Every online marketers in the world should pay attention now. The most popular photo messaging app, Snapchat, is now a marketing “player” too. They may only have ten seconds, yet if a brand knows their audience, the impact of an accurate snap can be enormous. When a brand can send a snap that teases a product, previews a campaign that only snappers can see or offer any kind of exclusive/exciting content, it’s going to have an impact.
Forget the old school Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat is the latest social media platform brands and marketers are turning their attention to such as shows HBO’s Girls and UK MTV’s Geordie Shore as well as US food chain Taco Bell. The potential for this app is pretty big. It’s one of the only platforms out there right now where the user has to really pay attention and that’s where the potential lies.
Understand the Demographic of Your Audience
Brands must understand their customers and target audience. The use of Snapchat as a marketing tool can really put that knowledge to the test. If they only have ten seconds to sell, promote or market a product, they need to be sure they can do it well. Companies will need to know exactly what they are going to use the platform for and add value. Distributional methods and repurposing content from other social channels via Snapchat isn’t going to work anymore. They will need to map out the stories they want to tell and the content will need to be a lot more impactful, edgier or creative than your usual Facebook, Twitter or Instagram content.
There are two functions of the app that brands should begin to utilise. The first, and perhaps the biggest function, is its ‘Stories’ feature. The ability to construct an evolving story that disappears after 24 hours encourages high levels of engagement and has the potential for some pretty creative campaigns. The second is in the delivery of one time snaps for offers, creating a brand personality, or delivering inspiration and/or information in bite size pieces.
The ‘Stories’ function can allow brands to develop and maintain their marketing campaigns, products or news by continuously adding to their ‘story’. With so many experiences being ephemeral, like festivals, sporting events, etc companies can take advantage of this by creating virtual events in parallel.
Snapchat is Great for Audience Engagement
A snap’s 10-second lifetime is Snapchat’s unique selling point and one of the advantages of using the platform for marketing practices. A user knows it will disappear, the ‘Rule of Scarcity’ kicks in, and a promotional offer or a chance to win etc conveyed by this method should have high engagement from a willing participant. On other platforms, an offer or message sits in a feed indefinitely possibly prompting apathy and inaction.
Brands that are already using this platform are “ahead or the curve”. Once the space becomes more populated with marketing messages the same cut through principles as, say TV, will apply, appeal to emotions, shock value etc.
Advertising agency DDB Oslo is one such company that has discovered the capabilities and marketing potential of the photo messaging platform, recruiting its next lot of creative talent via Snapchat. The initiative invites Snapchat users, where Forbes magazine estimates 50 million people around the globe have tried snapping, to pitch an idea in ten seconds to the agency.
The creative department at DDB will watch every snap and “if you’re idea is truly great, we’ll fly you to Oslo for an interview”. With this campaign, DDB shows that they understand the communication style of their target market and are clever in the fact they’re going to be choosing a gun from this campaign.
HBO’s Girls is another brand that has hopped on the Snapchat train as it launched its Snapchat campaign to provide a countdown to the show’s US launch on January 12. The campaign posted daily updates using the ‘Stories’ feature in an effort to drive interest and excitement about the third series. In order to promote its sixth season which was filmed down under, MTV sent out exclusive photos and videos to fans who had added the show to their account.
Whether Snapchat will stand the test of time against other social media platforms, we should take a good assumption that the platform is growing and “will definitely have its day in the sun”. Snapchat is only going to continue to grow as it opens up its one to many features shortly.