Inside Brit + Co's new Snapchat Discover partnership to brand the holidays

Publisher and commerce platform Brit + Co is bringing its female-centric DIY lifestyle to Snapchat for Easter and the rest of holidays going forward, through a deal it struck with the media messaging app, which was being announced today.

Brit Morin is the face of the digital media company, and is now the latest content partner to hitch its wagon to Snapchat’s growing platform of 100 million, mostly young, users. The terms of the deal were not released, but Brit + Co, after a trial run over the holidays last year, will host a semi-regular Discover channel with its brand of crafts, cooking, shopping and lifestlye content. The publisher has a 7-person team working on the Discover channel, including editors, designers, photographers and videographers.

Snapchat splits ad revenue with Discover publishers, but it’s unclear if Brit + Co also had to pay the platform just to set up shop there. Morin discussed the deal by phone this week, and did not talk money, but she did talk about what her site has learned about creating for the Snapchat crowd.

Here’s what she and her team had to say:

Your first foray into Snapchat was last year. What was the strategy then?
We programmed it like a Discover channel, every day with new content, focused on baking, decorating and gift-giving. The big highlight for us was not just Snapchat user engagement, but the advertising, which we co-produced with Google. [Brit + Co did not reveal the traffic from the channels or how many views the ads received.] We put this channel together, literally within a couple weeks, everything we produced, including the ads for Google, was done within a two-week period.

And now that you’re on Discover, you’re focusing on holiday content?
What we found was that the Snapchat audience loves a variety of content types. We did a lot of round-ups, video and sharable ideas, like screenshots of wallpaper for your phone background, holiday-themed wallpaper. It was holiday content that we designed to live in the Brit + Co environment.

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What is the process like coming up with the programming?
Our marketing team uses a lot of real-time data and analytics across various platforms, not just Brit + Co’s website, but also Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram, to understand what the trends are, literally, on a day-to-day basis. Our marketing team then informed our editorial and creative teams on the type of content to produce for our channel. So it all started with a data-driven approach around how we would theme it and the type of content we would create for it.

Which social channel most informs what content you’ll go with on Discover?
With our reach on Pinterest, we reach about half Pinterest’s total audience every month, which is crazy. We really are trying to get more analytical about the content that performs on Pinterest, so so we look to that platform to specifically understand the trends around the holidays and the categories that millennials care more about. That informed our strategy much more than the other social networks.

How are you working with advertisers, like Google, to fit Snapchat’s ad platform?
If you create a great advertisement with your brand partner that thematically works in your channel, you’re going to have a much better response from Snapchat users. We worked with Google’s mobile search team to look at Google trends to understand the most searches around the holidays, like how many teaspoons in a tablespoon, an example of people baking over the holiday. So we really took into account the most popular types of searches and then incorporated them into our creative.

Is the vertical nature of Snapchat on mobile phones a challenge?
It was a pseudo-challenge, because we do a lot of video already, so it was really about cropping the right way. We did produce all new and original videos, because we weren’t able to just re-use old video. But then we were able to repurpose those vertical videos across our site and other social platforms like Instagram and Facebook, and they still performed on those platforms even though they were vertical.

How about the vertical ads?
We can help develop the creative that’s going to resonate in this environment and for this specific demographic. We can also accept creative when their creative agency or in-house team has produced it. And we do have the ability to then make sure that content is being repurposed on Brit + Co and other channels.

How about branded content, are there restrictions on overly promotional content on Discover?
We’ve had no pushback from them on that, and even in some holiday editions we could drive people to links where they could buy products, even though there’s not a hard link out of Snapchat. We tease the link inside a Snapchat story, and a lot of users would actually go to the various websites we referred them to.