WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Sat - 20.12.2014


Advertising

Social sharing is an increasingly powerful force. “People share things that make them look clever and cool. They are building their own personal brands,” Wiedlin said. That’s why they come to BuzzFeed: to find this content, and this is something that advertisers should try to take advantage of.

Banner ads are disruptive and can’t be shared: subsequently they are ignored and hated, Wiedlin said. “If you’re an advertiser, stop interrupting people and create content that they actually like,” he advised. “For the first time you can do word-of-mouth marketing.”

Social ads have much higher engagement: BuzzFeed’s sponsored content has a 2 to 3 per cent click through rate, Wiedlin said. And the fact that this ad content can be shared, and often is, means that advertisers often end up getting more exposure than they pay for.

To be successful, however, the content must be engaging. Social ads should tell a story, involve people emotionally and not be heavy handed, Wiedlin advised: treat it like a TV ad.

He urged people to think “Does this content pass the Facebook test?” In other words, would you want to see it in your Facebook feed? If the answer is no, then don’t do it.

BuzzFeed creates content for its advertising clients: it has a creative team that works separately from its editorial team. Many clients come prepared with ideas, but often these need to be changed as brands are used to talking at people, rather than getting them to engage and share, Wiedlin said.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2013-04-15 22:44

Founded in 2006, BuzzFeed now has more than 40 million unique visitors a month and has recently been "unintentionally profitable." Much of its success comes from its ability to create shareable content.

“I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how ideas spread,” Peretti said. You could have a huge marketing budget, but if nobody wants to share your content and ideas then it’s not working.

BuzzFeed targets the "bored-at-work" network to share its content. There are “millions of bored office workers,” he said, who blog, instant message, and use Facebook and Twitter all day. This group is bigger than any traditional major news network, he added, and these are the people who make things go viral.

These have been joined by the "bored-in-line" crowd. “I used to hate mobile,” Peretti said, as it used to be impossible to share via mobile devices. But now, half of Facebook traffic comes from mobile, and 40 percent of BuzzFeed traffic, and mobile is becoming a key driver in what makes things go viral. “You can’t go viral if your content can’t be viewed and shared on the mobile web.”

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2013-03-13 18:21

Eventually all publishers “will have no choice” but to try sponsored content, considering plummeting ad sales, paidContent noted. Newspaper advertising revenues fell over 9 percent in 2011, according to statistics from Newspaper Association of America. And, as Derek Thompson of The Atlantic wrote, “the vast majority of quality journalism has always relied, and probably will always rely, on advertising to be both high-quality and affordable to a massive audience.”

So from that perspective it’s good news that BrandConnect seems to have drawn on the merits and mistakes from other pioneers in advertorials such as BuzzFeed and The Atlantic, and hopefully the new system, too, will provide feedback that will help publishers create their own best practice models.

Author

Kira Witkin's picture

Kira Witkin

Date

2013-03-05 18:26

In his valedictory speech after 23 years in the UK House of Commons, the Labour MP Chris Mullin pithily assessed the current era of consumerism, globalization and technological advance with the laconic observation that ‘I continue to doubt that there is a long term future for an economy based on shopping’. Indeed, it often appears that the end function of much-lauded technological innovation is merely to grease the wheels of consumer expenditure: recent years have elicited much comment on how Internet shopping transcends the stressful physicality of the high street, facilitating the sedentary nirvana of click-click-click-buy. Easy, you might think; but there are those whose business plans and entire future strategy depends on making it even easier. And much of this current thinking rests on one universal unchallengeable truth: there is nothing easier than sitting on the sofa and watching an episode of Friends.

Author

Frederick Alliott's picture

Frederick Alliott

Date

2012-11-14 20:00

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