Lessons for publishers from BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti
Much of this success has come from seeing which platforms are the most open. BuzzFeed seized on Facebook video six months ago. Today it gets an average of 2.8m views per video, according to analytics firm Tubular Labs. BuzzFeed frequently ranks No.1 in Tubular Labs’ most-watched Facebook creators list.
The plan is to take what BuzzFeed’s learning from its operations and apply that to content formats for other parts of the world, said company founder and chief executive Jonah Peretti, speaking at Mindshare’s Huddle event in London this week.
But Peretti doesn’t just want scale, he wants real-world impact. Here are some of his other takeaways for publishers, lightly edited for clarity.
We still haven’t nailed the metrics
Impressions, cost-per-thousand (CPM), click-throughs, even social sharing and time spent with media are all imperfect metrics. “What we really care about is impact on people’s lives,” Peretti said.
BuzzFeed does best when it reports on something that leads people to take action, as it did last year when BuzzFeed News uncovered a teacher’s sexual misconduct with students, which led to a criminal investigation.
“It’s hard to measure, but it’s the thing that matters,” he said. “We do a lot of follow-up research into whether a story had impact, like whether it resulted in a law getting changed. It is more manual but you can take the things that really work and look at the other metrics, the clicks and the shares, and see whether there’s a pattern that says one type of story is more impactful.”
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