There are over 56 million Latinos residing in the United States, a number that represents over 17% of the total U.S. population. “For a long time people thought Latinos only cared about soccer and telenovelas,” said Snapchat’s Head of Content Annie Leal, who adds that Latinos enjoy the same types of content as other cultures but framed from a unique cultural lens — and, in this case, that frame is vertical. With over 12–15 pieces of content a day being published on Snapchat, Leal and her team are in a constant churn to produce topically relevant themes that Latinos can identify with. From LGBTQ to food to entertainment, mitu’s themes are broad but contextualized for the Latino-American, or the 200% as mitu calls them — 100% Latino, 100% American.
According to Leal, there are a few tricks of the trade that can set any publisher up for success in vertical video targeted at a big-niche demographic.
Here are a few quick tricks shared in Leal’s interview:
- Focus on the Editions as a whole, not on each individual story — According to Leal, mitu’s team at times would get hung up on creating the perfect story rather than focusing on what would create a good themed edition. Her advice is to think about what will keep the viewer engaged across multiple stories and to watch to completion rather than getting caught up on producing each perfect story.
- Pick themes — Each edition mitu runs is a sequence of stories centered on a particular theme — whether relationships or Mexican candy or cultural moments in time. As with the above tip, choosing a theme and programming your editorial schedule accordingly allows you to build an edition that will entertain a consumer from start to finish.
- Don’t repurpose content — mitu’s business is broad, in terms of distribution. They have channels on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and even on linear television. But rarely does mitu take content from Snapchat Stories and duplicate it across the other platforms. Tailoring vertical video to each of those platforms and finding creative ways to use the assets but not just ‘re-run’ them is crucial if you want to keep a duplicated audience happy across platforms.
- Snapchat isn’t a “marketing channel” — While mitu does have it’s own original projects, Leal advises against using Snapchat as a marketing vehicle or promotional opportunity for formats that aren’t native to Snapchat.
- Use comments to inform Story ideas — Often Leal will scroll through comments to find trends in the consumers experience or viewpoint on a particular topic. Not only does that help mitu continue to create Editions that their followers identify with, but it ensures they keep coming back because there is a cultural identity being echoed. Leal also, as many executives note, tracks the analytics closely to identify where drop offs occur as she works to locate what content works and why.