Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WEB & TECH / AUG. 02, 2015
version 9, draft 9

Effective Marketing Strategies Using Snapchat

It is no secret that social media is a booming industry; one that constantly has new and exciting platform coming out. One of the most recent social media apps taking the world by storm is Snapchat. As a business, you may have heard a few things about Snapchat, but have never actually had a chance to use (or even thought about it.) But let’s make one thing clear: your consumers and target audience, probably have, and they use Snapchat daily. According to some reports, as of May 14, Snapchat users were sending well over 700 million photos/videos per day. That’s a lot of action, and one any company would love to jump on if they want to reach a young demographic and benefit their business.

See Also: Integrating Snapchat into Your Social Media Business Toolkit

What is Snapchat?

In order to create an effective Marketing Strategy, it’s probably a good idea to familiarize yourself with what Snapchat is all about. Snapchat is basically a photo and messaging app that was designed by a group of Stanford students in 2011. The unique part is that messages and videos in Snapchat only last a short amount of time; after that, they simply disappear forever (unless someone found a way to screenshot it). There is also a Snapchat stories feature that allows users to post a group of pictures or videos that normally last up to 24 hours, unlike the 1 to 10 seconds of individual snaps.

As mentioned before, teens and young adults have really taken to Snapchat. So if your business wants another way to reach a young demographic, then you might want to set up an account and give some of the following marketing strategies a try.

1. #lastselfie Utilizes the Self Destruct Feature

As many experts point out, even if you don’t like or understand the self-destruct feature of Snapchat, it is by far one of the most powerful weapons the app has. Think about it, just because something is relevant one moment, it doesn’t mean that it is going to be relevant 10 minutes later. As such you need to be creative about the images you share. For those images to be effective, they need to be easy, but still memorable. Examples of this are announcements of flash sales or promo codes. But this strategy is not only limited to pictures. Videos of the companies can also help tell a story, one that will grab your intended audience’s attention. Just remember to be quick about it.

One of the best examples of using a quick but memorable image is the #lastselfie campaign developed by the Danish branch of the World Wildlife Fund. They used the disappearing nature of Snapchat to their advantage by posting one of five different endangered animals, along with the tagline “Don’t let this be my #lastselfie.” By using Snapchat as a way to connect to real life, the ads were a haunting reminder of the dangers some animals face; one that users probably took a while to forget long after the pictures disappeared.

2. Going Behind the Scenes with McD’s

Everybody loves to see what goes on behind the scenes of a company, so why not use Snapchat to give your customers a behind the curtain look at what goes in your office. This not only makes the images or videos more personal, but they also humanize your business. One thing you can do is to preview new products, which will make viewers feel as if they are getting a special, insider-only look at what is in store. Cosmetics company NARS did just that when it used Snapchat to preview its Guy Bourdin color cosmetics collection, but only to individuals who added them as a friend. Fast food giant McDonalds also jumped on the Snapchat bandwagon by providing behind the scenes shots of their commercials that featured sports stars LeBron James and Johnny Manziel.

Or perhaps you could show your production process and really let your customers know what it takes to get your products to them. Snapchat is all about that intimate, one on one feel and their users like to feel that they are being given a unique experience. Getting a bit more personal and really humanizing your business will do just that.

3. Getting Interactive with 16Handles

Part of the fun of Snapchat is the quick interaction it gives their users. They just seem to get a kick out of sending videos that will appear then disappear in a very short amount of time before sending one of their own. Taking that into consideration, businesses and brands can really get behind this interactivity while making fun for their customers. One way a business can do this is to offer promo codes and coupons that will vanish quickly, making its use urgent for the user. Or you could do what 16Handles did; the yogurt shop encouraged users to snap pictures of themselves eating the yogurt and show it to the cashier in order to receive a discount. The kicker was that they had ten seconds to do so.

4. Free People Really Talks to Their Audience

Sticking with the trend of interacting with your customers, brands can also use Snapchat to hold conversations that may not even be related to any special project. Although Free People use Snapchat to go behind the scenes, they also send out questions like “What do you want to do this weekend?” or “If you’re an alien, what would you look like?” This kind of unique engagement excites users and gets them to interact with brands on a different level. It keeps the followers guessing and really has them looking forward to any new updates that might come through.

While it may be discouraging when a new campaign fails, the good thing about Snapchat is that these promotions and ideas are so quick, that you can move on to the next one before anyone has time to remember what your last one was. That makes the risk of trying something new minimal and lets you find what will work for your company.

In the End, You Really Need Know Your Audience

For any of these campaigns to truly work, any company has to know the audience they are trying to reach. In that sense, Snapchat marketing will not work on everyone. Snapchat users are mostly young people in the 18 to 24 year-old range, so if your business appeals to the young crowd, then Snapchat is definitely worth checking out. However, if you skew a little older in your demographic, then you might need to find another route. After all, just because Snapchat is popular, doesn’t mean it is for everyone. But look on the Brightside; Facebook was once viewed as something only for young people, and now it’s grown to almost everyone.

Snapchat may not work for all marketing campaigns, but it is worth a look if you fit the right demographic. Just remember that like other social media outlets, people want to see more than just simple promotion. They want to interact, and they want that interaction to be meaningful. If you can manage that, then your marketing strategy on Snapchat will definitely pay off.

See Also: 5 Proven Tips to Land a Social Media Internship

Do you use Snapchat for work or personal purposes? Do you think it is a good marketing platform?

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