The social media app most widely known for its popularity among teenagers and 20 somethings has now evolved into a powerful tool for business marketing. The photo and video sharing app that started in 2011 is now being used by businesses who want to reach their audiences in a fun and creative way. However, using Snapchat for marketing does involve getting the hang of the ins and outs of the app which can seem confusing at first. Because a photo or video created on Snapchat disappears after a few seconds, marketers need to make the most of their limited time. This means making a strong and lasting impression on followers is of utmost importance. Creativity, timing, and visual appeal are important elements of a Snapchat marketing strategy.
How Snapchat Works
The first part of understanding the app is familiarizing yourself with the language of it:
- What is a Snap? This is either a picture or video sent through the app that remains visible to a recipient for only 10 seconds. After that, it disappears for good. A Snap can also be played again by the recipient, but only one time. This is why it’s so important as a marketer to use those 10 seconds to make a strong impression on your target audience.
- What are Stories? This section of Snapchat is a collection of all the photos and videos that can be shared with friends. You can also view friends’ stories by swiping left on the app’s camera.
- What are scores? Your personal Snapchat score is displayed underneath your name is the number of that have been both sent and received. Stories are included in your score.
- What is a filter? Filters can be added to snaps to add fun visual effects, celebrate a holiday or event, or otherwise personalize a photo or video.
- What are snap lenses? These are animated effects that can be added to a photo or video during a snap.
- What is a snapcode? A unique code assigned to every Snapchat profile that makes it easy for friends to find you (and for you to find them). You can also add a selfie to your snap code so friends can instantly recognize you.
- What are Snapchat memories? This is a backup of all your snaps and can either be shared with others or set to private. You can choose to post old snaps from this roll.
After setting up your Snapchat account and scanning contacts for friends to add, you can begin sending snaps. Take a picture or video with the app’s camera and then add effects until you have a snap you’re satisfied with. Stickers are fun, square shaped icons that are similar to post-it notes and can even be customized. Captions can also be added to a snap with the text tool. The drawing tool can be used to add doodles or other shapes to a photo or video. Finally, filters or snap lenses add colorful, animated effects to a snap.
You can also control the length of your snaps by setting the timing, and then choosing where you want snaps to be downloaded (either to your phone or Memories). Finally, it’s time to send your snap. Choose the friends you’d like to send it to in your contacts list and whether you want to send them one snap, or a succession of multiple snaps.
Marketing On Snapchat
After you’ve learned the ropes of Snapchat, it’s time to learn how to use the app as a marketing tool. Understanding your target audience should be the focus of any Snapchat marketing campaign. The casual, visually stimulating nature of the app can be successfully used as a marketing tool with a well planned strategy. Start out by determining what the tone of your Snaps will be. Your company’s Snapchat should communicate with a sense of fun and approachability in mind. Make sure your followers feel connected to your brand or company through using the app.
Snapchat For Business
Snapchat’s uniqueness among other social media apps gives businesses a fresh approach when it comes to marketing and staying connected with followers. The app is one of the most widely used among younger audiences, with almost 200 million users every month sending up to 700 million snaps a day. Today, the app has even surpassed Twitter in the number of users and continues to grow in popularity. The good news for businesses is that almost 80% of Snapchat users are also online shoppers.
So how can Snapchat benefit a business? Because the app is still relatively young, there are fewer companies on the app. This means less competition when it comes to marketing and carving out a presence on Snapchat. The uniqueness of the app is also a positive thing. It allows a brand or company to reach out to audiences that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to connect with. The app can be used to create completely new and original content that can help your brand expand into exciting new territory. Snapchat users also love the sense of realness they get from interacting with others through the app. Like other social media outlets, Snapchat can provide a behind the scenes glimpse into current projects, trends, and happenings in a fun and visually stimulating way. Filters and animated effects make content appear light hearted, casual, and even more human. For companies that don’t normally reach younger audiences, Snapchat can be an especially valuable tool for getting teenagers and millennials to engage with their content. The app is also free to use and is expected to continue rapidly growing.
Snapchat Business Account
When setting up your Snapchat account, go through the usual steps and make sure you set access to your stories to public so anyone can view the content your business posts. Also, make sure that your account settings allow anyone to follow your posts.
