Commerce has grown from a curiosity into a key stream of revenue, so BuzzFeed is helping brands sell more products, developing new ones that BuzzFeed helps sell with them and tying advertising into those deals.
Last month, BuzzFeed launched a 100-item line of Goodful products that it is selling exclusively at Macy’s. Over the past year, it developed products for Scott’s, Maybelline and Bloomscape, using BuzzFeed.com and its social reach to promote them. BuzzFeed’s markets team also has begun upselling affiliate commerce partners like Quip and Care/Of on display and branded content advertising.
While it’s not yet a mainstream request, BuzzFeed is starting to see requests for commerce elements in some of the RFPs it gets from agencies as advertisers start to take a unified view of performance, customer acquisition and brand advertising.
“We developed elements that would complement advertising, rather than conflict with it,” BuzzFeed chief revenue officer Lee Brown said. “We work with partners however they want to work.”
Affiliate marketing strategies — and budgets — have historically been handled by separate groups within brands. But as digital marketing and advertising gets more focused on business outcomes, those divisions are starting to come down. Observers expect this trend to accelerate, particularly for brands that already have affiliate operations.