If your brand is thinking of marketing itself on Snapchat, marketers must understand who is using Snapchat and use the right marketing approaches with that audience.
First, Brands Should Know The Snapchat Audience
Here are a few of the most significant stats really helpful in understanding where Snapchat is as a platform.
- Snapchat currently has over 200 million monthly active users (or MAUs). Compare that to Twitter with 316 million MAUs and Instagram with 300 million MAUs and we see Snapchat is clearly becoming a massive platform for social marketers to consider.
- 70% of Snapchat users are women. That makes Snapchat only 2nd to Pinterest (79% female) when it comes to female user gender trends on major social networks.
- 71% are under the age of 25.
- 18% of US social media users are on Snapchat.
- According to a recent ComScore study, millennials make up 71% of active users. 30% of millennial internet users access regularly. This is impressive when you consider that it currently tops Facebook (38%), Twitter (41%) and Tumblr (53%) as this age group’s preferred social media platform.
- According to Photo World, Snapchat users now share 8,796 photos per second, more than any other messaging services and photo sharing platforms including Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr.
- According to the Financial Times, Snapchat is quickly gaining ground in the battle for dominance in video on social networks: it now claims a whopping six billion daily views, or triple the traffic it got in May.
What Is Snapchat and Who Uses It?
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Trying to attract Millennials? Snapchat should be your go to marketing tool. Share photos and videos on the go. That is what users are there for. Understanding Snapchat as the middle part of life
Second, Apply Six Simple Snapchat Marketing Approaches
If brands are to succeed in resonating with Snapchat's largely Generation Z audience, they must pay attention to these three simple marketing approaches.
1. Create unpolished content
According to an interview conducted by UK-based business insights agency Firebrand with US frozen yogurt perveyor 16 Handles, who has been active on Snapchat since 2013, Snapchat users have always been an early adopters of new social networks. Lara Nicotra, Marketing Manager, 16 handles said.
"Your fans want you to be fun and authentic [on Snapchat]. It’s okay if the message isn’t polished – that’s the whole point!"
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This “unpolished” mindset on Snapchat is something important for brands to consider. Waiting for the right moment or sending all your creative through a design team are not ideal habits for Snapchat content.
People share stuff on Snapchat that might never make it to the cutting room floor or Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. They take random photos, draw silly pictures, and – in general – capture the details of their life that tell you more than a Facebook highlight reel.
Brands can do this too. And those unpolished moments have the potential to create big loyalty and engagement.
2. Provide exclusive, rarely seen content
Building on the idea of offering the “unpolished” style of content and thinking more about the subject of your content, includes providing Snapchat fans original, behind-the-scenes, brand-generated content that cannot be found anywhere else.
Fashion lifestyle blog Refinery29. was also interviewed by Firebrand and this is what Neha Gandhi, Vice-President, Editorial Strategy at Refinery29 had to say.
“Snapchat allows you to experience something that feels exclusive and inaccessible in a really accessible way… it disappears after 24 hours, so you sort of get a clean slate and can do anything you think is working and resonating with your audience.”
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There are two ways to think about this.
- Behind-The Scenes - The nature of Snapchat as a channel is behind the scenes and exclusive content. The photos, videos, and art users share on Snapchat is not organic on other social channels. If brands want to fit in on Snapchat they would be well served to try and capture their own behind the scenes content.
- Keep Content Fresh and Original - Snapchat users have a lot of content to engage. If you are sharing the same old content that they see on Facebook and Instagram already, there is less of a reason for them to keep coming back and choosing to view your brand’s content.
The nature of Snapchat’s user interface is not a stream, but a list of options to click on. They do have to CHOOSE to see your content.
And, beyond that, they have to choose to keep watching your content. Like a video. So it needs to be unique. As Neha say, try to help your fans “experience something that feels exclusive and inaccessible.”
3. Tell A Compelling and Cohesive Story
Too many brands post snaps that are disconnected from each other and hours apart. Most of your followers are going to be watching your story all at once so regardless of what time you post each snap, you need to tell one cohesive story when played beginning to end.
- Continuing Story Snapchats - If you’re snapchatting from an event or throughout your day, watch your story as you add to it and put yourself in the position of a follower who has no context of who you are, where you are or what you’re doing.
- Single Story Snapchats - If you’re posting all at once, make sure that you close out the story with an ending that includes a Call To Action that directs followers to one of your other social media profiles or let’s them know when they can expect more content from you on Snapchat. This invites them to engage with your brand elsewhere online and serves as an opportunity to tease upcoming content or events.
4. Use Video
We’re living in a video centric world in case you’ve been asleep for the past 3 years or don’t have access to YouTube, Vine or Facebook. Video lets you show instead of tell. It will show off your brand’s character more than any character limit or staged photo. It allows you to do things like include music or conduct a 10 second interview. It allows your followers to connect with you because you’re appealing to another one of their senses. Use video on your Snapchat story often and you will learn to use it well.
My roommate Lawrence is a health nut. Here he is making healthy smoothies
5. Partner With Influencers
Firebrand also reached out to Delmondo who specialize in connecting brands with influencers on platforms like Snapchat. Delmondo said.
“Headphone maker JBL is an example of a brand that has gotten creative with its use of Snapchat. The brand commissioned Snapchat marketing firm Delmondo to identify Snapchat tastemakers to share messages with their followers during the NBA All-Star Game weekend. An influencer campaign in the same vein costs as little as $50,000, and has the potential to generate hundreds of thousands of views.”
