Snapchat is a growing platform that reaches a wide audience. In fact, it’s estimated that roughly 47% of Internet users will use Snapchat by 2021. If you don’t have a Snapchat marketing strategy by now, it’s time to develop one.
Virtually any business can use social media to reach a much larger customer base. In reality, even the smallest of businesses can outshine larger competing corporations on social platforms such as Snapchat.
All it really takes is a bit of imagination and determination to succeed.
Today, I’m going to go over some of the basics and show you how to use Snapchat for marketing. It’s an exceptional tool especially to reach the younger millennial consumers.
Remember, about 78% of people between 18 and 24-years old use Snapchat. That’s a huge market to ignore.
Why Use Snapchat in the First Place?
One of the highlights to Snapchat is its handle on augmented reality. This is among the hottest digital marketing trends as it delivers an interactive experience to the customer.
Another aspect to consider is the platform’s growth. Snapchat is used by more than 190 million daily active users. While this isn’t the billions you’d see on Facebook, it’s still a growing audience that often promotes a higher level of engagement.
In fact, Facebook is currently trying to emulate Snapchat’s success by promoting augmented reality ads in the news feed.
And if you’re marketing to teens, Snapchat is an ultra-effective tool. As many as 47% of teens in the United States admit Snapchat is the most important social network to use. This is nearly twice the number of those who use Instagram.
Creating a Snapchat Marketing Strategy
Snapchat marketing for business is a bit more involved than just sharing an image to followers. Although keeping the account active with a regular post is ideal, you can do more to engage your target audience.
Let’s take a look at the most important aspects of building a strategy.
Like any social media outlet, you want to keep regular with posts on Snapchat. People love reliability in organizations, and delivering routine messages helps keep them connected to the business.
The benefit of regular engagement is apparent whether you’re blogging, promoting video content on YouTube, Tweeting or Snapping. Some social media stars experience upheaval from some of their followers if content is even delivered late.
For some businesses, keeping this regular schedule requires hiring additional help. This usually means finding someone who is Snap-savvy. The more talented your social media professional is, the better your company will look.
Don’t get me wrong, a lot of small business owners will use Snapchat themselves to save money on hiring additional staff. But if you don’t know the ins and outs, the chances of true success are lower.
Snapchat stories are often short videos or image collages for the purpose of engaging an audience. Think of an easy-to-use YouTube where the videos only last a short time.
Many brands find a great deal of success in storytelling as it goes beyond a simple image. Snapchat gives people a way to post short video content without requiring recording equipment and software, other than the Snapchat app.
Consider how Google’s video-producing websites alone reached nearly 150 million unique viewers in June of 2018. This is because video content is vastly important to online communities.
Expanding on the experience by using Snapchat stories of your own only serves to boost brand awareness and engagement.
Snapchat has a variety of methods to advertise to your customer base. A common form of these ads is the short video that is shown in between Snapchat Stories.
You can even give users the ability to access elements like your website directly from these ads to improve visitor traffic. It’s called the “swipe-up” ad where the action can take viewers to sites, show forms or expand articles and video content.
Other methods of Snap Ads include things like geofilters, lenses and sponsored filters. The cost of these vary, but usually start at around $5. And if you’re marketing to local consumers, $5 isn’t really all that bad of a deal.
Especially if you can come up with a fun idea for the lens or filter.
While there are some services online that let you buy followers, this isn’t always the best practice. While it may appear your account is popular, it lacks the engagement of a target audience.
The same can be said about any social media outlet, actually.
For example: if you buy 100,000 followers, how many of them do you think will actually engage your brand or buy products? If most of these accounts are simply bots, very few of them will.
On the other hand, many people gauge the reputation of a brand from the number of followers an account has. It seems to get more attention.
It’s a psychological need to be a part of the majority.
In the long run, it’s the real people who follow the account who will have the greatest influence. Personally, I’d rather put in the time and money to build a real audience who are more likely to purchase goods.
Snapchat Marketing Ideas
Getting the basics out of the way, it’s time to start building your strategy for marketing on Snapchat. But what can you do other than sending a daily pic of yourself or the business to engage the audience?
This is where your imagination comes into play. Here are a few ideas that will help you get started.
Snaps don’t have to merely center around a selfie or a pic of your business or products. You can just as easily send coupons and discount codes to your recipients. This is a form of incentive for following your business on Snapchat.
