I’ll never forget the afternoon my nieces and nephew asked me why I didn’t use Snapchat. Trying to think of a quick response, I said that most of my friends were on Facebook — which led to a quick tutorial if I wanted to communicate with them any longer. But while Snapchat was once solely the province of teens and early adopters, typically employed as a fun messaging tool, it has also uncovered a genuine opportunity for enterprise use in more recent years.
Savvy companies are beginning to discover how messaging apps can be used as powerful marketing tools, and Snapchat has risen to the top of the heap, thanks to its unique features and sprawling reach across an audience of Millennials. Just like many other successful brands, you can put the distinctive features and benefits of Snapchat to use for your organization, allowing you to connect with a new segment of customers without having to spend an exorbitant amount on a new marketing campaign.
Snapchat Gives a New Voice to Digital Marketers
Snapchat is proving to be an incredibly effective marketing tool, largely due to its specific value proposition and market segment. Unlike some of other messaging apps that exist mostly on brand loyalty or breadth of user base, Snapchat offers unique features that marketers should use to stand out from the crowd for these four reasons:
- New features mean additional tools for creative marketers. Last year, Snapchat made a splash with the introduction of its Live Stories feature, and it’s set to continue to release additional features that will further solidify its place in the market.
- Temporary content commands attention. Conventional wisdom would suggest that the temporary nature of content shared on Snapchat would be antithetical to a marketer’s goals. After all, most advertisers want the audience to be repeatedly exposed to their content to build recognition and influence behavior. However, the time limit also serves to command the attention of viewers by forcing them to consume the content quickly if they want to at all.
- Snapchat followers are a committed audience. Following Snapchat works a bit differently from other social media apps. Followers have to seek you out directly via username or QR code, rather than searching profiles. The result of this feature is the knowledge that any followers you gain are already interested in your brand, and you can move directly to engaging them with unique experiences, contests, and behind-the-scenes content.
- Millennials are less affected by traditional marketing. The buying power of Millennials will only continue to increase, and analysts are discovering that traditional marketing has less of an effect on them than any previous generation. Millennials also respond more favorably to authentic content, and Snapchat provides a unique avenue for companies to showcase their authentic personalities.
Design a Custom Snapchat Strategy
Snapchat provides you with a unique opportunity to bring your audience behind the scenes of events, product launches, and other important organizational showcases. It allows you to treat potential customers like VIPs without ever asking them to leave their living rooms. You can also design content that’s specific to your Snapchat users — making them feel like they’re getting a different experience from other social media users, who see only your traditional ads.
Snapchat needs to be treated like the distinctive tool it is, so it’s important to avoid translating other prefabricated marketing campaigns to the service. Transform your marketing efforts and enhance brand loyalty by designing a custom plan that takes advantage of Snapchat’s unique features in these ways:
1. Build content specifically for your audience. Don’t use a wide brush to paint your Snapchat marketing campaigns. Just as you use customer insights to build your traditional marketing campaigns, it’s important to cater to your audience’s preferences on this platform, too. Inspire loyalty through targeted authenticity.
Recently, GrubHub launched a contest to find a new intern by inviting its Snapchat followers to send their most creative doodles using the Snapchat stories feature. This positioned the company as a hub for imagination and created brand ambassadors among the followers who sent in their submissions.
2. Embrace the temporary nature of Snapchat. Take advantage of the service to build hype around products or upcoming promotions. The disappearing content will induce users to view it while they can. The HBO comedy “Girls” treated fans to an insider experience by using Snapchat to stream teaser clips of a new season that had not aired anywhere else.
3. Tap into influencers. Use popular Snapchatters who are relevant to your niche to not only promote your brand, but also to connect with younger audience members — who mistrust traditional ads. Don’t try to take control of the influencers’ content too much; it will be much more authentic if you allow them to sit in the driver’s seat.
Toy company Sphero recently tapped into Snapchat influencers to market a “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” toy. Shaun McBride — one of the influencers to post snaps of the toy — got more than 2 million views in one day! As a result, the toy completely sold out in less than 24 hours, and engagement spread across other social platforms.
Snapchat is an exciting platform that could become your company’s most effective marketing tool — if you understand how to use it correctly. How do you plan to incorporate Snapchat into your marketing strategy this year?
Sarah Clark is the president of Mitchell, an award-winning public relations firm that creates real conversations between people, businesses, and brands through strategic insights, customized conversations, and consumer engagement. Mitchell is part of the Dentsu Aegis Network and has more than 300 offices in 110 countries.