What first started out as a “view and delete” app between young high schoolers, Snapchat Discover has quickly become the go-to source for quick, efficient news updates with over 100 million daily users. With more than 20 top-tier publishers like The Wall Street Journal and CNN joining the innovative platform, we’re being captivated and caught asking for more from these news providers. Vanity Fair is even releasing its special Hollywood issue on SnapChat Discover today; the cover will be available to view on SnapChat exclusively for the first hour and will even provide access to the Vanity Fair Oscars Party photo booth – special content that is only being shown on this platform. The Wall Street Journal has a five-person team dedicated to creating Snapchat content that publishes eight items a day, Monday through Friday, so not only is this changing the way PR professionals are telling stories, it’s also changing the way editors and publishers are working too.
Re/code recently referred to Snapchat Discover as the “Hunger Games” since publishers are fighting for the eyes of these millennials on the app – it’s a constant competition for time. Snapchat claims to be “the best way to reach 13-34 year-olds” and dramatically changing the way we digest media. After all 13-34 year-olds are not the ones buying a physical newspaper at Starbucks or waiting until they get into their office to click open Google News. They’re on-the-go mobile users who want stories now. They go to Snapchat for that visual, storytelling appeal – Snapchat Discover puts narrative and storytelling first, not shares and click throughs. For example, publishers like Cosmopolitan and CNN are repurposing the most-read content from their websites and sharing it on Snapchat to create a dynamic viewing experience for viewers throughout the day. Some publishers are also exploring exclusive, new content created specifically for Snapchat.
With storytelling at our core as PR professionals, it is crucial to think of out-of-the-box platforms like Snapchat when telling stories – whether that’s to your customers, reporter or influencers. Quick, 15-second sound bites that are digestible and action-oriented are what will get the attention of millennials and the mobile users who are glued to their phones.
Casey Neistat spoke at a networking event I attended last week at Medium’s headquarters in San Francisco and mentioned how some of his favorite brands like Taco Bell are doing their best advertising and engagement with fans on Snapchat. The important piece Neistat mentioned is to tell your story, not just show your product alone.
While of course brands ultimately want to promote products with the goal of driving purchases, making it a story that’s easy to follow and is attractive to the consumer is what will engage your audience. Be sure to consider Snapchat when telling your next story so you can ensure it’s reaching your preferred audience, at the right time on the right platform.