Buzzfeed: The latest new digital brands to unlock mass market audience

23/03/2015

BuzzFeed’s content business is clocking up a massive 18.5 billion impressions each month from Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook – showing how a syndicated content strategy can succeed in building a brand.

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Speaking at the main stage at the SXSW festival CEO and co-founder Jonah Peretti said that Buzzfeed gets 18.5 billion impressions per month from Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

Allowing readers to stay on social media, instead of leave it for the Buzzfeed site, is part of why the brand is so powerful.

Peretti said he cares more about how Buzzfeed’s content is shared than how many people are watching it.

He also increasingly cares less about driving traffic back to its site, as long as it’s viewed and shared from other sites and apps.

Peretti said the model of driving traffic back to one’s own site to get revenue-producing views from banner ads “seems outdated.”

He shared data on traffic from different social media sites, noting that many millions of online users were going to BuzzFeed from Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook but that exponentially more were seeing content in those streams without clicking through to BuzzFeed.

He said the company’s strategy comes down to two main questions: Can it generate revenue from content to build a sustainable business? And can it get data feedback to get smarter every day?

“If the answer to those questions is yes, then we don’t care where people find BuzzFeed,” he said. “Our goal is to be indifferent to how people find our content and where they find it.”

According to the website Quantcast, which measures Internet traffic, BuzzFeed got more than 213 million unique page views over the previous 30 days. That projects to more than 2 billion per year.

Peretti said the key to success isn’t just creating click-bait, though he acknowledged that many accuse the company of doing that. He said BuzzFeed looks at how people are sharing content and what words they use when they share it.

“We never focus on clicks and page views,” he said. “Shares are a more powerful metric.”

Peretti said the company will continue to focus on creating branded content for advertisers and on expanding internationally. But don’t look for it to rush into partnerships with legacy media outlets, he said.

When you produce content offline, he said, “you get money back, but you don’t get data.”

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