It seems that just when brands get the hang of a new digital platform, they are introduced with another—or a new function of an existing one.
Take, for example, Snapchat. Once looked at as a simple photo-messaging app, the increasing uses of the platform show that those days are long over. Here are some Snap stats that you should be aware of:
• 10 billion video views per day
• 60% of all smartphone users utilize the Snapchat app
• 150+ daily active Snapchatters worldwide
• 25-30 minutes average use time per day
• More than 50% of new daily users are 25 and over
• Facebook users are migrating to the new platform
• Snapchat grew from 2 billion to over 12 billion daily video views in one year
• In a matter of 5 years, Snapchat has grown to the be the third largest social platform—and is still growing
While most brands acknowledge that they should be on Snapchat, especially given the jaw-dropping stats behind its growth and usage, being ON the platform is different than USING the platform. Because of that, brand adoption has been slow and it seems that many marketers don’t know where to begin when it comes to Snapchat.
The key to winning with Snapchat is to not lump it into the general social media category, as it has many nuances that make it much different than Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. It’s a new and unique platform and it’s not similar to the above three at all.
Many marketers and agencies say that they don’t use, or don’t know how to market on Snapchat. They may also feel they are unable to provide the core metrics necessary to prove success.
They then turn around and say that they need to incorporate it into their media plan. If brands try to incorporate Snapchat, using the content and strategy they use for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or Instagram, they risk failure. The key to “winning” Snapchat is to create content specific to the platform.
1. The Rise of Expiring Content
One of the most unique aspects of Snapchat is expiring content. Allowing content to expire—or to disappear after a specified amount of time—goes against the instincts of most marketing experts. Why create something just to have it go away? Allowing content to expire produces a sense of urgency in consumers. It is the ultimate in “act now.”
Snapchat was able to explode onto the social platform scene providing that unique concept—a concept successful enough to turn away from a $3 billion buyout offer from Facebook. For a brand, providing content that works within an expiration date encourages consumers to act fast, to engage quickly.
2. Keep Content Snapchat Exclusive
Snapchat content should also mean Snapchat exclusive content. Consumers want access to brand information that other users don’t have. Expiring content highlights and works amazingly well with the concept of exclusivity. Users can’t share what no longer exists, meaning the content is exclusive to Snapchat users. One example is Snapchat’s recent partnership with NBC Universal, which will bring short-form content from NBC favorites such as “The Voice,” “Saturday Night Live,” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” onto the platform. While Snapchat plans to experiment with having this content available for more than 24 hours, it will still only be available for a limited period of time—a stark contrast from the archive of readily accessible video content indefinitely on the internet.
3. Limited Time Filters
Recently, brands have begun offering limited time or use Snapchat filters. Not only does this tactic work within Snapchat’s expiring content concept, it also gives brands the opportunity to make a sizeable impact through sponsored filters for major announcements, releases, or important dates. On Election Day 2016, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns both purchased sponsored filters, allowing Snapchat users to show their support for their candidate of choice. Other brands have used limited time filters to promote deals or special offerings, or just to push greater brand awareness. All are a smart way for a brand to use Snapchat.
4. Keep it Genuine and Relatable—Embrace the Trend
Today’s customer can sense being marketed to a mile away. They want to form a relationship with the brands they use. By keeping Snapchat content simple and genuine, brands can relate better to their target audiences, promoting what is popular with them. Many brands will shy away from incorporating Snapchat, thinking that their target audience isn’t using the platform. While Snapchat’s users tend to skew younger, the growth of the platform should be enough for marketers to keep it on their radar.
Now is the time for brands to capitalize on how to use Snapchat and the unique offering Snapchat provides. They can offer something new and creative to their audiences—an invaluable advantage in today’s competitive landscape.
Chris Gomersall is founder and CEO of Atomized.