Snapchat for Marketing

Launched in 2011, Snapchat soon soared to popularity amongst a young demographic. Since then, the number of snaps sent daily has tripled and there are no signs of the buzz slowing down. The mobile app enables users to send images or videos to friends which after a view, are then automatically deleted from the recipient’s phone. The sender decides how long the content can be viewed, from between 1 to 10 seconds.
canstockphoto13726570Although Snapchat has gained a reputation as a ‘sexting’ app, for many the platform is simply a fun way to communicate, and with a platform for communication, comes marketing potential. Brands can reach out directly to create instant engagement and a more personal connection with their audience. Yet, the twist is in the temporary and the twist is gold. With temporariness comes immediacy – users get less but they want more – they focus, they are interested, they engage.
The territory remains largely untapped by brands but New York frozen yoghurt store, 16 Handles were the first to test the water. Their strategy was simple: if users snapped a ‘selfie’ eating the frozen yoghurt, 16 Handles would reply with a discount code. The discount could be anything between 10-100% but of course, because of a snap’s time limit, users wouldn’t discover their discount until they were at the point of paying. The risk paid off. The brand encouraged audience engagement, increased sales and gained wide publicity, all from one strategy.
If you’re brave enough to dive into the realm of fleeting messages then here are 5 ways your brand can harness the power of Snapchat:
1.    Exclusive Previews
The ideal time to embark on a Snapchat marketing campaign is in the run up to the launch of a new product. By exploiting the power of the transient message, you can send out seconds-long images or video previews to create a buzz of excitement and build that all important audience anticipation. Ideas are to take obscure photos of a yet-to-be-revealed product feature or a short video ‘sneak peak’ of a product in action. These messages are a one-time exclusive so your Snapchat audience will feel rewarded but unsatisfied and wanting to find out more.
2.    Coupons
To follow in the footsteps of a success story is to set yourself up for success. The coupons hook worked for 16 Handles and will work again. Sending out exclusive coupons can help you build your followers and will make your audience feel rewarded. You could offer coupons to new followers, ask your existing followers to snap a picture in return for a coupon or even introduce the competition element, where the best snaps win. This method grants a triple marketing whammy of audience building, engagement and sales.
Selfie with camera3.    Competitions
Right now, gamification is hot in the marketing world. Mix this with a popular social media app and you’ve got yourself a recipe for success. You could use Snapchat to send a stream of images or videos that include clues or things to remember, to win a prize. Or, challenge followers to snap you back a picture of a particular item or place – the winner is the quickest. The competition opportunities are endless and as the message is temporary, your followers are encouraged to focus and play game. Make fun for your audience and they’ll enjoy your brand’s personality.
Snapchat is different, it offers ample opportunities and the app’s marketing potential has been proven by the success of the 16 Handles campaign. Pull off a Snapchat campaign and you’ll create a buzz around your brand while appearing, to be frank, cool. Yet, the question is, will your business take the leap?


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