If you thought that Snapchat was just for teenagers, think again. This social media site is rapidly gaining influence in the marketing sphere. Brands that are not already including Snapchat in their marketing campaigns could be missing out on significant opportunities.
Many marketers have remained somewhat confounded by Snapchat and how to deploy it for marketing purposes. Snapchat certainly does not function like other social media sites. Users are able to take pictures and videos and then send them to their friends using Snapchat. Where the app takes a distinctive divergence from other sites is that once the video or image has been opened and viewed, the message is then deleted-forever. Users are able to establish a specific timeframe for each video or image that is sent, thus providing the recipient with a limited amount of time for viewing the message before it disappears. While most other social media networks offer lasting messages and impressions, Snapchat does not. This may make things a bit more complicated in terms of marketing, but it would be a mistake to completely ignore Snapchat.
According to MarketingProfs, 50 percent of adult smartphone owners between the ages of 18 and 24 in the U.S. have installed the app. Furthermore, that represents a significant jump in year-over-year usage, when only 30 percent of the same demographic used Snapchat. Older Millennials, between the ages of 25 and 34 are also using the mobile messaging app, with 20 percent using Snapchat, an 8 percent increase from last year.
Clearly, Snapchat is growing in terms of market penetration, but you may still be asking yourself how your brand can tap into that influence, given the limited time constraints of this app. Several brands have found unique approaches that are working with Snapchat. MobileMarketer reports that Marriott and Macy's are two leading brands that have integrated Snapchat into their marketing strategies. For instance, Macy's provided customers with a glimpse of their "Black Friday" specials using Snapchat. This is actually a brilliant marketing strategy because it is built on the foundation of what sets Snapchat apart from other social media sites-limited time messages. Macy's campaign was able to tap into the ability to give customers an insider's glimpse while whetting their appetite for more. The message did not need to live on for any longer than it took the customer to view it. MobileMarketer points out that the fast window of time in which the customer was able to view the image may have actually assisting in driving impulse purchases during what is the busiest shopping season of the year.
Marriott took a slightly different approach by releasing an interactive series on Snapchat. The hotel chain opted to utilize the social media platform as a storytelling tool in the hopes of creating an emotional connection with consumers. The series was designed to support Marriott's "Travel Brilliantly" campaign.
Not sure how to implement Snapchat in your own marketing campaigns? Consider the following strategies:
- Take advantage of the "stories" feature on Snapchat for sending a video or image-based story to customers, similar to the way that Marriott launched their interactive series. This can be a great way to give your customers a behind the scenes glimpse into your upcoming products. Be sure to create multiple stories that will span the course of several days to make the most impact. At the end of the series, direct your Snapchat followers to other social media channels, or a specific landing page to keep them engaged.
- Contests are another great way to drive interest using Snapchat. This is a method that has proven to be particularly well suited for all marketing platforms, and it is ideal for use with Snapchat. Remember to create a sense of urgency that plays into the limited window of time on Snapchat.
Due to the limited availability of videos on Snapchat, it is also perfect for sending promotional videos. Keep in mind that your videos should both be tightly focused and entertaining. Provide insider's tips. Show customers how to obtain a special offer, or preview an upcoming product.
As Snapchat continues to make inroads with consumers of almost all age groups, the time is now to ensure your brand is in the lead.