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Source: Buzzfeed

Online publisher Buzzfeed sum up how they used insight to analyze their audience, validate their wide-ranging appeal, and create new opportunities. 

BuzzFeed is famous for its unique approach to storytelling.

A recognized leader in viral content, its ongoing mission is to provide “the most shareable breaking news, original reporting, entertainment, and video content." According to our research: 

1 in 2 internet users between 18-34 in the U.S. engage with BuzzFeed on a monthly basis.

This highlights the company's status as a go-to source for content among millennials. But with continued growth, BuzzFeed was keen to show its appeal is much further reaching than just this key demographic.

The challenge

Proving their appeal beyond millennials.

“One thing we wanted to change with our international markets in particular was how brands viewed us as an advertising partner, beating down some common misconceptions", says Jackie Lundblad, Head of International Insights at BuzzFeed. "We don't just speak to millennials."

"GWI helps us prove that we have a more diverse, wide-ranging audience than you may think."

For Bruno Belardo, Vice President, Brand Strategy at BuzzFeed Brazil, it’s not only about proving BuzzFeed’s wider appeal, but delving deeper into who fits within the ‘millennial’ category.

“BuzzFeed is well known for its close relationship with millennials”, he says.

“But we wanted to show who these people are, what they do, what their desires are and what they feel defines them, because they don’t just fit within one category.”

Investing in partnerships across the globe, BuzzFeed needed to educate clients that they are far more than an entertainment source for millennials, but a trusted source of content, valued by a wide range of audiences that brands can tap into with their advertising.

In order to shift these perceptions in international markets, they needed access to more local insights.

“We needed access to quality data”, says Bruno. “It can be a struggle for marketers to find a source of information that relates to audience composition, but GWI was the perfect partner to cross with our own data.”

The action

Analyzing their audience with cross-market data.

Using the wealth of data gathered through the platform, BuzzFeed could analyze their audience in much greater depth.

Focusing first on their Australian market, the in-house teams decided to make use of these insights to challenge perceptions and spark new conversations.

Creating a number of targeted newsletters outlining some of their most impactful findings, the teams used this data to prove their mass appeal.

“For the first of these newsletters, we decided to focus on moms as this is obviously an audience we have, but it’s one that’s often overlooked in connection to BuzzFeed” says Jackie.

“We used this data to show we’re the experts on our audience,” says Jackie. “Not only do we have the scale but we know our readers well, and we know how to use this data to provide the right recommendations to brands to improve their reach and awareness.”

Paired with their own content research, the teams were able to drive new opportunities with these insights.

Newsletter Excerpt:

Buzzfeed Newsletter 2

The result

Breaking down barriers with powerful data.

Positioning themselves as experts on their consumers while proving their appeal to far more than just millennials, BuzzFeed used the data to drive new business and build more trust among clients.

  • Shifted perceptions by proving their appeal across demographics.
  • Earned client trust with consumer insight unavailable elsewhere.
  • Boosted interest in advertising across emerging markets.

"Following our newsletter, we got a great response from brands who were surprised to see our reach among their audience", says Jackie. "This shows how we challenged some misconceptions they had previously held about BuzzFeed."

The data was also used to help them win new business and solidify relationships with clients in up and coming markets like Brazil. “We have a strong relationship with one of the biggest private banks in Brazil and have worked closely with them since our early days here,” says Bruno.

“Through GWI’s data and our own insights and external research, we were able to add even further value.”

“With this, we could fill in the blanks around who these people were to help us better understand how they act and think when making important decisions."

With the ability to go into far more depth than they ever could, translating audience behaviors, perceptions, interests and lifestyles on a massive scale, they could also give the client the answers that no one else was able to provide.

“Using GWI, we were able to tell a story centered around our readers financial situations and life events - that provided us with the fuel we needed to shift those perceptions and build that level of trust,” says Jackie.

“While we’ve always been able to provide insight into their content consumption and sharing habits, this new data helped us to prove that we could consistently provide them with new insight into their audience that they couldn’t find elsewhere. This showed them there was a data-driven future in working with us.”

Stats in top right module sourced from BuzzFeed.

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