To navigate the social web, create viral content and succeed at native advertising a shift in focus is “critical”, argued one digital expert.
“What is critical and sometimes overlooked is thinking about how a person is going to feel when they share content,” Tim Evans, national strategy director DT, said.
“How a person will be perceived by their peers when they share content needs to become a primary focus rather than just looking at how somebody is going to feel when they read it.”
The shift is a necessary one for brands who hope to successfully plot a course through sites such as social news platform BuzzFeed.
BuzzFeed has more than 50 million unique users a month and 75% of its visitors are there with the intention of finding something to share. In this way BuzzFeed stands out from other social networks such as Facebook where people are there to “lurk” or create new content such as status updates, Evans said.
“When you go to BuzzFeed you are there to find content that you can share so that the person who is sharing it can feel like the funny, in the know, sophisticated person they want to be.”
BuzzFeed only accepts native advertising, with brand partners given their own channel. But the nature of BuzzFeed and the fact no banner ads are accepted could make it a difficult platform for some brands, warns Evans who said marketers would need to take calculated risks with their content.
“Nobody wants to share the mainstream stuff that everybody already knows about because, again, what does that say about me as a person?”
But with 40% of the site’s audience earning over $100,000 the risks may be worth it.
More than half of the site’s visitors are between 18 and 34 years-of-age, according to BuzzFeed and Nielsen stats, but 25% are 45 and over.
“These are very self aware people, they are at a stage in their lives where they are cultivating this version of their best selves,” Evans explained.
“They are actively going out on to the internet and looking for partners in that self-creation and BuzzFeed just has that type of content that has been built for the social web.”