Launched in 2011 by former Stanford students Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown, Snapchat has become one of the most popular and widely used social media apps. Snapchat primarily caters to millennials who used the app to stay connected with friends and make short videos. When businesses and marketers think of social media marketing, Snapchat is usually not the first platform that immediately comes to mind. There are tools and strategies that businesses can utilize to leverage Snapchat as a viable marketing platform to engage potential customers.
Stories are user generated content that disappears after 24 hours of their initial posting. When a story is posted, the user who posted the story can see how many people viewed it. A business could utilize this feature to show the day to day operations of their business. A restaurant could show the behind the scenes prep work that goes into their operation before opening. A Live Story allows users who are at the same event or location to contribute content for that specific venue. If three different food truck owners are at Jazz Fest, they could use their location to stream live content, and users searching for Jazz Fest or New Orleans would be able to see it.
Snap Ads are 10 second call to action full screen videos. Most of the videos have audio that is automatically played when the sound is on. An effective ad should include the creative branding and concise information about the product or service being advertised. Users can use filters and lenses as creative branding tools to market their products and services. Snapchat’s ad guidelines can be viewed here.
As previously stated, sponsored geofilters allow users to target their content based on a special event or location. If a business has a location in New Orleans, Kenner, and Mandeville, they can set their content to each location respectively to accurately drive content to the users in those locations. Geofilters can also be used to target special events such as Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, and Essence Fest. Snapchat provides geofilter templates that can be customized starting at $5.99. This is a great way for a business to efficiently market without hurting their bottom line.
Sponsored lenses allow users to get very creative, which is a great advantage for businesses who utilize this feature. Sponsored lenses are applied after a video or photo is taken and have facial recognition technology. Using the facial recognition, the lenses give users the ability to apply creative animation to their videos and photos. A business that sells Mardi Gras costumes could apply a Mardi Gras filter with a festive mask or costume to help promote their business.
Snapchat Discover is a separate part of the app that gives users the ability to view exclusive content by prominent companies such as ESPN, Cosmopolitan and VICE. Companies with content on Discover provide photos, videos, and links to relevant content regarding their brand. Brands have the opportunity to place ads within Snapchat Discover, however this will only benefit larger businesses as ads start at $50,000 per day, and live stories start at $250,000.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- Provide exclusive content- Upload behind the scenes videos of the day to day operations of your business. Customers like to feel like they are part of the experience, giving them access to how your business runs is a great way to do that.
- Upload content on a regular basis- Consistency is key! Don’t upload a great video on Monday, then wait until the following Thursday to upload another. Your customers want to see consistent and engaging content, so keep it consistent.
- Engage your customers- Many customers right reach out to a business using Snapchat’s messaging feature. Don’t be shy, reply to them! Customers love for their favorite brand to message them back personally, it will help to build a rapport with your customer base.
- Sponsored Content Use sponsored ads to make a 10 second video that will give brand awareness to your product or service. Sponsored lenses allow users to engage with your brand directly. Don’t be afraid to get creative! If you own a barbershop, you could create a lens that has different crazy hairstyles that users could wear. Finally, use sponsored geofilters that users can apply to their photos and videos when they’re at your establishment. All these techniques are great ways to bring about brand awareness.