Assignment: Content Marketing – Write a BuzzFeed
According to its website, “BuzzFeed is a cross-platform, global network for news and entertainment that generates seven billion views each month.” Not only that, but it integrates so-called “click-bait” that entices anyone that has a BuzzFeed on their social media site like Facebook, to click the link, exposing readers not only to the selected content, but to multitudes of advertising for its sponsors. It’s brilliant content marketing! In addition, it has a burgeoning community of followers, where anyone can post their own Buzzfeeds. Tell me that you have never clicked on:
(#5 most popular) The 21 Absolute Worst Things in the World – 8.9 Million Views
For this assignment, I want you to create your own original “click-bait” BuzzFeed, which you can do with the tools on their website. It could be a photo-based BuzzFeed, a list, poll, video, quiz, DIY, food, etc., (see Menu options at top of BuzzFeed’s page). Here are the steps for success:
Sign up for BuzzFeed, navigate to your profile, and when you are ready, create a new post. But first, browse BuzzFeed’s website for ideas and to get familiar with the concept, and check out the community at BuzzFeed to view and analyze user generated BuzzFeeds (like yours). Sign up for a free BuzzFeed account, which is where you will find the tool to create and edit your feed. Here are some things to consider before you begin:
- Who is your niche target audience? This is the most important step for marketing research. BuzzFeed practices a very narrow, niche targeting, or “hyper-targeting, for example, to “crazy cat people.” Another BuzzFeed goes out to those people who always get mosquito bites: “Whyyy does my blood taste so good?” So your selection of target market should be designed so narrowly that your target audience will play along right to the end of your feed. Because of your narrow focus, the BuzzFeed content will be highly compatible to any niche-focused advertising placed around the content. So think about which advertisers would be compatible with your BuzzFeed page and what will attact attention from your chosen target.
- Topic Selection: Based on your target audience, think about a subject for which you would enjoy writing or illustrating a BuzzFeed. Your content and headline can be based upon a personal interest like a hobby, pet, kids, or holiday (4th of July is coming up!). Or, it can be something meaningful like a cause. The headline is very important, as it will be the “hook” that gets people to click. Some things to think about (see text chapter) are: people are motivated by emotions so advertising commonly uses appeals such as fear (safety/danger), humor, relationship (couples/dating, etc.), and belonging (family, group activities).
- In your planning, think about the AIDA principle for promotion content: Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. You want to immediately grab people’s attention with your BuzzFeed title and graphics or video, get them interested, make them desire, and then act to read or participate with the entire feed, like one of the famousBuzzFeed quizzes. The goal is to try to create viral content so we get a lot of clicks and shares.
- Write and post your BuzzFeed. Have fun with this!
- Complete and submit the creative brief template (attached) for your feed, making sure that you copy and paste in the URL so I know where to find your feed.
- Caution: Any assignment that is NOT original and which can be searched for and assessed to have been plagiarized, will earn zero points. You MUST provide attribution for any sources, including graphics or illustrations, that are not your own. A small source note can be used beneath graphics, or better yet, generate your own using drawings, photographs, or video. Be sure to get permission from any actors or brands that you use.
- Article: How I Made it to the Front Page of BuzzFeed Twice
- Creative Commons at Flickr has many graphics that can be used without attribution (each graphic should be checked for license requirements).
- Also check out Pixabay.com for attribution-free graphics.