How to Use Snapchat as a Marketing Tool
Snapchat is a worldwide multimedia messaging platform that allows sharing images and videos with followers for a short amount of time. It has gained popularity as an effective marketing tool for brands and one of the most used social media apps in the last few years.
Snapchat was released in September 2011, developed by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown.
This app has great potential for global website promotion. Snapchat helps to boost your business and to reach the part of the audience not accessible while using the other social networks, mostly the millennials. This social media application is used by 90% of people from Gen Z, aged 13-24, according to US statistics.
The younger generation is attracted to Snapchat due to the ability of face-to-face interaction imitating real-life communication. The shared photo- and video content is available only for ten seconds and then disappears forever.
For this reason, teenagers choose Snapchat over other platforms. The snaps are of temporary nature, which provides subscribers with the feeling that the privacy of their personal life is protected.
The users of Snapchat can experience a variety of functions provided by the app. They can share soon-to-disappear photos and videos with friends, post public, and semi-public content for millions of people or for a separate group of the audience.
Why You Should Use It
With 360 million users per month and 3 billion snaps per day for the year 2020, Snapchat holds the top position in the ranking of websites’ popularity by Alexa. The application is developing rapidlyб and its quality is improving every year.
Social media platform demonstrates great results as an instrument for advertising due to the fact that Snapchat is considered to be the fastest-growing social media since 2014.
The application has a special area called “Discover” dedicated to advertising-supported content from online media. This section of the app shows more than 1 million video ads daily.
Advertising feature allows you to make short movies that represent your brand on the market and helps businesses to communicate with their customers.
The first company that purchased for Snapchat Discover was Sony Pictures. The company promoted the upcoming film, “James Bond: Spectre”. They posted 14 snaps with the photos and behind-the-scenes footage.
Many popular brands like McDonald’s and Pepsi use Snapchat for their marketing activities. World Wildlife Fund conducted the successful #LastSelfie campaign with the goal to raise awareness about the rescue of endangered species of wildlife animals.
Some Best Practices
The visibility of the content for a short period of time becomes a valuable benefit when it comes to the promotion of the product or the concept that the business is about to release.
Memorable teasers and sneak previews are the best ways to draw the customers’ attention to the brand and arouse interest in some purchase. Your company can use this method when you are going to launch a new product or to keep visitors up to date with the news.
Movie production companies often refer to Snapchat as a channel for informing the audience about new movie releases. In 2015, there was a campaign for “Terminator: Genisys”. 20th Century Fox used Snapchat to promote the movie “X-Men: Apocalypse” in 2016.
Fashion brand Burberry advertised their new clothing line with the series of snaps before Fashion Show in spring 2016.
McDonald’s constantly applies this way of informing people about the new items on the menu.
A great promotion method is to run a contest among your brand’s page visitors. The business can give the customers an initiative to share user-generated content with the snaps of the product.
One of the best examples of the effectiveness of promotional campaigns is the strategy used by American food delivery service GrubHub. This company held a competition called “SnapHunt” with a daily challenge for the customers for one week.
The prize for the winner was a $50 gift card. This approach became a huge success during the contest. The number of GrubHub’s followers increased by 20%.
Another prominent example is the case of Mondelēz, American confectionery, beverage, and food manufacturer. The main requirement for participation in this candy competition was to snap a photo of the “Time Out” chocolate bar, change it with the help of Snapchat drawing tools and then share it with the company’s account. The prize was $10,000. This marketing strategy allowed Mondelēz to increase the visibility of the brand and expand sales.
A Look Behind the Scenes
Storytelling is another strategy that helps a brand page to gain followers quickly. Give the customers the opportunity to have an inside look at your business and how the company works. The most appropriate approach to get your visitors acquainted with the behind-the-scenes life of your brand is to use 24-hour Stories function.
People enjoy the sense of presence at some events. “Live Stories” function is very convenient in this regard. During VMA in 2015, MTV created a Live Story on Snapchat. Celebrities and the audience shared the most vivid moments with the Snapchat viewers. They posted pictures and videos from backstage that were viewed by more than 12 million people.
A commonly used promoting method nowadays is involving influencers and celebrities in promotional campaigns. These people already have a steady number of followers, so for a brand, this is a chance to enlarge its audience. People usually tend to believe in the words of their idols, they often rely on celebrities’ taste.
A takeover is a widely used advertising scheme in Snapchat when some celebrity takes over and runs the account. For instance, Major League Soccer announced the week of takeovers. Every day a new soccer star created the exciting content on the MLS page to attract more followers.
Star Wars engaged the influencers to increase the sales of their new toy, Sphero. They requested the American artist and “social media celebrity”, Shaun McBride to advertise the product in his stories. The stories with the influencer during the holiday season got 2 million daily views.
