Buzzfeed Gets Video Marketing Right

Move over Kim Kardashian, it’s my turn to break the internet by saying something positive about online marketing and Buzzfeed. I know Buzzfeed has a bad reputation for click-baiting titles and random quizzes, but on their YouTube channel, they have mastered the art of video advertising. Here’s what we can learn from them.

Why You Should Advertise on YouTube

After my husband and I dropped cable a few years ago, we found ourselves watching YouTube on a regular basis, almost like traditional television. And we’re not alone. YouTube’s watch time has increased by 60% just in the past year. With more millennials and cost-savvy consumers following the same cord cutting trend, YouTube is the perfect venue for advertising to an audience that is slowly moving away from the cable box. Not only does video marketing allow you to reach your target consumers on the platforms they’re using the most, but it’s relatively cheaper than more traditional forms of advertising.

Now for the downside. You’ve heard it before that as a whole, our attention spans are dwindling to the point where even goldfish are more focused than we are. It’s especially hard to keep a viewer interested when the only thing between them and a cat video is a two-minute pre-roll about shampoo. Many companies are starting to notice the downfalls of YouTube advertising and the dreaded “skip” option.

Geico has jumped the gun, circumventing your need to rage-click the “skip” button altogether and releasing a series of clever pre-roll advertisements that don’t give you the option. While Geico went with an extreme solution, you don’t have to cut your YouTube marketing videos down to 15 seconds in order to get audiences to watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2p3XjPiCAe4

You Don’t Have to Advertise Shorter, Advertise Smarter

Most effective viral marketing campaigns captivate their audiences with a joke, a meme, or a celebrity face. Buzzfeed took the idea of advertising smarter a step forward. When certain brands reached out to them for a collaboration, instead of just adding the same commercial spots to YouTube, Buzzfeed worked with these companies to customize the marketing content and incorporate it as part of their regular programming. This decision elevated ads that would be disruptive to content that is not only entertaining for the viewer, but allows the company to reinforce their brand.

And it works. Their advertisements for pet food and frozen pizza have generated millions of views and thousands of likes. As a consumer, the best part for me is they don’t feel like random commercials shoehorned in-between the videos that I really want to watch.

By working directly with brands, Buzzfeed is able to create unique ads that fit perfectly within their regular video content. More companies should take this approach by reaching out to YouTubers to create content that’s both compelling and fits their brand organically.

Trina Dunn–Message Board Assistant

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