We are all aware of how Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram can be valuable tools for social media marketing for business. But what about Snapchat? Can businesses take advantage of Snapchat as a marketing tool?
What is Snapchat?
Snapchat is a popular mobile photo and video messaging app which has been referred to as the “ultimate selfie app” – hence its popularity with teens and millennials.
Launched in 2011, it allows its users to send out self-destructing videos and pictures, which disappear within seconds of being viewed by another person. It is also a fun app used for messaging via a photo or short video which can be modified with filters or doodles.
“Snaps” can be viewed for up to ten seconds, after which they disappear. This ephemeral nature of the app is somewhat misleading, as screenshots can be taken of snaps and saved for later viewing.
Snapchat has grown exponentially since its launch and is used by a wide cross section of social media users; however it is targeted most to teens and young adults. Teens do love the fact they can share content that their parents and other adults likely won’t see, yet the app is catching on amongst mainstream users as well, and this presents a unique opportunity for businesses to cash in and take advantage of Snapchat as a marketing tool.
How can Snapchat be useful in marketing?
Many marketers attest to the fact that Snapchat should be included on the list for social media marketing. It does take a little time to get used to the interface; however it’s worthwhile to do so as businesses who use Snapchat are reporting significant results.
Snapchat marketing is very valuable for businesses whose target audience is already using the platform. Why use Snapchat for Marketing?
- Snapchat has an estimated active user base of 200 million, with 100 million active daily users
- There are 500 million views per day
- Snapchat has more active users than Twitter does
- More than 75 pe cent of Snapchat users are online shoppers
- Snapchat has less marketing competition for business than do Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – so your brand will stand out and be seen
- Snapchat offers a raw, authentic vibe to its users. It’s all about fun.
- Snapchat is unlike any other social media platform
As a business owner or brand marketer, you can present your brand in a fresh and different way on Snapchat. “Snaps” are less polished than Instagram images and it doesn’t require the text content that Facebook and Twitter do.
With Snapchat marketing, you have an unparalleled opportunity to reach out and connect with a new audience, especially if your product or service holds appeal for a younger demographic.
Many millennials, though they do use Facebook and Instagram, prefer Snapchat as their daily go-to platform as it’s to a large extent the realm of their peers – their parents are not using Snapchat as a general rule (though this is changing!).
Any brand that has a presence on Snapchat will be perceived as being cool and contemporary.
Your Snapchat audience
Knowing your target audience is critical to successful marketing and this includes knowing who uses each social platform you choose to have a brand presence on.
If millennials are a part of your target audience, Snapchat should be added to your social media marketing strategy.
While it’s true that over half of new sign-ups to Snapchat are over age 25, the majority of users are under age 34.
- The most active demographic of Snapchat users is aged 18-24
- More than 60 per cent of smartphone users aged between 12-13 use Snapchat
- 71 pe cent of Snapchat users are under age 25
- Only 2 per cent of current Snapchat users are aged over 55
- 12 per cent of 35-54 year old smartphone users have a Snapchat presence
- Far more females use Snapchat than do males
As you can see from these stats, a target demographic of teens, older adolescents and young adults is perfectly suited to Snapchat marketing.
This platform is more casual than many others, and professional behaviour is rarely if ever documented on it. Your brand can be presented here in a more fun way, while still retaining its unique identity.
If your target audience is predominantly middle aged and older, and if your product or service is likely of little appeal to a younger audience, then Snapchat is probably not the platform for your brand.
Keep in mind, however, that demographics can change and as more older users are signing up to Snapchat, it could be valuable to you in the future.
Snapchat marketing tips
- Remember that all your social media marketing activities provide the voice of your brand. Be consistent across all branding and marketing activities.
- Use Snapchat to share:
- Sneak peeks of new products
- Targeted videos
- Introduce new team members
- Behind the scenes content
- Teasers and previews
- Promote your Snapchat account on your other social media profiles, for example, Facebook and Twitter.
- Maintain engagement by providing consistent and meaningful content.
- Use simple and concise language to depict a casual and relaxed tone.
- Incorporate doodles, filters, and drawings to edit your photos so that they are interesting and you as a brand come across as approachable and fun. This will trigger better audience connection.
Some real-life examples of Snapchat marketing
- GrubHub – an online food ordering service, used Snapchat to search for a new intern. The successful intern would have “Snapchat Skillz”. The company posted a slideshow of six images which explained how to apply with a snap of one’s best doodle. GrubHub also sends out messages that require responses, and has a record of interacting with almost every message sent to them via the platform.
- Nars – the cosmetics company released a preview of a new colour cosmetics collection via Snapchat. It was cross-promoted on the company’s Instagram and Twitter accounts, and only those who added NARSissict as a Snapchat friend within a set time frame had access to the preview content.
- GE – General Electric uses Snapchat to showcase and encourage interest in science. One way they did this was to partner with the US National Science Foundation to share findings on their emoji science curriculum. They asked users to add “generalelectric” on Snapchat, send an emoji, and n return GE would send them some science – great for interaction and increased follower numbers.
- The New York Times – pokes fun at themselves on Snapchat. One example is when a writer for the NY Times added a Snapchat Story of himself being taught how to use Snapchat so that he could write an article on how to write a Snapchat Story. A fun behind-the-scenes peek at the writer’s life at work, it was very engaging.
- Netflix – Face-swapping is one of Snapchat’s most fun and popular features. Netflix released billboards in France which invited people to face-swap with characters from House of Cards. It was fun, engaging, and great advertising for the TV show.
Snapchat offers a unique and creative way to reach your target audience when it’s a great fit with your buyer personas.
The transient nature of posted content on this platform means that providing quality and captivating content is crucial, and every second matters. You need to get each and every post right from the outset.
This can be achieved by taking a strategic approach and creating a well-planned Snapchat marketing campaign.
(Statistics Source: Hootsuite)
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