Creating a website is one thing, but when your website becomes synonymous with popular culture, you know you’ve got the power of influence. Buzzfeed is a perfect case study for a website, turned business, that has it’s ear to the ground and a direct line to the 18-34 demographic on social media. Most likely, you’ve used BuzzFeed quiz to tell you what state you should live in, or you have a Tasty recipe saved on Facebook, or you religiously watch the Try Guys on YouTube.
Buzzfeed is an internet media company, that focuses on the social news which started in 2006. According to an article on TechCrunch, one of the most unique things about Buzzfeed was native advertising. They weaved in advertisements for products into engaging news stories, videos, recipes or quizzes, that were so well done that users didn’t mind they were being marketed to. In 2008, Buzzfeed made a mark on the internet with one of the most famous memes, disaster girl.
In 2016, Buzzfeed had over 200+ monthly unique visitors to its site, and 70% of the traffic is from mobile devices. The bulk of their users are 18-34 which is a prime buying demographic. This allowed Buzzfeed to gain investments and become one of the biggest news outlets for the Gen X & Gen Y internet users. They have cornered the market on the viral video, with various channels, and offshoot pages from everything from unsolved murder to DIY crafts.
For an example of the native advertisement in their recipe channel, Tasty (the BuzzFeed food section), recently did a recipe for soft pretzels with Dr. Pepper Carmel sauce. The product placement blends so fluidly in the video that very few people notice, or even care that it’s a paid post. Over 9.1 million people shared this specific recipe on Facebook and added to the view count that Dr. Pepper got out of their partnership with Buzzfeed. What started as an internet news site has become the king of product placement, and isn’t slowing down.
Overall, Buzzfeed is a part of our social landscape now. It is common to hear someone say, “did you see that post on Buzzfeed about…”, more millennials are getting their news from Buzzfeed then traditional news outlets. If this company can do anything, it can teach us some valuable lessons about what works for blogging. According to Entreprenuer.com, some of the highlights include the fact that List posts still work as long as the topic is timely, a well-placed GIF is worth more than an amazing article, and regular consistent posting is mandatory for a good blog. If you want to learn more what Buzzfeed can teach Marketers, this article from Tech.co is worth the read!
The lesson: A good blog can become more than you ever thought, so make sure to be consistent, have good content, and stick with the trends.