In anticipation of Ad:tech New York November 5-7, we spoke with Melissa Rosenthal, Senior Director of Creative Services at BuzzFeed, to discuss how BuzzFeed has become such a successful platform in attracting millennials, and how cause marketers can make the most of their platform to do more good.
Ad:tech is also offering AdLibbing readers 20 percent off of Ad:tech tickets with code ADC20ny14. If you go, don’t miss Melissa’s keynote on Thursday!
Ad Council: Why do you think BuzzFeed has been so successful in attracting millennials in particular and competing with more traditional news organizations?
Melissa Rosenthal: We’ve done a great job experimenting while still being relatable. It wasn’t our original intention to specifically target millennials, but through the various types of content we produce—focused on emotion, identity, and information—that demographic is naturally drawn to our relatable voice. Also, with our advances in mobile (over 50 percent of our audience reads BuzzFeed on a smartphone), we’re able to give readers the stories they want to read, where they want to read them.
AC: How can cause marketers best take advantage of BuzzFeed’s platform to raise awareness and connect with potential donors, advocates, etc.?
MR: Similar to the way that we work with brands, we also work with nonprofits and causes that we care about. Our goal is to create content that is spread across the social web and finds the audience it’s intended for.
AC: Is there an example of an organization you feel did this with great success–what worked well?
MR: Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we partnered with the Allstate Foundation to create two posts focused on this very important issue: Meaningful Ways You Can Help Victims Of Domestic Violence and Facts That Show How Widespread Domestic Violence is. In figuring out the best way to discuss this issue, we found that many existing articles on topics of domestic violence cite physical violence but often leave out information on financial and other lesser-understood types of abuse, which is why we chose to focus on those in our content.
AC: Are there any new and exciting features BuzzFeed is launching that social marketers should know about?
MR: We are now currently experimenting with e-commerce, but in a very unique way. The post that we just launched for L’Oréal’s Makeup.com incorporates our new roulette game format, original photography, and new e-commerce product. We are always ideating and testing, and this is the first time we’ve married a traditional DR technique with our unique tone and tech.
AC: Anything else you think AdLibbing readers (social marketers, non-profits) should know?
MR: It’s important to note when creating content that it’s not “one size fits all.” Marketers not only need to consider the audience they want to share the content they’re creating, but also where they want said content to be shared, because people share things on different networks for different reasons.
We hope to see you at ad:tech in New York this week! Remember to register with code ADC20ny14.