Snapchat is a growing player on the social media marketing scene, but few brands really understand how to use it to great effect.
They don’t know what to make of the puppy dog filters or the disappearing messages. They don’t get the lingo, and they don’t really understand how to reach audiences on the channel.
Plus, many brands don’t think that it’s a serious social medium or that their audience is on it. But everyone from politicians to major brands are using the network to reach all kinds of audiences.
You just have to find some strategies that work. Here are a few Snapchat marketing strategies being used successfully by other brands that you can either copy for your own use or get inspired by to create your own strategy:
Start with a Bang
McDonald’s showed other brands how it’s done when it started up with Snapchat.
The brand jumped onto Snapchat at the start of 2014, but it promoted the move widely before it did. It sent out tweets, posted Facebook updates and advertised its new channel on its website, and it teased its first campaign with basketball star Lebron James.
The very first thing it shared on Snapchat was a behind-the-scenes look at a commercial it was shooting with James. Not only did the Snapchat campaign give users interesting content that matched their interests, but it also reinforced the commercial campaign it was about to run.
McDonald’s has continued to remain relevant on the channel with sponsored filters and other fun campaigns.
You don’t have to have the budget to hire a Lebron James, but you should hype up your entry to the social network with the same fanfare. You should also find ways to offer different content on the network and to cross-promote your other campaigns.
Offer Exclusive Content
One of the best ways to be successful on any social marketing network is to offer fans exclusive content there.
The NBA showed how successful this strategy can be with some of its Snapchat campaigns, such as sending out snaps from the women’s playoffs, behind-the-scenes looks from the sidelines of numerous other games, and live interviews with players.
Other sports brands like ESPN and recruiting agents have been successful on the network doing the same things.
What can you offer on Snapchat that you won’t offer on your website or any of your other social media channels? You can simply offer a different look at the same event or topic – you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time.
GrubHub has shown brands how easy it is to engage customers on Snapchat with promotional offers if you are creative.
For example, it sent out a series of snaps that led up to a promotional code. The first simply said “stick around friends,” followed by a snap that said “You might just get 15% off…” The next three snaps showed a pizza disappearing by the slice. With each frame, as more of the pizza disappeared, more of the discount code was revealed on the cardboard behind it.
This type of campaign captures the attention of users and keeps them engaged. They keep checking back to see what the big reveal is going to be. At that point, they are committed, and they are more likely to actually use the code by ordering.
This is an easy idea for you to replicate. There are dozens of creative ways to model the same kind of reveal, so have fun with this.
Take Advantage of Lenses
Filters have been around for a long time, but lenses are a relatively new feature for Snapchat. Lenses overlay animations on video, rather than a static image over a picture.
20th Century Fox showed how successful the use of sponsored lenses can be when it promoted its Peanuts Movie. Its sponsored lens overlayed a dancing Snoopy and a pumpkin patch on users’ videos. It also sponsored two geofilters for Halloween.
The campaign was a great success, generating plenty of buzz for the movie.
Think of ways that you can sponsor a lens or a filter for your brand, and time it with a special promotion or launch of a new product.
Enlist an Influencer
Wet Seal showed how effective it can be to partner with an influencer when it enlisted a beauty blogger to take over its Snapchat account.
The blogger, Miss Meghan Makeup, had 320,000 subscribers on YouTube, 100,000 followers on Twitter, and 194,000 followers on Instagram. She was allowed to “take over” the Wet Seal Snapchat account to tell her own story and to promote and wear Wet Seal clothing.
Wet Seal gained 9,000 followers after the two-day experiment.
You may not have the budget to hire an influencer with that much pull, but you can start small. Just look for the biggest influencer you can afford in your niche or a related niche and find a clever crossover that will benefit you both.
Snapchat is a growing social media channel, and many important brands are using it to reach their audiences. If you don’t know where to start or you aren’t getting the results you want on the channel, consider some of these strategies.