You can't avoid it any longer; Snapchat is here to stay. Millennials continue to flock to the platform's fleeting photos and quirky filters, making it the fastest-growing social network on Earth.
Snapchat undeniably provides a certain allure to younger demographics, yet advertisers seem overwhelmingly reluctant to join in on the fun. In fact, a measly 1 percent of them say they currently leverage the app in their marketing efforts.
These hesitations can likely be traced back to a few different factors.
To start, unlike Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat provides very little in the way of analytical insight and data, making the assessment and optimization of on-platform performance a difficult task. Further, due to the short shelf life of Snapchat's content, it doesn't seem worth the investment to create and promote material that will literally disappear within 24 hours. And to top it off, without sharing, liking, and commenting, opportunities for brands to engage and converse with users are very limited.
And while all of these concerns are legitimate, steering clear of Snapchat altogether is still a big mistake - especially for advertisers striving to reach a vibrant international audience of young consumers.
Snapchat's Niche Value
Urgency and timeliness are at a premium on Snapchat, making is a perfect fit for limited-time promotions. And because ads disappear within 24 hours, brands don't need to worry about pushing outdated information or expired offers.
And despite Snapchat's user base being smaller than the likes of Facebook and Instagram, it offers a rapidly growing niche demographic of engaged Millennials, an age group with tremendous buying power that's known for giving the marketing world headaches.
Snapchat boasts 150 million daily users - the majority of which are under the age of 25 - who send out nearly 9,000 snaps every second. Even with its recent Snapchat-esque update, Instagram's audience is far less niche, and the atmosphere is far less urgent. When comparing the two platforms, you might as well be comparing apples and oranges.
There's no question that marketing on Snapchat is a completely different animal - however, in this case, different doesn't necessarily mean "bad"; it just requires new thinking.
Why Capitalize on Snapchat?
Snapchat is undeniably fun, and things can get pretty silly on this app. But beyond the chuckles and belly laughs, brands can also see the following serious benefits:
Consistently showcasing your brand's personality in Snapchat's fun-filled environment creates a different kind of connection to your audience - one that feels more authentic and friendly. When consumers feel like they're seeing a brand's true colors on social media, they become more invested. In fact, a recent study found that a majority of Millennials view social advertising as the most influential form of marketing out there.
Lingerie brand Adore Me does a great job of using Snapchat to humanize its brand and build loyalty with its customers. One of the great ways it does this is by posting short interviews with employees in which they talk about their favorite products.
This type of marketing feels more like a transparent interaction than a traditional pushy advertisement.
Snapchat's created a marketplace where creativity is the currency - if your brand is willing to act boldly and stretch its creative muscles, your audience will surely take notice.
Taco Bell hit a home run when it worked with Snapchat to create a filter that transformed users' faces into a delicious late-night delicacy.
This filter ended up being the app's most-viewed lens ever, generating 224 million views in just one day.
Even if you don't have the budget or ability to invent your own filter, this example illustrates the sheer power of creativity - and how users take notice when brands put forth an effort on Snapchat.
As mentioned earlier, Snapchat's fleeting nature makes it perfect for flash sales and urgent special offers. Given that the majority of its college-aged audience says they're eager to capitalize on deals they see on the app, every brand should use this as a green light to find creative ways to drive sales.
Consider following in GrubHub's footsteps by offering exclusive deals that require consumers to respond to your snaps. For example, offer a discount to the first 10 users who send you creative photos or videos that show their devotion to your brand. Beyond being a lot of fun, this tactic encourages interaction and can help drive sales for your company.
Although you may be hesitant to advertise on Snapchat, I can promise you that it's worth the effort. Stop dragging your feet, join the millions of Millennials who are snapping away. Unlike its disappearing content, Snapchat isn't going anywhere.