Why BuzzFeed Video Should be on Your Brand’s Radar

Having launched only 15 months ago, BuzzFeed Video is already generating huge numbers in terms of video viewing. The company will host its own coming-out party to advertisers at next month’s Digital Content NewFronts. Jonathan Perelman, who oversees BuzzFeed’s agency strategy and was appointed GM of video three months ago, asserts that this coming-out is designed to educate and “give an understanding of what makes BuzzFeed video unique.”

Check out this snippet from a video interview, in which Perelman discusses how BuzzFeed intends to use video to meet the marketing needs of brands and advertisers.

To complement its popular written content, BuzzFeed will help brands and advertisers create two to three minute videos with an editorial focus. It will be obvious to viewers that these videos are advertisements, but BuzzFeed hopes the entertainment value of said videos will keep people watching and engaged.

For example, Ze Frank, YouTube star and BuzzFeed’s VP of video, used his famous voice to narrate a video for Purina’s litter brand Tidy Cats. The branding isn’t subtle, as both the BuzzFeed and Purina logo appear within the first 10 seconds. Personally, I’m a fan of Ze Frank…and cats, so deciding to watch the entire spot (below) was a no-brainer.

The video has earned over 4.2 million YouTube views and 358,000 social shares since its upload in November 2013. In contrast to pre-roll ads that many users skip after five seconds, this video kept the average user watching for 74% of the entire ad. Because BuzzFeed has the ability to catalyze social sharing, brands are interested and impressed by the site’s earned media potential.

“What I like about BuzzFeed is it’s one of the few social publishers to actually show us the true opportunity in driving earned output around the content you create. That’s their model,” said DigitasLBi senior VP John McCarus, who oversees the agency’s brand content work.

In terms of video audience, BuzzFeed peaked in May 2013 with 7.9 million users, according to comScore. This marked a 259% growth from January of the same year. Not only does the site boast impressive viewership numbers, but it also allows users to watch publisher videos offsite—only 10% to 15% of BuzzFeed’s video views happen on BuzzFeed.com. These percentages seem perfectly logical once you consider BuzzFeed’s 1.6 million subscriber YouTube channel and distribution deals with Yahoo, AOL and soon MSN.

Brands have a unique opportunity to tap into BuzzFeed’s user base with online video marketing content. Video viewers want to be entertained, and with the help of BuzzFeed’s top notch team of branded video content creators, brands and advertisers will be able to do just that.

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