Not convinced Snapchat should be part of your digital marketing mix? Think again.

By Adrienne Cox, Junior Consultant

 

If there’s a bad boy of social media, it’s Snapchat.

Cheeky, playful, casual and unpolished, Snapchat is your company’s secret weapon when it comes to marketing and communication.

Unsure how it works? Snapchat is a mobile app that lets users exchange pictures and videos that automatically self-destruct within seconds after being viewed by the receiver. This means the platform is ephemeral, encouraging an authentic flow of interaction between users. It’s almost the opposite of more polished platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Is Snapchat worth investing in if the photos and videos self-destruct in as little as a few seconds? As it turns out, while content is fleeting, impressions do last. Here are our top tips for using Snapchat as part of your marketing strategy.

1. Snap EVERYTHING

On Snapchat, users exchange snaps with one another and can also post content to their ‘stories’ for friends and followers to view for 24 hours. The tone of Snapchat stories is candid and unscripted. It’s a chance to share an authentic moment with your audience, who want to see behind-the-scenes footage of what it’s really like to work for your brand.

Your company’s hosting an event? Snap it. Your team’s working hard on a project? Snap it. Having a staff lunch? Snap it. Drinks? Snap it. Snap it all.

As the polar opposite of more professional and polished platforms like LinkedIn, Snapchatters are after simplicity, authenticity and silliness – so don’t focus too hard on getting the production right.

2. Trial a spend

If you’re after more traction, ‘snap ads’ are a great (paid) way to use the app. These 10 second ads play between stories and give users the option to ‘swipe up’ if they’d like to learn more about what is being advertised – be it a longer video, article, website or app.

Snap ads have proven to be particularly effective compared to ads on other social media platforms. In fact, Like Mind Media reports that after seeing a snap ad, users are more than twice as likely to buy the product. Because the ads take up the full screen, they demand twice the visual attention of ads on other social media platforms. The snap ad swipe-up rate is five times higher than the average click-through rate of other social media ads.

3. Build a custom lens or filter

Another great paid way to use Snapchat as a marketing and communication tool is through snap-sponsored lens. Snapchat has filters and lenses which can be used to augment your photos and videos. In essence, the difference between filters and lenses is that lenses are augmented reality animation, whereas filters are static image overlays.

Users can apply lenses to the photos or videos they send friends or post on their stories. Starbucks created a brand-themed drinks lens that could be applied to any photo or video.

Geo-filters are also an effective tool where users can apply specific frames to their snaps if they’re in a specific location. For instance, if they are nearby your company, an optional company branded frame will appear when they take a snap.

With 238 million daily users – compared to Twitter’s 145 million – Snapchat is a social media platform businesses should not ignore. And with 70 percent of users under the age of 34, Snapchat is particularly effective for companies trying to target the millennial audience. Keep an eye on this demographic trend though – older generations are slowly also taking to the app.