A start-up helping Snapchat sell big brands to millennials

A product of Disney's first-ever accelerator program already getting 3.8 billion Snapchat views a month.

Grabbing and holding the attention of millennial consumers can be tough, even for established brands.

Naritiv, a start-up based in Los Angeles, is aiming to solve that problem through storytelling on Snapchat, essentially wooing the next generation of consumers in 10 seconds or less.

Naritiv leverages Snapchat's disappearing photos and videos, which are strung together through its stories feature, crafting campaigns for brands, including Procter & Gamble, Marriott, 20th Century Fox, Red Bull—for which it has written a case study on its approach—and Disney's ABC Family network.

To build momentum for its campaigns, Naritiv enlists creators—Snapchat influencers who have followings in the millions—to craft brand-specific content. Naritiv bills itself the "first" Snapchat network.

Snap branding

The start-up was launched out of the Disney Accelerator program in 2014 and has raised $1.5 million to date from investors, including Disney, Mucker Capital, Techstars and Greylock Partners.

Co-founder and CEO Dan Altmann said brands are looking to his company to create storied campaigns and reach new consumers via social media.

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"Brands really see that if they can reach and influence customers at an earlier stage, they can really be more important to them when they're deciding what hotel to book and deciding what car to buy," Altmann said. "If they can be that brand for them in an authentic way earlier, that's really important to them."

Naritiv finds creators like artist Mike Platco on Snapchat, as well as other social media platforms, including Instagram, Vine and YouTube.

Being a social media influencer can be a full-time gig, as seen in YouTube stars like Michelle Phan and Bethany Mota, who rose to stardom on the platform and inked deals with makeup companies and publishers in Phan's case, and a gig on "Dancing with the Stars" for Mota. Big brands have also been experimenting with product placement within the content created by social media stars.

Dan Altmann, co-founder and CEO of Naritiv
Brad Quick | CNBC
Dan Altmann, co-founder and CEO of Naritiv
"We're really excited about what Snapchat is, what it represents, what kind of 'mobile first' content will ... explode over the next three to five years, and thinking about how we can be at the center of that." -Dan Altmann, Naritiv co-founder and CEO

Platco led Naritiv's campaign for the ABC Family show "Pretty Little Liars." Altmann said Platco's artwork and existing Snapchat content made the company believe he was the right fit for the "Pretty Little Liars" campaign.

The draw of a creator like Platco is bringing in a new audience, Altmann said. The account started at zero followers and now has more than 1 million.

"The essence of why it was so successful was because we really put one creator on and the account is that creator's story in watching and consuming the show, which kind of goes back to the core concept of Snapchat, which is telling your story," Altmann said. "The core of what he did was, he's an amazing artist and he's also just a really fun and interesting personality. He watches with his dog, who's now a celebrity in its own right, and the fans are taking screenshots and tweeting about it."

Naritiv currently has more than 100 creators in its network, seeing 3.8 billion views each month. Campaigns are done for a flat fee and are specially crafted for each company.

The new kings of content

"I'm helping to tell stories—individual, highly detailed snaps, and I'm doing the same thing for my account because part of the value that I bring to any brand I work with is, you know, I have these followers that are super loyal to me and they love the content I make, and that's something I try to transition to anyone I'm working with," Platco said.

"The essence of why it was so successful was because we really put one creator on and the account is that creator's story in watching and consuming the show, which kind of goes back to the kind of core concept of Snapchat, which is telling your story," Altmann said.

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Naritiv isn't losing sight of other social media platforms for potential integration, but for now its focus is on Snapchat.

"As of right now, our focus and our center of gravity is Snapchat," Altmann said. "As we move forward, we're always going to be paying attention to different platforms and how those supplement Snapchat, but we're really excited about what Snapchat is, what it represents, what kind of 'mobile first' content will ... explode over the next three to five years, and thinking about how we can be at the center of that."

By Kate Rogers, CNBC

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