Buzzfeed revolutionized how we make videos for social media. This hyper-shareable style of video is everywhere — if you’re on the internet, there’s no way you haven’t seen at least one video from Buzzfeed.
These videos are so effective because they’re tailor-made for social media! They’re short, punchy, entertaining, and designed to go viral.
The numbers don’t lie: look how well Buzzfeed’s videos perform!
- Over 250 MILLION monthly views on Youtube
- Over 16.6 BILLION total views on Youtube
- Over 2 BILLION monthly views on Facebook
- 20.2 MILLION subscribers on Youtube
Clearly, Buzzfeed is doing something right. As video marketers, how can we emulate their super-successful style? Well, the good news is that Buzzfeed-style videos are actually pretty easy to make!
Keep reading — we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Buzzfeed style videos and how you can make your own!
What is a Buzzfeed-style video? 🤔
We can all recognize a Buzzfeed-style video, but if you’re going to try and make one, you need to know exactly what to aim for.
The good news is that while Buzzfeed is the most famous producer of this type of video, it’s by no means unique to them. Plenty of other companies create excellent Buzzfeed-style videos, such as French company Konbini - check out their interview with Emma Watson!
So what are the defining characteristics of Buzzfeed videos that make them so addictive?
Digestible and engaging
Buzzfeed videos are never dry or boring. They’re always entertaining, even when they’re sharing information with the viewer.
This is probably the most important trait of a Buzzfeed video. In fact, all the tips in this article are routes to making an engaging, digestible video.
Fun colors, dynamic camera work, and animated graphics are just a few of the ways Buzzfeed videos grab your attention. It’s not just the videos’ subject matter that pulls you in — the way they’re filmed and produced makes them hard to look away from, too.
Short and concise
Quick, snackable content defines Buzzfeed’s video strategy.
Attention spans are shorter than ever. For a video to go viral, millions of people need to watch it, understand it, and then share it with their friends. That’s why Buzzfeed’s videos are straight and to the point.
Just look at Buzzfeed’s most recent uploads to YouTube. Every video is under 20 minutes long, and the vast majority are between 3.5 and 8 minutes.
Buzzfeed is known for clickbait, but their titles don’t mislead their viewers. The titles of Buzzfeed videos tell their viewers exactly what they’re going to get, but at the same time, leave them wanting more!
Here’s some titles of recent Buzzfeed videos:
- We Let Our Baby Choose Dinner For a Week
- Which Celebrity Makes the Best Apple Pie?
- When You Should Lie
- What It Feels Like to Have a Heart Attack
See how all these titles tell us the video’s premise, but still leave us with questions?
When they should lie? Which celebrity really does make the best apple pie? These are the questions that prompt viewers to actually click and watch.
Why are they so successful?
Buzzfeed’s success isn’t an accident — everything about their videos is carefully calculated for maximum shareability. If you want your videos to have a similar impact, try these strategies:
- Make your videos part of a newsjacking process
- Ride the buzz (see what we did there?) already happening around hot, timely, or even controversial topics
- Make your videos short, engaging, and digestible
- Keep reading — we’ll explain how!
- Publish your videos at optimal times
- Try publishing during the lunch break, during the late-afternoon slump, or even early in the morning during viewers’ commutes
You may not get 250 million views, but adapting Buzzfeed’s video strategy is sure to increase your video’s reach and engagement. Next, let’s talk about a few different styles to try out!
Different types of Buzzfeed-style videos 🎬
All Buzzfeed videos are short, shareable, and entertaining, but they fall into several different categories. Here’s a few of the most important.
These videos explain a complex topic in a quick and accessible way, breaking it down so that it’s easily understood by a mass audience. The video above is a great example of newsjacking as well as of an explainer video — here, Buzzfeed explains why a very popular conspiracy theory is actually baseless.
As you might expect, this style of video teaches the viewer a new skill or task. This may not sound very exciting, but Buzzfeed makes their tutorials fun and engaging by featuring interesting people both teaching and learning the skills.
Social media news videos
Just like the rest of their content, Buzzfeed News videos are short and engaging. They usually tell human-interest stories, often ones connected to the big news stories dominating the headlines.
Buzzfeed interviews hook the viewer with an attention-getting premise. Whether it’s a celebrity or someone with an unusual job, they don’t just interview their subjects — they talk to them about an interesting, or even shocking, topic!
