The Secret Formula Behind the Most Shareable Video Content

If you are in the business of content marketing or are active on social media, you must be familiar with Buzzfeed and its shareable videos. Jonathan Perelman, BuzzFeed’s GM of video & VP of Agency Strategy has unveiled the secret behind their successful video content.


The key rule they follow is to make shareable content — not creating it simply to be consumed.  This strategy fully utilizes the fact that viewers have free access to the internet, which has completely changed the way we consume and distribute media.


Imagine your typical morning, you wake up at 7 am. Instead of getting newspapers from your front porch, you grab your cell phone and surf on social media to see what’s happening. The latest news now reaches your news feed within seconds, either from on-the-spot reports or via sharing. So if social media is the new channel for information distribution, then mobile is the perfect vehicle for its consumption.


Seeing the evolution of media and how the new innovation in distribution technologies has changed how it is consumed, Buzzfeed keeps the element of “shareability” in mind when producing the video. Buzzfeed also gauged the main reasons what makes people share content:

  • To be social
  • To express how we are feeling
  • To show off, or to brag
  • To prove we were the first ones to find something
  • To make someone laugh

To sum up, it’s all about being part of a community and establishing personal identity.

Bearing the above strategy and observation in mind, Buzzfeed came up with thirty sub-categories based on data analysis and develop contents along with these categories. Among all of them, here are the top three:


Emotional Gift: This type of content taps into the vast range of human emotions. Another successful element is the function of mood changing, which relieves your stress and makes you laugh. The videos aim at triggering viewers to feel something, if they resonate with it, they will share it.


Information: Presenting information and share opinions in a new and interesting way. For example, Buzzfeed collects the fun fact about something you are very familiar with. Or Buzzfeed invites people among all ages and genders to review and comment on the same topic. You can approve or disapprove with the general aware facts; no matter what your standpoint are, the key is being able to tell a story in a unique way.


Identity: People want to be identified as something, to belong a community and taking Buzzfeed quizzes is one way to do so. You must have seen content that titles with “X things only NewYorkers know” or “how to piss off everyone in LA.” This kind of content targets  a niche segment and use the “sign” only members in a certain group can understand to create the sense of belonging. Although there could be some “stereotype” in the content,  it is usually tongue-in-cheek and catchy enough to get shared.

Do you enjoy the insights from Buzzfeed? Share with us what you think ☺

Need more inspiration for SHAREABLE videos? Check out What Video Marketers Can Learn From Super Bowl Commercials

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