This campaign gained 10 million views in total. Star Wars sold all the toys in a few hours, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Cinnabon bakery restaurant involved two well-known Snapchat personalities, Danny Berk and Evan Garber to take over the page of the company. They made a 2-minute video and asked their followers to share the snaps with the favorite pastry. According to Adweek, this approach helped Snapchat to gain 2,000 new subscribers.
Sponsored Geofilters and Lenses
Snapchat users like filters and lenses, so this is also a good strategy for a brand to interact with the active audience. In order to make a creative picture, about 16 million people apply sponsored filters on a daily basis.
American company Gatorade which produces sport-themed products and beverages organized a campaign that set a record in Snapchat during Super Bowl 50. It gained 165 million views and 8 million unique snaps in 2 days and became one of the most interacted and viewed advertisements during the Super Bowl.
Another brand that successfully applied this strategy was Taco Bell. The taco filter for Cinco de Mayo was shown to the Snapchat visitors more than 224 million times.
Sponsored geofilters in Snapchat cover specific locations. If the business has different branches, it is very convenient to use lenses for advertising. Also, users can use filters dedicated to national holidays or specific themes, like National Chocolate Cake Day on January 27.
As a part of the “Let’s Go Places” promotional campaign, Toyota applied geo-targeting technology to make and publish Snapchat advertisements.
Direct Interaction with the Customers
Customers like when the company cares about them and their needs. That is why a good way to engage with the audience is by replying to the direct messages from the clients. Using this people-oriented approach, the company can enhance loyalty and boost sales accordingly.
The brand needs to respond to private messages from the subscribers and give them feedback about the price, characteristics of some product or the customer’s experience with it. You can also use Snapchat as an education tool, providing information regarding the industry.
Multinational makeup brand Sephora was one of the first companies that tried to use Snapchat in its marketing activities. When they created the account at Snapchat, Sephora posted the question to the followers on the other social media networks: “We just launched Snapchat. What do you wanna see? #SephoraSnaps.”
Sephora’s marketing team collected the feedback from the subscribers and then applied it in the promotional strategy. For instance, Sephora was one of the companies that provided celebrities and makeup artists with access to a branded account.
UK brand Dove asked their followers to share the snaps about their insecurities, as a part of the marketing campaign, called “Self-Esteem Weekend.” There was also a number of “self-esteem ambassadors” who replied to the stories and provided the feedback to the Dove’s subscribers.
Discounts and Coupons
Another way to increase the audience of the brand is to use discounts and special offers. This method is effective when your goal is to increase conversions and sales. Many companies share limited-time offers and secret coupons only with their Snapchat followers.
For example, KIND Healthy Snacks company offered its Snapchat subscribers a 15% discount during their advertising campaign.
16 Handles, a manufacturer of frozen yogurt, has a great tactic to promote their products while advertising their coupons on Snapchat. The company offered its followers a coupon code to the users who sent them snaps with the product.
This way of promotion shows its extreme effectivity during the holiday season.
To obtain the best possible results, the brands should not lose sight of the cross-promotion of the company’s Snapchat page on the other social networks, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.
Charlie and Chocolate Factory coined a good idea. On their Facebook page, they posted the advertisement that referred to Snapchat geofilters. The users who find these filters in New York City and send the snaps to the account were able to win the tickets to the show.
Innovative Methods and Approaches
Some companies like Adidas try to use innovative approaches for their marketing campaigns. Adidas teamed with Snapchat to create an 8-bit game that could be played inside Snapchat.
The game was called “Baseball’s Next Level” and included the characters who were Adidas’ Major League Baseball Athletes: Alex Bregman, Justin Turner, and others.
One of the features of this game was the ability to buy new Adidas 8-bit themed baseball cleats worn by the sports stars. This was the first time when Snapchat let its users buy some items inside the game.
Some companies use Snapchat even to hire new employees. Mcdonald’s HR department in Australia used Snapchat to hire staff members. The lens looked like an employee uniform. The person who was interested in the position had to “wear” this lens and explain in 10 seconds why his or her candidacy would be the perfect choice.
This marketing strategy was incredibly successful. On the first day, the Australian McDonald’s HR department received about 3 thousand applications. There was also a 35% increase in application flow and also a 30% increase in the traffic on the careers page.
This initiative became extremely popular and drew the attention of the global channels and publishers, including Fox News and The Sun.
To sum up, Snapchat is a perfect tool for marketing purposes. This application is perfect when the brand’s target is the younger audience in the age of 13-24.
There are various ways to promote the company using Snapchat. Your brand can team up with influencers, create sponsored lens, filters, or geo positions, run contests, provide feedback to the users’ posts about your company.
The most effective strategy is to combine all the following methods with cross-promotion on the other social network like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. The marketing team can create a unique approach to the promotional campaign and follow the example of such famous big brands like Adidas and McDonald’s.