How to make a Buzzfeed-style video 🎥
So, how do we put all these ideas into practice? Here’s our best tips on how to make a great Buzzfeed-style video!
Keep it short
To hold your viewer’s attention, your videos need to be short, punchy, and concise. Try to keep it to 5 minutes or less — 2.5 to 3.5 minutes is a great sweet spot.
Planning is key to making sure you say everything you need to say! Start with a good script. That will make sure your video stays focused and doesn’t waste even one second of valuable time.
Vary your video’s rhythm
A good rhythm will make your video more dynamic and stop your viewer from getting bored. That means mixing up both what you show and how it’s filmed. Here’s some shots to include:
- Close-up detail shots
- Try cutting in shots of the actor or interviewee’s smile, outfit, or hands. You can also show a symbolic object, like a family photo, or close-ups of objects in the scene, like food being tested or products being reviewed
- Shots to set context
- Try using wide shots of the decor or background to set the scene. If you’re discussing a topical subject, screenshots of websites or social media posts also work well to illustrate your point
- Shots of movement
- Film your subjects walking through your offices, driving, or engaging in activities to keep things interesting. This is much more engaging for the viewer than your interviewees just sitting on camera and talking for the entire video.
Perfect your intro
The introduction is crucial — if it isn’t perfect, your viewer won’t keep watching.
Start with your video’s most interesting or surprising message to make sure the viewer can’t look away. You’ll also want to make sure the introduction is visually appealing and fun to watch.
Select relevant images + video footage
What kind of look are you going for? Do you want your video to have a more raw, immediate feeling, or do you want it to look polished and professional? Use that to guide what kind of images and video clips you use.
If you’re looking for a lo-fi vibe, film your video yourself. Don’t worry about your videography viewers love the authenticity of this kind of content! And even if you don’t have a massive production budget, you can still make a polished-looking video. Use high-quality stock media in combination with graphics and voiceovers for a slick, professional look.
Consider motion graphics
When someone says 'Buzzfeed-style video,’ you’ll immediately picture a video with crisp, eye catching text overlays and attention-getting motion graphics. Not only does animated text add visual interest, but it serves a practice purpose, too!
On social media, many people watch videos without sound. Adding text on top of your video ensures people still get the message, even if their phone is on mute.
Choose the right format
Buzzfeed videos are tailor-made for social — but not all social networks are created equal! Be sure to consider the best practices for the network you’ll be publishing your video on. For example, you’ll want to use a vertical video for Instagram Stories and a horizontal one for LinkedIn.
Design a creative and impactful thumbnail
Along with your title, a thumbnail is the first thing viewers see. It can determine whether they’ll click on your video or not! The thumbnail will display whenever your video doesn’t auto-play on social, or when it’s shared by a user.
To maximize clicks, this mini-image should attract the eye. Use an attractive, relevant image, like the interviewee, or a photo of the event your video talks about. Then, overlay it with a sentence that will make someone want to click, like a powerful quote from the interview or an attention-getting slogan.
Ideas for Buzzfeed-style videos to try at your company 💡
These ideas are great, but you might be wondering how to adapt them for your actual marketing strategy. After all, a video about weird pregnancy cravings might get lots of views, but it’s not going to help you market your product — unless you sell pickles and ice cream?
Here’s a few examples of ways you can channel the style of Buzzfeed videos for your company’s marketing needs.
- An interview with one of your employees, for an internal audience
- Your team member can talk about their experience working on recently finalized business project
- A report on a trend in your industry
- Include relevant images footage related to the subject
- An interview with an influencer in your sector
- Select an influencer with good reach and a great reputation, and invite them to talk about the challenges faced by your target audience
- A behind-the-scenes look at working for your company
- Create a funny, honest interview with staff about the joys and challenges of being part of your team
- A video of someone trying out your product or service for the first time
- You could also feature someone trying both your product, and a competitor
Make Buzzfeed-style videos work for you!
It might sound pretty ambitious to model your marketing videos after Buzzfeed’s. After all, they’re the undisputed champions of social media video!
But Buzzfeed-style videos are actually simple and accessible for anyone to make. Audiences love Buzzfeed’s videos because they’re snappy, engaging, and entertaining — not because they’re super fancy or expensively produced!
That’s why you can create fun, Buzzfeed-style videos that help you reach your marketing goals. If you follow the tips in this article, you’re off to a great start!