Following BuzzFeed’s first year at the Digital Content NewFronts – an annual series of presentations that bring together all sectors of the branded content and distribution sphere – we caught up with Jonathan Perelman, General Manager of Video & VP of Agency Strategy at BuzzFeed, to learn more about the company’s progress into online video – and why advertisers should be interested.
Why did BuzzFeed decide to join the Digital Content NewFronts lineup this year?
We took a different approach to the NewFronts. We are relatively new in the video space and the NewFronts were the best opportunity to inform the community of marketing, media and advertising professionals about our approach to video. We didn’t announce any new series, or talk about the celebrities we have – instead, we focused on our thinking. I was asked why we didn’t do an event another time, and the answer is simple: New York is filled with people focused on video during the weeks around the Upfronts and NewFronts. An event at a different time wouldn’t take advantage of the buzz that is generated by professionals taking, thinking and breathing video. It was simply the right time to introduce our product to the wider industry.
You’ve been steadily growing your native video content capabilities. Why is BuzzFeed navigating further into online video – and why should advertisers be interested?
BuzzFeed started doing video in September 2012. Those were the very early days, and we were learning a lot. In the past year or so, we’ve been investing heavily in video. When we think about content, video is an obvious extension to what we are doing on the post side. Sight, sound and motion are amazing ways to tell a story. We’ve learned a great deal in the past year and half about topics and formats that lead to success. There isn’t a guarantee, but we’ve spent time analyzing which videos get a lot of views and how to replicate and innovate on that success. I believe our insights are something that brands can tap into, as we are creating shareable videos and not simply selling our audience.
How does BuzzFeed evaluate the success of brand partnerships? What are some tips you can share about marketers eager to partner with your team?
The success of our branded work is based upon how the marketer measures success. Clearly views are an important metric, but we also care deeply about sharing. Our view is that videos should hit upon our key pillars that encourage sharing – emotional gift, identity and information – which we also use to guide our roughly 30 categories of content. It’s important to remember that cute animals and a good idea isn’t enough to create successful content; it goes much deeper than that.
To learn more, read our previous post: “4 Best Practices for BuzzFeed Sponsored Posts.”
Cover photo via YouTube