Mobile apps like Twitter, Vine, Instagram and Snapchat are changing the traditional role of multimedia marketing. They keep challenging brands in increasingly new ways. Human interactions are key to brand loyalty and building a strong consumer base, and these mobile apps provide the best two-way conversations between brands and customers.
Snapchat, which launched in the iTunes App Store in September 2011, is popular with a much younger demographic than some marketing executives are used to, but it takes little or no cost to interact with customers by way of snaps. When Snapchat Stories released in October 2013, it offered brands a longer conversation format than just 10 seconds. Stories combines multiple snaps to create a replayable, linear story that stays visible for 24 hours. Here is the list of the most active brands on Snapchat. They demonstrate that time-sensitive images, a concept that initially seems like a limitation for brand marketing, can actually be a strength. Contest announcements, coupons and behind-the-scenes looks are some of the ways brands can and are using the mobile app to their advantage.
1. 16 Handles
This New York-based frozen yogurt chain joined on the Snapchat quickly. In January 2013, 16 Handles asked its fans to snap a pic of themselves at one of its locations. In return, they would receive a snap with a New Year’s promotional coupon for 16%, 50% or 100% off.
2. Taco Bell
Taco Bell joined Snapchat and became one of its early adopters at the end of April 2013. It used the app in May to let people know the Beefy Crunch Burrito would be returning to stores. Still, some might find the brands use of Stories a bit tedious and lengthy.
Acura is one of the many brands that reveal their Snapchat accounts via Twitter, where Acura has already accumulated a fan base. The luxury division of the Honda Motor Company introduced its new NSX Prototype in a six second video clip to the first 100 people who added the brand on Snapchat. Later, it released the footage on Instagram and Vine.
Multi-platform web retailer Karmaloop sends snaps of exclusive deals and provocatively posing models. When it launched its Snapchat account in July, its blog announced that it will snap “behind-the-scenes looks, fresh product drops and office antics (we may throw in a few selfies, too).”
Food delivery service GrubHub created its Snapchat account in August 2013, promising special deals and surprises. In case you are worry about the contents, no, it’s the good, SFW kind.
6. New Orleans Saints
In October 2013, the New Orleans Saints created a Snapchat account only to use its Stories feature. The team said it will release behind-the-scenes footage, photos of new merchandise, a sneak peek of what uniform the Saints will be wearing each week, and more.
7. Rebecca Minkoff
At New York Fashion Week in September 2013, clothing brand Rebecca Minkoff joined Snapchat in order to debut its Spring 2014 collection, just moments before it appeared on the runway. “We believe in a different approach,” Uri Minkoff, the CEO of Rebecca Minkoff. “We believe the consumer is part of [Fashion Week], and that their inclusion is going to grow. The consumer has a voice and say in [our] brand, they should get special perks even if they can’t attend the show.”
8. MTV UK
MTV UK has used Snapchat to promote the sixth season of its show Geordie Shore, the British take on Jersey Shore. The television network sent snaps of exclusive footage of the cast before the show’s premiere, as well as snaps reminding fans to tune in.