The recent one question that companies or entrepreneurs like to ask with regard to the social media arena is, shall we jump onto the Snapchat bangwagon? Is Snapchat marketing a viable option or channel for us? Before that, let’s take a look at what this new platform does.
Formerly known as Picaboo, Snapchat has practically emerged as one of the most popular social media platforms in the last one year. The app’s users are currently sending some 700 million photos and videos, and its stories were being viewed more than 500 million times per day.
Launched in July 2011 by Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, Snapchat is an app that you need to download onto your mobile phone, and it let snappers take photos and videos which disappears and will be deleted after the time limit set, which ranges from 1 to 10 seconds. That is perhaps what is so alluring to the younger audience (now, there is even a Snapkidz for those under 13 years of age!) – it actually communicates emotions and does not serve as a mean of capturing your precious memories. Users do not have to worry that they will leave evidence everywhere which will be detrimental to their reputation if their feeds ever gets into the wrong hands.
So with so many social media platforms that brands have to manage, is it still worthy of their time to jump into Snapchat marketing? Thus far, only a few larger companies such as MacDonald’s, Taco Bell, Acura, HBO, Karmaloop and 16 Handles have adopted Snapchat as one of their marketing channels. Looking at it from the perspective of a brand owner, there are 10 main factors you need to consider if you want to start a Snapchat account.
Snapchat Marketing: Is It For You?
(1) If Your Target Audience are Mostly Students or Young Adults
The most important thing you need to consider when you decide whether to use a new media platform is whether your target audience matches the products or services that you are selling. According to a new study, more than 77% of college students use Snapchat at least once a day, and according to a recent Comscore study, Snapchat was the 3rd most popular social app among the 18-34-years-olds (behind Facebook and Instagram but ahead of Twitter and Pinterest).
Hence, as Snapchat targets a significantly younger and more internet-savvy group, it is the perfect platform for businesses looking to tap into millennials and young consumers. But if your products are mainly for the middle-aged or elderly, it might not be that vital for you to start an account now.
One thing to note however, is that teenagers do change their minds pretty fast; look at how they switched from Facebook to Instagram in recent years. Have a look at what these millennials think of Snapchat.
(2) If You Already Have a Large Social Media Fan Base
Currently, most companies which use Snapchat marketing usually pull their fan base from their other social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. If you do not already have a large enough fan base, it might not be a good idea to jump onto the platform yet. Continue to leverage on your existing channels.
Spiegel revealed at the Dive Into Mobile conference in April 2013 that 80% of Snapchat’s users are located in the US, which means that Snapchat is not really popular in the East yet.
(3) If You Can Tolerate Not Editing Your Photos or Videos
While everything that you post on other social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram are editable, Snapchat is different. You cannot edit any photos or videos on it – as it opens into a direct camera and the user can just capture a photo or video instantly. I would think that such a feature might be good for film-makers, who can send videos of their random short films or snippets to their list, or artists to showcase how they work on their art daily, for instance.
(4) If Creativity is What You Are Looking to Portray
Snapchat is often touted as a platform for users to showoff their creativity. Users most often use it to send self-portraits or ‘selfies’ to their list, and a lot of them also added on their creativity in terms of sketches or doodles onto their videos or photos. Businesses can do likewise if they want to portray themselves as such, or their target audience is mainly the creative bunch. Don’t jump into this platform if you cannot embrace the creative constraints. It will be difficult for you to engage and keep your audience later.
For instance, Likeable Media, a social media marketing agency in New York, uses Snapchat to find its candidates because it wants applicants to be more creative than in an email, but still maintains a certain level of privacy. Plus, it also ties in with their company objective – which is creating social media campaigns for clients and applicants who understand how to deliver a great message will be at an advantage.
(5) If Interacting with Your Consumers Is Vital For Your Artworks
If it is essential for you to interact frequently with your customers, then it might be a good idea to utilise Snapchat. For instance, Mountain Dew launched a “fan-driven” Snapchat story for the Super Bowl, asking three social influencers to create stories for their feed. Fans were also asked to screenshot and submit their own Snaps. This essentially pushes the brand to the younger demographic and it was a successful campaign.
(6) If You Have Someone to Manage It Full Time
As with all social media platforms, it takes time and effort to maintain them, and it is the same with Snapchat. You need to think of content, manage your users, and try to increase your account presence. This would not be easy if you do not have a dedicated social media manager or an intern to add fun snaps or unique content to engage your audience and increase your brand awareness. Realistically, you have to snap at least 3 times a day to keep your fans interested and most ideally, snap up to 7 times daily to create a story. However, that said, for companies who want to be more personal to their audience, it might just be a good idea to manage the account yourself if you want to be genuine and reachable to your fans.
(7) If You Want to Show Your Customers Behind-the-Scenes Videos/Photos
If you are currently showing your customers behind-the-scenes videos or photos of your products or services and how your products are made, Snapchat, especially its Stories feature that let you add a combination of photos and videos, can do you wonders. It can add privacy to your content while not depriving your customers the chance of having a look inside your products and process.
The key direction for brands on Snapchat now is to share a glimpse of your day or life genuinely, and not just use it to send an advertising message. Customers are smarter than you think nowadays.
(8) If You Frequently Introduces Limited Time Promotions
Snapchat allows brands to deliver offers and special offers for a limited time, and also provide incentives to bring them back for more. For instance, 16 Handles, a frozen yogurt chain, uses Snapchat to send discount coupon codes to its customers who send them snaps of themselves or friends having their yogurt. Redemption is done simply by showing the counter staff the code on their phones. It was so successful that 16 Handles exchanged more than 1,400 images with users and built up a list which they could tap on in future.
(9) If You Always Have New Products or Services
Snapchat marketing is also excellent if you always have new products or services; new snaps are a way to help build your customer loyalty and create a lot of buzz around a new product or brand. For instance, you could send in a string of teasers about your product that leads up to the actual launch. That was how Taco Bell launched its new Beefy Crunch Burrito using Snapchat marketing.
(10) If You Are A Publisher
The newly released Snapchat Discover offers and is creating a new model for publishers, in particular. Discover, a new way to explore Stories from different editorial perspectives, consists of up to 11 unique channels, one for each publisher, plus a Snapchat channel. These include 5 to 10 specially curated stories that is updated every day.
And although this professionally made content from companies like CNN, National Geographic, Comedy Central and Food Network has pushed down viewership by 30%, it seems like it’s here to stay for a while.
Finally, if you are going ahead with using Snapchat marketing for your brand, just let your ideas flow and tell a story. You do not need to push in exaggeration or let your videos be overly intricate – overall, your snaps need to be real, interesting, relevant to your brand and most of all, appeal to your target audience. One thing is for sure though, as brands and companies are still figuring out whether or not to jump onto this platform or how best to use it, you can be a trailblazer in this new social media channel and set itself apart from your competitors if you know how to use it to your best effects.
Contact us for a chat using the form below – we’ll be able to offer some tips on how to use SnapChat to increase your revenue.