Snapchat: a tool for brands

In a social media landscape where video rules and immersive media continues to infiltrate newsfeeds, it’s little wonder that Snapchat is enjoying a moment in the sun. The channel has over 100 million daily users and last week news broke that it has raised over $1.8 billion during its last investment round – investors are confident this steep growth curve will continue into 2017. A recent report found it is the third most popular app among millennials, behind Facebook and Instagram.

I can understand its success. Every night I look forward to the moment (admittedly after a scroll through Instagram and some light tweeting) that I can settle down and watch the day’s stories from friends, influencers and favourite brands. Whether it’s The Bodycoach telling me how to get ‘lean in 15’ or finding out where Rosie at The Londoner had lunch, Snapchat allows more direct engagement and insight into the day-to-day, providing an experience that is captivating yet authentic.

The platform allows anyone to be a storyteller (quite literally, offering users the opportunity to collate a ‘story’ visible for 24hrs as well as the option to send direct snaps) and provides a level of escapism to users. I’ve been on holiday to the Maldives, Croatia and New York this month, all without leaving Cornwall.

Snapchat-large

Should your brand be on Snapchat?

In light of all of the above, as a brand it might be tempting to download the app and expect to cash in on its captive and engaged audience. However, as with any social media platform, you need to consider how and why it could add to your offering. If you’re looking to engage with a young audience (think 13-34) and have the capability to produce diverse, regular content, that’s a good starting point.

Followers will expect varied content that stays true to what you offer, and Snapchat is the perfect place to be fun, fresh and tongue-in-cheek, so make sure that fits with the tone of your brand.

 

Top tips for using Snapchat as a brand

 

  • Tell a story

Using the ‘story’ function allows you to create a continuous stream of photos and video snippets which will be available to users for 24hrs. Tailor this to showcase your brand’s offering. For example, fashion retail brands such as Primark and River Island regularly post stories featuring their top seasonal picks, or ten items under £10.

If you’re a beachside restaurant, obvious content includes daily specials, views or events taking place, but think outside the box and include snippets of chefs putting dishes together – add the fast-forward option or choose to play it in reverse to mix things up.

 

  • Keep it vertical

As tempting as it is to turn your phone side on to capture that stunning sunset, don’t. Viewers will get frustrated if your story flits between portrait and landscape shots.

 

  • Keep it fun

Snapchat is playful, cheeky and unexpected – part of the reason for it’s success. Add emojis to your snaps and keep your content light-hearted.

 

Advertising on Snapchat

Snapchat only introduced advertising about a year ago, and costs are still high, reported to start at $100,000. Various advertising options are available, including slots in multiple branded ‘Discover’ channels which showcase content from media outlets such as Buzzfeed and Cosmopolitan (see video below). Brands can also pay to be part of a ‘Live’ story (often topical and available for a limited period of time) or to showcase a sponsored lens which alters selfies to add a promotional aspect (like this one from Taco Bell).

Currently one of the most accessible ways for brands to advertise on Snapchat is to partner with bloggers and influencers through content creation, capitalising on their sizeable and captive audience to showcase its offering.

Snapchat - Using Discover

Sasha Parkes - Senior Digital Executive at Wild West Comms

Words: Sasha Parkes

Senior Digital Executive at Wild West Comms