Believe it or not, Snapchat has been a part of our vernacular for nearly five years now. Launched in September 2011, the messaging app is just now shedding its skin and revealing itself to the world as the communication powerhouse that early adopters have long known it to be. With a slew of new features and over 110 million daily active users, now is the time for businesses to get started using Snapchat.
As responsible social media marketers, we know that there are a number of factors to consider before launching your brand on Snapchat. Here are a few things you should consider before deciding to use Snapchat for your business:
The Snapchat Audience
If yours is among the hoards of brands who are constantly strategizing over how to get in front of the coveted millennial or Gen Z consumer, Snapchat is for you. In the US alone, about 60% of Snapchat’s monthly users are between the ages of 13-24. However, audiences outside of the 13-24 demographic are also growing quickly, proving that there is a large opportunity to capture the attention of your target audience.
Whatever their age, your desired audience is on Snapchat, and this platform is the only one that will demand 1-10 seconds of their undivided attention – a feature no other social media channel can boast.
Your Business Goals
Snapchat is the ideal platform for brands that have a story to tell, and aren’t afraid to get creative. Much like the slew of live broadcasting options that are now available through Facebook, Periscope, and Tumblr, Snapchat provides a unique view into the in-the-moment, #BTS (behind the scenes) elements of a brand. If your goal is to humanize your brand through authentic, imperfect, fun and sometimes messy content, Snapchat is the platform for you.
“Snapchat is positioning itself as the most vivid, human way to chat.” – Josh Constine, TechCrunch editor-at-large
Customizing Your Content For Snapchat
With its often imitated but never duplicated functionality, Snapchat allows users to send messages that only exist for a certain period of time. This applies to both snaps, which are sent directly to your contacts, and snap stories, which is a string of snaps that are viewed together to create a narrative. There are many distinctions between snaps and snap stories, but the main thing to point out is that while snaps can only be played once (with the exception of the one snap a day which can be replayed), viewers can see your story for up to 24 hours after it’s been posted.
Although content on Snapchat ultimately disappears, viewers can, however, take screen shots, which has become a fun way for clever brands to engage users, as well as measure the success of this CTA.
As Snapchat grows, more and more creative ways for brands to engage with their viewers have emerged. FSC has seen a lot of success with custom geofilters, like the filter we created for Hotel Monteleone over Jazz Fest. At a relatively low cost (Snapchat cost is determined by square footage placement and length of filter run), results included 12,413 views and 305 uses.
“As we believe the marketing value of a SnapChat geo-filter is relatively high, we deemed this campaign a success!” ~ Annie Quast, Senior Account Executive
Measuring Snapchat Success With Analytics
Analytics-obsessed brands may be disappointed in Snapchat’s offerings, although their metrics have seriously evolved (not hard when you’re starting from zero!), and will continue to do so. In addition to the aforementioned screen shot, which can be measured through notifications, brands can measure story views, as well as custom geofilter engagements.
For the metrics-hungry marketers, third party measurement platforms, like Snaplytics, have started to emerge. We also know that Snapchat is set to soon surpass Facebook in daily video views.
Brands like Taco Bell are defying Snapchat benchmarks with pricey custom filter campaigns (their custom Cinco de Mayo filter saw 224 million views). Until these metrics are available to brands who aren’t willing to spend upwards of $750,000 on a branded filter, we can all just bask in the ambiguity of Snapchat’s analytical offerings.
Snapchat Is Growing Rapidly
Snapchat has reportedly experienced over 50% growth in the past year alone. With its recently announced major expansion in advertising, including ads partners, creative partners, and measurement partners, brands who once may not have wanted to spring for custom filters can now advertise on the channel, if they’re working with said partners.
With advertising rapidly emerging as arguably the most important element of social media for brands, we can only speculate that in due time, Snapchat will continue to roll out more accessible advertising features.
“We want [brands] to have a place where they can tell their stories… in a better way.” ~ Imran Khan, chief strategy officer, Snapchat
With a slew of new features, unique offerings, a vast array of users and unprecedented growth, now is definitely the time for brands to accept Snapchat as the marketing powerhouse it has proven itself to be.
Our advice? Get on board or be left in the dust! Contact us today to learn how Snapchat can become a part of your social media marketing strategy.