Viral Strategies From BuzzFeed That Are Changing Everything

It seems that as early as 2001, Jonah Peretti has been an important player in the development of the internet. From being involved in some of the earliest viral content to founding one of the internets popular news aggregators, Peretti as helped shape the internet after his own image.

His most recent exploit, BuzzFeed, serves as a virtual factory for viral content, pumping out sharable content faster than anybody could meaningfully process it. Yet people have this desire to read an article titled “14 Insanely Specific Demi Lovato Reaction GIFs” and share it with everybody they know. Peretti claims he’s become an expert at creating socially viral content, claiming he’s “spent over a decade thinking about how ideas spread.” Let’s look at a few of BuzzFeed’s basic strategies and discuss how we may incorporate them in our own marketing campaigns:

Social Media Optimization

Most people are familiar with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and the strategies we use to rank high on search engines. Peretti has been devising strategies to make content appear more frequently on social media, also known as Social Media Optimization. All the practices that are incorporated at BuzzFeed serve the purpose of earning more shares and likes on social. If you’re looking to gain more readership through social media, then Peretti’s strategies are a must!

Attention Grabbing Titles

Recall the title of the article linked above. All of BuzzFeed’s content follows a similar pattern with their titles. Check out BuzzFeed’s homepage, these are the common features of a majority of titles on their site:

  • A number, followed by any of the following words: Reasons, Photos, GIFs, etc.
  • Use of hyperbole.
  • Bold statements and promises.

Take for example the article titled: “21 Photos That Prove Everything Is Better With Batman”. The title is incredibly inviting, as a reader, you know exactly how long you are committing to the article (twenty-one photos worth). The title suggests that it is full of relatable, easy to digest content. Most importantly, the title boasts its own importance, claiming that you need it because without it you will miss out on this crucial epiphany!

Super Sharers 

The Peretti coined term “Super Sharer” is a hub on a social media site, they have tons of influence due to high traffic directed at their social media pages. Another common trait of a super sharer is their ability to seek out content and share it on their pages. Combining these two traits, BuzzFeed found a beautiful combination that begs for plenty of users to see your content.

Studies suggest that people are more likely to react positively to content that they are exposed to through a friend or celebrity endorsement rather than finding it themselves. Knowing this, the Super Sharer has become an even more integral part of generating viral content. If you want to earn positive readership, find ways to access those Super Sharers.

A rule of thumb BuzzFeed operates with is best captured when Peretti said “What if you assume people’s home page isn’t your site but Facebook or Twitter…People come to your front page to find things for those services, as opposed to coming here to get everything.” Your content needs to be easily sharable, Super Sharers are compelled to share content that will get a response.

The key to going viral is producing content that is tailored to social media. It has to capture your attention amongst the endless social media feed, and it has to find it’s ways into the right hands.

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