Snapchat has been riding the wave of popularity since it launched, appealing to many in a much younger demographic than most existing social platforms. In the past year Snapchat has flexed it’s muscle as its users have grown significantly and functionality continues to be refined. In an article in Variety, which highlights a study from eMarketer, the channel is to going to surpass Twitter and Pinterest in active users this year. Is it all hype? It was not that long ago that Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram were all riding that popularity wave, and they seem to have solidified themselves in the market.
The hype is real, so much so that usage is already outpacing competitors in the space. Marketers have looked at Snapchat as an anomaly, but have been quick to find ways to advertise on the platform as soon as it was allowed. The video ads on this platform have also outpaced its competitors by large numbers according to a white paper from Business Insider. Millennials are consuming content on this network at an increasing level, and we’re seeing Generation Z using the platform in unique and fascinating ways. It’s the network that businesses should be looking at.
It’s Time For Your Business To Win
In order to understand Snapchat, it’s important that you take a step away from what you know, and put yourself into the minds of the 14, 17, and 23-year-old that is using Snapchat. It’s through their usage, their content, their habits, their connections that businesses can learn how to best insert their brand into the conversation.
Provide a Look Behind the Scenes – Can you do this with any other network? Sure you can. With Twitter you can capture the event with text in 140 characters, and you can upload photos. With Facebook, you can use Facebook LIVE, and with Instagram you can take photos and post them, but none of them offer the filters, fun, and ability to truly build a story like Snapchat offers. The NBA, specifically the Golden State Warriors have blown the doors off their usage of Snapchat by giving users exclusive content with the players, looks into the locker rooms, and shots of players at practice. This content is enhanced with illustrations, stickers, filters, and other interactions that make the content unique. Think of what your business does and how you can best capture behind the scenes content.
Exclusive Content – What makes Snapchat unique is that the content eventually disappears from the network. Even stories, which can have a longer shelf life on the channel, will eventually disappear. This generates a sense of urgency to take action when content is viewed because once it’s gone, it’s gone. This really exemplifies the “exclusive” nature of what is created. So exclusive, that if users don’t take action, they’ll lose the opportunity. How can your brand use that to your advantage?
Expand Your Brand – It’s easy to discount your brand from participating on Snapchat. But with the proper strategy in place, there’s a whole world of opportunity to explore. Let’s take GE for example. We hear the name and we think washers, dryers, dishwashers, home appliances in general, and then you think, why would anyone want to see home appliances on Snapchat, much less someone in the demographics that engage on Snapchat? Well GE has taken their brand and expanded upon their focus to highlight innovation in their R&D, their participation in innovation outside of home appliances (introducing a younger audience to the likes of Buzz Aldrin), and established themselves as leaders in sharing a love of science in general with all their “geeky goodness” happening in their industry. Through this content creation, the audience is learning to identify GE as a leading brand of innovation and they will remember that as they grow.
One-of-a-kind User Generated Content – Part of the Snapchat experience is engaging with others. Users will encourage their followers to “snap them back,” a response; in this case, they are asking for a reply. GrubHub typically asks for their users to snap them back a doodle of their favorite food, or something they like, or a self portrait, either for fun, or for a contest. Guess what, people do it, and it’s fun.
So what creative ways can you engage your audience? Should they snap you back with a photo, a video, or maybe a doodle? Make it fun, and watch your engagement go up.
Personalize With Geofilters – Part of Snapchat’s appeal to the masses has been the personalization it offers. The doodling, stickers, and filters mentioned above are just some of the ways that content can be personalized, but now brands can offer unique geofilters that can show up for a limited number of people in a specific area (geofenced). So if you’re hosting a trade show or conference, Snapchat will allow you to upload a geofilter that will appear for anyone who attends the event within a specific area. This filter appears on video and photos and quickly catches the eye when their content is posted. A post from Social Media Examiner said it best: “Snapchat geofilters are the perfect way to harness your audience’s attention, because they’re already digesting your content. Geofilters make it easier for your audience to engage and promote your product or brand organically.” We couldn’t agree more.
The Future of Snapchat
Putting your brand on Snapchat requires the same strategic thought process that is required for any other social presence. It should not be discarded or considered a throwaway, simply because of the user base. Savvy marketers will see the potential and how they can leverage their brand and what they do on the network.
As Snapchat grows, analysts are already seeing it branch out into other demographics as well, increasing usage outside of “the kids.” According to eMarketer, “Between 2015 and 2016, the biggest increase in adoption came from the 25 to 34-year-old crowd, with 4.5 million new users in that age demo joining the platform in the past year (a 39.8% increase).” The next biggest increase came from the 35 to 45 year old demo, at 35.2%. So it’s going to be important for brands to think of how their content will touch on this growing audience.
Does your company need help finding a way to build a presence on Snapchat? Send us an email or give us a call at 210-617-7260. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest news and trends in web, mobile, and social. And we love to share our behind-the-scenes photos over on Instagram, too.
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