Snapchat Marketing Strategy
Because Snapchat is so unique among other social media outlets, it’s especially important to have a strategy established before you start using the app for marketing purposes. Businesses that have products or brands to market on the app have successfully used the following strategies to get the word out there:
- Coupon codes: one of the most commonly used strategies on Snapchat. Companies ask followers to send them a snap showing their product, and in exchange users will receive a code for a discount. In this instance, the urgency of photos and videos sent through Snapchat is beneficial to companies who want to engage their audience and also gain new followers. Coupon codes are great because you can also track your audience through how many responses you receive.
- Snapchat Influencer Marketing: another commonly used strategy that has companies connecting with entertainment outlets or shows that their targeted audience also engages with. This method is useful when you know what your demographic is and what they like. Teaming up with a carefully chosen influencer to present exclusive content can help your brand gain new followers and spread your content to new territory.
- Event teasers: this strategy involves building anticipation among your followers for a new event, offer, or product. You can build suspense by releasing content little by little and getting your audience to come back for more. Releasing short videos that end on a suspenseful note are a great way to do this. Remember to keep these snaps brief, engaging, and to the point, or you risk losing the interest of your audience.
- Know who your Snapchat audience is, and keep them engaged: a company that begins using the app for marketing is often surprised at the demographic that they end up engaging with the most on the social media platform. Your audience may not be what you expected, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore them. Companies that normally do well with older adults have found that they can successfully engage with millennials on Snapchat by making some changes to their content. Being open to new approaches and creativity with your marketing strategy can really pay off with Snapchat.
It’s no surprise that with the growing popularity of Snapchat that the app now allows businesses to purchase advertising. Any business, from big to small, can choose from the three advertising options that Snapchat offers for ads on the platform.
- Snap ads, or Snapchat video ads: These are 10 second ads that appear between stories. A Snapchat user has the option of swiping on the snap ad to watch the video or learn more more about the content. This advertising option is normally used by larger companies that have a higher budget for advertising.
- Geofilters: These filters are placed over a snap and are targeted to a specific location (like a city, state, or event). Snapchat users can use geofilters on their snaps to show their followers what they’re up to and where they are. Geofilters are a great option for advertising because they reach a wide audience. These types of ads are simple enough for anyone to create, so they’ve become especially useful for smaller companies and brands. Even individual users can use them to promote a party or other event to their friends. Create a geofilter by picking a design, choosing how long you want your filter to run, and finally purchasing the ad from Snapchat.
- Sponsored Lenses: This fun advertising option uses facial recognition to place art over a user’s photo. Companies can create their own lenses that relate to their product or brand, and get users to use them in creative ways. This is the most expensive advertising option, so it’s no surprise that large corporations are usually the ones who use sponsored lenses. Nevertheless, it seems that the high cost pays off. Companies that have used this option have seen dramatic increases in both their number of followers and in sales.
Whichever option your company chooses, Snapchat ads can make your brand or product more appealing to a younger audience. The majority of the app’s users are between the ages of 18 and 24, with a large chunk of 25 to 34 year olds in the mix as well. This broad age group has a lot of potential when it comes to marketing. It’s just important to get a grasp on the language and tone of Snapchat before launching a marketing campaign. Some tips that can help companies that are just getting started out on the app include:
- Use selfies to create a more personal perspective for snaps. This builds a sense of intimacy among your followers.
- Create a dramatic effect in videos by zooming on an object while moving away from it. This adds emphasis on the subject of your video.
- Play around with reversing videos to create fun effects. You can shoot someone jumping, an object falling, or glass shattering, and then play it backwards in your video to make it dramatic and fun.
- Don’t be afraid to move your camera around. Spin it around yourself or your subject, shoot objects moving around you, and then either speed up or slow down the footage to give it a sense of time.
Remember, Snapchat video ads are short so you have limited time to make a big impact on followers so that they engage with your content.
Snapchat Business Development
In conclusion, Snapchat is a great tool for marketing your company to a younger audience or just to widen the appeal of your brand. Don’t be afraid to get creative, but also stay true to the voice of your brand.
If you need help with Snapchat Marketing give us a call at 1-800-932-5421 or send us an email.