You've almost certainly used Facebook, you've probably used Twitter and you may have considered using Instagram. But, what about Snapchat? The popular image sharing app is BIG, and more brands are turning to it for advertising. Maybe it's because many are disheartened with Facebook reach, perhaps it's because Tweets are lost in a word quicksand, or it could be due to the fact that Snapchat's daily video views grew by a huge 400% from May 2015 to May 2016, according to Bloomberg. If this year-on-year growth continues, the app could surpass over 18 billion daily views by May 2017. So yeah, it could be that?
If we compare this to Facebook’s 8 million video views, Snapchat’s 10 billion are clearly just one of many statistics and opportunities enticing brands.
But what makes the app so great? For a consumer, there’s a romanticism about a brand using the same tools as them - sending a shaky, short video to their followers. With no scheduling platforms, often little planning and just a Smartphone to hand, Snapchat is more personal than any other platform. If a brand wants to send Snapchats, they have to be added by the user, and so there’s already a responsibility to provide good content, ensuring this follow relationship continues.
Snapchat, originally named Picaboo, has launched a number of exciting advertising opportunities for brands, making it so much more than just an app for high school kids – which is where it started off. From fleeting image exchange, Snapchat has become a broadcast mechanism to reach millions of people.
But, how do you tap into the app’s audience?
Sponsoring a Snapchat celebrity
Like Instagram, there are Snapchat celebrities – those who have mammoth followers on the app. Sponsoring one of these is a great way for brands to instantly reach thousands of people. This could be through influencer marketing, attending events or by running a series of sponsored videos. Businesses, you have a product you want promoting and your target audience is millennials, why wouldn’t you choose a Snapchat celebrity who has thousands of avid followers?
Discover a story
Snapchat users can view snaps that are available for 24 hours via the ‘story’ section on the app. Unlike individual snaps, these can be replayed. On this section, brands can promote their own stories which will appear on users’ newsfeeds, which they can click to play. It’s a popular form of advertising for publishing as you can swipe through different stories, read and browse. This is the main feature that has turned Snapchat into a broadcasting phenomenon, with Cosmopolitan, The Sun and other news outlets using this form of advertising.
Create a geofilter
Geofilters allow you to target Snapchatters in a particular area. When a Snap has been taken in this location, users can browse through filters and choose yours. This increases brand awareness in a given zone. Launching a product or hosting an event in a particular area? You can create a Snapchat geofilter which users who take a snap can add onto their images - but it has to be exciting or fun in order for users to send that filter.
Recently used to promote Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, sponsored Snapchat lenses are interactive and allow users to play within the app, as an alternative to taking an image and scrolling through filters. Lenses can include prompts such as ‘open your mouth’ to create fun animations, while encouraging interaction with the user and their friends. Taco Bell created a highly successful sponsored lens which was viewed over 224 million times, while on average each Snapchat user played with it for around 24 seconds!
Snapchat is on the up. It’s already launching its Memories feature which will increase the time users spend on the app and, with expected video views increasing over the next few years, no doubt more advertisers will turn to the app for big exposure, giving them direct access into the lives of Smartphone users.
Although Snapchat’s signature may be its brief image exchange, this app’s future is anything but fleeting.