BuzzFeed is notching up 3 billion page views per month, and 75% of its traffic comes from social media. What gets people to hit that share button? BuzzFeed’s Director of Brand Partnerships in Europe, Jonathan Davies, gave some tips to a packed masterclass at Social Media Week London:
1. Put talent at the heart of your business
Talent, technology and data are central to BuzzFeed’s model. At its heart is “people making stuff”. People-centric goals such as helping readers improve their lives and making the world more open and diverse boost its appeal to millennials.
2. Publish stuff – get learning back
This is a BuzzFeed mantra. Content is constantly improved through feedback. BuzzFeed assesses the impact of every single piece of content using reach and engagement metrics.
3. Do something different
BuzzFeed always tries to have its own individual take on news stories. For example, breaking sports news doesn’t work, but 17 Jokes You’ll Find Funny If You’re a Man United Fan does.
4. Give equal weight to onsite and offsite content
Whether a gif, animated Vine or quiz, BuzzFeed’s success lies in its ability to optimize content across platforms. It has a dedicated team to experiment with different formats on different networks. All editorial decisions are based on hard data. Dear Kitten, Regarding The Dog has notched up 14 million views on YouTube thanks to successful cross-platform promotion.
5. Keep updating your strategy
Test, test and test again. Content trends change rapidly. August’s trends were DIY, beauty, parenting and tech (focusing on what’s hot now). September’s will be something different. Be adaptive.