If you are reading this article, then you likely fall into one of two categories.
- You are not using Snapchat for business and you’re looking for reasons to get started.
- You have already jumped on the Snapchat bandwagon and you are looking for ways to improve your performance to grow at an even faster rate.
If you fall into the second category, then go ahead and skip to the section titled “How to Grow Your Snapchat Following.”
However, for those of you in the first category who might be a little bit hesitant about Snapchat marketing, don’t worry.
I know how you feel.
There are still a lot of stigmas surrounding Snapchat.
Some people still view Snapchat as an app for teenagers looking to share illicit photos without getting caught.
Some of you simply don’t see the value in a platform that only gives you ten seconds per message.
Clearly an inaccurate assumption.
And while all of these points may have been valid in the earliest years of Snapchat’s inception, they are all now a thing of the past.
In this article, I am going to breakdown not only why you should be using Snapchat for your business, but practical steps and case studies on how you can get started today.
So, if you’re ready to discover how you can transform your business through Snapchat marketing, then let’s cut to the chase and dive right in.
A “Snapshot” of the Platform
Now, for those of you who are not familiar with Snapchat, let me give you a brief overview.
Snapchat is a social media app that allows people or companies to send out photos and videos (called snaps) to their friends and followers.
Once the photo or video is sent, the recipient can view the photo or video for 10 seconds before it disappears into cyberspace.
The app also includes a number of filters and other features that have boosted viability for marketers.
For those of you who are still struggling to understand how this app serves as an asset to any sort of business, let me give you a quick example.
While I will dive into plenty of case studies later on, I want to start simply by showing you how one of the world’s most cherished coffee companies used Snapchat to grow their brand.
During its Snapchat Summer Drinks campaign, Starbucks leveraged the popularity of their (in)famous Frappuccinos by creating their own custom Snapchat lens.
This lens created several marketing opportunities for the brand that the majority of the people using the filter were not even consciously aware of.
On a subliminal level, whenever Snapchatters opened up a photo from a friend with a Frappuccino filter plastered over the screen, they would be more likely to purchase one of the delicious beverages for themselves later in the day.
In addition to the subliminal messaging, the filter increased the number of people following Starbucks on Snapchat.
This increased the odds that Snapchatters would swing by their local Starbucks to fuel their growing caffeine addiction in the near future.
Now, despite Starbucks creative marketing tactics with Snapchat, some of you are still wondering why you specifically should invest in Snapchat marketing.
Well, let me show you.
Why You Should Get on the Snapchat Bandwagon
While there are a number of reasons that you should hop onto the Snapwagon, in my mind, there are three that stand head and shoulders above the rest.
1. Snapchat is Growing at Some of the Fastest Rates Ever Seen
Let’s get this out of the way right now.
Snapchat has been experiencing explosive levels of growth that are almost unheard of in the social media industry.
Snapchat has only been around for about 5 years, and in that incredibly short amount of time, it has already achieved an average daily user base of around 110 million people worldwide.
And if that wasn’t enough, according to an Infinite Dial study, only 17 percent of the U.S. population used Snapchat in 2015.
Now, that number has grown to 23 percent.
That’s 5 percentage points in one year, the same amount that Twitter has grown since 2013.
Since its launch, Snapchat has gone from an underground, semi-illicit app to the second most popular social media platform in the world.
And if you are not taking advantage of it, you will get left behind.
2. Snapchat is Becoming Much More Business Friendly
Despite its massive growth, Snapchat is still a relatively untapped marketing resource due to its relatively unfriendly business platform.
However, this is rapidly changing.
According to Adweek, Snapchat has recently announced a massive advertising and business expansion that will make their company a marketer’s paradise.
The most notable feature of this expansion is the inclusion of Snap Ads which are brief ads played between users stories.
And while some of you may be thinking that this will just make Snapchat like a 10-second version of YouTube, the numbers tell a different story.
In a collaboration effort between Snapchat and MediaScience, 320 consumers were surveyed comparing Snapchat video ads to TV, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube over 552 sessions.
The survey team tracked emotional responses, implemented eye tracking technology, and of course, included exit surveys.
The results were pretty astounding.
Snapchat ads received double the visual attention of Facebook ads and 1.5 times that of Instagram.
Snapchat has even told us that the ads were cited to be more than 1.3 times as effective as YouTube ads.
If the statistics hold true, this would make Snapchat the most efficient marketing platform in the world.
3. Snapchat Gives You a Captive Audience
With most social media platforms, your ads and messages are, more often than not, buried in a clustered timeline and left unseen.
However, with Snapchat, this is not the case.
Snaps that you send to your followers will remain in their inbox until they decide to click them.
And, once they have decided to open them, the real magic happens.
You see, as humans, we have an evolutionary wiring that instills a fear of missing out or FOMO into our brains.
As hunter-gatherer tribes, this fear used to be necessary to ensure that we did not miss out on potentially life-or-death food, shelter, and mating opportunities.
However, this same wiring allows you to use platforms like Snapchat to ensure that people will hear and respond to your message.
