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4 Creative Ways to Market Your Business with Snapchat

4 Creative Ways to Market Your Business with Snapchat

You know the usual suspects: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But there is an untapped social media resource that many organizations aren’t using enough, and that’s Snapchat.

Say what? Isn’t that for teenagers? Well, yes. I’m not going to lie to you. Teens DO love their Snapchat.

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-11-49-36-am
Source: Snapchat, Nielsen

In fact, according to Edison Research, Snapchat is the most popular social media app among Americans ages 12-24. Believe it or not, Snapchat is a marketing gold mine. And you don’t have to be selling Hello Kitty in order to reap the rewards: currently, 150 million people use the app to watch 10 billion videos daily, and that number only continues to rise.

In the same Edison study, researchers found that Snapchat had more users than LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter. It took four years for Twitter to grow as much as Snapchat grew in just one year.

In this post, I’m going to break down applicable methods for marketing on Snapchat. It’s time to kick your brand up a notch.

How It Works

Snapchat–owned by Snap Inc., which now considers itself a “camera company”–allows you to send photos and videos in real time. These snippets of entertainment are called “snaps,” since you’re sending snapshots of your life to your nearest and dearest.

Snaps don’t last very long. They can be viewed for 24 hours before they delete themselves.

Snapchat also comes with some pretty unique features, including geofilters, creative tools like Scissors and Paintbrush, stickers, and a face-swapping filter, where users can literally superimpose someone else’s face on top of their own.

NOW do you see why it’s so popular among the youth? But how can you directly use this for your business?

  1. DEMO A NEW PRODUCT

Often, when businesses have a new product, they’ll do email marketing. They’ll send off newsletters, informing customers of the new goodies they have in store for them.

But this doesn’t always translate into automatic sales, particularly if the customers are confused about how the product even works.

Eliminate the guesswork of figuring out how to use your technological gadget by demonstrating how your product works. Here’s an example:

Mashable posted several snaps demonstrating 5 gadgets that are “rare but affordable”:

Mashable Snapchat

Similarly, you can give an exclusive preview for products that don’t require a demonstration. Makeup brands like Kylie are famous for this.

Kylie

Even if it’s not a complicated product, your followers will really appreciate the helpful nature of your video.

A business that did this recently was Amazon, when they demonstrated how to use Echo’s Alexa (a hands-free speaker) on their Snapchat account. They garnered 6,100 mentions in just four hours.

Users went from not vibing with the product at all to being Echo’s biggest fan. A business can’t ask for anything more!

  1. HAVE A CONTEST

People love free things, and when you offer to give away a free or discounted product in exchange for a little promotion, it usually bodes well for your business.

When you hold contests, it’s a wonderful opportunity to really get creative while sparking engagement with your followers.

2017 Social Marketing Planning Guide

Ask your followers to snap creative ways that they’re using or enjoying your product. Offer the winners a free product, or if you have an account with a lot of followers, you can state that you’ll give them a shout-out.

If you are going to go the contest route, just make sure that you post multiple times about the contest, since the Snaps don’t last very long. If you post just once about it, you risk the chance of your followers missing the information.

Tarte Cosmetics has been having a lot of fun with their Snapchat followers. They have had contests where users will post something on Instagram using a particular hashtag. The winner got an iPad Pro.

Snapchat TarteThe more eyes a brand can have on their account, the better. So consider having a contest to get more engagement.

  1. CROSS-PROMOTE

If you’re a fan of blogs, YouTube, or Instagram, you’ve noticed social media influencers and other brands utilizing this marketing mechanism.

On YouTube, for instance, vloggers sometimes mention other vloggers in their videos. They may even do a joint video.

Alternatively, you may ask bloggers with high traffic to create a blog post about your brand or create a review in exchange of a free product.

And Instagram is, of course, the king of cross-promotion, as people will often give a shout-out to various brands. Note: if you’ve never done this for your Instagram account, you should consider it, because it works!

But back to Snapchat.

Back in 2014, Audi was smart enough to partner with The Onion to Snapchat early on for one of the most popular events of the year, the Super Bowl.

This was smart for many reasons. A, they extended their reach by teaming up with an account that is just as big as theirs. And B, they’re chatting about an event that is highly relevant, particularly among millennials.

What Audi did was unprecedented. It was the first campaign of its kind, presented on Snapchat, and the results were spectacular. They amassed 5,000 new followers, and 30 percent of the online chitchat was about Audi.

The fact that Audi’s name was on so many people’s lips during the biggest game of the year was kind of huge!

Now, you may not have as many followers as Audi or The Onion, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find an account that’s on your level to team up with.

You can also buy shout-outs from a bigger account.

Cross-promotion also involves spreading your marketing through your other social media channels.

If you post on Snapchat, don’t forget to share similar content on your other accounts like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

So have at it.

  1. GET A SNAP AD

If there’s one thing that never goes out of style, it’s paying for ads for your business.

If you’re struggling to get users, Snap Ads are immediate and effective.

You can create a 10-second video ad that will appear in the newsfeed of your preferred demographic.

You can even give users the option of being directed to a mobile website or an app-installed ad, or viewing an extended video.

Snapchat states that the click-through rate is FIVE times higher than that of other social media platforms.

As you know, people tend to ignore ads. So the fact that Snapchat ads have so much appeal is a pretty big deal, and shouldn’t be ignored.

Who’s done it?

This year, Spotify purchased an ad to promote their Year in Music. These ads were seen on Snapchat’s Discover Channel. Their ads highlighted a different musical genre  each day.

Because of these ads, Spotify was able to increase their number of subscribers by 30 percent, and they received 26 million views in total.

Here’s another example of a Snap ad:

Snapchat Cadbury

Going Forward

These are just a few tips to get you started on your Snapchat journey, but there are certainly plenty of other marketing strategies that you could implement.

I encourage you to take these ideas and expand on them. Get creative with some ideas of your own.

One thing that I want to really stress is to make sure you are posting high-quality content.

Many people remark that they enjoy using/watching Snapchat stories, especially those of celebrities, because it seems much more personal and casual. It really captures the celebrities’ personalities.

Because of this aspect, we can get the impression that Snapchat isn’t to be taken seriously.

So just like you would on any of your other social media platforms, make sure you are utilizing great lighting. Be thoughtful about the types of Snap stories you’re putting together.

This is your brand. Let its personality shine. You retain full control of how that brand is presented to the world.

Have you used Snapchat for your business? Let us know, and download Simply Measured’s 2017 Digital Marketing Predictions from the Experts below to learn more about what you’ll need to rethink in the new year.

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Pauline Cabrera

Pauline Cabrera runs TwelveSkip.com where she provides growth tips for bloggers & entrepreneurs. She’s also a content marketing manager at HostingFacts.com.

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