Among the many things I love about Snapchat as a marketing medium, my two favorite are:
- Its linear storytelling capabilities.
- Like no other platform, it allows marketers to be content producers by developing entertaining, informative experiences that get people talking and coming back.
The following are seven ways in which brands are creating compelling content for their own Snapchat community, followed by a few highly effective Snapchat advertising campaigns.
Cover Girl offered its audience the opportunity to star in a video with Katy Perry and to be featured in MTV's Video Music Awards.
Takeaway: Leverage your existing relationships to create a contest, ideally with a prize that money can't buy. This will encourage your audience to create stories on your behalf.
2. Clever Event Tie In
Audi teamed up with The Onion on Snapchat to produce funny, highly relevant, in-the-moment posts that generated an estimated 37 million impressions.
Takeaway: You don't have to buy expensive TV ads to capitalize on major events, so long as you can deliver interesting, timely content and amplify it through influencers or third party publishers.
Everlane is perhaps the best brand on Snapchat for opening its doors to the public. It uses Snapchat to show its commercial shoots, behind-the-scenes meetings, the personalities of its employees and culture, etc. Its transparent, daily communication allows customers to feel like they're an insider within the brand's community
Takeaway: In late 2014, Everlane wrote on its Blog, "Snapchat is going to become the defacto social channel for Everlane. Over the past month, we've been testing it in small batches and we're in love." It's still the early days! Marketers that truly embrace Snapchat and invite customers behind the curtain have much to gain.
4. Coupon for a Snap
16 Handles offered its followers a coupon anywhere between 16% and 100% off if they snapped a picture of themselves enjoying their frozen yogurt.
Takeaway: A pic for a coupon is a win-win for any brand that offers price incentives. The ephemeral nature of Snapchat also allows brands to create an urgent call to action, e.g., good for 24 hours.
5. Exclusive Offer
Acura offered its first 100 followers the opportunity to see a video on the NSX prototype before releasing it to the public.
Takeaway: One of the best ways to connect with your audience is to make them feel important. Providing special content that is available only to your Snapchat followers is a sure way to build loyalty, word of mouth and expand your reach.
6. Influencer Takeover
The teen retailer Wet Seal acquired 9,000 new followers and 6,000 views by handing over their account to a 16-year old influencer for two days.
Image Credit: Ad Age
Takeaway: One of the best ways to grow your audience is via an influencer takeover - particularly if that influencer starts a story on his/her own handle and then continues on yours.
7. Short UGC Stories
Sour Patch Kids used Snapchat to promote the candy brand's tagline, "First they're sour, then they're sweet". Together with influencer Logan Paul, they spent five days in NYC dreaming up very funny Sour and Sweet short videos.
Takeaway: If you want to connect with your audience, there are very few things that work better than funny UGC content.
The following examples showcase how three brands have capitalized on Snapchat's advertising opportunities.
Geofilters allow consumers to send pictures with their location overlaid on a photo. Brands can customize these filters around public gathering places such as concerts, schools, sporting events, etc. Hollister customized its own set of filters to target 19,000 U.S. and Canadian high schools.
Takeaway: Create custom filters in destinations where your audience is located and make it relevant to their experience.
Another Snapchat sponsored opportunity is Lenses, which allows consumers to send animated selfies to their friends. Gatorade took advantage of this one-of-a-kind marketing opportunity by allowing consumers to send selfie videos in a Gatorade dunk during the Super Bowl, which had a then record 165 million views.
Taco Bell recently broke Gatorade's record on Cinco de Mayo with its lens that turned customers' faces into a giant taco shell - resulting in 224 million views in one day.
Takeaway: Consumers love to use new lenses, even if it incorporates a brand (so long as it is done in a creative way).
The Discover section of Snapchat features original content from CNN, ESPN, BuzzFeed and other top content producers. On April 4th of this year, the first ad slot of this section went to Burberry, where it promoted its men's fragrance line 'Mr. Burberry' with steamy behind-the-scenes footage, style tips and videos that showcased the making of the fragrance.
Takeaway: Create entertaining and/or informative content that's on brand. This content can be used for a number of other purposes once it disappears from Snapchat.