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Mashable chief marketing officer reveals the ins and out of Snapchat as a publisher platform

The Drum interviewed Stacy Martinet, chief marketing officer at Mashable, on how it is already using Snapchat and its future plans on the platform as it moves to understand and accomodate publishers.

What are the benefits of Snapchat as a platform for publishers?

Firstly snapchat as a platform has huge reach, and is quickly becoming one of the biggest content platforms appealing to the youth demographic, so we are using it to be early in the conversation.

Snapchat is a truly mobile-only experience, which we believe is indicative of what the future will be, and since Mashable’s audience is over 50 per cent mobile, and given the platform’s demographic and what they specialise in, the benefits to Mashable are clear.

[Martinet did not comment on the limits and challenges of Snapchat, only having good things to say]

How are you balancing the need to distribute content with the need to get closer to an audience?

It is important to build a very solid brand that resonates with your audience across your own properties, but we also understand the way that people consume news is distributed among social platforms and apps, and that we must account for this.

At Mashable we have an aggressive and progressive distributive strategy, and weigh distributing on our platform and across social equally important.

Do you use Snapchat as a publisher platform or an advertising platform?

We use it as both - we see it as a way to expose our brand to new audiences and also a platform to get content in front of people. It is also a great way to work with brand partners.

Do you have a team dedicated to creating content for Snapchat?

As it stands, Mashable has a social creative team that covers all social content, and we rotate people according to needs, be it a stop-motion artist, animator or filmmaker.

Do you plans to invest more in Snapchat?

It is certainly an area of growth. Shortform multimedia is increasingly important, and having talent that can specialise on different formats is really important to our overall social media future.

[Martinet did not comment on how Mashable is dividing its budget between social media, but said the publisher prioritises a platform based on goals; some are about brand building, some drive traffic. So which platform they prioritise is based on what content is going to work best, which is tailored to each.]

You say Snapchat has done a lot to grow the platform, what metric are you using to measure this?

Metrics come directly from Snapchat since we are a Discover partner. All Discover partners are provided with metrics and benchmarks from your own figures. It is very useful to see how your brand is doing on a mobile-only platform.

Can you see metrics from other partners on Snapchat?

No, the metrics are very specific to your own edition, so you are not able to see how other publishers are performing.

Mashable joined Discover in July 2015, prior to this, or aside from Discover, how does Mashable use the Snapchat platform?

We use Snapchat Story to bring Mashable’s audience behind the scenes of major events or to enhance live events that we are covering on the website. For example, Story has been very useful for events like the Met Gala, the Oscars and the Grammys.

It helps us take people to new and interesting places, showing audiences insights you cannot see on the ground or in traditional press. This was especially interesting in the Iowa caucuses, that allowed us to give audiences real access to the presidential campaigns and results as they were happening, that other mediums could not have provided.

What are your wider plans for this year for Mashable’s social media marketing?

We will continue to invest more in distributer apps, expanding our snapchat offering as well as eyeing up Viber (which the Huffington Post recently jumped on).

We are also looking at taking further advantage of the live streaming offered by Periscope and Facebook Live. Lastly, we are looking at establishing more of a global social presence by building app channels.

Out of Facebook Live and Periscope, which do you think is better?

They deliver a very different product. Facebook Live is better for interviewing influencers and celebrities, and has the advantage of an excellent video shelf life, with videos spending longer in Facebook’s news feed than Twitter can offer. Periscope, on the other hand, is better at real-time events, capturing what is happening right now. So in terms of which is better, it is more about which one better compliments the editorial and events we are delivering.

Which social media platform drives the most traffic?

You already know the answer to that question. Facebook and Twitter have the biggest reach, but Pinterest is also important and building.

Jessica Goodfellow

The Drum's media reporter covering everything from publishing, TV, social media, radio and technology.

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