‘We’re not afraid of emoji’: How the New Yorker speaks Snapchat
In adapting its brand to Snapchat, not even the 91-year-old New Yorker is above using an emoji here and there.
Since launching its Snapchat efforts a year ago, The New Yorker has experimented with how to most effectively bring its brand, values and overall aesthetic to the messaging app. On paper, it feels like an odd pairing. Where The New Yorker’s stodgy print brand has been built on long reported pieces and literary criticism, Snapchat is all about quick content consumption, video rather than text, and, yes, emojis.
But The New Yorker’s approach to Snapchat has been to focus less on where its brand doesn’t fit and more on where it does. This means focusing heavily on the brand’s visual elements, such as its cover, cartoons and the people behind the bylines, said Nick Thompson, editor of NewYorker.com.
“We’re not going to be telling a 20,000-word story on Snapchat, but the same things that inform those stories will inform how we approach that platform,” he said. “We’re trying to take what’s essential to our brand and bring it there.”
At the same time, the magazine isn’t shying away from speaking the language of Snapchat itself. In adapting to the Web, The New Yorker has had to tweak its formula for the reading habits of online readers. It’s taking a same all-in approach to Snapchat, where it regularly uses emojis and many of the platforms other visual elements and features. “We’re not afraid of emoji,” said Thompson. “But we haven’t worked out our emoji policy with the copy editors. We’re looking forward to that conversation.”
The New Yorker has already made headway when it comes to attracting younger readers. Millennials make up 42 percent of the magazine’s online audience, up from 36 percent a year ago. NewYorker.com reached 11.4 million unique readers in January, up 30 percent from the year before. (All data according to comScore.)
The New Yorker, while not a Snapchat Discover publisher, has still made a concerted effort to create consistent programming on the platform. Much of its Snapchat strategy is built around giving Snapchat followers a look at what goes on behind the scenes at the magazine and website.
Each week, usually on Monday or Tuesday, cover editor Françoise Mouly reveals the next issue’s cover, along with background details about the cover’s inspiration and creation. On Wednesdays, cartoons assistant Colin Stokes quizzes New Yorker cartoonists on their work. He’s also helped bring The New Yorker cartoon caption contents to Snapchat, which the magazine uses to both solicit captions and announce contest winners. NewYorker.com film critic Richard Brody makes his appearance on Friday to offer his Snapchat-sized movie reviews, which he gives as he walks around The New Yorker’s office.
Thompson wouldn’t detail exactly how successful the brand has been in growing its audience on Snapchat, though he did say that the magazine’s follower count “is increasing at a solid rate” over the last year.
Like fellow legacy media brands including CNN and The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker sees Snapchat as a viable way to not only reach a young audience that hasn’t been exposed to its brand but also as another place to experiment in applying its brand to new platforms. Where that experimentation ultimately goes is still not clear, though. Snapchat has yet to let non-Discover publishers monetize their Snapchat stories. And the audience journey from New Yorker Snapchat follower to New Yorker magazine subscriber still feels more theoretical than real.
But those kinds of open questions, which are common among publishers embracing new platforms, should not prevent publishers from trying new things, said Nick Cicero, CEO of Snapchat creator network Delmondo.
“Marketing in tech today, even if you’re a publisher, is all about experimentation. The people willing to experiment with new tech and platforms and taking small risks are going to see those bets paid off more than not,” he said.
‘We’re netting out with higher revenue’: Publishers reaping the benefits of Snapchat’s strong second half
With CPMs up as much as 20% year over year in the fourth quarter, many Discover publishers are bullish on the upstart platform for next year.
How Cosmo is building brand affinity with younger audiences through its focus on commerce
Cosmopolitan's focus on e-commerce through a line of branded wines and its own shopping holiday has led to a 254% increase in product sales.
‘Go to market faster’: The Washington Post’s Arc goes outside the tent for payment and data integrations
Subscriber revenue has become more of a priority to the Washington Post's Arc clients since it launched its subscription tools last year.
SponsoredPublishers will lead the charge as cookie-less advertising becomes the norm
Steve Wing, managing director, EMEA, Magnite As the advertising industry moves closer to a cookieless world — one in which browserless environments including connected TV (CTV) and mobile in-app are an increasingly large part of ad budgets — publishers will have an increasingly important role in developing the future of identity. Segment creation and identity […]
‘Profitability in the back half of next year’: BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti (and Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan) on their big merger
A special Digiday podcast episode features Interviews with BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti and Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan.
‘A digital Madison Square Garden’: How Complex reimagined the sponsorship opportunities for ComplexLand
The online event, which will combine music, conversation, gaming and shopping in an online world, will have 60 sponsors.