Everything You Need To Know About Snapchat Marketing

July 1, 2016

Snapchat brags approximately 100 million daily active users sharing an estimated 700 million photos or videos each day and 500 million views per day. That is a lot of eyeballs and the statistics alone prove why you need to consider Snapchat as a staple item in your marketing toolbox. This blog digs into the world of Snapchat marketing with the goal to help you understand when and how to use Snapchat for business or for a client.

Why Snapchat?

In addition to the strong engagement statistics outlined in the introduction, Snapchat offers some additional benefits that make the platform attractive to marketers - It has less competition than other social media channels, it offers a new audience to your brand, it offers a unique experience and it feel more natural and authentic than other social mediums. For example, brands and celebrities are turning to this platform to show 'behind the scenes' footage of their latest product or movie, especially those reaching out to the younger audience.

What Audience is on Snapchat?

It is important to understand how being present on a platform such as Snapchat will help you reach your target audience. Snapchat users are primarily under 25 and only 12% of 35-54 year olds are currently using Snapchat. Women also use the app more than men with 70% of the users being female, compared to 30% male.

If your audience falls into the centennial or millennial age group, and you are targeting females, then you need to be on Snapchat.

This doesn't mean that if your target audience is men aged 35 that Snapchat isn't for you, as recent research has shown that the users currently signing up for Snapchat are over the age of 25. The only age group that isn't currently applicable to Snapchat is the older demographic of 55+.

How Can My Business Get Started on Snapchat?
Snapchat is free for a business to set up an account and start creating content. You can set up a profile, start following people and begin sharing snaps and stories relatively easily. As with any social effort though, Snapchat requires a strategy to start seeing success. We will get into the strategy further down in this post.

What Type of Content Can You Share on Snapchat?
There are lots of different types of posts and settings that you can apply to your Snapchat content, all of which impact the success of a campaign.
The types of content include:
Photos: You can capture an image and share it immediately in the snapchat platform, or you can upload an image from your photo gallery on your smartphone. Design your images for Snapchat in portrait as this is the best way to view images in the platform.Video: You can share videos that are 10 seconds long or less on Snapchat and these videos can be edited in a similar way to the images.Snapchat Stories: Snapchat stories are images or video that you share with all your followers that tell a story. The story can be the story of your day, the story of your brand, the story of an event you are attending and so on. Snapchat stories can be multiple snaps that sequence together to make your story. All your followers can view the snaps in your story for up to 24 hours after you post the snap. Stories can also be a mixture of photos and videos.

Tools Available on Snapchat
There are many tools you can use on Snapchat to edits and transform your photos and videos.
Editing tools:
Draw. You can use you finger to draw on top of your image, in a variety of colours and on any part of the image and/or video on the screen.
Captions. You can add a caption to each image and video and choose an appropriate size and placement for the text.
Emojis. You can add emojis to any image
Stickers. You can add larger animated images called stickers to any image now too.
Viewing time. You can decide how long you want your audience to be able to view your image from 1 second up. There are some assumptions you can make about view time and how it impacts engagement. Some might say a longer viewing time will increase engagement, however it entirely depends on the message and nature of your post.
Public profile. Make sure your profile is public so anyone can follow you and access your snaps.
Private messages. As a part of Snapchat 2.0, Snapchat released an update that allows Snapchat users to send private messages to one another. This could be used creatively between a brand and a customer - perhaps tailoring the message to the customers demo and needs.
Video and audio calls. Snapchat also offers video and audio calls and you can send photos whilst chatting to a person via this feature.  

Strategy for Snapchat Marketing
Now we have browsed all the features and tools you have at your fingertips on Snapchat, we will explore how to build a strategy that works on this unique type of platform. From reading the above, you have probably gathered that Snapchat is a very simple platform. Your business can share images and video with your followers and your followers can reply. That is really all there is to it. So in terms of setting goals and KPIs for your Snapchat for business marketing campaign, there really is only one way you can measure success - through engagement. You will be looking to measure views and responses to your snaps and gauge sentiment from these conversations - do they like your snaps, are they reacting positively and so on. Here are the metrics you can measure:  

  • How many times your snap has been viewed
  • How many times users have responded to a snap
  • How many users actively sought to chat with you having viewed your snapMeasuring your success in Snapchat is also manual, so be prepared for this piece to take longer than measuring the success of Facebook and Twitter who provide more sophisticated analytics.

Understanding how you can measure the success of your campaign helps in understanding the type of content you can produce that will drive the engagement to show a positive ROI on your Snapchat efforts. Here are some best practices to consider:

Influencers: As with all social platforms, influencers are very active on Snapchat and, if used creatively, influencers can drive lots of new followers to your Snapchat profile. The key to this strategy is to find Snapchatters within your niche area that want to promote your products. Take the toy company Sphero for example. They partnered with influencer Shaun McBride to promote their new Star Wars toy and as a result of this, the campaign received 10 millions views on Snapchat and sold out in store within hours.

Build Hype: This is a great strategy if your business is in events and wants to build hype and anticipation around each event. You can create Snapchat stories revealing behind the scenes footage in the build up to an event, sharing snippets of VIP information with your fellow snappers. The idea here is that this is information they cannot find or see anywhere else. iHeartRadio hired Ryan Seacrest to announce the lineup for a festival in Las Vegas on their Snapchat and this drove 340 million Snapchat impressions in two days. The combination of a famous celebrity combined with exclusive information helps to drive traffic towards your Snapchat profile.

Special offers: Similar to revealing exclusive news on events as mentioned above, you can offer exclusive special offers to your followers who are only on Snapchat. This is great for two reasons. Special offers are a huge motivation for engagement for your followers and the offer is easy to track via a coupon code used only on Snapchat. Grubhub ran a coupon campaign on Snapchat using the code 'Slice' for a 15% off on an order. Grubhub could track how many people used the coupon code and gauge success of the campaign on this metric.

Snapchat isn't ideal for every type of business and it is still very manual in terms of how you manage the platform, however, it can be very beneficial for those businesses targeting under 25 year olds. The above strategies are aimed to help with organic growth on Snapchat, though there are some advertising opportunities surfacing too.

Snap Ads: Snap ads run between stories on a Snapchatters profile and have a 10-second vertical, full screen video ad. Currently the price tag on these types of ads is high so only available to larger, corporate establishments.

Targeted Geo Filters: Geo filters are piece of art work that Snapchat users can use on top of their images on Snapchat when they are in a certain location. For example, a restaurant could have a geo filter and only users in the exact geo location in the restaurant will be able to apply the filter to their image. This is a great way to raise awareness and engagement for a specific place or event.

What do you think about incorporating Snapchat marketing in your marketing strategy for your business? Tell us your thoughts over on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Written by
Alexander Rauser
Alexander Rauser


Alexander Rauser is the author of Boardroom Guide to Digital Accountability and Digital Strategy: A Guide to Digital Business Transformation, and creator of the DSX Program, a digital strategy and transformation program for Enterprises.

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