BuzzFeed has refreshed its year-and-a-half-old travel brand Bring Me as the company shows the confidence to scale up yet another sub-brand.
When it debuted in February 2017, Bring Me focused on creating "accessible" video content. Now the sub-brand will feature all of BuzzFeed’s travel content, which it claims reaches 195 million people a month, as well as doubling down on its own original output.
The aim is to emulate the growth of BuzzFeed's offshoot food brand Tasty, which has amassed 95 million likes on Facebook, its predominant platform.
In the last year and a half, Bring Me has accumulated 2bn views across its website and Facebook. Richard Alan Reid, the head of Bring Me, told The Drum that this shows that BuzzFeed’s reach and “audience-first approach” has a “proven track record of launching successful media brands”.
He said Bring Me was formed on the back of research claiming that 99% of travellers use digital devices as the primary source of travel inspiration and research, and that 70% of millennials would rather spend their money on experiences over possessions.
As a result, the title has positioned itself to showcase “attainable but unique or interesting places near and far”. The key is to create authentic and relatable content that can par well with social media. He said there is an air of discovery around the locations the brand will bring to life too.
“We already know that it’s not enough to just publish a list of the best beaches or most exotic places. The audience want something that is attainable, fresh and actually helpful.”
The brand was founded on Facebook, on the back of short videos. A year later it was claiming to be the number one global travel publisher on the internet.
However that may not have been the case. Facebook’s algorithm change came into play in February, to a degree punishing some viral publishers in a bid to improve the quality of the newsfeed. The brand said it was more reliant on user shares than organic reach anyway, now 94% of the brand’s comments are readers tagging in their friends.
Reid said: “When you work in the digital space, there isn’t a year that goes by without one of the platforms tweaking a part of the way they work. It’s something we’re used to.”
Now it has relaunched, Bring Me is diversifying onto Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and BuzzFeed’s platform. As many publishers move away from community contributions, Bring Me will run a community page to bring in audience tips and recommendations. There will also be a push to increase original content output, reducing reliance on the wider BuzzFeed ecosystem; Reid noted that there has already been a 60% increase in original output in the last three months.
To date, its biggest challenge has been understanding its audience and delivering a rebrand that connects with them, across a greater array of platforms. This new brand identity looked to the ‘golden age of travel’ and is keen to capture a spirit of adventure, he added.
With BuzzFeed opening itself up to display and programmatic advertising options to make up for a shortcoming in its native content roots, Bring Me is looking to bring aboard relevant partners. So far it has worked with Tourism Australia, Volkswagen, Hyundai, AMEX and recently, for the first time ever, it created a global campaign with PepsiCo that was shot in five countries.
It comes not long after BuzzFeed News’ rebrand, which saw the company attempt to detach its serious news coverage from the lighter and more audience-focused content like Tasty and Bring Me.