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The Goals

  • Create compelling, sharable content-driven advertising
  • Serve shareable ads to more than 100M unique visitors monthly

The Approach

  • Counts on DFP for reliability, scale in ad serving
  • Leverages DFP API to seamlessly integrate BuzzFeed’s own systems

The Results

  • Robust, scaled infrastructure allows for worry-free ad operations
  • Open API permits flexibility for customized integrations and native ad serving
  • Cross-platform capabilities ensure ad delivery to all devices
  • DFP supports BuzzFeed’s international, mobile growth

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Published April 2014

Launched in 2006, BuzzFeed is a leading social news and entertainment company whose immensely popular website curates viral and shareable online content worldwide. BuzzFeed has always believed that “great advertising is content.” This premise extends to how BuzzFeed monetizes its content – relying entirely on a form of native advertising – specifically, social, content-driven advertising they refer to as ‘social advertising.’ “We create content that communicates the aspirations and attributes of the brands we’re working with,” says Eric Harris, BuzzFeed’s Executive Vice President of Business Operations, “and promote it on our site in a way that’s clearly marked as advertising, but similar to how we promote our other content.” With this emerging advertising format, BuzzFeed brings engaging content to users, compelling them to share with others, making the most of the social nature of today’s web. 

It is hugely important for us that we can work with just one vendor – DoubleClick – to serve ads seamlessly across desktop, mobile web and mobile apps.

Eric Harris, Executive Vice President of Business Operations, BuzzFeed

Scaling for success 

To seamlessly deliver social, content-driven ads to more than 100 million monthly unique visitors, BuzzFeed needed a customized and robust infrastructure that could reliably serve ads across platforms. It turned to Google’s DoubleClick for Publishers platform as a trusted solution for ad serving and inventory management. “Ad serving is one of the few things we outsource, because Google’s DoubleClick for Publishers does it well,” says Eric. “DoubleClick for Publishers provides the scalability and reliability that enables us to focus on what we do best, and it gives us the credibility that comes with working with the industry leader.”

As BuzzFeed has rapidly grown, and its ad impressions multiplied, the dependability, scale and power of DoubleClick for Publishers’s infrastructure has been critical for the company’s success. “We haven’t had to worry about anything with DoubleClick for Publishers – it just works. And from our perspective, that’s important,” Eric emphasizes. 

Integrating the best of BuzzFeed with DoubleClick for Publishers 

Beyond robust ad serving, another key element in BuzzFeed’s successful native advertising operations is seamless integration with its own tools and systems. DoubleClick for Publishers integrates with BuzzFeed’s proprietary content management system, algorithms and data science – which all help determine the content BuzzFeed promotes, and how – and then serves, targets and delivers the ads. Thanks to the DoubleClick for Publishers API open architecture, BuzzFeed can easily “combine the best of BuzzFeed with the reliability and scale of DoubleClick for Publishers’s ad serving capabilities,” notes Eric. 

When it comes to tracking, DoubleClick for Publishers also enables BuzzFeed to accurately measure its social advertising: “The fact that DoubleClick for Publishers easily integrates with other third-party tracking solutions and our custom analytics – with low discrepancies – is a big benefit for us,” says Eric. 

Taking engagement cross-device 

With more than half of its traffic (and growing) coming from mobile devices, BuzzFeed deeply values the ability to work fluidly and consistently across platforms with DoubleClick for Publishers. “It is hugely important for us that we can work with just one vendor – DoubleClick – to serve ads seamlessly across desktop, mobile web and mobile apps,” notes Eric. 

Partnering for long-term growth 

As it examines the future of its native advertising program, BuzzFeed has three clear goals: leadership in social, content-driven advertising, continued growth in mobile, and international expansion. “With the flexibility, scale and robust infrastructure that it offers, DoubleClick for Publishers plays an important role in all three of these goals,” says Eric.

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