By Longfei Zhang and Yining Xu
Snapchat is a social media network mobile app that launched five years ago at 2011. Audience-wise, it has 150 million daily active users who spend 25-30 minutes per day on this app, while 60% of them contribute contents. Volume-wise, there is an average of 9,000 snaps per second, 10 billion daily video views. Commercial-wise, Snapchat Ads are viewed up to 1 million time per day, and 58% of student audience use the coupons received from Snapchat to purchase products from the specific brands.
Apparently, this is the era of Snapchat. Most users are young and active, which returns the highest engagement rates among all social media network. Also, Snapchat is more than individual use now. Businesses, ranging from small to large, manage to utilize digital marketing on Snapchat in every single opportunity.
How to Use Snapchat?
After you sign up a Snapchat account, you are able to add friends, or other people are able to follow you. You can see your friends’ Stories, and depending on if they have added you back, you can send Snaps – photos, videos or messages to them. Simply by tapping on the circle at the bottom of the screen, you can take a picture or video; by tapping on the top right, you can add emoji and text, or draw on the picture; by swiping left/right, you can choose which filter to add. The Snaps can be viewed for up to 10 seconds before they permanently disappear. There are various Filters and Lenses, like dog face, face-swapping effects and text effects could be used in editing the Snaps. When you are done with editing the Snaps, hit the icon on bottom right to make the Snap public on your Story or choose the receivers to send privately. If you want to see your Story analytics, hit the dots to the right of your story.
So you got the basic idea of using Snapchat, to learn more in detail, please check here. As a business owner, you could utilize Snapchat internal functions to boost your business to a new level with fairly low costs.
Using Snap Ads to Promote Brand Awareness
What is Snap Ads? It is a video Ad that is up to 10-second full-screen vertical appearing between stories, where the audience have the option to swipe up to view a thorough information of this brand. According to Snapchat, comparing to other social media platforms, the swipe-up rate for Snap Ads is at least five times higher than the average clicking rate. Smart and acute business owners know how to take advantage of Snap Ads to promote brand awareness since Snapchat has such a large user base.
Spotify, the popular music App, had a program where users can go over all the songs they had been listening within the year. It therefore spent a lot on Snap Ads to promote this program. If you click on Snapchat Discover channel, you’ll see Spotify’s advertisement that highlights various music genre everyday. At the end of that promotion period, Spotify turned out to achieve 26 million views in total and a 30% boost on the followers.
Build a Geofilter for Your Business
Snapchat’s recent debut on their create-your-own Geofilter has never been so popular. After people take a Snap, they will see the applicable Geofilters within that region when they are choosing among the filters. The Geofilters are consisted of small art graphics that can be lay on top of the Snaps that everyone can create. Thus, to attract consumers’ attention, you can simply create a customized Geofilter and choose the regions you want to cover. As a roundabout figure, Snapchat charges $5 per 20,000 square feet.
If Leo’s Restaurant is having a happy hour, users can take Snaps of themselves drinking beer and add Leo’s on-demand Geofilter to let their friends know what beer they are enjoying. Without wasting their time to think about beer-related description, they are able to use Leo’s Geofilter to show where they are and what they are doing.
How to create a Geofilter:
1. Design the Geofilter using Photoshop, Illustrator or Sketch
2. Upload the Geofilter at On-Demand Geofilters
3. Pick the duration
4. Select the location
5. Submit, and wait till you receive confirmation email from Snapchat
Sponsored Lenses Go Viral
For big business owners, you can also use Sponsored Lenses to promote among a broader audience while interacting with your own videos and pictures. As Snapchat explains on their website, “To activate Lenses, Snapchatters simply press and hold on their faces. Some Lenses include prompts like ‘raise your eyebrows’ to trigger an animation, adding a fun twist to the experience. And when you’re finished playing, it’s easy to send Lenses to a friend or post one to your Story. On average, Snapchatters play with a Sponsored Lens for 20 seconds.” Obviously it is more effective to promote new products and raise brand awareness.
Gatorade ran a successful Sponsored Lens national campaign during Super Bowl victory. It had an 8% increase in sales. One of the factor was that they created a Sponsored Lenst that imitates the Gatorade showers that the football coach love when their team wins. This Lens went viral, and reached over 165 million views eventually.
