Brands must look for emotional connection and shareability, says Buzzfeed

Hernandez says content should fit into one of five categories: inspiration, identity, helpful tips, capturing the moment, and humour

Brands looking for authentic audience and social engagement must produce content that triggers an emotional response then get out of the way of interaction, according to Buzzfeed’s executive director of international strategy.

Speaking at the Mumbrella360 conference in Sydney today, Keith Hernandez said brands should be thinking on a personal or “human" level in order to interact with consumers. As an example, he said Buzzfeed posts fit into one of five categories that all trigger an emotional response: Inspiration, identity, helpful tips, capturing the moment, and humour.

“Capture the zeitgeist,” he said, referring to a post by a collaborative post from ING regarding the recent Federal Budget, and what it means for the Australian public. “Make it a social commentary about sharing with friends and real interaction, so it's not just about the content.”

Hernandez stressed the importance of sharing as the metric of success, and said 75 per cent of Buzzfeed’s website traffic comes from links posted on social media.

But while brands need to be inserting themselves into the conversation, it’s important to know when to step back from the story, he said.

“Nobody wants to be best friends with a brand... so start the conversation, and then leave it alone,” Hernandez said. “Tell a great story and then get out of the way.”

He also noted how brands still don't think big enough when trying to reach social audiences, claiming “social is local and global... the Internet is universal” and that if “publishers are thinking global, brands should too”.

Buzzfeed has begun working with brands to developed custom social videos, with most averaging over a million views. Hernandez said the success is in its shareability.

“If the audience openly acknowledges content as an advertisement or sponsored content but it's funny or interesting enough to share, that's a success,” he claimed. Examples of popular custom videos include Purina's Cats guide to taking care of your human and GE's Are you a visual thinker?

Another avenue brands are taking is via Buzzfeed quizzes, which recently started taking off via social media, said Hernandez. Volkswagon used this to its benefit with a recent What breed of dog are you? quiz campaign where consumers could compare different cars to different dog breeds.

Popular HBO series, Game of Thrones also created a quiz entitled How would you die in Game of Thrones.

The common thread is the human connection, he said.

“Be human,” Hernandez added. “Use the litmus test, and ask yourself: Would I share this with my friends?”

Brands share their content marketing tactics and success

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Getting your business ready for the Entrepreneurial Consumer

We all know the digital revolution has completely transformed the way consumers are interacting with brands, and that a lot of businesses are finding it hard to catch up. One way to closing this brand gap is to understand consumer behaviour and build a brand experience that meets these new needs.

Pip Stocks

CEO and founder, BrandHook

Brand management starts with management

As the world continues to grow and evolve, it’s more important than ever to build a strong brand that articulates your message clearly and consistently, stands out against the noise, and develops relevance with the people that matter. This makes managing your brand a key component to gaining cut-through and ultimately business success.

Dan Ratner

managing director, Uberbrand

Disrupting marketing as we know it

Call it digital disruption or the fourth industrial revolution, our rapidly evolving environment is affecting consumer perceptions, purchase behaviours and the way they consume information and products.

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

Author, marketer

Very well said “With today’s consumers more demanding of the brands and merchants they shop, it’s imperative for merchants to not just co...

Masterarts

CMO's top 10 martech stories for this week - 29 September

Read more

Very interesting article which touches on the importance of a feedback loop fuelled by customer and market insights. Ideally this scenari...

Andrew Reid

Building customer insights in the data and digital age

Read more

Very very good piece- very novel and innovative and very possibly- effective - way to look at one's communication headlines!

Patrick Dsouza

Should your disclaimer become your headline? - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

Excellent post Rob, Mobile app users are growing day by day. Everyday lots of apps are launched in the market but not every app retains t...

Marcus Miller

Why app engagement must be personalised - Mobile strategy - CMO Australia

Read more

very informative blog. I really like the information given in this blog.http://gng.com.au/

Gajanand Choudhary

The evolving role of the CMO - The CMO view - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in