Archives For create content

It is the professional opinion of this blogger that Buzzfeed has won the content marketing war and that, shortly, they will rule the world. Resisting the brute efficacy of “listicles,” True Facts, and relatable gifs is – as I’m sure you realize – futile.

Between mobile and desktop users, the Buzzfeed website enjoys about 10 million unique visitors daily…and that’s on a bad day.

For the non-Mathletes in the audience, that’s 30% of YouTube’s total unique user traffic over the course of a month (which is 1 billion) – on a website that is younger, less prolific, and does not rely on user-generated content.

via reactiongifs.com

That share-of-voice takeover escalated quickly, am I right?

Obviously, BuzzFeed is not in competition with YouTube – instead, these two monolithic content platforms function as partners on this epic, shared journey of Social Media domination. And while their business models share little in common, the media giants are both swaddled and secure in the knowledge that they have perfected – together and independently – the Internet-reinforced concept of “content as communication.”

Pictured: YouTube and BuzzFeed’s concurrent sense of self-satisfaction. (via reactiongifs.com)

Both in Ze Frank’s 2013 Vidcon presentation and during Jonathan Perelman’s REEL Video Summit speech last week, the BuzzFeeders tip their hand by declaring that content should be made for how it is consumed – as a shareable form of communication. They’ve cleverly discerned that share-worthy content – taken holistically – keys almost exclusively into 3 drivers of human communication:

1. Identity (“this article/video communicates something about me or my life experiences better than my just telling you would.”)

2. Emotional gift (“this content made me feel X, I want you to feel X too.”)

3. Information (“HEY GUYS – this stuff is factual and cool.”)

By playing to these 3 share-driving principles, BuzzFeed has exploded in popularity over the last 24 months and has, perhaps more notably, rendered Google Search secondary to content discovery. In its place, Facebook – the gold standard of Social Media referral – now leads the bulk of users to BuzzFeed’s content watering hole.

The implications for SEO, by the way, are semi-staggering. (Source.)

Ahh, yes. Share-worthy content is indeed successful content. But, why? Is it because of the complex network of overlapping human needs resulting from our schizophrenic relationship with empathy? Is it because LOL cats have driven us to over-identify with memes? Is it because Ze Frank has perfected mass hypnosis from high up in his ivory, BuzzFeedian tower and we are all victims?

Nay, my friend – it is so much simpler than that.

Allow me to introduce you to oxytocin:

“Sup, bros. I’m basically the neurological foundation of human society and community sentiment. No biggie.”

Oxytocin is a fun little mammalian neuromodulator that most of you will more readily recognize as the “bonding hormone.” This is the stuff that gets mothers (naturally) high after childbirth, the stuff that gets you (naturally) high after sex, and that makes menial tasks like grocery shopping – when shared with someone you like – (naturally) less terrible.

Interestingly, oxytocin is released in small amounts into the human brain during 3 common, share-worthy experiences:

1. Social belonging.

2. Intimacy.

3. Information discovery.

Now, let’s play a game called, “Find the Synonyms.”

1. “Identity” = “Social belonging” (we reinforce our sense of self by seeking out external reinforcement and relationships.)

2. “Emotional gift” = “Intimacy” (shared feelings/experiences are the root of actual and perceived intimacy.)

3. “Information” = “Information discovery” (not really a synonym so much as exactly the same word.)

Wait a minute. Does that mean that BuzzFeed is just exploiting your fiendish biological addiction to oxytocin?!

Not at all, my dear reader – everything good on the internet is just exploiting your fiendish biological addiction to oxytocin. Whether it’s a Wikipedia loop or social media FOMO or LOL cats, your sustained interest is no more mysterious than is a mild heroin habit (for even less mystery, check out the structural parallels between oxytocin and heroin molecules).

Ain’t neurochemical stimulation neat? Evolution certainly thinks so – that’s, like, its entire community-building strategy.

In short, the secret sauce of successful content is also the secret sauce of all human endeavor – a high dependency liability.

Thanks for reading. I got you some oxytocin. (Source.)


More info means more oxytocin. Got a craving? Download vidIQ’s free Chrome Extension to see YouTube video analytics and a whole mess of metrics right in your browser.

With video marketing moving at the speed of light, it’s easy to get wild-eyed about your workflow.

The general wisdom is to produce, produce, produce – which is the YouTube marketing equivalent of the fool’s adage, “Any decision is better than no decision.”

But content, and its consumers, have been around for a long time. And the thread that connects them has always been simpler than strategy, more powerful than promotion, and greater than hype.

At vidIQ, YouTube and YouTube marketing is our business – so we get it. It seems necessary to surrender to the daily scramble to produce, produce, produce on your channel. It’s easy to lose sight of the real goals of video marketing, to get lost in the endless lists of “YouTube Tips and Tricks” and to worship the newly-deified metrics of “Subscribers” and “Total Views.”

Instead, sit back for a moment – just one moment in this hypnotically hectic world of newsfeeds – to consider the wisdom of great creators who have come before you.

It’s more comforting than cat pictures, I promise.


1. “Every action needs to be prompted by a motive.” – Leonardo da Vinci

You must make content with a purpose.

We can help.


2. “Of all our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.” – Walt Disney

It’s not enough to communicate, video marketing can make you understood.

We can help.


3. “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius

Commitment to your content and campaigns is integral to success.

We can help.


4. “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” – Aristotle

Do only what you enjoy, if you want to do it well.

We can help.


5. “Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.” – John Lennon

Don’t waste time on pursuits you don’t enjoy.

We can help.


6. “Information is not knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

5. Einstein - Info Not Knowledge

Quote Credit: BrainyQuote
Original Photo Credit: Marius B

Data without direction is trivial.

We can help.


7. “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.” – William Shakespeare

You don’t know everything, and that’s okay.

We can help.


8. “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

It takes a village to succeed in content.

We can help.


The last 20 years, and the mass adoption of the internet, have created the illusion that human beings can build complete digital worlds, will new markets into existence, and create content for viral consumption, all at once and all by themselves. But, as with all human endeavor, we stand on the shoulders of giants.

Moreover, we stand together.

Look to the history of marketing – or, heck, just the history of history – and you’ll find an unbroken chain of collaboration, experimentation, and creation.

At vidIQ, we know YouTube and we know you know content.

Maybe we should create something together?

Click here to request a demo of our YouTube marketing software.

Or, click here to download our free Chrome extension.


See this blog as a presentation by checking us out on SlideShare. Followers welcome!