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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Why defining brand strategy is vital to capitalising on quick wins

Big brands were once protected from small brands by high barriers to entry. Big brands had the resources to employ big agencies, to crack big ideas and to invest in big campaigns. They had the luxury of time to debate strategies and work on long-term innovation pipelines. Retailers used to partner with big brands.

Troy McKinnna

Co-founder, Agents of Spring, Calm & Stormy

3 ways to leverage the talents of your team to avoid disruption

​According to the World Economic Forum in its most recent The Future of Jobs report, the most important skills for the future are not technical, task-oriented skills, but higher-order skills such as creativity, social influence, active learning, and analytical thinking.

Gihan Perera

Futurist, leadership consultant

CMOs, it’s time to stop squandering customer attention

Businesses continue to highly value the attention they buy through paid media, yet at the same time, many continue to disregard and under-value opportunities to connect with customers using their owned media.

Well written Vanessa!! Agreed with your view that human experience is marketing's next frontier. Those businesses who are focused on the ...

Clyde Griffith

Forget customer experience, human experience is marketing's next frontier

Read more

Great tips for tops skills need to develop and stay competitive

Nick

The top skills needed to stay competitive in a rapidly changing workforce

Read more

The popularity of loyalty programs is diminishing, though I'd say it is because customers are savvy enough to recognise when a loyalty pr...

Heather

It’s time for marketers to rethink their approach to ‘loyalty’

Read more

Thanks Nadia for sharing this blog. It has really useful and amazing information about Salesforce Commerce Cloud and digital engagement w...

Holly Smith

Adidas taps data and technology smarts to build personalised digital engagement with consumers

Read more

clearly someone who's jealous and only comments from the safety of being behind their keyboard

Peter Sibson

The purpose of purpose - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in