Since its initial release in 2011, Snapchat has exploded in growth, becoming the leading image messaging app, known for its disappearing pictures and fun filters. In 2017, Snapchat has 8 billion daily views, reaches 11% of the US digital population, and is worth more than $16 billion. It’s hard to ignore Snapchat for content marketing—it’s an important platform that reaches younger users in substantial numbers. The average Snapchat user spends 30 minutes daily in the application—time that advertisers can use to market to them.
But Snapchat digital marketing isn’t the same as marketing through Facebook or Instagram. Snapchat requires a more personal style—even from branded accounts. Creating connections on Snapchat may mean engaging with individual Snapchat users by directly sharing photos with them. Large branded campaigns are harder on Snapchat. Smaller accounts can’t do traditional ad spending on Snapchat, as the minimum ad spend for CPM (cost per thousand impressions) is $40,000 a month.
However, with Snapchat’s incredibly large user base, a talented advertiser can use Snapchat for marketing to create stories that engage their customers and create a loyal following. We’ll walk you through successful Snapchat marketing campaigns and tips to build your Snapchat account. Count on Leverage to grow your Snapchat prowess.
How to Improve Your Snapchat Marketing Skills
Snapchat can be a challenge for many marketers attempting to first break into the platform, because it’s markedly different from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or Pinterest. It’s more of an authentic experience, as users (and brands) don’t polish their images or videos the same way they would on other forms of social media. Snapchat is ephemeral, and the content produced for it is therefore not as professional. Users want to find something that feels genuine, a behind-the-scenes look at your company, not a heavily-edited marketing video.
One of the most important things to note about Snapchat is its demographics—more than 60% of its users are in the 13-34 age group, with 37% between 8-24, and 71% between under age 25. Only 2% of those using Snapchat are 55 and older. It’s a young audience—and your best practices and ideas for use should reflect that.
Snapchat Marketing Best Practices—and How to Use It
If you’re embarking on Snapchat marketing for your business, there are some best practices you should take advantage of when creating a campaign:
- Create Urgency – Snapchat is all about ephemera, images, and videos that only last a certain amount of time. Creating an ad campaign, whether it’s a Snapchat story (a series of videos or images) or just a single video or image that evokes urgency will help in getting your message across.
- Test Your Content in Private Messages– It’s imperative that you test your Snapchat content before sending it out to hundreds or thousands of followers—create a dummy Snapchat account or connect with a co-worker to gain feedback and see if your campaign works well on various platforms (iOS, Android, etc.)
- Fit Your Content to the Platform– When developing content for Snapchat, it’s important to remember you can’t just use images you’ve created for Instagram or Facebook. As mentioned previously, Snapchat requires a personalized touch—address your audience like you’re talking to a friend and develop a persona for your Snapchat account and brand.
- Use Both Images and Video– It’s important to use all forms of available media for Snapchat. With Snapchat Stories, you can combine both pictures and video using available filters and lenses to create a story your followers will love.
- Tell Your Story- Your brand or company has a story. Use your Snapchat account to tell your fans a personalized story about what you’re marketing. You can use custom images and still photographs, as well as candid video to tell your company’s story. Polished and perfect won’t work for Snapchat, so develop something that feels core to the brand.
Market to Your Audience
With all these best practices, you still need to sell your product to the audience. For advertising to the younger Snapchat demographic, try some of these ideas to convert your followers:
- Coupon Codes: Limited time coupon codes (ephemera) that expire after a brief time
- Influencer Marketing: Snapchat celebrities or popular accounts can cross-promote your product
- Anticipation for an Event: Use a popular event, like the Oscars or Super Bowl, to build hype for your company or product—tying it in with a promotion or offer
Snapchat Campaigns that We Love
Since Snapchat is a relatively new platform, it can be harder to find successful Snapchat marketing efforts. Nevertheless, here are a few of our favorite Snapchat marketing campaigns:
- WWF (World Wildlife Fund) used Snapchat to raise awareness about endangered species through its #LastSelfie campaign. This selfie hashtag campaign symbolized the diminished population of many animals in Turkey and Denmark and played on people’s emotions for success. It used Snapchat’s ephemeral format to demonstrate how the animals, without intervention, could be the last of their species on Earth.
- GrubHub took advantage of Snapchat to find summer interns, using the medium to share the job posting. By considering the average age of Snapchat users, GrubHub took advantage of the platform’s uniqueness. The job posting required “Snapchat Skillz” and included an application link within the Snap itself.
- Audi partnered with Snapchat and The Onion, a satirical online newspaper, to drive up its Snapchat following during the Super Bowl. Audi gained over 6000 new Snapchat followers, posted dozens of images not necessarily related to their cars, and was talked about throughout the Super Bowl and for days afterward. By using of-the-moment memes and millennial jokes, Audi reached out to the target Snapchat population.
Snapchat as Your Marketing Partner
Snapchat is certainly not a traditional advertising platform: it doesn’t offer CPM for smaller marketers, its demographic is far younger than average, and it traffics in ephemera. However, if you play to Snapchat’s strengths, using less expensive targeted geo-filters, target the younger demographic, and follow the best practices, you can succeed on Snapchat. Remember, Snapchat is a useful social media platform only for some target audience. If your buyer personas are all older millennials, Gen X’ers, or baby boomers, Snapchat may not be the right choice for you. Leverage Marketing can help you decide whether Snapchat can pay off for your company.
Leverage Marketing’s marketing team has the experience with Snapchat you need. Our social media gurus know everything there is to know about Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest—all the platforms you need for your business. Contact us today to learn more about our social media services.