Turn URL into IRL with BuzzFeed’s Creator Program



Director of Partnerships at Buzzfeed, Augusta Falletta, speaks to their Beauty Director, Essence Gant and Supervising Video Producer, Erin Phraner on about how effective Buzzfeed is at simultaneously elevating an influencer and a brand.


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The influencer model isn’t a new one and it’s evolved.

There are now new niches to explore and micro-influencers, along with micro-audiences, have dug their feet firmly in the community, making authentic content more important than ever. “They have a direct connection and trust with their audience already,” explained BuzzFeed‘s Supervising Video Producer, Erin Phraner during a #SMWNYC panel. She was joined by Augusta Falletta, Director of Partnerships, and Essence Gant, Beauty Director.

What is the BuzzFeed Creator Program?

The BuzzFeed’s Creator program helps create content using their team of editors and influencers that is both high quality and feels incredibly representative to the company or product being advertised. It then uses its platform, as a media outlet, to promote and showcase the content to raise both the client and the creator’s profile.

It differs from how influencers are using online platforms right now in terms of the reach it provides combined with its equipment and team resources – the program can generate mutually beneficial, customized material. It is also a massive discovery opportunity for both creator and client.

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Gant was fortunate enough to create content for L’Oreal Paris for the Golden Globes. She and Sir John —  famously Beyoncé’s makeup artist — filmed a video where the two conversed in a familiar chat show format and predicted the looks they expected to see on the red carpet. Buzzfeed helped promote it and on Facebook, it became the second most watched video of all the Golden Globes content, with a video posted by Golden Globes themselves outnumbering it, naturally.

Maintaining authenticity

Authenticity is a key theme and it’s difficult to stay true to your own personal brand when your platform expands.

Phraner understands audiences to have a watchdog mentality and how audiences are quick to call an influencer out if what they are advertising doesn’t make sense to them. Gant agrees, “I don’t want to risk longevity taking on a brand that doesn’t make sense to me.”

As Phraner wants to limit the number of opportunities turned down, at BuzzFeed, they editorialize. “We see things that aren’t direct connections but make them make sense for us.”

Measuring impact

Impact is measured with mature tools and data teams pull information that supports each client’s main KPI’s, however, Phraner and Gant really enjoy utilizing their comment sections and private messages to see what their audiences connect with and don’t. “Sometimes I will purposely leave off shopping details sometimes to see how many people ask where something’s from,” said Phraner.

Turning URL into IRL

Carefully curated content, turning URL into IRL, is the way forward. Brands want action. If influencers can replicate that on content that isn’t branded, then they’re deemed as even more appealing to work with. BuzzFeed’s program enables that action with a wider sphere of influence.

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