BuzzFeed’s Strategy for Creating Successful Branded Content

By Gabrielle Karol Media & Advertising FOXBusiness

BuzzFeed VP: Not looking to recreate TV online

BuzzFeed Motion Pictures Vice-President Jonathan Perelman on BuzzFeed's big bet on online video content.

BuzzFeed is making a big bet on online video -- and branded content will be a major part of its strategy.

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At Advertising Week in New York City, BuzzFeed Motions Pictures VP Jonathan Perelman said the digital media company is taking its learnings from its original content and using these insights to create branded videos for advertisers.

“What we’ve been able to do is with over 2,000 short-form videos editorially that we’ve done without brands, we’re learning a lot. And we’re always testing certain assumptions we have,” said Perelman. “There is no perfect, secret answer, but what we’ve done is learn key elements that work and then we apply them to brands.”

One example? BuzzFeed’s “Dear Kitten” video, created for Purina, has received over 16 million views. Perelman said it was created using successful elements from other cat videos that went viral on the site.

And though it may seem a hard sell to get people to watch these videos – which are essentially online ads – Perelman said BuzzFeed’s three-pillar approach seems to be working.

“What is the emotional connection that someone will have with it? Information: can we present information in a new, different, unique way? And identity: it speaks to who you are, about your location, and what makes you you,” explained Perelman. “And when you hit those notes …they know it’s from a brand but they want to engage with the content anyway.”

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For more on BuzzFeed’s content strategy and its potential foray into long-form video, watch the interview above.

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