Snapchat, the mobile photo/video messaging app loved by tweens and Millennials the world over, is now a force to be reckoned with in the business world. Although messages sent via the app appear for only 10 seconds once opened by recipients, the platform itself has embraced by major corporations such as Gatorade, Coca-Cola, JP Morgan Chase, Universal Pictures, Verizon, and Vans.
According to their own internal data, more than 150 people in the United States use Snapchat every day, and of those users, 60% are actively snapping on a daily basis. That means there are at least 150 million opportunities for business entities to capitalize on the popularity of this social media platform. To really put that into a marketing perspective, there are more than 1 billion videos watched via Snapchat every single day – any enterprise not trying to capture part of that viewing audience might as well not be in business to start with.
What Are the Best Ways to Use Snapchat as a Marketing Tool?
Influencer Partnerships: By partnering with social media influencers (those users with mass followings), businesses are better able to spread brand awareness to target audiences that might otherwise be difficult to tap into. Once endorsed by an influencer, companies stand to gain the support and patronage of a good portion of those followers. Additionally, many Snapchat influencers who are highly skilled on the social media platform can create content themselves, which further proliferates a brand’s message.
Product Launches and Unveilings: Providing followers with a sneak peek or early access to a new product can build momentum and hype within the Snapiverse, and lead to increased overall sales. Using their accounts on other social media platforms to announce the product preview and direct follower traffic to their Snapchat presence, businesses can significantly increase visibility and initial demand for a newly launched product.
Live Broadcasting: Known primarily for its quickly disappearing messages, Snapchat is now keeping pace with other social media giants like Facebook by offering users the ability to broadcast live events. Businesses today can learn from how the NBA successfully grew its following by broadcasting live tidbits of their draft in 2014 for free. Sure, the content disappeared shortly after it was released, but that limited availability for something otherwise unattainable only served to drive user demand higher.
The Story Feature: Similar to live broadcasts, the principle of limited availability to “premium content” (for lack of a better term) is what makes the use of Snapchat’s Story feature so useful to businesses. With stories, a narrative is composed using several photos or videos that are added to a feed which links them all together in chronological order creating a, you guessed it, story. Using this feature to showcase how a product transforms from a concept to a tangible item can give consumers more background on exactly why they should want to spend their money on a product. Story content is available for viewing for 24 hours, and after that, like every other snap, it disappears.
Snap Ads, Sponsored Geofilters, and Sponsored Lenses: Exactly what they sound like, Snap Ads in concert with sponsored Geofilters and lenses, allow businesses to capture the attention of millions of users already present on the social media platform. On average, Snap chatters spend 25-30 minutes on the app each day – that’s a lot of time to get your business in front of the 41% of 18 to 34-year-olds in the United States who can’t seem to peel their eyes away from their smartphones. For comparison, the reach of traditional commercial advertising on television typically reaches only 4% of that same demographic. Now, doesn’t it make more sense to market on the medium where the audience already is?
Is That All Snapchat Can do for a Business?
Certainly not. But those five techniques outlined above make for a great foundation upon which businesses can continue building their overall presence. Initially, the social media platform can be a bit intimidating for newcomers, but once learned, it offers countless creative opportunities for companies to get their brand and message in front of a much wider audience