Last updated: February 16, 2017. Five minute read.
Small businesses have avoided Snapchat for a variety of reasons and we get that, but it’s time to set that all aside and join the advertising revolution. Snapchat just launched an update with massive implications for advertising and if you haven’t figured out your brand on Snapchat, it’s time. We’ll talk about what Snapchat is and isn’t, why you should be using it, and 6 ways to effectively establish and position your brand. Snapchat is quickly becoming the best way to connect to the millennial demographic.
If you already know you want to start a Snap Ads campaign, contact us today and let’s start snapping!
Why your small business should be using Snapchat right now
Have you ever wondered how some people (and brands) became famous on Instagram or YouTube? Many gained fame simply from being early adopters of the platform. Early adoption can save advertising costs and position your business as a thought leader (or industry leader) in the space. But you’ll have to hurry, opportunity to be among the first of your competitors there will disappear fast.
Snapchat is inherently different, of course, than platforms like YouTube and Facebook as driving organic traffic is not as simple as dropping a link in a post. Though Snap ads have the ability to swipe to visit a web page, organic Snapchat is more a game of branding, storytelling and engaging an audience than grabbing a quick sale. Don’t be afraid of the ROI in Snapchat investment though, check out these statistics for comfort.
Here’s the bottom line:
If you market a product or service to millennials, don’t have a massive marketing budget, and want to position your brand to succeed long term, you should give Snapchat some serious thought because it’s not just a social media platform–it’s a growing media company.
Several patents filed that confirm Snapchat’s intent to develop its own eCommerce platform. Snapchat’s API is opening up to advertisers and they’ve entered the world of consumer products with their Spectacles product. If you consider the example of Facebook, what started as a social media platform has become a media giant; you can start to see the trajectory Snapchat may be on and fortune has long favored those who get in at the ground level.
How you can build your small business’s brand on Snapchat
Numerous articles have been written on the basics of using Snapchat. If you don’t know how it works and don’t have a trendy millennial at your company to help you, check out this article for Snapchat basics and this one for some fun tips. If you have more questions, you can always give us a call as well.
You need to create a solid foundation
It’s not by mistake that Snapchat calls them stories; for businesses, the platform is all about telling a compelling story about your brand. What makes your brand unique? How can you provide value to your followers? Gone are the days of consumers accepting intrusions into their lives. Successful businesses now engage their followers and Snapchat gives companies the unique opportunity to help their consumers pull back the curtains and get a peek at the people and voice behind the brand.
How to make your Snaps not suck
Let’s talk about a couple overarching ideas first:
The focus on this platform is telling a story. Some advertising brains will hold onto the direct sales model, but Snapchat embraces a different ideal: Engage an audience and make them want to purchase–not tell them they need to. Though a little off of the mainstream advertising concept, brands have been increasingly successful with this storytelling model over the past year.
When we talk about developing your brand on Snapchat, we’re talking about the tone and style of your Snaps. The best way to figure this out is to experiment with some of the different ideas we’ll talk about below. Then, let your audience decide what it likes by tracking your completion rate (just wait, we’re getting there), and when you find a tone and style that your audience engages with, stick with that.
These two metrics are the most important (and really the only ones for your account)
Views and completion rate. These are the only two metrics you can track for your company’s organic Snapchat efforts. One way of tracking effectiveness is checking your completion rate–the number of people who begin viewing your story vs. the number of people who watch it through to completion.
At Wallaroo Media, we’ve jumped on the Snapchat express as early as possible and have helped dozens of brands begin to build their following and establish their share of the Snap-sphere. Below are 6 things we’ve done to help companies become successful on the rapidly growing platform:
1) USE SNAPCODES ANYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE
Snapchat lacks the robust search functions inherent in other social platforms. This means that you may have to get a tad creative to get your audience to find and connect with you. Snapcodes’s are Snapchat’s easiest function for adding new people to their Snap address books. This is a code, unique to Snapchat, that functions as a QR code for the platform that, when snapped, automatically adds the account to the user’s list. We have companies establish the Snapcode as their temporary profile picture on other social media platforms and even print out physical copies of the code to take to trade shows and storefronts to get customers snapping it and joining their Snap community.
Snapchat’s most recent update even allows you to create a unique Snapcode for any URL. This means people can go to your website/blog/whatever without having to leave the app! Leveraging Snapcodes is a great way to promote your account and begin building your following.
2) USING CUSTOM GEOFILTERS
Custom Geofilters are a great way to use Snapchat to promote your brand. With a little design ability and some forward-thinking, you can design a filter and have it live for some length of time inside of a Geofence so that when Snapchat users snap photos to each other, your brand or business’s filter can be used as a frame for their photos–unique to their location. Check out our Snaphacking article for a step-by-step guide, but here’s a quick comparison for the cost of a custom geofilter around our office in Provo, UT and VaynerMedia’s office in NYC.
If you’re interested in having us design and launch filters, we’d love to help! Check out That’s a Snap! (one of subsidiary companies) who have become so good, they were even featured in the USA Today.
3) TAKEOVERS | INFLUENCERS | SNAPCHAT ARTISTS
Influencers are individuals who have built up a following around a specific niche. Simply spend some time searching to find a Snapchat influencer who has a following in your brand’s niche audience, and then reach out! See what they can do to expose their audience to your organization.
But remember, most influencers run their accounts as part of their living. This means that you should expect to discuss a budget with them and compensate them for their time. This cost is variable and depends on the size of the influencer’s following and the number and type of mentions you’d like on their accounts.
Check out Mplatco and Shonduras for a taste of what great influencers can create!
4) GIVEAWAYS & SCAVENGER HUNTS
The visual nature of Snapchat (as well as the disappearing messages format) gives a lot of opportunity for businesses to get a little inventive. We have run more than on giveaway and scavenger hunt through Snapchat that have led to great results. Check out this one by Delta Airlines. Millennials are an audience of adventurers, so feel free to tap into that side of them with a little creative adventure of your own.
5) SHOOT WEEKLY CONTENT “EPISODES”
Picture these as something like really short television shows. Find something that connects with your audience and plan some video content around it each week. Standardize your day and time so viewers know when to “tune in” to catch the next episode of your content. This can be a great way to tell an elongated story or narrative, or even create a fun video series or how-to sessions. Fuse TV does a great job of this, even using custom graphics with built-in advertising that they upload to the beginning and end of their segments.
6) SNAPCHAT SPECTACLES
These sunglasses represent Snapchat’s jump into the retail camera world as the company’s first consumer product. They were released specifically for Snapchat, shoot 110-degree circular video so your community can watch your stories vertically or horizontally and can post directly to your Snap account. Right now the only way to get a pair is from a SnapBot or eBay, but once secured, they can open up your organization’s Snap game. Check out the creative storytelling of Sam Sheffer and Chris Monachino using Spectacles.
Snapchat can be intimidating if you’re not familiar with the platform. We hope this piece has opened your eyes to the possibilities on how you can promote your brand with Snapchat! And, if you need a little help or want to get into the world of paid Snapchat advertising for even greater reach, contact us today for a free consultation!