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Considering marketing on Snapchat? Here’s what you need to know!

In just 9 years the Snapchat platform has evolved from a fun place for friends to share memories to a new way for businesses to leverage returns on their digital media investments. According to Omnicore, Snapchat users view over 10 billion stories every day and 76% of Snapchat users are online shoppers. That same research states that only 30.7% of U.S marketers use Snapchat. If that’s not reason enough to convince you to hop on this platform then maybe the fact that over 186 million people actively use Snapchat daily, will be. So, what does a market that isn’t fully saturated but has millions of consumers’ eyes on it daily mean for the rest of us? It means incredible margins and room to increase brand awareness. After all, less competition can often mean more opportunity. In comparison to Facebook or Instagram, Snapchat is a very different beast to tame. The way content is posted is unlike other social sites, the user base is very different, and your strategy will have to be distinct to what you’re used to as a marketer. However, if you think you’re ready for this new step in branding yourself and it’s the right demographic for you, here are some things you should know when marketing on Snapchat: Discovery When it comes to best practices for businesses on this portal, Snapchat is a game-changer. While creating a business page is still common, many Snapchat users don’t add businesses as Snapchat friends. Therefore, the discoverability aspect of Snapchat has been hard for marketers to bypass. That’s where Discovery comes into play. Discovery is a page on the app that shows “story styled content” that brands, influencers, and publishers who partner with Snapchat put out. This a big win for Snapchat because 40% of the ad revenue that sells to publishers on Discover, they keep. This story-style content is one of Snapchats newest features and maybe its most successful yet. One may argue that digital news platforms are becoming more popular than buying the Sunday newspaper, especially for millennials. They consume news and information in different ways than other generations, and Discovery is one of those ways. While Discovery stories aren’t always news related, Snapchat users can subscribe to channels like the Wall Street Journal, ESPN, or pop culture news channels, and get a daily recap on what’s going on. Snapchat’s publishing partners include brands like MTV, People, The Economist, Cosmopolitan and dozens more. However, unless your goal is to become one of those publishers, your focus should be gaining exposure on the Discovery page. Your way to reach this notoriously difficult demographic is by running ads that users who are watching Discovery channels, (and trust us they’re watching) will interact with. Advertising Snapchat has three different types of ads. Each ad format also has multiple sub formats, which allows advertisers a lot of options. The first ad type is Snapchat ads. Snap ads typically have swipe options that lead audiences to some curated more in-depth content for web viewing, app installs, or long video content. These ads are typically displayed in between Snap-chatters viewing stories. It is a great way to have an interactive experience with audiences. The second ad type is filters. Snapchat users love taking selfies with friends using filters. This is a great way for you to get in on the fun too. By creating a sponsored filter of your brand to show who you are and your fun creative side, users can swipe to find your creation. Filters are a great tool for brick and mortars to spread awareness of their location or for special events! Many Universities are a good example of how game day filters can get students or ticket holders excited for big games! Lastly are their lenses. Lenses are similar to filters in the aspect that they too show up on selfies when swiping. The difference is that they are more so used for wide-spread brand-awareness campaigns. Think about it this way, I take a selfie, I swipe right, and a filter can turn my face into one of the characters from the new X-Men movie coming out. All the followers I send it to also see my selfie, maybe take their own in that same filter and send it to their followers, and so the cycle continues. This has been a huge hit for brands when it comes to spreading responsiveness. Of course, it’s still important you post relevant content, that while it may not get featured on Discovery, it mirrors it. Learning from the digital power-houses publishing strategies could be a great way to gain insight into how it’s done. Get ideas on what other brands are doing and figure out the best way to scale a version of your own on your Instagram stories, Facebook stories, or experiment with it on your Snapchat stories! Overall, Snapchat is a tool that is used to spread brand awareness. The key part of all of this is adapting content to fit the Snapchat status quo. Its diverse features such as augmented reality, engaging filters, and even face swaps make it a platform unlike any other. Take the time to define your Snapchat strategy. When doing so, ensure that your target audience is right for you to allocate time and money into the platform. Lastly, have fun with it! This is a fun creative place for users, so make sure your involvement in it is playful but strategic!   Written by Raquel Beltran.
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