Published On: Wed, Mar 15th, 2017

Five ways Snapchat can be used as an effective marketing tool

Snapchat has more than 100 million daily active users, with around 9,000 snaps shared every second. With a 72% adoption rate, the ephemeral photo sharing app is the most-used social media platform among 12 to 24-years-olds. There’s just no way marketers can ignore something this popular, especially since it’s a window into the coveted 18-34 demographic. Here are five ways you can leverage your brand using Snapchat:

1. Grow your userbase

Though Snapchat does allow advertisers to buy snaps that will appear on the ‘Discover’ page, a better way to build a Snapchat audience is to create a normal account for your brand and offer unique deals to snappers who add you. Then you have a captive audience that is likely to open your next snap. 80% of Taco Bell’s Snapchat followers open snaps from the restaurant franchise. That’s a higher view rate than any other form of advertising.

Frequent deals or viral-worthy snaps will have users adding you by the hundreds.

2. Give customers a peek behind the scenes

More than other marketing platforms, Snapchat can offer a glimpse into the behind the scenes lifestyle of your company. From the user perspective, they will get to see what your business is really like, not just the constructed brand image.

Some of the pioneers of Snapchat marketing were American Football teams. The Philadelphia Eagles was one of the first teams to get Snapchat, and the fans went wild for it.

The Eagles’ account sends snaps from players hanging out singing songs after practice, which give viewers an insight into team life, and help them feel a part of the Eagles community. Crucially, the account also posts images of commercially available merchandise.

Marketing agency DayDreamCinema told Forbes they have successfully used Snapchat to build interest in a TV video advert they were shooting months before it would air. Behind the scenes snaps don’t have to be casual and fun, but if you want to show the public another side of your company, they are certainly a way to do it.

3. Help customers with your products

Snapchat is also useful for answering customer questions. For example, if a customer snaps you a video of them struggling to open your product’s packaging, you can snap back a video of someone opening it, thus helping your customers and cementing your reputation as a company that cares.

Snapping ten second explainer videos for your products or services is another of the unique ways to use Snapchat. You could snap these as answers to questions or to pre-empt any potential difficulties your customers may have. Corporate video production company TellyJuice have a handy guide on explainer videos here.

4. Capture the zeitgeist

Some of the most effective Snapchat marketing campaigns have come from businesses snapping along with current events or TV shows. For the XLVIII Super Bowl, Audi teamed up with The Onion to live snap creative commentary on the game.

New York frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles was one of the first brands to use Snapchat for marketing. Their ‘Snappy New Year’ campaign gave voucher codes to anyone who snapped a picture of their product over the New Year period.

As with any marketing campaign, being timely is always a bonus. The instant nature of Snapchat makes it the perfect platform for low cost seasonal campaigns, or campaigns focusing on fleeting trends.

5. Explore Geofilters and Sponsored Lenses

Though all of the methods discussed so far have been free, it is definitely worth exploring Snapchat’s paid advertising avenues if you have the money.

Sponsored geofilters are location-specific graphics that appear on snaps taken in a certain place. It is easy to see why these would be useful for businesses. A local restaurant, for example, could use a geofilter to encourage diners to share their experience and inadvertently promote the business.

Sponsored lenses can be very similar to geofilters in appearance but they are not restricted to one location. This makes them more suited to businesses that work across multiple locations or quite simply anywhere.

Gatorade used a sponsored lens to tap into the zeitgeist during Super Bowl 50. Their lens appeared to drench users in the soft drink. It netted 160 million impressions, meaning more people used the lens than watched the actual game. With figures like this, sponsored lenses could be better value for money than an infamously expensive Super Bowl TV commercial.

This case study also suggests that Snapchat has overtaken TV in terms of advertising reach and scope. Make sure your business is using it in these five ways.