I have a joke for you. What can your church learn from Buzzfeed? Marketing. Hahaha! Hilarious, right? What if I’m not joking?
Buzzfeed has a general brand idea that they are all about listicles, cat memes, videos of food, and all around the butt of every joke. Yet, Buzzfeed has become one of the most recognizable, reliable, and informative websites for all things news, including politics, current events, and hard hitting journalism.
I’m going to share with you three marketing tips Buzzfeed has been implementing that you may want to consider. I’m not saying they are what your church needs, but instead to think through if it would benefit your church or not.
1) Platform Agnostic
Platform agnostic is this mentality that it does not matter where you share your content, but that you make something amazing, associate it with your brand, and get it as quickly, effectively, and thoroughly to your audience as possible. The more eyes and ears that consume your content, the better. What this does not mean is that your personal website will get tons of traffic.
Buzzfeed says it’s all about brand recognition and fast and impactful is profitable and necessary if you can sustain it and make changes as they are needed in a quick and data researched manner. They further state that the content may never even end up on their site.
Close to 75% of the company’s content never actually appears on its website but is created for and consumed on networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
This may be my favorite aspect of Buzzfeed. Reanchoring is a rapid cycling of “what works” and what doesn’t. They are not beholden to traditional forms of publishing. In fact, as many publishers from Buzzfeed have iterated via interviews, many ideas die immediately because they are not providing results and others that help something go viral for a few months will end as soon as it does not produce traffic.
This means that they are always experimenting with their content, marketing, and distributing. That’s how they found success with platform agnosticism, they gave it a shot. Even the crazy Buzzfeed titles that you know and despise, they tried numerous iterations of great titles to get clicks and found what works for their website… at least for right now. If they need to make a shift, the culture at Buzzfeed is to immediately do so.
3) Repurposing Content
Content shared via Buzzfeed is genius in their marketed. Take an hour and consume some of their videos, polls, or lists. What you will notice in their links at the end of a video or through out the content, is that they have numerous inline links to other similar content to share, so if you love to see puppies chasing a ball, they will have ten other links for you to follow and keep consuming content. Further, this repurposing of content means that they will have several different pieces of content to share across all of their platforms, making it necessary for you the viewer to follow them everywhere if you want to consume it all.
How To Take This Content
You may be worried you do not have enough people on board to do this, it may feel daunting to even begin to create a best strategy for your church communications team. These are best practices done by a corporation who is taking in hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands on staff with the sole expectation of creating and distributing content. Churches obviously have a different mission, so it is not apples to apples here.
You may decide none of this is for you, that you need to strive towards these ideals but understand you may never fully implement them, or come up with a hybrid of either option. My suggestion is to figure out how these can best serve your congregation, community, and team that is doing the hard work.