A Brief Convo on The Economist’s Snapchat
Lydia Kaldas, SVP of Strategy and Channel Relationships, discusses reaching Millennials.
The Economist has moved onto Snapchat, using quick, sharp storytelling in an attempt to woo an audience of Millennials. This is the latest launch in the brand’s “Read, Watch, and Listen” strategy, through which The Economist content is distributed to new channels.
While the brand has been successful with older audiences through the launch of The Economist Espresso app, it’s yet to be seen how a younger audience takes the brands’ weekend-only, 14-card news reports.
To find out more, we sat down for a brief conversation with Lydia Kaldas, The Economist’s SVP of strategy and channel relationships.
Folio: The Economist just joined Snapchat Discover. Why bring the brand onto this new medium?
Lydia Kaldas: It’s a really important platform for us to join, and we joined it in the way we join anything — by adapting our content to the platform and the audience, and really making people discover the brand. Hopefully we surprise them in a positive manner.
We still have a brand awareness challenge when it comes to North America, and I think this is really the perfect platform to showcase our content and how interesting we are.
Folio: What is the challenge with North America?
Kaldas: Our largest audience is in North America, but when you look at the potential of what would be The Economist audience — the globally curious, as we like to call them — we still have a misconception of the brand. We carry a name that is very strong and most people think that we are only about business, and economics, and finance. But that’s only a small percentage of what we cover.
So a platform like Snapchat is a fantastic medium to showcase our content in a much more dynamic way and speak to an audience that is very globally curious, is very educated, and is really interested in content and information.
Folio: So this an audience acquisition strategy?
Kaldas: No, it’s more about content distribution. “Acquisition,” in the sense of subscriptions, isn’t really valid in this case. So if you’re talking about acquisition of new audience, then I would say, yes. This really is the first step in gaining a new audience — an audience that is on the younger side, which we call the “Snapchat Generation.”
For us it just makes sense to be where we think an audience that would enjoy The Economist would be. You can’t deny the power of Snapchat as a content distribution platform. And you can’t deny the power of the Snapchat Generation.
Folio: The brand promises to bring "mind-stretching journalism" to Discover. How does this content strategy differ from what someone might find in the magazine or on other digital channels?
Kaldas: The core itself is not really different. We remain true to our beliefs and what they stand for. There isn’t really a difference from what we publish, whether it is in newspaper, the digital editions or Espresso; it is The Economist and The Economist content and The Economist voice, just adapted to the platform.
It doesn’t differ from the strategy from a content perspective, it just differs from the format. The stories that are on Snapchat have published already in our newspaper, digital editions, or through The Economist films. So the substance can fit on a multitude of platforms.