How you can use Snapchat marketing for your business

Digital360 on 8 May 2017

Since its release in 2011, marketers have grappled with using Snapchat for business – the app is mobile-only, and many feared this could be too limiting. But the proof is in the stats: Snapchat pushes upwards of 4 million Australian users daily, while a whopping 59% of these are aged between 18 and 34.

In March this year, they also listed on the stock exchange (or in finance jargon: announced their IPO) with an end-of-day evaluation totalling 28 billion.

Clearly, its mobile format isn’t holding Snapchat back. In fact – it’s just the opposite. This makes Snapchat perfect for those small to medium-sized businesses targeting a mobile, millennial audience.

So, what exactly is Snapchat?

Snapchat is all about the 'here and now'. It’s all brief, easy and digestible: there are no hashtags, comments, likes, or shares. Basically, it’s the complete opposite of how we normally think of social media.

Snapchat users can send text, photo, and video messages to their friends – all of which disappear 10 seconds after being opened. Messages can be drawn and written on, and layered with Snapchat filters. The geo-location tool even creates event-specific filters, so users can show their followers where they’ve been and what they’ve been up to.

Photos and videos can be uploaded to a Snapchat Story, which works kind of a like a live-video diary. Snapchat users use their Story to log their day in real-time, keeping their followers engaged and updated. It’s all about fast-paced, fun, engaging content. Stories, like messages, are 'ephemeral' and will disappear after 24 hours. Nothing is permanent on Snapchat.

So, does Snapchat marketing really work? And could Snapchat marketing help your business? Read on to find out how you and your business can get ahead with these techniques.

Engage existing customers

Lift the velvet rope and make your audience feel like they’re backstage. People love to see the behind-the-scenes of their favourite businesses, and it’s a great opportunity to give your company a face and a personality. Snapchat Stories are great for removing that fourth wall, so don’t be afraid to have fun with it, and use filters and drawing tools to add that extra layer of personality.

You can also tease exclusive content on your Story, like new products or behind-the-scenes events. Because of the time-sensitive nature of a Snap, this is a great way to generate brand hype.

Reach out with influencer marketing

Because of the easy two-way dialogue between brand and customer, celebrity and fan, influencer and Snapchat marketing go hand in hand.

Choose your influencer as someone who aligns with your brand vision and your target audience. Look for someone with a large social media following (in other words, ‘internet celebrity’ status), as social media celebrities have huge Snapchat fan bases.

Once you’ve got an influencer locked in, there are a tonne of ways your business can take advantage of Snapchat influencer marketing. You can:

  • Create a ‘takeover campaign’, where an influencer takes over your company Snapchat account for the day. This is great for driving traffic and building awareness.
  • Send your influencer to live-broadcast an industry event, where they can Snap exclusive, behind-the-scenes content on behalf of your brand.
  • Create a two-way call-to-action campaign. A collaboration benefits both you and your influencer, generating double the hype. Your influencer can showcase your products to their followers, encouraging them to engage with your brand on Snapchat too. All of these Snaps can be included as part of your campaign.

Creating Geofilters

Snapchat has been upping their game with what they call Geofilters, making them more accessible for small and medium-sized businesses. Geofilters are visual overlays Snapchat users can add to their photos. As a business, you can create a custom Geofilter and target its use at locations within a few kilometres in radius, all the way up to entire cities, states, and countries. These can last between 30 minutes and 30 days.

Geofilters start from $5 per filter, depending on location and duration. This is good news for smaller businesses who are keeping an eye on their budget.

Designing your business template is easy on the Snapchat site, and you can use it to promote nearby events or showcase product launches. The key is to get creative – create a filter that Snapchat users will find fun, interesting, and original. The more it makes the rounds – sent between friends, featured on Stories – the bigger the hype and the increased awareness around your brand.

Final thoughts

Using Snapchat for business is all about staying current and standing out.

Since everything is on mobile, planning your campaigns is going to be relatively time and cost-effective – perfect for small and medium-sized businesses with limited resources. And, if your potential customers are largely millennials, it’s more likely than not that they’re going to be Snapchat users.

Snapchat marketing is the most straightforward of social media platforms to get up and running. However, we understand that as a small business, time and creative resources aren't unlimited. A best-practice social media marketing agency can help you plan and manage your Snapchat marketing campaign, allowing you to focus on entirely on running your business.

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