The popular social networking app Snapchat currently has about 200 million active monthly users. That’s a huge potential audience just waiting for you to target it with your marketing and content. However, in order to get the best results, you’ll need a clear Snapchat marketing strategy and some fundamental knowledge of the platform.
As with any other social media site, successful marketing on Snapchat requires you to understand who is on the platform and how they’re using it. Armed with this information, you’ll be in a stronger position to create a strategy that addresses what Snapchat users are looking for, and plays to the app’s strengths.
In case you’re new to Snapchat, let’s cover the basics first. This Android and iOS app is a social tool focused on casual, temporary content. While it has a number of features, at the most basic level Snapchat is used to send images, messages, and short videos. Each piece of content – a ‘snap’ – is only available for a short time, then becomes inaccessible.
Initially, Snapchat was primarily about person-to-person interaction. However, there are now plenty of opportunities for marketing and advertisement – just as with most social media sites. Plus, while content is still technically temporary, it can easily be saved to a user’s account.
Additional features offered by Snapchat include:
Despite Snapchat’s popularity, it can be tempting to overlook it in favor of more traditional, web-based social networks. However, let’s talk about why Snapchat is a platform you might not want to ignore.
At first glance, Snapchat may seem less suited to a marketing campaign than old standbys like Facebook and Twitter. The temporary nature of its content can be a real concern, and the mobile-only design limits what you can do with the platform.
On the other hand, Snapchat’s popularity alone makes it worth consideration. About 28% of Americans between 18 and 34 use Snapchat on a daily basis. Plus, they aren’t just opening up the app for a few minutes each day. In fact, the average Snapchat user accesses the platform at least 25 times per day, and spends a total of at least 30 minutes in the app.
In practical terms, this means Snapchat has a firm hold on younger demographics. What’s more, users of the platform have integrated it into their daily lives. As a result, there’s a lot of potential for capturing their attention and getting your message across.
Fortunately, Snapchat users aren’t adverse to direct marketing. Over 50% will open a brand’s ‘story’, for example, and 85% of those users will watch the whole thing. Plenty of businesses have already found smart ways to market their products and services on Snapchat effectively. For instance, check out Paramount Pictures’ Mission Impossible campaign:
If you want to follow suit and create your own campaigns on the platform, however, you’ll need a solid strategy.
Developing any successful marketing campaign requires time and careful planning. Your approach to Snapchat will depend on your business’ unique message and goals.
However, what we can do is get you started on the right foot. Let’s walk through the three basic steps you’ll need to follow in order to develop an effective Snapchat marketing strategy. When we’re done, you’ll be ready to go out and start putting together your own campaigns.
It can be tempting to approach every social network the same way. However, you’ll get better results by understanding who the primary audience is for each platform, and by doing some research into how and why they’re on the site.
Your first step will be to understand who Snapchat users are and what they care about. While there is a wide range of demographics present on the platform, there’s also a very clear primary audience. About 70% of Snapchat users are female, for example. In addition, 71% are under the age of 31, and nearly 50% are between 18 and 24.
Numbers this clear are great news since you’ll know exactly who you’re ‘speaking’ to through your marketing. If your business can benefit by targeting a young, largely female audience, Snapchat offers the perfect opportunity.
As we mentioned, it’s also important to understand how regular users of Snapchat interact with the platform. We’ve already covered how the typical Snapchat user accesses the app multiple times per day. Rather than spending long stretches of time with it, they tend to check it out briefly throughout the day, often for just a few minutes at once. For the most part, they’re using this time to communicate directly with friends and family.
This information can point you in the right direction when it comes to your Snapchat marketing strategy. Young people are using the platform frequently, but only in short bursts and mainly for personal communication. This means you can reach a large audience with your message, but you’ll need to design it to be as concise and attention-grabbing as possible.
Okay, so at this point, you know who you’re reaching out to on Snapchat. You also know they’re highly engaged, but you’ll need to do everything you can to make your message stand out in order to get noticed. Naturally, the next step is to figure out how to achieve it.
Your best bet is to have a very clear plan in mind for your marketing and content. While you can create an account and post whatever images strike your fancy, it’s not likely to build you a following or pull the average Snapchat user’s attention away from their friends’ latest uploads.
First, you’ll need to decide on a focus and type of content for your Snapchat marketing strategy. Will you directly promote products, for example, or will you focus on creating entertaining images and videos? The latter approach is a better bet in most cases. Fun, humorous, and timely content will go far on this platform. It’s also smart to do some research into what’s currently trending on Snapchat, and what kinds of imagery are proving most effective at the moment.
In addition, you’ll also want to think about the style you’ll be using for your content. This can be easier if you’ve already developed a strong branding strategy for use in your marketing. However, even if your typical style is serious or informative, you might consider adopting a more light-hearted tone when it comes to your Snapchat marketing strategy.
As a social platform catering to brief interactions and younger users, Snapchat is all about fun. Many of its features cater to this style – it’s easy to make your photos and videos silly and entertaining with the many filters, stickers, lenses, and animations on offer. So it’s a smart idea to develop messaging that focuses on making people laugh and giving them something to share with their friends – while also working in a mention of whatever you’re trying to promote.
Once you have a plan of action for your Snapchat marketing strategy, all that’s left is to open up an account and start uploading content. There are two primary ways to go about this. You can create a regular profile and build a following organically, or you can establish a business account and focus on direct marketing.
The former approach is simpler – and free. You’ll set up a Snapchat account for your company the same way any regular user would, by downloading the app and entering some basic information. This strategy can work if you have a built-in audience to connect with already.
On the other hand, Snapchat doesn’t have the same sort of ‘follower’-based system you’ll find on sites like Twitter and YouTube. For the most part, users will have to add you as a friend in order to see your content. So your reach with this kind of Snapchat account is a bit limited.
Fortunately, Snapchat also has business accounts that are designed for companies looking to market on the platform. You can sign up by entering your business’ basic details, as well as some payment information. Next, you’ll need to create an ad account, which you can use to launch a campaign. This requires more work, but will give you a lot more options. Plus, Snapchat offers plenty of very clear documentation to help you along the way.
As a bonus, the campaign feature will help you plan out your marketing and keep you on track:
You can select an objective you want to work toward – such as driving traffic or growing awareness of your brand – and set spending caps to make sure you’re sticking to your budget. Crucially, you can also set up a schedule. Given the temporary nature of Snapchat’s content and the short attention spans of its audience, keeping up with a frequent posting schedule is key.
With that, you have everything you need to create an effective Snapchat marketing strategy! Just remember that experimentation is the key to success on this platform. Don’t be afraid to try new approaches, play around with different types of content, and take advantage of all the features Snapchat offers to help you make your messages more compelling. It may take a little time to figure out what catches your target audience’s attention. However, your research and persistence will pay off in the long run.
To develop and implement a successful Snapchat marketing strategy, you’ll simply need to:
Do you have any questions about how to develop the right Snapchat marketing strategy for your brand? Ask away in the comments section below!