Snapchat marketing: 11 tips for promoting your brand

Snapchat currently has 150 million daily active users - why wouldn't you want to use it for marketing your brand? Here are 11 useful pointers for doing just...

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Snapchat marketing

Want to use Snapchat to market your business? Sure, why not. It’s the darling of the social media landscape.

First, wrap your head around some numbers.

As of October 2016, Snapchat had 150 million daily active users. (60 million in North America, 50 million in Europe – if you were wondering.) Every second, 9,000 Snaps are posted, attracting 10 billion daily views.

You want a slice of the action. You want to get a reaction. You want to get people talking, racing to your website, buying your products and all the rest. Unfortunately, you’re not the only one.

Here are 11 tips on using Snapchat for marketing.

1. Know your audience

It’s a marketing perennial. But success on Snapchat means knowing as much as possible about your audience. That’s how you create content that resonates.

Snapchat’s demographic has traditionally been young folk in their teens and twenties. But that’s changing, with an older demographic using Snapchat in increasing numbers.

Stay true to the audience you want to attract. Monitor the type of tribe you gather as you step deeper into the Snapchat seas, then tweak your strategy accordingly.

2. Know your platform

Right, so you’re just going to bowl headlong into your Snapchat debut with the company account? Probably not wise. Get a personal account first. Follow some of your friends and favourite brands to get a feel for how others use Snapchat. You’ll soon find your way.

Snapchat is famed for its ephemeral, self-destructing messages. But this platform isn’t as transient as you might think. There’s no timeline in Snapchat. Messages to your followers stay in their inbox until they are opened. So whereas with other social platforms your content is quickly confined to history, your message is actually stickier on Snapchat.

Sure, your content is lost forever once it’s opened. But some marketing experts argue that this ensures users pay more attention to Snaps, whether they receive them from their mother, their brother or their favourite brand.

3. Decide on the types of content you’d like to publish

You’ve signed up, added your company logo to your profile. Now what? What are you actually going to publish? While it’s important to have a content plan or some kind of rationale to guide you, you have plenty of creative license on Snapchat.

Some ideas:

  • Product demos
  • Tutorials
  • New product announcements
  • Behind the scenes at your workplace
  • Videos of your product in action
  • Industry tips
  • Discounts/Flash sales
  • A series showcasing the history of your business
  • Takeovers from an industry influencer
  • Reactions to the latest news affecting your industry

4. Be creative

Find your own style. And remember: there’s no such thing as a boring topic, just boring content writers. See point three in an article by a Snapchat journalist for tips on producing more engaging content.

5. Stop being a perfectionist

The simplicity of Snapchat allows you to create short, light-hearted videos without calling on expensive production resources. That’s the point. If your videos don’t feel raw, organic, off-the-cuff, somewhat rickety, you’re probably doing Snapchat wrong.

Leave your Hollywood production values at the door.

6. Reciprocate

We’ve said it before in a post about LinkedIn marketing, we’ll say it again. Great marketing is a conversation. Comment on your followers’ Snaps. Create dialogue. Be part of the social movement. It’s not about shouting as loud as you can, for as long as you can, and expecting people to listen.

7. Create your own Snapchat Lens

Got a spare $750,000 knocking around? That’s how much Taco Bell paid Snapchat to host their own Snapchat Lens for a day, which turned users’ heads into a giant taco. The result? 224 million views in one day and 12.5 years’ worth of video play. Not a bad day’s work.

Taco Bell Snapchat Marketing

If you’re feeling less flush, you can create custom geofilters for as little as a fiver.

8. Don’t get lost in the wilderness

With no search function, it can be hard to build your following on Snapchat. Instead you have to promote your presence on Snapchat via other channels. Facebook, email, print media – you name it. Give people a reason to join you.

9. Take advantage of new business tools

Earlier this year Snapchat announced a major expansion to its advertising model. Snapchatters will soon begin seeing video ads in between their friends’ stories. Essentially the move allows businesses to promote content far beyond their own followers.

10. Track your engagement

Social media measurement can be a vexing beast at the best of times. But that’s especially the case with an ephemeral platform like Snapchat. So how do you track how well your content is performing? One way is to run a campaign offering your audience a discount code.

It works like this. Publish a Snap, alerting your followers that you are about to share a discount code that they should get ready to screenshot. Snapchat tracks views as well as the number of times your Snap was screenshotted. If your discount code was unique to Snapchat, you can then see exactly how views and screenshots translate to action.

Alternatively, get an agency to track your social engagement for you.

11. Commit

If you’re going to use Snapchat, commit to it. Don’t just publish content once a month when you find time. Assign responsibility. Create a strategy. Give ownership of the account to the most social-savvy member of your team. Go forth and create.

Got any Snapchat marketing tips of your own? Let us know in the comments.

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