By now if you follow me on Twitter you probably know that I do near daily "Snapstorms" or a collection of short videos (usually < 5 mins in total) with entrepreneur advice on Snapchat. Here's a recent one I did on Fund Raising in tough markets. You can follow me on Snapchat at msuster.
Honestly, it kind of drives people nuts that I do these on Snapchat and it makes me laugh a bit simply because it drives people bonkers.
@msuster Epic content. Downloaded snapchat for this. Don't feel it's the best platform for this though, surely YouTube is better?-- Karel de Bruin (@kareldebruin) April 22, 2016
Nope! Every platform has its unique strengths. YouTube is great for longer-form for me and could be a great repository. Snapchat has an enormous audience of mobile-first consumers tuning in every day looking for content to consume in a way that YouTube doesn't. Of course YouTube has huge traffic, but it's different.
@msuster Why use Snapchat instead of posting your video advice somewhere more permanently?-- Andrew Cohen (@acohenNY) April 26, 2016
Ah, but I'm doing both! Snapchat for my "original run" and I'll also store each video to be watched later.
@msuster what's the benefit of publishing content that disappears?-- Crystal Rose (@crystalrose) March 28, 2016
Immediacy. People tune in every day.
@msuster Man, would love to have these as one video on youtube. Snapchat UX is just weird and anxiety causing-- Kiran (@bkiran) April 28, 2016
I know some people have anxiety over Snapchat. Once you learn it it's pretty straightforward. Here's a Snapchat 101 Guide I wrote for people if you haven't yet grokked it.
So here's the thing overall you need to understand:
- I love the forced constraint on Snapchat. Each video is 10 seconds so it forces you to get to the point & edit well. Think Twitter with 140 chars and how much that drove people nuts.
- True, my videos may still be 3 minutes, 30 seconds in a world used to seeing pictures of you eating sushi or your take off in an airplane, but 3.30 beats the 45 minutes I would likely do if I were on YouTube :)
- But most importantly -- when you publish into a network like Snapchat where users tune in every single day to watch content you have a natural audience. I'm getting 7,000 views per video in less than 24 hours and that's only bound to go up. If you understand the power of Medium, you should get this. If I blog on a stand-alone platform I have to work to get distribution. On Medium., there is a follower model so it's easier to build an audience. Snapchat is similar. So of course I want to publish on Snapchat! The audience is there. Duh.
- I would also point out that my target audience of entrepreneurs is 18-34, precisely the age that over-indexes on Snapchat. Of course I fund people outside of that age range but statistically startup founders of VC-backed tech companies are more likely in that range. So if my target demo is on Snapchat -- why the fuck would I publish somewhere else? Anyway, for the older entrepreneurs who don't (yet) like Snapchat -- of course I also blog and still do YouTube videos. In fact, my next one is a one-hour interview with Chamillionaire that I did earlier this month at Washington University in St. Louis. I will publish it next week.
- YES, of course I save all of my Snapchat videos so I can use them in the future. In fact, the video linked at the top of this post is just one of a whole library I will release on each topic.
- Remember -- Snapchat has what every video media company wants: Reach and Immediacy. The former is about aggregate numbers and the latter is about the now, now, now that drives consumption. It's why sports is so important to media -- because it's one of the few remaining events that MUST be watched in realtime.
- So just like TV. I'll run the original episode on Snapchat and I hope an audience will continue to want to tune in. For those that don't mind reruns, I'll publish the archive 1-2 weeks later, when I get around to uploading the video to the cloud, tagging and providing links. I hope both audiences gain.
- But more than anything -- I gain. I enjoy the process. I enjoy sharing knowledge. I enjoy playing with new technologies and trying to understand how they are changing society and how society is changing new technologies. As a VC if you don't do this you'll soon become irrelevant.