Generally speaking, people have very strong feelings about Buzzfeed. Some loathe the seemingly simplistic listicles and click-baity headlines that the website has become known for. Just as many people love – and love to share – the content on the site.
Regardless of the split opinions on Buzzfeed, one thing is undeniable: they are incredibly successful at making content that people want to share. While the site is most famous for lists of .gifs, Buzzfeed’s branded videos remind advertisers and content creators of what it takes to create great, sharable videos that viewers want to watch.
Great videos don’t start with a dream of going viral
BuzzFeed Executive Vice President of Video Ze Frank explained to AdWeek that the secret to creating great branded videos is to realize that branded content is more than just putting a brand stamp on a great piece of editorial. He also reminds content creators that your focus and end goal of creating content shouldn’t be “going viral.” In short, Ze is challenging creators to dive deeper into their work.
The secret to great videos: know your audience on a personal level
In a perfect world, internet visitors from all over the globe would be thrilled to watch your brand’s video. In the real world, users only want to see videos that they can relate to, be informed by or entertained by in some way. When developing videos for your brand, you must consider that your target audience is not actively seeking to learn about your brand. With this in mind, you can be smarter about what you film.
How can you create video that will meet your audience’s strict criteria for content they will be excited to watch? Understanding audiences on a personal levelhas been one of the key strategies of all Buzzfeed content. AdWeek explained that when Buzzfeed partnered with Clean & Clear for a branded video, they developed their content after realizing “that teen girls wanted to share what made them special, though they were afraid of what others would say.” The resulting video, “ Awkward Things We All Do In Our Teens But Would Never Admit,” showcases the embarrassing yet universal things that teen girls do. To date, the video has received almost 1.8 million views – a sign that the content is not only connecting with their audience, but has been deemed worthy enough by teen girls to share with their social networks.
It’s incredibly important to note thatthe video doesn’t promote Clean & Clear’s products. What it does do is allow teen girls to learn about the brand and come to the conclusion that Clean & Clear understands what it’s like being a teen girl. The ultimate goal, then, is not about this video going viral (although that certainly would be a gladly accepted perk); the goal, as Ze explains, is to “raise consumer expectations – and gain their loyalty.”
The next time you’re preparing to create a video, prepare to spend time considering your audience on a deeper level. Though this may be a time consuming effort, it will pay off when more viewers watch and share your video.