When your followers receive a Snap from you, they only have 10 seconds before the information disappears into the ether forever.
This means that whenever they open one of your Snaps, they will be glued to the screen from start to finish.
I don’t think you need to be an evolutionary psychologist to see why this makes Snapchat a marketing powerhouse.
How to Grow Your Snapchat Following
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of using Snapchat to market your brand, grow your company, and generate revenue, we first have to discuss one thing.
How to grow a Snapchat following in the first place.
Snapchat isn’t like other social media platforms.
There are no newsfeeds or hashtags that enable audience members to discover you through traditional methods.
The only thing that comes close is the Snapchat Discover feature.
However, this feature only favors large companies with hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest into their marketing campaigns.
This means that you need to get creative and find ways to work around the platform’s limitations.
Luckily, I have a couple of tips and tricks for you that will make growing your Snapchat following a breeze.
1. Follow Potential Fans Via Address Book
One of the simplest ways to quickly find new Snapchat users who you can follow (who will hopefully follow you in return) is to use the Find Friends Through Address Book feature.
This simple feature allows Snapchat to crawl your address book and find the phone numbers of people who are associated with a Snapchat account.
You can then add them as friends and they will receive a notification suggesting that they add you back.
Here’s how to do it.
Now some of you are probably wondering how this is really applicable for your business.
After all, if you have a phone number in your address book, odds are, they are already following you on Snapchat, right?
However, if you have a customer database, you can segment the data by phone numbers and import those numbers into your address book, giving you access to tons of new potential fans.
And, depending on how your Facebook marketing is setup, you can even import the numbers of Facebook friends to your address book and then use the same steps to add them on Snapchat.
2. Utilize Email Marketing
Email marketing, although slowly being overtaken by new mediums, is still one of the big dogs in the online marketing world.
And it is also a great way to grow your Snapchat following.
The easiest way to accomplish this goal is to simply include your snapcode or Snapchat url in the body of your emails in some sort of creative way.
However, my favorite way to use email marketing is to offer a limited time promotion that is only available on Snapchat.
For example, you could offer a 20% discount in your email letting users know that the only way to access this discount code is by following you on Snapchat and going to your story.
This will likely generate followers who will not even take advantage of the deal but simply want to stay in the loop for future offers.
Or you could always do something like this.
Tailor your marketing to your audience and figure out creative ways to convert your email list into Snapchat subscribers.
3. Implement Snapchat into Your Website
Possibly the easiest way to start growing your Snapchat following is to include your Snapchat URL and Snapcode on your blog or website.
As long as you are creative in your execution, this will not affect the aesthetics of your website and will allow you to grow your Snapchat following in tandem with your blog.
4. Put Your Snapcode on Physical Marketing Mediums
Depending on what kind of business you are in, you may still have a physical store or pass out business cards at events.
If so, then be sure to include your Snapcode on these objects.
Put your snapcode on the door of your storefront, the back of your business cards, and any other physical objects that are regularly seen by customers.
This is a great way to grow your Snapchat following for (literally) only a few dollars.
5. Cross Promote Using Other Social Media Channels
One of the most important things you can do to grow your Snapchat following is to cross promote on other social media channels.
If you have a large following on any of the major social media platforms, then you need to start taking advantage of it by cross-promoting your Snapchat account.
And it doesn’t take much.
First, make sure that your snapcode is clearly visible on all of your social media platforms.
Then do a simple call to action once a week asking people to follow you on Snapchat.
How to Use Snapchat for Business
Ok, so you understand what Snapchat is and why you need to use it.
You have built up your following.
Now, it’s time to get down and dirty and start using Snapchat Ads to market your company, increase brand engagement and awareness, and grow your revenue.
There are a number of ways you can market your company on Snapchat, but for our purposes, we are only going to focus on three: Snap Ads, Sponsored Geofilters, and Sponsored Lenses.
1. Snap Ads: Build Brand Awareness and Keep Your Audience Tuned In
For most businesses, Snap Ads are going to be your primary advertising method on Snapchat.
Originally, Snap Ads were limited to the Discover feature on Snapchat which unfortunately left a large segment of Snapchat users unreached.
The thing is, only about 30% of Snapchat users actually use the Discover feature, but 100% of them use stories and chat.
Running Snap Ads is going to be very similar to running video ads on any other platform.
However, due to the 10-second time limit on Snap Ads, there is one big thing to keep in mind.
Less is more.
You need to be sure that you share your brand message as succinctly and convincingly as possible within the 10-second limit.
Every second of your ad should have a clearly defined purpose, so don’t waste even one of those precious seconds on superfluous talk or animations.
While the rules of traditional advertising still apply, advertising on Snapchat does require some extra creative power and a little bit of unconventional thinking to get the job done.
But if you can hack it, Snap Ads have a clickthrough rate almost 5X higher than comparable ad platforms.
Meaning 5X as many opportunities to make a sale and grow your company to new heights.
Snap Ads Case Study: Shock Top
One of my favorite Snap Ads case studies is Shock Top.
