What we can learn from BuzzFeed

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 8.30.22 AMYes we’ve all been there. Browsing the Internet sipping our morning coffee, when we come across “The 10 best Cat Videos” or “19 book cover cliches“. Yes BuzzFeed seems to now be a staple of our everyday Internet consumption, and not only that, it consistently creates some of the most viral and shared content on the web. ¬†Whether it’s good for a quick laugh or reflecting on the human condition, BuzzFeed is certainly the envy of the advertising world, and has the “viral” thing nailed.

While it may seem useful for a quick laugh at the office, BuzzFeed has actually perfected the art of branded content with a high level of “social reproduction” as they call it. The reason for this is that along with it’s everyday Cat Videos and Ryan Gosling Memes, BuzzFeed posts branded content such as “The Happiest Faces of the Internet” (presented by Coca-Cola). While this branded content it not as obvious as a banner ad or more traditional online advertising, the content doesn’t feel like you’re being sold something, and that’s why it is shared.

Branded content can be shared just as widely as un-branded content – an ad, and article, a video – however the trick is to slip the content into someones media diet that serves them a moment they otherwise would not have had – a laugh, a smile, a thought – and most likely they will be inspired to share it across their social media channels. Whether the content is branded or not, if you give them that moment, they will want to share it with their network.

BuzzFeed has perfected the art of branded content. By creating something shareable that has a high level of “social reproduction” people will share your content, and along with it, your brand’s message and identity.