Snapchat isn’t Just for Teenagers: How to Use the App to Strengthen Your Brand

snapchat_blogimage

Written by Jun Chou, VOX DC Digital Intern

Faced with emojis, geofilters, faceswaps, and lenses, it’s not surprising new users can find Snapchat intimidating—even if they’re professional communicators. More businesses than ever are using Snapchat to their advantage. With more than 100 million daily active users and 400 million snaps uploaded per day, it’s not hard to see why.

Snapchat advertising isn’t just a way to reach a younger audience on the newest platform. It represents a dramatic transformation in the advertising industry, from something that is passively consumed at best (at worst consumption is disruptively foisted upon the audience) into an experience that is about choice. The decision to add a company on Snapchat rests solely on the user. The audience, in effect, opts in to a brand’s messaging and it doesn’t stop there—users also decide whether or not to open and view the Snapchat story, where the ad is hosted.

Snapchat stories are videos composed of separate clips and images that can last up to ten seconds and self-destruct after 24 hours. The big question brands are asking themselves is how they can create an engaging narrative that will play well on Snapchat. Here are three ways to use Snapchat to strengthen your brand.

#1: Put a Face to Your Story

Research shows that Millennials respond more favorably to authentic advertising, which means it’s more useful to have a face attached to the story you’re telling.
Having either one person or a small team in charge of your organization’s Snapchat gives your brand a personality and can drive a loyal audience.

Nonprofits like Save the Children have been using this to their advantage. Save the Children told the story of a Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan with Snapchat, allowing refugees to document their surroundings through their own eyes. Seeing the actual experiences on the ground removes the ambiguity of a problem, an issue with which large-scale organizations often struggle.

#2: Go Behind the Scenes

Snapchat allows you to upload behind-the-scenes content from events, product launches, or even the day-to-day workings of your company. Your viewers can, in effect, become smartphone VIPs with an all-access pass to your brand. The intimate and real-time engagement makes big brands feel more authentic while maintaining an air of exclusivity.

The NBA realized the potential of Snapchat back in 2014 and increased anticipation around the draft by offering private clips of players arriving to the event and an up-close look at all the festivities going on.

nba

Creating Snapchat content is affordable and easy, and offers brands a connection with their audience that they can’t get out of a million-dollar video campaign. The expectation from viewers is that the Snapchat stories will be informal and accessible.

#3: Host Contests/Giveaways

The 24-hour life span of a Snapchat story creates a sense of urgency that is ideal for short-term giveaways or contests. For example, GrubHub hosted a week-long scavenger hunt called “SnapHunt” that challenged followers for a chance to win $50 in free takeout. Viewers had to respond to GrubHub with their own photos and videos for a chance to win, prompting increased engagement with the company.

GrubHub posted the winners and their entries in an announcement message, which created anticipation among the followers. The contest resulted in a 20 percent increase in GrubHub’s Snapchat followers.

grubhub

The urgency, user experience, and flexibility of Snapchat forces communicators to think creatively about the snaps they’re uploading and the viewers that are watching. With more than 75 million Millennials in the United States representing $200 billion in annual purchasing power, waiting for the fad to pass no longer seems like a viable option. A 24-hour shelf life for content on Snapchat may seem short, but if used effectively you could be creating customers that last a lifetime.

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Digital Advocacy

Snapchat isn’t Just for Teenagers: How to Use the App to Strengthen Your Brand

snapchat_blogimage

Written by Jun Chou, VOX DC Digital Intern
Faced with emojis, geofilters, faceswaps, and lenses, it’s not surprising new users can find Snapchat intimidating—even if they’re professional communicators. More businesses than ever are using Snapchat to their advantage. With more than 100 million daily active users and 400 million snaps uploaded per day, it’s not hard to see why.
Snapchat advertising isn’t just a way to reach a younger audience on the newest platform. It represents a dramatic transformation in the advertising industry, from something that is passively consumed at best (at worst consumption is disruptively foisted upon the audience) into an experience that is about choice. The decision to add a company on Snapchat rests solely on the user. The audience, …

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Digital Advocacy

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