Evidence that viral content can actually convert site users into customers is scarce, partly because virality is so difficult to generate. For most businesses, remembering to “help not sell” is usually a more productive path.
Anyway… Buzzfeed are attempting to manufacture virals for their customers. Virgin say it gets results:
“We have the bait, now we have to bring them into the Virgin Mobile family,” Faris told the meeting. He sometimes likens his BuzzFeed posts to the joke that opens a sales pitch: Maybe it will lead to a “like” on Facebook, and then, using cookies to track the reader, Virgin will deploy display ads on other sites the reader visits. Faris brought up a recent video tied to Valentine’s Day, urging consumers to “break up with their carrier.”
“We got like a 95 percent spike in sales that day,” he reported.