Snapchat as a marketing tool

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Snapchat Selfie

Great marketing campaigns tell a story and that’s exactly what Snapchat does best, telling stories quickly to an engaged audience. Snapchat has seen massive growth over the past four years, now becoming an established media platform with over 100 million daily users and over 10 billion video views per day(1).

That’s why brands from every industry, and with all different kinds of target demographic – from Cosmopolitan to National Geographic and Sky Sports – are using snapchat to connect with their fans in a way that’s low-cost but personal and engaging. In fact, eMarketer has found that 22% of senior ad buyers said they planned to advertise on Snapchat this year for the first time, and also estimates that ad revenues will reach $1 billion in 2017(2).

As well as the familiar Stories feature, Snapchat offers several different paid marketing options to meet the specific goals of your business. You can create your own Snap Ad, build a Sponsored Geofilter, or give users an opportunity to interact with a fun Sponsored Lens.

Snapchat logo

Build brand awareness with Snap Ads

Snap Ads are a great way to get the attention of your target audience. A Snap Ad is a 10-second, full screen vertical video ad that appears in between Stories. As an added extra, advertisers can offer Snapchatters the choice to swipe up to see more in-depth content. This could include a long form video, an article, app install ad, or link to a mobile website. According to Snapchat, the swipe-up rate for Snap Ads is as much as five times higher than the average click-through rate on comparable social media platforms.

Drive engagement with Snapchat Geofilters

Snapchat now has two types of custom Geofilters that businesses can take advantage of: On-Demand Geofilters, and the pricier option of Sponsored Geofilters.

Geofilters (small art graphics that show up over a snap) have proven to be a highly effective method of bringing in new business. When Snapchatters in the location of your choice take a picture, they’ll be able to select your Geofilter and use it to explain where, when, and why they took the Snap -sharing it with friends and family.

For example, if your business is having a special event in your local area, users can take Snaps of themselves interacting with your brand using your fun local Geofilter to let their friends know where they are and what they are doing. In this case an On-Demand Geofilter will suffice.

If your campaign is less location-specific, then Snapchat users all over the country can take Snaps of themselves and add your filter over it. This is a highly effective strategy; according to Snapchat, in the US, a single National Sponsored Geofilter typically reaches 40 to 60% of daily Snapchatters – which is why these sorts of national filters tend to cost significantly more.

Increase involvement with Snapchat Sponsored Lens

Sponsored Lenses offer users the opportunity to play with the interactive ad you’ve created. To activate these Lenses, users press and hold on their faces. Some Lenses include prompts like ‘raise your eyebrows’ to trigger an animation, adding fun to the experience and engaging the users. When you’re finished playing with the Lens, it’s easy to send a picture or video to a friend or post your Snap to your Story. Snapchat explains on their website that on average Snapchatters play with a Sponsored Lens for 20 seconds.

Snapchat Selfie

Build brand loyalty with Stories

This is where the app really shines. Build a story using 10-second video clips and photo stills that your followers can really engage with. The fact that stories disappear makes viewers more likely to pay attention when they are viewing them. Snapchat stories can be used to show a behind the scenes view of your company, promote a trade show you are attending, and can even be used to send out discounts and vouchers. So rather than taking to Facebook to write several paragraphs about your next product or project, capture the moment quicker and more personally with a story.

Before you get too ahead of yourself, remember you have to still find your followers and encourage them to connect with you, just as you would on any other platform. Snapchat lacks the social sharing aspect of other platforms. If one of your friends follows a brand on Snapchat, it has no impact on you whatsoever - you don’t see it and you don’t hear about it. This makes it harder to connect with users on Snapchat.

One of the best ways to find new followers is to promote your Snapchat off the platform as much as you can. This can include sharing your Snapchat username on all of your other social media sites, your own website, and in an email to your email list. You could also get an influencer on board who can encourage users to follow you, or offer an incentive up front, offering the chance to win a prize, or sending out promotions.

Whatever your views on Snapchat as a business tool, there’s no denying the sheer volume of users engaging with it. If your business is targeting the younger demographic this may be a perfect way to reach them.



(1) Source: Snapchat internal data, Septemer 2016.

(2) Source:, Many Senior Ad Buyers Plan to Advertise on Snapchat in 2016, 22 January 2016. Snapchat Ad Revenues to Reach Nearly $1 Billion Next Year, 6 September 2016.

post by Holly
Client Portal.