How to Use Snapchat for Effective Digital Marketing

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Social media marketing is a mainstay in the digital marketing handbook, especially in recent years. As advertising capabilities and sponsored content has taken over the web, the question is no longer how you market on the web – it’s whether you’re investing the most effort into the right social networks.

Unlike major platforms Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, many businesses often overlook Snapchat as a marketing space. While many companies use Snapchat advertisements and official accounts to build their brands and engage with younger consumers, many others have not yet tapped into this source.

With over 150 million daily active users and counting, Snapchat is a lucrative source for digital marketers looking to build their brands. However, this particular social platform can be a difficult market to break into. Unlike Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, Snapchat is not feed-based – it’s story-based. As Snapchat has added even more sponsored content capabilities to its platform, the competition is growing fiercer every day.

How can you break into this lucrative digital space? Here are a few key marketing strategies for using Snapchat to your advantage.

Set Up Snapchat for Business

Snapchat’s massive number of daily active users watch over 10 billion Snapchat videos per day – an astronomical number that signals tons of exposure and marketing opportunities for your brand. In addition, Snapchat has numerous targeting tools and advertisement formats for you to tailor to your marketing strategy.

With Snapchat, you can:

  • Create your own geofilter to promote customer engagement
  • Purchase a Snap Ad to appear while a user is swiping through stories
  • Develop your own Sponsored Lens to be featured alongside Snapchat’s selection of fun, augmented reality Lenses
  • Run your own company Snapchat account to build brand awareness and personality

Setting up a Snapchat account for your company is easy and straightforward.

  1. Download the Snapchat app.
  1. Sign up for a user account and fill in your user details. It’s important to note that when you choose a Snapchat name, you can’t change it – so choose a professional one with your business name!
  1. Verify your account via confirmation email.
  1. Go to Snapchat for Businesses.
  1. Fill in your business details: your name, phone number, business email, street address, business name.
  1. Verify your email again.
  1. Log back into your Snapchat business account and enjoy all the features that your Ads Manager dashboard provides!

From Snapchat’s Ads Manager dashboard, you can create and manage your advertisements, view foot traffic insights, manage your creative library, track ad conversions, and much more.

Understand How Snapchat Works

If you have a personal Snapchat account, you’re at an advantage over those who have never opened the app before. If you’re unfamiliar with the platform, you will need to come up to speed before you start advertising.

Snapchat is based around the concept of self-destructing messages. Basically, when you send a photo or video (also known as a snap) to one of your friends, that snap disappears after they’ve opened it. You can also post snaps to your Snapchat Story, which will last for 24 hours. You can save certain snaps to your Memories.

When you create a snap, you can use a variety of augmented lenses to change your appearance before taking it. In addition, you can use filters and geofilters, along with stickers and mark-ups, to finalize the snap. These filters can help you tag your location, the business you’re at, or even the temperature.

Know Your Audience

Marketing on Snapchat is much different from marketing on Facebook or even Instagram. Traditionally, Snapchat’s demographic has been primarily teenagers and young adults. However, this trend is changing as older adults are starting to sign up for the platform as well.

Whatever your key demographic is, stay true to it in your Snapchat marketing strategy. As you post more advertisements, you will be able to gain insight into the types of users your business is attracting. After you’ve gained this information, you can update your techniques accordingly.

Utilize Influencer Endorsements

A new breed of celebrity has cropped up with the rise of Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube: social media influencers. These people are usually young, attractive, and creative, and have millions and millions of loyal followers behind them. As a result, they are very influential in marketing strategies.

You can strike up a partnership with an influencer who would be interested in your company and your products. You can create a paid advertisement for your product to be posted on the influencer’s Snapchat account, complete with links to your websites and social media accounts. As a result, you create organic brand awareness and increase your following, sales, and leads.

In addition, you can have an influencer or celebrity take over your company’s Snapchat account. The influencer will then post stories and updates on your company’s behalf. This can take place on a regular day, or you can have the influencer do a takeover for a special event or promotion.

Consistency Is Key

On all social media platforms, it’s important to stay consistent in your tone, style, and messaging. This helps you build and increase your following in an organic, engaging way. As such, everything you post on Snapchat should be consistent with your brand image. Make sure that you post snaps consistently and use the same language as you would on other platforms.

Brainstorm Content Ideas

When you’re posting content to Snapchat, it’s important to have a variety of formats and styles to choose from. This will keep your audience engaged whenever you post a snap. Snapchat allows you to express your brand in numerous creative ways; it’s up to you to decide what to do with that freedom.

A few engaging content ideas for business Snapchats include:

  • Q&As or interviews with employees, company leadership, and special guests
  • Demonstrations of upcoming products
  • Influencer or celebrity takeovers
  • Announcements for new products, services, or company-related activities
  • A tour of your offices
  • Sales announcements
  • Promo code sharing
  • A video of your products being manufactured
  • Tips and tricks on various industry-related topics
  • A daily workplace routine
  • Product tests
  • Tutorials for current products or company-related activities

Create Your Own Lens

Snapchat Lenses is one of Snapchat’s most fun features. These augmented reality camera lenses are wildly popular, turning user’s faces into animals, other people, food items, and adding background effects such as hearts, twinkling stars, snow, rain, and more. The possibilities are endless with Snapchat lenses – and companies see the results.

For example, Taco Bell implemented a Cinco de Mayo Snapchat lens that turned users’ heads into a giant talking taco. While the idea may seem silly, it was an ultimate success for the company. In fact, the lens was viewed 224 million times and produced over 12 years’ worth of video.

This lens became the top campaign in Snapchat’s history at the time and provided an ample marketing opportunity for Taco Bell. However, it required a Taco Bell-sized budget to pull it off – $750,000 for one day, to be exact. If you have the money for a custom company lens, the investment will likely pay for itself.

If you’re looking for a cheaper option, you can create your own Snapchat geofilter. Instead of using the augmented reality technology of Snapchat lenses that are available everywhere, geofilters provide effects that can be accessed by users in certain locations. Usually, these filters are simple, have no animation, and only reach a small audience. As a result, custom geofilters are much cheaper – you can create one for as little as $5.

Snapchat is a vital marketing tool for brands everywhere. To take advantage of Snapchat’s social power, along with other digital marketing opportunities.


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