It's not hard to argue that Buzzfeed is a content powerhouse.
But the truth is, not everyone loves the site. In fact, for those who come from serious journalistic backgrounds or who are focused on delivering ‘high quality' content, Buzzfeed is often considered a joke. But at the end of the day, Buzzfeed is also something of a content marketing success story and you really can't argue with the numbers.
As much as their articles might be contrived, trite and inane… they're also incredibly entertaining and highly sharable. And they aren't using those horrible ‘click bait' titles to achieve their infamy, so really they're not the worst culprits by any means.
So should you in fact be learning from Buzzfeed? Let's take a look at some of the things they've done right and some of the things that they've admittedly gotten a bit wrong…
What's Good About Buzzfeed
The great thing about Buzzfeed is that it is social and emotive in nature. Largely, Buzzfeed focusses on comical content which speaks to us on a very relatable level. Most articles apply specifically to one group – whether that's the self-employed, bakers or Disney fans – and this right away ensures there's an audience out there who will be laughing and nodding their heads. Likewise, it also ensures that there's someone you probably know in your own life who would appreciate the content and who you can share it with.
Likewise, Buzzfeed is perfectly suited to our currently shortened attention spans. It's well known that the average attention span has shrunken considerably as a result of the internet and all this immediately available content and Buzzfeed feeds off of that perfectly by providing bite-sized, skimmable content. The image-heavy content is also very good for grabbing attention.
What's Bad About Buzzfeed
That said though, Buzzfeed articles are trite and while there are some hilarious ones on there, others just feel like they're ‘reaching'. This, combined with the purposefully ‘pop' nature of the posts, has ensured that Buzzfeed has the bad reputation we discussed in the introduction. That's fine because Buzzfeed is willing to embrace its reputation – but if you're selling a product through your site or you want to make a point, then that kind of approach would seriously undermine your credibility.
Likewise, Buzzfeed doesn't actually contain that much written content. Some articles are almost 90% images and this doesn't make it particularly search engine friendly. Again it's fine for them due to the nature of their business model but it's not something most people should be emulating.
So enjoy Buzzfeed, enjoy hating them and learn from the things they get right!