising $50 million in VC funding from Andreessen Horowitz. It attracts an average of 150 million users a month. So, I wanted to dig up some details about Buzzfeed and how brands have been using the platform for their content marketing strategies.
I did some research on companies such as Pepsi, McDonalds, JetBlue Airways, Toyota and Dell which have been using Buzzfeed. One would have identified Pepsi and McDonalds with creating engaging content. But what would be a company like Dell doing on Buzzfeed?
Based on my research, I could find out some commonalities between each of their content and the strategy of Buzzfeed overall. So, my rationale for this article is, how businesses can use content and create engagement the Buzzfeed way. If the same strategy as that of Buzzfeed can be applied to a company’s own blog, there is higher chance of engagement and virality.
Brand Content Strategy on Buzzfeed – Creating Viral Content
1. Light hearted Posts
People are busy. They will probably surf your content on way to work or while taking a break from work or maybe in the evening when they are tired. Light hearted posts are easy going and less stressful. Your posts should not stress someone out.
Who does not want to see a happy US president?
2. Everyday life stories in a humorous way
You are writing for them not for you. So, if you narrate their story, they can relate to it better. Most brands keep talking about themselves. Instead focus on your target group’s lives and make humorous posts on them. The more someone relates to what you are saying, the more likely they will engage. If Dell can do, so can you.
When your boss tells you to work this weekend
3. No push marketing
Content marketing is never about you. It is about your audience. You are writing content either to give your audience a good time or something for them to think about. If they start loving your content, they will start loving your brand more. So never advertise.
4. Lots of images and animated GIFs
Images are easy on the eye and can communicate emotions much better. Animated GIFs are humourous and with right Memes, they can bring lot of humour. Use them wisely.
Clumsy Panda Falls of a Tree
5. List Articles
Although content writers might hate this, but lets face it, list articles still rule. Majority of people still love list articles. They are easy to read and follow.
Animals are almost always a sure shot sign of articles that border on humour and cuteness. Using Animated GIFs/Videos of animals, it is easy to communicate a point.
Share this if this is too cute
7. Less text more images
This follows somewhat from all the points mentioned above. People are busy, they have lot of problems in their own lives. Your content should be to brighten up their days and make them less stressful. So more images and less text is easy on the eye and can be read and understood much easily.
This is precisely my post has so many images. Now deal with it
8. Commenting made through emotions and GIFs as buttons
I do not see lot of blogs use this. Buzzfeed’s commenting system is very different and engaging. They have identified few emotions and each article will fall into one or more from that list of emotions. By giving Emotions as buttons, it makes engagement fun. So if you find an article as Cute, you press the “Cute” button. If you find an article nonsense, you can “Trash” it.
9. Comment only using Facebook or G+
More one comments using social media, more likely their friends will take notice and more viral the content will be.
10. Produce content for the masses
Create content that masses will relate to. You will need a critical mass to make your content go viral. And virality happens mostly when content is for the masses. This may apply to more B2C businesses, but principles remain the same for all.
What do you think brands can do differently to create more engaging content?