This post was originally published 12/2/14 and has since been updated. Snapchat started as a social app to share photos and videos, allowing users to send "snaps" to other users for 1 to 10 seconds. After the determined time period, a sent photo can't be viewed again unless a user takes a screenshot of the image, but Snapchat does send a notification if this happens. Since its initial release, Snapchat has added a chat feature and an online peer-to-peer payment option called Snapcash. As its popularity among users continues to rise, more brands are picking up on what Snapchat is and are considering using the social app to reach their target audiences. The challenge of Snapchat marketing though, is how to effectively leverage mere seconds into content that will convert your target audience? Currently, Snapchat's audience is around 26 million, and is just behind Twitter and and in front of LinkedIn for the average amount of daily time spent by users ages 19-29.
Marketers who have started to implement Snapchat into their social media advertising strategy with outside of the box tactics and proper execution have had good initial results. Due to the nature of the platform, Snapchat is not for every business or industry, but if you think that photo and video sharing can help you reach your target audience, here are some intuitive strategies:
Send a Flash Promotion to Drive sales.
Inform your target audience and existing customers to follow you on Snapchat for exclusive deals, and send out a flash sale notification or promotion code only on Snapchat. Those who see your snap will take advantage, and they could possibly spread word-of-mouth about your Snapchat promotions to the rest of your target audience too. Amazon and Hollister came together on Black Friday this year to send out an advertisement that was exclusive to followers on Snapchat.
Promote the culture and lifestyle of your company.
Add product sneak peeks, showroom shots, and content that gives users an inside look at your brand. This is a great way to develop a relationship with your target audience, and stay fresh in their mind as a go-to brand.
Show the Behind the Scenes of Your company
Give your target audience a sneak peak of unreleased products, the work life of your employees, and other images or videos that made them understand your company more as a brand. If you can successfully tread the line between business and lifestyle, your users will come to appreciate and purchase from you in the future.
This campaign was successful because it involved combining the online and offline experience of customers with 16 Handles. Users were asked to go to a physical 16 Handles location twice, and the second time they received a discount snap, which they could not open until they were at the register, ready to pay. This was a fun and interesting way to get customers to not only use Snapchat to interact with 16 Handles, but to build anticipation for the discount and create engagement with the actual employees at the 16 Handles locations as well.
Snapchat Corporate Marketing
This is actually a recent marketing strategy that I came upon in my own Snapchat user experience, and it involved the release of Snapcash, which is Snapchat's version of Venmo or Google Wallet. But unlike the advertisements for its competitors, I actually watched and enjoyed the Snapcash promotional.
If you have come to the conclusion that Snapchat is a marketing channel that you would like to implement in your brand's overall social media strategy, remember that the idea of snaps and stories are only meant to be seen in a short span of time. If you believe that your marketing tactics can have an influence on your target audience beyond the length of your 10-second images and videos, Snapchat is definitely a channel to experiment with.
What Snapchat marketing best practices have you applied to your overall marketing strategies? Let me know in the comments section below or tweet us @BFMweb.