— Gatorade (@Gatorade) February 8, 2016
Apple’s Beats was the first consumer product brand paying for the Sponsor Lens for 2015 Black Friday. The Sponsored Lens added a pair of Beats headphones to the users, as well as attracted more followers to the Apple’s Beats official account, so that they could introduce more types of headphones.
If you’re a bubble tea business owner and decide to start a National Bubble Tea Day, then Snapchatters all over the country can take Snaps of themselves drinking bubble tea while using your Sponsored Lens. According to Snapchat, a single National Sponsored Lens normally extends 40%-60% of daily users.
Now that we have gone over Snap Ads, Geofilter and Sponsored Lens, let’s explore more social media marketing of different creative strategies on Snapchat. The following are successful business campaigns that effectively use Snapchat Ads to reinforce brand value, conduct promotional content, expand customer base, and improve sales performance.
Sales Booster – Lead, Coupon, Contest
Fans can never reject discounts from social media! Utilize Snapchat to offer them promotion codes in order to sell more stuff and increase the sales. For example, encourage your customers to watch your entire Snapchat story or include your product/shop/restaurant when they are taking a Snap.
Starbucks is a leader in this field: what they did was creating a Snapchat chilled summer drinks Sponsored Lens. Starbucks lovers can add this Lens on top of the picture of their beverage. When they send it to their friends or adding it to their personal stories, their friends can all tell it’s from Starbucks. So the inspiration spread out. People know about Starbucks’ seasonal drinks, and thus they might want to get cold ice tea from Starbucks as well which expands Starbucks popularity.
Amazon has already used Snapchat to promote their Echo smart speaker. This product, containing Alexa voice service (like Siri in iPhone), had not been perceived well to consumers after its first launch at the end of 2014. However, under the heat of Super Bowl weekend, David Lopez, Vine personality, promoted this speaker on the Amazon official Snapchat account, and thus, Amazon Snapchat viewers were able to see Snaps of live demo – he used this speaker to play music, set alarms, check weather, call Uber, and ask Alexa to see who could win Super Bowl. Through this full interpretation of Echo, combining with the hashtags #BaldwinBowl #AskAlexa, Amazon was able to draw massive attention to their product. According to Brandwatch data, Amazon was mentioned 6,100 times on Twitter during the four hours of the Super Bowl.
Here’s how Amazon uses Snapchat to promote their products, fast and simple!
1. Follow Amazon Snapchat account
2. Watch amazon stories for exclusive codes
3. Find the item on Amazon: amzn.to/snap
4. Apply the promo code during checkout
Mondelez, the confectionery, food and beverage company that owns Sour Patch Kids, started a competition on Snapchat by asking people to send in their modified chocolate bar photos. The winner won $10,000! Mondelez successfully consolidated their brand image, as well as affirmed their customers’ loyalty.
As the majority of young generation are using Snapchat, some companies take advantage of it to post jobs in order to recruit talented social media experts from their audience. Those companies targeted at young employees who are good at using social media. This move not only draws attention from their interested audience, but also saves the advertising cost on job websites.
Some companies that engage in social media business post jobs through their official accounts because they target at young employees who are social media savvy. If the company job Snaps are intriguing enough, some talents of potential employees will be triggered. Grubhub, an online food ordering company, posted jobs on Snapchat looking for marketing expert of Snapchat as summer intern.
Live Streaming Your Event
Snapchat emerges as a new form of live-streaming social media application, which allows audience to create and watch live events. Audience gain access to watch stories behind the red carpet, new product release, political announcement, or local event like the 500th customer that dines in Leo’s Pizza Shop. Comparing to the traditional reporters’ cameras, Snapchat offers audience different views of what actually is going on at the event, and easily turns on their button of excitement.
NBA already spotted a share in using Snapchat. During the February 2014 All-Star Game, the NBA basketball stars first showed up on Snapchat, which immediately attracted thousands of basketball fans. Audience watched live clips of how the players behaved when they were in the locker room, as well as some behind-the-court videos from L.A. Clippers star Chris Paul.
Furthermore, NBA sent out three Snaps to encourage audience to watch the live Kevin Durant‘s Most Valuable Player award on NBATV.com and NMA.com in 2014.
CES, the global technology tradeshow, brought in exclusive live stories and featured Geofilters to Snapchat during the show. Given the good reaction from the attendees, the organization is already getting ready to launch new Snapchat campaigns for the 2017 show and live updates.
