If you’re on Facebook and haven’t been in a coma for the past year, you’ve likely stumbled upon a BuzzFeed Tasty video. A Tasty recipe for “hot dog tots” (a hot dog engulfed in a tater tot ball #Merica) garnered more than 39 million views and almost 400,000 likes.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve found yourself spending an embarrassing amount of time watching these videos — and we’re not alone. In a little more than a year, BuzzFeed’s Tasty video Facebook page has accumulated a whopping 81 million likes. BuzzFeed even recently published a Tasty cookbook.
It’s clear that BuzzFeed’s Tasty venture is not screeching to a halt anytime soon, and it’s time for marketers to follow its recipe to cook up great content.
Lettuce Taco ‘Bout Content
According to Content Marketing Institute, nearly 90 percent of B2B marketers use content marketing, and it’s no surprise why: Content marketing costs less than traditional marketing and generates three times as many leads, proving that marketers can have their cake and eat it, too.
BuzzFeed didn’t create its Tasty empire out of thin air. Creating a content marketing strategy takes time and work, but it’s crucial to the success of any business. Here are four lessons marketers can learn from the rise and success of BuzzFeed’s Tasty videos:
1. Should you offer filet mignon or hamburgers on your menu?
Creating a great menu of content isn’t enough. You also have to know to whom you’re catering.
Fifty-six percent of marketers believe that personalized content leads to increased levels of audience engagement. So the better you understand your audience, the more likely it is that you’ll create a menu of content they’ll enjoy. And it starts with your target audience personas.
It’s no mistake that many Tasty recipes target the younger palate. Some of its most popular recipes are geared toward the tastes of the Millennial consumer because 50 percent of BuzzFeed’s 200 million visitors are between 18 and 34 years old. In fact, videos for pizza, nachos, and chocolate cake have all accumulated more than15 million views.
A buyer persona is a data-driven, descriptive model of your most desirable target customer. Think of it as the skeleton of your overall content marketing strategy: It’s central to your efforts and brings your content workflow together cohesively.
To create ones that target your audience as well as Tasty’s, start by analyzing your customer demographics, their buying behavior, how they consume media, and on what device they consume it.
2. Customize menus for different palates.
Too many marketers assume that casting as wide a net as possible for their content is the best strategy for reaching their audience and generating leads, but this assumption doesn’t always work out the way they think.
Don’t be afraid to adjust your menu a little with custom recipes for audiences with specific palates. Sometimes, segmenting content to smaller, niche publications can get you in front of a highly targeted audience and result in more engagement.
As Tasty’s audience grew, it created subpages to maintain its main-page audience, but also created more niche focuses throughout its platform. And thus, Proper Tasty, a page that publishes British recipes, and Tasty Junior, a page that posts “little bites for little hands,” were born.
3. Don’t forget the Sriracha.
We all have that friend who puts Sriracha on everything. Just like your friend the Sriracha connoisseur, you shouldn’t be afraid to add spice to your brand’s content.
It’s what differentiates you from your competitors and helps your audience connect with you. Incorporating your personality into your content will help humanize your brand and shape how your audience reacts to your message.
Take this recent Tasty headline for example: “Did you say tiny deep-fried balls of dough?!?! Sign me up!!!” Tasty could easily have said, “Check out these dessert recipes.” Instead, it chose to add a little spice and write its message in its own voice and personality that’s fun and appealing to its target audience.
4. If you throw in everything but the kitchen sink, you’re going to have a muddled mess.
Always keep your messages simple by using language that’s quick and easy to digest. If you don’t, it’s likely that viewers won’t understand what you’re trying to tell them. As a result, the flavors you’ve worked hard to emphasize will be lost because they’re competing with too many other flavors and overwhelming your audience.
Packing your content with overused buzzwords won’t help you achieve authenticity in your marketing; it’s probably going to leave your audience feeling like your message isn’t trustworthy. According to Joseph Kimble in “Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please: The Case for Plain Language in Business, Government, and Law,” 84 percent of customers are more trusting of messaging that’s free of jargon.
BuzzFeed knows its audience probably isn’t full of expert chefs shouting “Bam!” every time they toss ingredients into the mix. Instead, Tasty recipes are simple; the majority of videos last only one or two minutes, and they often use ingredients viewers are likely to already have at home.
When everything is said and done, if your content doesn’t engage your audience’s taste buds, it is useless. So think of your content strategy as you would your weekly meal prep: Add all the necessary ingredients of your tasty content recipe, and you’re sure to cook up a winner that even the pickiest eaters will consume and enjoy.