When the Nasdaq wants to promote itself, you might think it would take out an advertisement in The Wall Street Journal. But recently, the exchange took a new approach. It reached out to the audience on Snapchat. In a series of short videos knitted together into stories, the Nasdaq explained an IPO, showed a new public company signing its first share certificate, and chatted with the person in charge of its corporate sustainability work (the green activities that help to reduce the effects of climate change.)
It didn’t post on Snapchat directly. Instead, Nasdaq turned to Virginia Salas Kastilio, a professional Snapchatter who goes by the username Ginicanbreathe. Kastilio usually broadcasts her travels, her performance art and her positive content, but for Nasdaq she acted as the firm’s video presenter. She interviewed people she met at the exchange and explained to her audience what was happening inside its New York offices.
For Nasdaq, hiring an influencer was the best solution to the problem of reaching an audience on a platform that few companies know how to use. “Market-leading businesses recognise there is a huge reach and potential within Snapchat,” says Kastilio, “but due to the closed nature of the platform, everyone is at a loss at what to do.” She says she has yet to find a company that doesn’t want to have a conversation with her about the site.
That’s leaving room for influencers who have built and engaged audiences on the platform to act as corporate guides. Kastilio started her career in sales and marketing for Apple, where she quickly rose to the highest sales position the company has. She then moved to Oracle, and much of the work she does now for her clients is derived from the training she received from those brands.
When companies are looking for a way to use live video and video content, she creates marketing strategies for them. And as an influencer, she pushes an audience to their accounts and creates high quality Snapchat content for them.
The work flows in through the connections she has been able to build on social media; they give her referrals and introductions. And it can be pretty lucrative. Professional Snapchatters like Kastilio can typically earn around $2,800 for a single Snapchat story, and $18,000 for a three-month order of weekly stories. Companies pay those sums because the alternative is try to figure the platform out for themselves, a process that is neither quick nor simple.
“To build your Snapchat you go to your already existing community and incentivize them to join your Snapchat, give them content they otherwise do not have access to on any of your other platforms or make it complementary to your existing content,” says Kastilio. “When you want to further build and extend your network, you dive into the spaces that are also in alignment with your message and market to those communities.”
That complexity also opens a couple of opportunities. If businesses are paying $18,000 for three months of marketing, then they can also save $18,000 by making the effort to figure out how to use Snapchat themselves. And if digital nomads like Kastilio can make a living on live video while traveling the world and having fun, then everyone has an incentive to learn Snapchat and build their audience.