5 Ways Your Business Can Tap Into The Snapchat Craze
Since its launch in 2011, Snapchat has transformed from an ephemeral text-messaging app formillennials into one of the most popular social media platforms. With over 150 million daily users and over 8 billion video views a day, Snapchat has become an important platform in the social media marketing landscape. Snapchat’s story-telling format along with interactive branding opportunities initially differentiated it from the other social media platforms.
Millennials (and more recently older demographics) love Snapchat because it allows them to express themselves to their friends/following without a permanent recording of their content. Snapchat’s features allow users to create quirky snippets of content that are not intended to last forever on the platform. Snapchat’s informality and spontaneity drives its popularity and appeal to smartphone users that want to have a slightly whimsical and exciting experience on social media. Businesses who understand this focus have had the ability to reach a new market that has not yet become completely saturated with competition.
New Developments: September 2016
On September 23, 2016 Snapchat changed the name of its parent company to Snap, Inc. and announced it would become a digital lifestyle brand rather than just a social app. To mark the occasion, Snap, Inc. introduced Spectacles, fashion and tech-forward sunglasses that record 10-second video clips with a 115 degree lens, which can then be uploaded to Snapchat Memories via Wi-Fi. Snap, Inc. also designed a fashionable case that doubles as a charger. Spectacles will be available this fall and will cost $130.
5 Ways Businesses can Expand Their Visibility Using Snapchat
- Create On-Demand Geofilters
On-Demand Geofilters are graphic overlays that companies and nonprofits can create for attendees at events to use on their snaps. Businesses should have a graphic designer create the Geofilter and then purchase a time slot and geo-fence (GPS radius) where the Geofilter will be available to anyone who uses Snapchat within the designated area. Pricing starts at $5.00 for a 20,000 square feet radius. This is a perfect way to encourage engagement for an event.
Toyota recently used a Geofilter in a brilliant way to give back to music fans during the 25th anniversary of the popular Lollapalooza festival. Toyota created a Geofilter around the Lollapalooza festival grounds that served as a “golden ticket” that allowed fans to enter an exclusive extra hour of music. Fans who presented a screenshot of the filter to the location identified on the filter were granted access to the extra performances and given a ride home after the show. 50,000 people viewed the filter during the three-hour time period it was available. In addition, Toyota gained valuable insights on how to reach their target audience with future promotions.
- Encourage Tech Savvy Employees to Create Snapchat Stories
Snapchat’s most powerful feature is the ability to create and share stories. Stories are a collection of snaps (10 second videos and/or pictures) that are organized chronologically and are viewable for 24 hours to anyone who is a follower. Snapchat stories are incredibly powerful brand assets that can be saved and shared on other platforms. Businesses should produce a variety of content stories that are customized for specific target audiences. For example, experiment with the following story concepts to see what resonates best with your followers.
- Profile key employees and highlight your attractive company culture.
- Create exciting product announcements and product demos.
- Give behind the scenes access to sponsored events.
- Showcase the participation of your business in supporting nonprofit activities.
- Present instructional tutorials and Q & A’s with key staff members.
- Power Tip: Be sure to engage with your viewers by asking questions, encouraging them to screenshot their favorite snaps in your story or engaging in a dialog using the Chat feature.
- Invite Influencers to “Takeover” the Account
A Snapchat takeover is when a company allows a social media influencer, industry thought leader or celebrity to “takeover” the brand’s Snapchat account and create a story from their unique perspective. Takeovers are an effective way of gaining a new audience while creating interesting content for existing followers. Paying influencers to create a story on your Snapchat channel will expand your brand’s reach and provide you with exciting content that can be re-purposed on other platforms.
Example: Sara Jessica Parker’s Takeover of the Bloomingdale’s Snapchat Account
Actress Sara Jessica Parker “took over” the Bloomingdale’s account while visiting the Aventura Mall where her new shoe line was being featured. Viewers who watched her behind-the-scenes Snapchat story found the content funny and interesting. This type of takeover demonstrates an excellent opportunity for the influencer and the business to generate publicity while creating new content that can be shared on other social media sites.
- Purchase Snap Ads
Snapchat offers larger brands opportunities to advertise on the platform with multiple ad units and interactive branding features.
Snapchat’s 3Vi ads (vertical video views and interactive interface) allow brands to create ads that appear between user’s stories and the content that publishers produce on the Discover channel. Snapchat’s ad platform API automates the process of serving ads that target specific groups in the most cost-effective way. Brands can choose among three different ad options. Snap Inc. introduces new advertising options on a frequent basis. I expect the platform to offer the targeting, measurement and bidding options available on the other social media sites in the near future.
- Design Sponsored Lenses
Snapchat also allows brands to create Sponsored lenses that are available to all Snapchat users during the time period they are active. Brands with a large budget can create special animated “lenses” which serve as interactive ads that Snapchat users “play with” while creating their own snaps. The average Snapchat user spends 20 seconds playing with a Sponsored Lens before sharing it with their friends.
Success Stories – Snapchat Sponsored Lenses
FOX’s Empire Television Series
Fox sponsored a lens with headphones and a microphone that reached 27 million Snapchatters with a highly memorable and enjoyable experience to promote the show’s season premiere.
Kraft Mac and Cheese
In 24 hours, the Kraft Macaroni & Cheese lens reached nearly 20 million Snapchatters. 84% of those who remembered the Lens reported that they enjoyed it.
Gatorade’s Super Bowl Lens
Gatorade created a special animated lens that allowed users to dunk a virtual Gatorade cooler over their selfies. The campaign generated 160 million impressions, which was more than the 115 million who tuned in to watch the Super Bowl on TV.
Design Sponsored Filters
Sponsored Filters are graphic overlays that brands can purchase with the word, “sponsored” imprinted on the bottom right corner. They are similar to On-Demand Geofilters but available to everyone on Snapchat for a set period of time (usually 24-hours). Sponsored Filters allow brands to reach a wider audience than feasible with a simple Geofilter. These filters also provide brands with analytic metrics on which audience segments used the filter. This helps businesses create better-targeted campaigns in the future.
Companies that have taken advantage of Sponsored Filters include McDonald’s, Samsung, Dunkin’ Donuts, Taco Bell, Toys R Us and General Electric.
Branded Content Featured on The Discover Channel
Brands with significant budgets can pay to feature an entire channel in the Discover section with branded content. Snapchat’s Discover section is primarily reserved for publishers such asCosmopolitan, The Wall Street Journal and CNN. Burberry sponsored a channel for a 24-hour period in early 2016 to showcase content to promote the Mr. Burberry line. This is the first instance of a brand creating an entire channel to run sponsored content. I expect more brands to sponsor stories that will appear in the Discover Channel in the future.
Snapchat is expanding and reaching new demographics everyday as it continues to grow as one of the most popular social networks. If your business or organization can benefit from visual storytelling, Snapchat is the perfect platform to reach a captivated audience. Taco Bell is a company that truly understands how to leverage the Snapchat platform. Taco Bell advertises through Snap Ads, creates Sponsored Filters and Lenses and uses the platform to create interesting content that fans actually enjoy. Taco Bell embraces the quirky, playful tone that Snapchat has created and uses ephemeral media to its advantage.
Content on Snapchat is meant to be consumed in short, real-time segments that sustain the viewer’s attention. Consistency and creativity are the keys to winning on Snapchat. Your business will see positive gains in visibility and engagement if savvy, creative storytellers are tapped to create content for Snapchat. Start snapping and you will see how easy it is to capture the attention of your fans and followers.