Should You Be Using Snapchat in Your Digital Marketing Campaign?

The days of Facebook and Twitter as the dominant social media powers are over. Today, there are several social media networks, each with unique niches and trends. While it may seem prudent at first to cultivate followings on every option, this isn’t sustainable.

You’ll discover that your prime leads spend most of their time on certain platforms and almost no time on others. Find your customers and go where they spend their time for effective social media marketing.

Among the new social media platform options, one of the fastest growing is Snapchat, so marketers automatically assume they should take their piece of that potentially lucrative pie.

Snap, Inc., Snapchat’s parent company, holds a current market valuation of around $24 billion. While working on capitalizing on this may seem to be a no-brainer, this social media platform isn’t perfect for every brand.

Snapchat reports competitive user engagement compared to other social media platforms. Most people check social media apps regularly, sometimes several times per day. Users check Snapchat 18 times each day on average, and over 2.5 billion snaps travel through the network to more than 150 million users every day.

In fact, more than 41% of all 18- to 35-year-olds in the United States use Snapchat. If you want to cash in on this potentially vast reach, you must carefully consider how to leverage Snapchat effectively for your brand.

Does Snapchat Work for Your Brand?

Snapchat allows users to send photos and brief videos to their friends and followers on the app. Users can customize their images with emoji icons, text, and drawing tools. Some influencers on Snapchat incentivize their audience members to engage with them by only releasing Snaps for a limited time.

Snaps are also transient – once a user views a Snap image or video, they only have a few seconds with it before it’s gone forever. Users can take screenshots of Snaps, but the window for doing so is limited.

Depending on the type of business you run, this could be a powerful form of engagement for your audience. However, Snapchat users trend on the younger side, so unless you can capture the interest of this demographic, it may not be worth your time. Marketers face tremendous pressure to drive their brands’ social media engagement with their audiences, and it’s vital not to waste time where your efforts prove fruitless.

Measure the ROI

Every marketing endeavor should strive for a positive return on investment (ROI). Put simply, if you’re not earning more than what you invest in a campaign strategy, that strategy is not cost-effective and probably won’t remain viable for long. Snapchat is expensive for advertisers because of the potential for high engagement levels.

Most traditional advertising models for Snapchat use a cost-per-impression model. Essentially, you pay for every time users see your content. Unfortunately for marketers interested in Snapchat, the platform isn’t friendly for small or growing businesses.

The minimum spend for advertising on Snapchat is a staggering $40,000. Special ad models that operate on a cost-per-swipe model are also expensive. Unless you have the liquidity to invest that much for a potentially uncertain outcome, the minimum buy-in is a strong deterrent.

You could tailor your Snapchat marketing using a unique geofilter for the most cost-effective results. As the name suggests, a geofilter targets your content to a specific location. This can be effective for local businesses who want to reach more people in their area. Snapchat will consider the size of the area you want to target and the estimated traffic volume during a given period to determine the cost.

Determine Your Audience

For the most part, Snapchat only works as a marketing platform for business-to-customer organizations. If you work in a business-to-business operation, you most likely won’t find enough professional presence on Snapchat to justify investing in a marketing campaign. Snapchat is a direct line to the end user. If you want to cultivate leads directly from your consumer base, you may find them on Snapchat.

Also consider what type of goods and services your company offers. Do your ideal customer types trend toward the younger side? Over 70% of Snapchat users are younger than 34, so if you cater to an older market, you probably won’t see favorable results. If your customers are young and appreciate multimedia content, think of ways to send them valuable content in photo or video format.

If you can think of several possibilities, it may be time to start Snapchatting. More than 90% of campaigns that use Snapchat report sales gains after advertising on the platform.

Comparing Snapchat to Other Marketing Tactics

One of the best tools for marketers on Snapchat is the ability to upload attachments for your audience. These attachments arrive to users in an easy-to-navigate format. Users simply swipe up to view the content. Snapchat reports that its swipe-up rate achieves five times more positive results than average click-through rates on other marketing channels.

Using Snapchat attachments, you can send your audience informative articles, email opt-ins, video content, invitations to install your brand’s apps, links to your website and other social media profiles, and much more.

If users are interested in your brand, they’ll likely take the time to swipe up through your attachments and see what you have to offer. If you tailor your Snapchat campaign to capturing the attention of a younger consumer base, you could potentially increase your brand awareness.

Ideas for Snapchat Campaigns

Every business has a unique personality, and your marketing efforts on a fun-centered platform like Snapchat should showcase your human side. Consider the following when devising new ways to engage with your audience:

  • Talk one-on-one with customers. You may receive messages, questions, or criticisms about your marketing materials from users. Take this feedback seriously and make the effort to respond to as many user engagements as possible. Modern consumers love to feel valued, so show them you care by taking the time to individually address their concerns and respond to their comments.
  • Insider looks. Show your audience what goes on behind the scenes at your company. If you produce goods, consider doing a walk-through of your production facility to show your customers how you make your products. You could also have lighthearted content showing your employees enjoying their time at work and highlighting some of the things that makes your company unique.
  • Work with influencers. Social media influencers have tremendous reach, so look for Snapchat personalities with sizeable followings who produce content related to your brand. Once you discover a few candidates, approach them with cross-promotional ideas and see if you can capitalize on access to their large audiences.
  • Stay in touch. Younger people are generally current on world events. Information travels quickly, and young people respect companies that can produce something valuable that resonates with the times. Don’t rush to post content about the latest trends and events, however. Many companies have suffered disastrous backlash from their customers over insensitive or poorly timed content releases on social media, so use discretion when deciding what to upload.

Don’t Hesitate

Another important fact to bear in mind (at least for now) is that many marketers have yet to realize the potential Snapchat has as a marketing asset. Your competitors may not have considered advertising on Snapchat due to the overwhelming influence Facebook and Twitter have had over the years. Many professionals have dismissed it as a simple photo-sharing app for teenagers.

Snapchat is far more than a time killer for teenagers. Countless brands have had success marketing on the platform. While the learning curve and entry cost may seem steep at first, investigate the platform to see what potential it has for your brand. If you can tailor an advertising model to your budget and goals, you just need to develop Snapchat-friendly content to start reaping the rewards.

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Thomas Metz is a tech blogger who is currently associated with Los Angeles based web design firm 337Design, which specializes in custom web design and eCommerce solutions. You can follow Thomas on Twitter.

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