Content Marketing Blog

4 things your website can learn from BuzzFeed

Renowned for its quirky, and often hilarious, style of news blogging, BuzzFeed has become the go-to source of daily entertainment for many.

The online news site has experienced enormous growth – with overall traffic nearly tripling in the past year, and the number of unique monthly visitors has more than quintupled, shooting up from 28 million to 150 million in the past two years.

BuzzFeed has really taken off down here in Australia too, with over 4.2 million Aussies visiting the site last month, accumulating over 11 millions visits between them, according to Quantcast.

A large chunk of their success can be attributed to BuzzFeed’s Head of Data and Growth – Dao Nguyen – who shared some of her secrets in a recent interview with Inc.com.

Seek out new areas for growth

In the fast-paced industry of online news, websites need to be constantly on the look out for new ways to improve their content strategy if they want to stay ahead.

When Nguyen took on her role, BuzzFeed was experiencing major dips in traffic over the weekend – the reason being fewers writers were in the office to contribute to the site.

To solve this, Nguyen suggested promoting some of the top 20 performing posts over the week on Saturdays and Sundays.

After a few quick months of trial and error, the project proved a success. Weekend traffic grew higher than weekdays, increasing by 224 per cent in June and July.

Broaden your horizons

The bulk of BuzzFeed’s content covers current events and celebrity gossip, but Nguyen realised the potential behind other topics too.

From analysing the high referral rate of the social networking site Pinterest, she expanded the BuzzFeed Life section to cover more lifestyle-based topics such as tips for parenting, DIY projects, cooking and health.

Now Pinterest is BuzzFeed’s second most important site for driving social referral traffic, behind Facebook.

Sharing is caring

Nguyen found the second most popular way of sharing on mobile devices was through email (the first being Facebook), which required a lot of effort on behalf of the user.

To solve this, she modified the email share button to make it easier and more visible.

Only one week later, the number of email shares from mobile users increased by 100 per cent.

Data has its limits

Monitoring the success of your website is an important part of content marketing, but ultimately, you know your target audience best.

As the Head of Data and Growth, Nguyen felt it necessary to stress that data only tells us what’s happening on your site, but it doesn’t explain the reason behind it.

“You have to know where its limits are. Using data properly is a constant stream of experiments and feedback. The human-learning of that is part of the culture that I think is probably the most difficult to replicate.” she said.

By actively searching for ways to improve your site, while also keep the needs of your target audience in mind, you should hopefully be able to experience some of the success BuzzFeed is enjoying.

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Posted by Dylan Brown

Castleford