What’s better than Snap Ads and the Super Bowl?
Snap Ads, the Super Bowl, and a craft beer company that knew exactly how to leverage Snapchat to achieve massive results.
The company had already developed an ad campaign using their slogan “Live Life Unfiltered” for their first ever super bowl commercial and decided to extend the campaign to Snapchat.
The objective for their campaign was simple.
“Raise awareness of Shock Top’s brand and beer among Snapchatters, support the brand’s broader Super Bowl 50 marketing campaign, and convey brand values of expressing oneself in a natural and unfiltered way”
If you haven’t seen the commercial, then take a minute to watch the video.
To achieve this objective Shock Top took a couple of different steps.
First and foremost, they cut down and tailored their Super Bowl commercial until it fit Snapchat’s creative standards and time restraints.
Then, they partnered with Snapchat to test out early renditions of the Snap Ads Long Form Video Ads.
This feature which is now standard for Snapchat marketers allows viewers to swipe up on an ad to see a long form advertisement up to 10 minutes.
Finally, they used Snapchat’s age targeting to specifically focus on Snapchatters 21+ only.
The results were pretty astounding.
The spot reached over 2.9 million Snapchat users, with one in nine of those users swiping up on the ad to engage with the company even further.
In addition to these stats, these ads also generated 19X greater brand awareness, 4X greater message association, and 1.5 times greater purchase intent than industry averages.
2. Snapchat Geofilters
Geofilters are graphic designs that correlate to the specific location of Snapchat users.
For example, you will find unique geofilters for different cities, certain restaurants, and national monuments.
However, in addition to these sweet designs that allow you to brag about your international escapades, there are also sponsored geofilters.
With sponsored geofilters, you have one of two options.
- On demand geofilters.
- National geo filters.
On demand geofilters are typically pretty inexpensive, starting at only $5.
National geofilters, however, are much, much pricier, typically costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
However, a single national geofilter will reach 40% to 60% of Snapchat users, making it well worth the investment if executed properly.
These filters can be used in a variety of ways, most of them only viable for companies with a physical location.
For example, if you are opening up a new clothing store, you could purchase an on demand geofilter for your store’s location.
Then, as new customers come in and try on your new clothes, they can use your unique geofilter when sending snaps of their new swag to friends.
This will boost your brand awareness and likely result in a few extra sales.
Geofilter Case Study:
World Zombie Day is an annual event that brings horror fans together to help raise money for charities.
St. Mungo’s, a charity for the homeless community in London, used the power of geofilters to boost brand awareness and increase donations during this event.
Part of World Zombie Day is the infamous Zombie Walk where hordes of the “undead” stumble through a pre-arranged route to raise money for their favorite charities.
St. Mungo’s selectively placed geofilters at key rest points along the zombie walk so that users could send snaps that would raise awareness for their cause.
The results were pretty spectacular.
The filters attracted nearly 16,000 views and were used by over 155 zombie walk participants.
All resulting in over $3,000 worth of donations on that day alone.
3. Snapchat Sponsored Lenses
One of the most creative ways to boost your brand engagement on Snapchat is through the use of sponsored lenses.
These lenses are basically live filters that are applied to human faces that allow you to creatively engage users with your brand in an unconventional way.
For example, Taco Bell created a sponsored lens that turned user’s heads into a delicious crunchy taco.
Warner Brothers purchased a sponsored lens that allowed Snapchat users to become Batman or Superman.
And Marvel created a sponsored lens allowing users to turn into their favorite X-men character.
While this option is very expensive, costing well into the six-figures for a sponsored lens, there is really no better form of advertising or user engagement.
Imagine users playing with and sharing your ad instead of skipping it.
While there aren’t any small business friendly sponsored filter packages in the making (that I know of) I wouldn’t be surprised if Snapchat expanded this feature to favor companies with lower advertising budgets.
Sponsored Lens Case Study
One of the best sponsored lens case studies is the sponsored lens Gatorade used for the 2016 Super Bowl.
The Gatorade victory dunk has been an iconic part of Football ever since the early 80’s, and this year, Gatorade decided to let the whole nation in on the fun.
By creating a custom Snapchat lens that allowed users to “experience” the victory dunk, Gatorade was able to produce some pretty spectacular results.
With over 60 million total plays and 165 million views, Gatorade’s custom lens was able to reach the nation on a scale that is rarely possible through traditional methods.
In addition to their massive reach, this relatively simple Snapchat campaign resulted in an 8 point purchase intent when compared to other campaigns.
While Snapchat lenses are definitely a more expensive marketing method, their effectiveness cannot be ignored.
Snapchat is an odd breed.
It is one of the first platforms to effectively gamify advertising and make it fun for both the user and the marketer.
With its young demographic and massive reach, Snapchat is on track to become one of the most powerful platforms in the world in the coming years.
And luckily, mastering Snapchat is not as hard as you might think.
So get started today and see how your business and your revenue grow.
Do you have any questions about Snapchat marketing that I didn’t answer? Leave them in the comments section below and I’ll help you out!
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