Content is the Best Advertising
Once upon a time, according to Jon Steinberg, President of BuzzFeed, people woke up in the morning, went online, and checked for the news. They did this (after they brushed their teeth, one assumes), by opening a portal, say MSN, CNN or Google. Nowadays, says Steinberg, “they go right to social.” Facebook and Twitter have become news sources, along with other social media, and for these trending folk, Buzzfeed is “building their defining social site,” currently accessed by 25 million unique visitors per month.
Speaking yesterday at the “Custom Media Day” event held by the Custom Content Council, Steinberg addressed the art of storytelling, which he believes is replacing straightforward advertising. BuzzFeed eschews banner ads and opts instead for weaving content into items with “Featured Partners.”
The key, says Steinberg, is presenting “shareable” content. People want to read things they can share, he believes. If you like it, pass it on. Nor do readers mind a mix of content, the highbrow abutting the low. It’s fine to share that great NPR story along with the picture of the cute puppy. Or to cite a BuzzFeed example of this mix, one day at Buzzfeed included a post of a story about President Obama being in Afghanistan while he said he was in White House and they ran a story about “33 Animals who are Disappointed in You.” (He neglected to mention if any of those animals were at the White House.)
We are well-rounded, well-informed, and discerning readers, we consumers of social media. Pass it on!