Sending coupons and discount codes helps build customer loyalty. It’s a practice that is an effective form of marketing spanning across decades. In the past, businesses would hand out punch cards. Today, it’s all about social engagement.
For example, you can send a doodle of the discount code to put into your website to buy certain products or services. If you market these as “Snap only” coupons, you may drive customers to follow the account.
Show Product Demos with Snapchat Stories
About 85% of marketers view video as an import aspect to their strategies. This is because of the influence video content has on the Internet. It’s estimated that video use will contribute to 80% of the traffic on the Internet by then end of 2019.
Snapchat stories are short, but effective. It’s easy to do a product demo in a short amount of time while making it a multi-part series. And if it’s done well, people are more likely to tune in to see the story unfold.
Adding a creative element to the story often results in higher engagement rates. Look at some of the ads that are shown in YouTube.
Many of these convey their messages inside of five seconds…the time allotted before viewers can skip an ad. And a large portion of these ads include some creative, funny or entertaining aspect.
What can you do with twice as much time during a Snapchat story?
Create Snap Filters and Lenses
I mentioned using filters and lenses earlier as they are part of Snap Ads in general. But that’s because they can play an integral role in your marketing campaign outside of ads in between stories.
Snapchat gives you the ability to create your own filters and lenses while basing the price off of various elements such as geographic scope. This means the more landmass you cover, the more expensive it will be.
Filters and lenses add an interactive element to a marketing campaign. For instance, the Michelin tire manufacturer has been known to promote a rainy-day lens on Snapchat in metro areas that are currently under raining conditions.
Take a local event and run with it whether it’s caused by nature or by humans. Is there an outdoor event in your neighborhood the business will attend? Get more exposure by promoting a filter or lens for the occasion.
The flexibility of the system is such that you can develop a menagerie of things to target local and international consumers.
Go Behind the Scenes
A common method for creating Snapchat Stories is to go behind the scenes. This is when you show off what happens in the background of your business. It could be anything from a product teaser to promoting employees.
However, you don’t want to simply add snaps of random elements from your business. Too many people use “behind the scenes” as a filler, which often doesn’t really provide viewers with substance.
For instance, taking a pic of a half-eaten office birthday cake really doesn’t do much for the average viewer. Be creative and give the business an identity of its own.
Why does “behind-the-scenes” content work? Because many people feel more connected to a brand by experiencing what goes into driving the business. It takes away the image of being a faceless corporation.
Think of how excited you get when you see a picture of a set for a film you’re anticipating. I know many who were ultimately excited to see a quick glimpse of actors in certain costumes when filming Avengers.
It’s all about teasing patrons and getting them excited over a new product, service or business practice. Don’t just send them a pic of your receptionist hard at work.
Use Time to Your Advantage
One of the key elements to Snapchat is its timer. This gives you access to an easy way to promote “limited time only” products or services. This includes the use of specific codes or coupons in the allotted time.
For example, what if you wanted to give patrons a 10% off code to celebrate your company’s anniversary during the weekend? You can share a filter, lens and story to run only for the days you want.
You can also use the Snapchat timer to deliver a sense of urgency. It’s how many call to actions influence purchasing behavior.
How many online stores have you visited where a timer was placed on a certain sale? It’s commonplace to see signs that read, “for a limited time only.” And a Snapchat timer performs a similar process.
Show Off Your Patrons
Many people like to be part of the story, not just reading it. Showing off followers and fans is something social media influencers have been doing for several years. Whether it’s highlighting a post or showing off artwork, it delivers an incredible level of engagement.
For example, what if you ran a contest for people using your Snapchat filter while enjoying your product or service? You could show the runner-ups on your website or share the best pictures on various other social media channels.
This process is about getting your target consumers interacting with the brand directly. In fact, some of the biggest brands in the world engaged consumers like this on some level.
Contests for new flavors of soda, colors of candy and artwork have all been part of this process in the past.
You don’t just want customers to buy your goods and services, you want them to be excited about being your customer in the first place. And showing off your followers to the world helps build that loyalty.
Be Effective at Snapchat Marketing
When it comes to engaging the audience, businesses will experience varying results. A lot of this has to do with creativity and understanding the target consumer.
In reality, it’s not much different from building any other marketing strategy. It takes an understanding of the system and how to maximize your exposure.
Just keep in mind there is more to Snapchat than just sharing a selfie on your phone.