BuzzFeed’s Video Strategy: Lessons In Social Storytelling
Updated Oct. 12, 2016
There are two types of content, according to BuzzFeed Motion Pictures VP Jonathan Perelman. The first is content to be consumed, and the second is content to be communicated.
Content to be communicated–what BuzzFeed calls “shareable content”–is where BuzzFeed has carved out its reputation. And the approach that has made them famous for their lists is the same approach they’re taking with video, the medium which now counts for over 50% of its total revenue.
For example, BuzzFeed has dominated social media through one of its most popular channels: Tasty.
You may have seen your Facebook friends share Tasty’s fast-paced cooking videos. The channel, which started in July 2015, features unique, delicious recipes such as a blooming baked potato or apple pie bread pudding. Since then, it has garnered billions of views, with 1.7 billion views in July 2016 alone.
Tasty fits the bill for shareable content: The videos tell you all the ingredients and steps for a delicious recipe, each lasting less than two minutes. With their straightforward instructions and short length, these clips are easy to understand, even for novice cooks.
Tasty takes advantage of its Facebook page to garner more views. With the click of a button, users can share delicious recipes with all their friends. Facebook algorithms favor native content over content that redirects to another site, so Tasty embeds videos directly into Facebook to maximize visibility. With autoplay, users can barely scroll past a video without having it start right away. The clips are easily watchable on mute, which makes them conducive to viewing anywhere, anytime, especially on mobile screens.
BuzzFeed Tasty gives audiences a taste of what shareable video can do. The clips have thrived on social media because of their concise style and their shareability on Facebook. By keeping these strategies in mind, brands can dig right into the video advertising world to create social, entertaining videos.
“We understand our audience and shareable, creative video and the brand understands the brand and brand message, and when you combine those two together is really great shareable content,” said Perelman in an article for Fortune magazine.
Branded video content is an area of expected growth for BuzzFeed, as the videos have more reach through social than through native advertising housed on the site itself. BuzzFeed Motion Pictures–which is based in Los Angeles–continues to staff up its branded operation.
“Video is a huge, mega-trend, and the fact that it’s being viewed on mobile at such a high rate and being shared at a high rate aligns all these things together,” BuzzFeed Founder and CEO Jonah Peretti said in the Fortune magazine article.
Perelman agrees. “I believe brands will become the next great producers of Hollywood,” he said.
Clara Ritger is an associate producer at Green Buzz Agency. She write for the GBA blog. She hopes that your new insights on shareable content will make you tweet this post. Find her on Twitter @clararitger.
Leah Eder and Kristen Lee contributed to this post.