Pre-Release New Products
You can gain more attention instantly as long as you provide special contents to your audience that they could not get on other social media! Users would feel being included in this everything-exclusive world. Feeling being part of the event makes them feel unique, and would motivate them to check your Snapchat account more often.
Rebecca Minkoff and Michael Kors, the famous fashion brands, also used Snapchat to spread out information about their newest collections before they released them officially, which is a good way to test water in the potential buyers and observe their reaction.
Burberry managed to establish brand anticipation. They revealed their new seasonal fashion on Snapchat before they held their 2016 London Fashion Week, such as sending out pictures and videos featuring top models.
Collaborating with Social Media Influencers
Social media influencers are experts on specializing spectacular content that can further enhance your brand value and personality. Just like the social media influencers on Instagram and Twitter, the ones on Snapchat can also help spread brand awareness and reach.
Sour Patch Kids, together with Logan Paul (a popular Twitter star), launched a “Real-life Sour Patch Kid” campaign on Snapchat. Paul has over 500k Twitter followers, and he indicated the Sour Patch Kids Snapchat account on Twitter, so every single follower was able to see his little pranks in this campaign.
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) July 7, 2014
Robotic toy Sphero also collaborated a campaign with popular Snapcha celebrity Shaun McBride who has two million views a day so as to promote the brand and the products. The campaign has over 10 million views in a day, and toys sold out faster than usual.
Coca-Cola gave Cody Johns, a Snapchat influencer, full access to its Snapchat account to promote a NASCAR race that was under Coca-Cola’s sponsorship. Cody also utilized his other social media tools to help marketing.
— Coca-Cola Racing (@CocaColaRacing) November 8, 2015
Behind the Scene
Present your behind-the-scene moments using Snapchat, show your unique company culture, brag your company and show the funnest part such as capturing birthday parties, chill afternoons, company social events like going to a baseball game, etc. The main concept here is to use Pathos, which is Aristotle’s modes of persuasion. It appeals to audience’s emotions and sense of identity. Showing corporate transparency and company culture not only impresses the audience, but also earns more trust, credibility and attention from the audience.
Everlane, the modern fashion brand, is pretty good at this. They use Snapchat stories to tour the audience their office, happy hour outings, and show them their product line and warehouses, which made the production process clear and transparent to the world.
Consumer Technology Association (CTA) posted their events and industry trends via their Snapchat account, featuring customized filters and some behind-the-scene moments.
Call upon Charity Awareness
The World Wildlife Fund utilized the fleeting feature of Snapchat to show how endangered species can vanish on earth by launching the #LastSelfie campaign.
— Jen Joyce (@knitpurl) October 29, 2014
When Christmas was approaching, Target launched several Geofilters that included cups of hot cocoa, gifts and snowmen to its followers. This holiday-centric filter not only reminded people of Christmas shopping at Target, but also was a way to spread the brand “Target”.
Everyone knows Taco Bell. Nevertheless, during Valentine’s Day, Taco Bell delivered hilarious customized Snaps to its followers, featuring photos and interesting captions. It not only constantly reminds people of their food, but also consolidates the brand image.
General Electric (GE) created a holiday travel Geofilter. Travelers could put this Geofilter on their Snaps and specify their airport location, flight number, gate and seat number so that their followers could keep track of their itinerary.
Entertainment Industry – Movie, Music, TV
Arnold Schwarzenegger used Snapchat to promote his movie Terminator: Genisys. People could add Sponsored Lens on the Snaps to look like the Terminator characters. Arnold also used his Facebook to advertise this filter, where he got more than 2,500 shares and 54,000 likes.
iHeartRadio gained 340 million Snapchat impressions over its two-day musical festival in Las Vegas by continuously announcing concert series and sending out backstage stories. They did build a loud buzz!
During the 2015 Video Music Award (VMA), MTV prompted the celebrities and audience to take Snaps from red carpet and the live performance, which received 12 million views in total.
In P&G’s Ulta stores, customers were able to put a Cover Girl Star Wars makeup specialized Geofilter on their Snaps. It is a cost-efficient advertising strategy as the sales largely increased.
NARS released their newest Guy Bourdin collection through their Snapchat account. NARS fans who did not use Snapchat were complaining on some forums that how regretful there were to miss this opportunity.