Influencers on Snapchat afford a brand two very important benefits:
- Audience. If you want to gain followers and fans, paying to work with influencers or partnering with them on some level is a shortcut to building that audience.
- Platform Education. Secondarily, working with an influencer or group of influencers can do wonders for learning what works on a platform, what doesn’t work, and the intricacies of how that social network lives and breathes.
Frankie Greek, social strategist and the host of WWW offers this bit of advice on how to identify the righ influencers:
"The fastest way to grow your brand’s Snapchat following is to partner with influencers. This means working with someone who has a large following on social media, preferably on Snapchat, and having them create and promote stories for your brand. Identify influencers in your field that your audience will like and be able to relate to. Do your due diligence to find the right influencer, not just the cheapest or the first one that shows interest in your brand. Does their personal brand align with your brand’s values? Do they believe in your mission?
Now forget that you work in marketing and talk to that person like a human and figure out a mutually beneficial arrangement that ends in them telling powerful stories for your brand and your brand being exposed to their fans."
6. Leverage Your Audience
As you get traction on Snapchat, direct those followers to your other social media profiles. Announce a giveaway on Snapchat that followers can enter by commenting on an Instagram post. Create a poll that they can participate in by screenshotting their vote and tweeting it to your account with a branded hashtag. Tease YouTube videos by showing shorter clips with a caption that tells them where to go to find it and asks them to subscribe.
COMMENTARY: Launched in 2011, Snapchat has become so much more than a place for sending ten-second-selfies (although there’s still a lot of that going on!) It has become a very credible platform for brands to market themselves to a large audience – Snapchat boasts over 200 million monthly active users; 71% of which are under 25.
With social media being a great way to reach out to customers and potential customers, and inject personality into a brand, Snapchat is certainly a channel that companies should be looking at.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Burberry – who are pioneers in combining technology and digital aspects with fashion – have been using Snapchat to create a buzz around their brand. Take for instance, the preview of their SS16 collection 24 hours prior to their runway show at London Fashion Week. It was a great move, appealing to Snapchat’s largely Generation Z audience, who have come to expect the consumption of fresh content immediately. Plus, it generated a huge buzz for the actual show… which was certainly no bad thing!
Click Image To View Burberry's Prosum SS16 Collection runway show during New York Fashion Week
Not only that, but Burberry launched their own Live Story: available for 24 hours from the morning of their fashion show, it showcased Burberry show-related images and videos straight from Snapchat. Allowing fans to take part in their marketing campaign – pretty smart, don’t you think?
Snapchat became increasingly aware of the potential opportunities for brands through the social media site; and launched Snapchat Discover at the beginning of 2015. An exclusive channel available to a mere 15 companies (this has grown from 12 since its launch), it enables the selected few to release content to the 100 million active Snapchat users. Cosmo, CNN and Mashable all use Discover; with Cosmo enjoying 3 million readers on Snapchat a day!
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Those on Discover need to ensure they get it right though – Snapchat booted Yahoo off after they failed to resonate with their younger audience – the broadcast-type videos just didn’t cut it. In a world where breaking news is readily available; the announcement itself needs to be innovative, otherwise users will look to other companies for their updates instead.
OK, so maybe you shouldn’t hold your breath on getting an invite to Snapchat Discover any time soon – but you can rest assured that the channel itself is still a valuable marketing tool for your business. You could consider running your own Live Story – a user-generated video collage of a special event. Cosmo hosted one for their 50th anniversary, featuring the Kardashians on the front cover of their magazine, as well as in the video; which was sponsored by Covergirl. With 6 billion video views in Snapchat since May 2015, brands can be sure that their content is being viewed.
Taco Bell has also been a hugely successful user of Snapchat. Back in 2013 in a bid to build their number of followers, they encouraged users to add them in exchange for a “secret announcement”, with snippets of the new menu revealed.
Essentially, Snapchat – the fastest growing social media platform – should certainly not be overlooked as part of your social media strategy. At 400 million snaps a day from the 100 million daily active members, if you can reach out to the younger market successfully, then you’ll achieve great exposure for your brand, which is most definitely a good thing!
Top 10 Brands on Snapchat
As of January 2015, these are the Top 10 brands on Snapchat.
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Snapchat Adds Slow-Mo, Fast-Forward, And Rewind Video Filters
Teenagers have short attention spans, but Snapchat’s latest feature could keep them tuned in. On October 28, 2015, Snapchat introduced a new set of filters called “Speed Modifiers” for videos you shoot on iOS or Android. They let you add slow motion, fast-forward, or rewind effects to your video. Just swipe sideways after shooting a video and you’ll eventually see them applied to your snap.
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What you see above is actually two videos stitched together. First, a clip in fast-forward, and then in rewind. Normally the Snapchat videos only go forward or backward, not both like Instagram Boomerang.
Snapchat is also adding 3D Touch capability for the iPhone 6S and 6S+ today. You can strong tap on your Snapchat homescreen icon to quickly reach options for sending a snap or adding a new friend. The features come in an update for iOS and Android that should be out soon if you don’t see it yet.
Courtesy of an article dated August 4, 2015 appearing in SocialFresh, an article dated October 23, 2015 appearing in Delmondo Blog, an article appearing in LinkedIn Pulse, an article dated November 13, 2015 appearing in MediaPost Social Media & Marketing Daily, and an article dated August 17, 2015 appearing in Likeable Social Media