Friday, 17 June 2016
How Snapchat can help businesses looking to target young audiences
Launched in September 2011, Snapchat is first and foremost a mobile photo/video messaging app, but it's started to offer some interesting options, paid and unpaid, to businesses and brands.
To get the attention of the people who are using Snapchat you have got to have something to share that they will value – and the usual rule of thumb is that it needs to be fun. It’s not a place to be worthy or dull. You may also find it useful as a research tool; you can listen and learn from the content that brands and organisations are already creating on Snapchat.
Snapchat generates a feeling of excitement and exclusivity because content disappears after 24 hours. Many people use it as a one-to-one or group messaging app. They send ‘snaps’ - videos, pictures and messages to friends.
The second feature is ‘stories’. Videos clips that you post on Snapchat can’t be longer than 10 seconds, but you can upload a series of videos, and photos, and they can be compiled into one update (or story) for your friends/followers to view an unlimited number of times until the photos and videos expire. Content can be made public or visible to friends only.
Starting off on Snapchat is a simple process. Creating an account is free and just as easy as creating a Twitter account once you’ve downloaded the app to your phone.
Snapchat encourages creativity with drawing and captioning tools that allow you to show your personality and your sense of humour.
Snapchat stories could be used by businesses to create:
• Teasers for new products, services or offers.
• Competitions/giveaways/discount codes.
• Behind the scenes peeks at your business.
• Bite-sized tips and advice.
• Short video clips from live events that you are hosting or taking part in.
Unlike Twitter, Snapchat does not have a way of browsing to find people to follow, so once you have created an account you will need to promote it online, perhaps offline too.
Many organisations, such as National Geographic, use social media platforms to promote their presence on Snapchat.
Snapchat also generates a ‘snapcode’, like a QR code, allowing users to add them. Some people or businesses promote their snapcode by using it as their profile image on some social media channels, or share it offline. For example, a snapcode could be promoted in a store and anyone with a mobile phone, who had downloaded Snapchat, could 'snap' it and instantly follow that account.
Sponsoring channels in the ‘Discover’ section of Snapchat has so far required major investment by brands. You can read here how Burberry used this option earlier this year.
Personally, I think the success of Snapchat to reach and engage younger consumers has had an impact on how rapidly other social media channels have rolled out updates and new features this year to appeal to a similar demographic.
Snapchat itself is evolving all the time and with its users now watching an estimated 10 billion videos every day, new advertising options are being released to businesses as Adweek reported here.
Keep an eye on it, download it and have a play, because Snapchat could soon become an important platform for businesses to tell their stories – and not just the luxury brands and big corporations with major marketing budgets.