To be clear, I do not expect Snapchat to be the next big marketing tool, nor do I believe that everyone is on this platform. Thus, some marketers might say the contrary. However, I do believe it does have opportunities, especially for low involvement products.
The platform that was launched in September 2011, started off as being humble. But these days, Facebook cannot wait to own this application. They have offered $3 billion, regularly. Snapchat is a photo and video sharing application, that lets you send photos and videos to your relations on there. The receiver will only see the photo or video for no longer than 10 seconds. Hence, there is an opportunity to save the received item. Whilst the platform did not gain any media coverage when it was launched, nowadays more than 400 million Snaps are sent daily. At first, the majority of their users where teens, now more marketers (1% of all users) have discovered Snapchat, that want to broadcast their message in a creative way.
I hear you thinking, there are already so many applications that provide us to share visual content such as Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram. Which is definitely true, the content that is shared via this platform is in some way similar to Instagram. Most of the content shared, are photos of holidays, trips, food, and selfies. Both platforms let you take photos, videos and give you the opportunity to share them with friends, followers. As well, both platforms let you enable some users to see your content. Thus, there are a lot of Snapchat only features, such as the timer that Snapchat provides. It allows the receiver to only see the content for 1 up to 10 seconds. Another feature is that you can draw on your content and write a text. The best part is that Snapchat does have a limit to the amount of receivers.
Who are the users of Snapchat?
100 million active users monthly, globally. (Source: DNR) 70% of Snapchat users are women. (Source: WSJ)
77% of college students use Snapchat daily. (Source: Sumpto)
58% of college students would be likely to purchase a brand’s product or service if they were sent a coupon on Snapchat. (Source: Sumpto) 71% of Snapchat users are below 25 years old. (Source: DNR)
How to use Snapchat as a marketing tool:
First of all, Snapchat is a very casual application. It focuses only on the present and not on the future, which creates a very open-minded atmosphere. As said before the content that is mostly shared is food, holiday or trip photos, scandalous content, secrets, rare finds and daily activities. Therefore, if you wish to use Snapchat as a marketing tool, the message needs to be easy to understand, and fun. Considering the content will only be available for 10 seconds maximum. An option would be to incorporate the features of Snapchat into the snap. Use the drawing feature to make the snap a bit more fun, or use the text feature to support your message for a better understanding. Whilst Snapchat is immensely popular for its photo sharing ability, video’s can be the key to your marketing approach. A picture says a thousand words, however a video will give you the opportunity to explain and convey your actual message.
Snapchat is a great opportunity for both consumer engagement as sales. When sharing snaps that contain the daily activity of a company, your consumer will get more involved. There is a great chance they will be back for more. Show the faces behind the company, the events your company is involved in and the new developments. The company becomes more personal, rather than being just a logo.
Snapchat is a marvelous tool for promotions. As stated earlier, this will work best with low involvement products that need a low involvement and transformational approach. Promotional tools such as coupons can effectively be shared via this platform. Another way to enhance sales to provide a sneak peak of the upcoming product, give them early access or even the upcoming discounts. Telling secrets are on of the keys on Snapchat. Additionally, this platform would be a great way to get your customers involved in games or contests. Let them take selfies in front of your logo, or let them find the rarest places your logo can be found, or even let them show how your product can be used. This promotion will definitely work, since it represents everything where Snapchat stands for: FUN!
Companies that are using Snapchat in their marketing campaigns
Is a frozen yoghurt company in New England, held a Snapp-New-Year in 2013. A promotion that was set up to increase both sales a customer engagement. Consumers had to make a Snapchat of themselves tasting the frozen yoghurt in of their sixteen stores, and send them to their 16 Handles Snapchat account. In return, customers would receive a coupon with discount from 10% up to 100% throughout the year.
The WWF is an international organization that protects and preserves nature and his habitats. In the beginning of 2014, they have launched a new campaign only on Snapchat, titled: #LastSelfie. They found that Snapchat was the ideal platform to launch this campaign because it would underline their message. As stated earlier, content on Snapchat can only be seen for 10 seconds. With this in mind, the campaign was launched. Underlining the fact that more and more nature is disappearing and the different endangered species.
Snapchat can be a wonderful marketing tool, if you want to improve or maintain the consumer engagement. Nevertheless, it is also an exceptional tool to increase sales. However, this will only work with low-involvement products that need a low-involvement, transformational approach. Snapchat is also a great platform to support and underline your current campaign. Withal, Snapchat does have certain rules that need to be followed, in order to get positive results. The campaign or Snap needs to be fun! Humor is the key on Snapchat. Telling secrets or involving your consumers in a contest will work as well, on this casual platform. Nevertheless, I do not expect Snapchat to be the next big marketing tool, although I am sure that it has lots of opportunities. I believe that campaigns on Snapchat also need another platform to support it, for it to fully work.