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BuzzFeed’s success: more than cute kittens

Recent news that BuzzFeed has secured £30 million of new funding from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz didn’t come as much a surprise after it recently surfaced that it’s now attracting more than 150 million monthly site visitors and is now a profitable business.

But what’s led to the news organisation’s phenomenal growth?

Since launching in 2006, BuzzFeed has evolved from a laboratory of viral content to more serious news articles thanks to its growing team of formidable experienced journalists.

BuzzFeed has lead the way in changing how we consume online content because it has had its finger on the pulse of online conversations to help steer its content and piggy back on trends/digital conversations. But what’s the secret to its successful emotional formula?

In a nutshell, BuzzFeed is winning the content game because it appeals to a multitude of human emotions which is why the site has gained so much traction and loyalty in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

And there’s plenty B2B marketers can learn from the BuzzFeed boom; here’s how it turns up the emotional dial with its content:

We live in a self obsessed culture
As humans, it’s in our nature to have high levels of self interest but thanks to the internet, it’s been amplified to an unprecedented level. BuzzFeed is well honed in playing up to this with its quizzes that tell users which sitcom character they are, for example.

We’re all creatures of habit
BuzzFeed cleverly composes articles on subjects, such as ’18 things only Londoners will understand’, that groups and subcultures can relate to. The result? Lots of shares. BuzzFeed was at the forefront of recognising the value of digital shares to heighten its brand awareness levels.

We’ve all got a fun side
Even though BuzzFeed has employed a hoard of experienced journalists, it still has a lot of fun articles to maintain its infectious nature. It’s important to remember that no matter how serious most people can be, we’ve all got a fun side. Silly stuff really matters.

We love lists
Punchy content in the form of lists makes it incredibly easy and fast to consume, which leads me onto my next point...

Our busy lives mean our attention spans are shrinking
I read a scary fact the other day that our attention spans are now one second shorter than a goldfish. Everyone has downtime or needs something lighthearted to perk up their day and BuzzFeed meets this need with it’s regular hit of cute and funny gifs, which serve to cure our short bursts of boredom.