On the face of it, using Snapchat to market your brand might seem counterintuitive. It’s always been seen as the app for smartphone-crazy teens who were inexplicably drawn to disappearing pictures as a means of communication. And it’s no surprise that brands have generally avoided it—why would you invest in creating content that’ll disappear in less than a day?
But all that is slowly changing. The marketing power of Snapchat has only recently been recognized. Consider this: the app has over 150 million active daily users, making it bigger than Twitter. It’s by far the favorite app of teenagers today—but it’s not just for the younger generation. The number of users over the age of 35 has increased by a whopping 224% in just a year. Considering all this, it seems like a no-brainer to market your brand on this platform.
It’s surprising that brands have taken so long to recognise the potential of Snapchat. It may be because it isn’t an easy platform to understand, but this actually works in your favor. The fact that Snapchat is less crowded makes it easier for you to stand out. Adding to this, Snapchat really amplifies the “authenticity” part of marketing. Pictures on Snapchat aren’t going to be the high-quality ones you see on other networks like Facebook, and because Snap Stories disappear after 24 hours, it’s always about what is happening right now. That makes interacting with brands on the platform feel very real.
However, Snapchat is extremely different from the other networks, and you’ll need a solid understanding of how the platform works, and the kind of content you’re expected to produce, if you want to be successful. Don’t worry though—we’re here to break it all down for you.
Before we get down to the nitty-gritty of using Snapchat for your business, it’s important to understand what exactly you can use it for. The temporary nature of messages on Snapchat makes it unique, and so its important to understand exactly what your goal should be on the network. Snapchat is very powerful when you’re trying to engage users and create interest for them. This is because of the superior engagement rates on the platform. In fact, considering the engagement rates alone, one follower on Snapchat is worth about 20 on Instagram. Through Snapchat, you’ll be able to deliver valuable content to your followers, and do it more effectively than on other social channels.
What you can do on Snapchat
While there are different types of content that you can create on Snapchat, we recommend that you try these five, if you want to build a loyal following for your brand on the network.
1. Behind-the-scenes footage
What’s going on in your office during the holidays? What goes down after hours? Snapchat has a pretty young demographic, so you can use the stories to deliver fun, interesting content. You can also use this to share your brand’s personality, and you’ll be able to build a following of enthusiastic customers in no time. And since this is all going to be happening in real time, it’s a great way to build rapport with your audience. Show birthday parties at work, or even team dinners. There’s no limit to the kind of content you can share with your followers.
2. Offer giveaways, coupons, or discounts.
By its very nature, Snapchat is the undisputed king of flash sales. You can take advantage of the ability to create stories that disappear after 24 hours to offer giveaways, coupons, or discounts that will drive your followers to your website. You can even try using messages like “Screenshot this snap and show it at the register for a 25% discount” to drive people to your store. Ask people to post snaps while holding your product. These are all surefire ways to boost your sales through Snapchat.
If your followers become used to getting offers and discounts through your Snapchat on a regular basis, they’re also more likely to check in on your account frequently. This will make it easier for you to share additional insights about your brand and products to your followers.
3. Create experiences, not just Stories
Snapchat Stories play automatically, one after the other. You can leverage this to create short, engaging, and interesting videos of your brand. For example, you can create how-to videos for your products, with each step being a separate part of your story. You don’t necessarily need to advertise your product here, but if you’re able to create short, funny videos about your brand or your products, they might just go viral and bring you a lot of attention.
You can also take it a step further by using Snapchat Stories to create experiences that your followers would want to be a part of. Show them product launches, or trade shows, and take them through the experience of being there. The more engaging you make it, the better it is for you. NASA, for example, had a live story on Snapchat called “A Day in Space.” It featured NASA scientist Tim Kopra working on the International Space Station, explaining how his crew gets to see 16 sunrises and sunsets per day, and doing everyday activities in a weightless environment. Creating experiences like this can be a massive boost for your brand.
4. Use Snap Ads
Snap Ads are short, skippable videos that appear in between the autoplay stories and content in the Discover section of the network. These ads are restricted to 10 seconds, and must be vertical, full-screen videos. You’ll also have the opportunity to include a swipe-up feature to reveal more information, or to include links to an article, a longer video, your website page, or even a CTA.
You can use the Snapchat Ad Manager to set an audience and budget, and then publish your ad. You can also use the performance dashboard to measure a wide range of metrics which will help you determine how successful your campaign has been. These results can then be exported into a CSV or PDF file for more detailed analysis.
5. Partner with influencers
And finally, just like other social media networks, partnering with influencers can bring a lot of attention to you, and it’s a great way to spread brand awareness and reach. Your influencer will be able to create amazing visual content that can help further your brand voice and personality.
Whether you ask them to directly post about your brand or your products on their account, or you organize a takeover, using influencers is a great way to expand your brand’s reach to an audience that might otherwise be hard to find.
Snapchat can be a highly effective tool for marketing your brand and reaching a younger audience. While it can be slightly intimidating at first to understand the platform because of how unique it is, the results can be extremely rewarding. Given the superior engagement rates, Snapchat can be an impactful and effective way to get the word out about your brand and your products.
Know of anything we missed, or have any questions? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll be sure to get in touch with you.