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Snapchat: How to Get your Marketing Strategy Started

If you’re struggling to figure out how to market towards the younger generation, the answer isn’t necessarily Facebook, which is the go-to platform for most businesses. Snapchat always has relevant content due to the self-destruct feature and has 100 million daily active users. Also, it’s a fun way to engage followers without making them feel like you’re actively trying to advertise to them. Whether your marketing strategy has a low or high budget, Snapchat is a platform suited for both.

Is Snapchat a Good Marketing Platform for Your Strategy?

Obviously, you won’t want to read all about what Snapchat can do for other businesses if it won’t even apply to yours. The main factor in deciding whether you should use it or not is to consider your audience. Who is on Snapchat? Mostly Millennials. Teens, young adults, college students—those who are typically branded as having short attention spans and being able to multi-task. Basically, they don’t respond to normal forms of advertising. Marketing on Snapchat is the solution for that category of people because it is counting on short attention spans and is where the younger generation are looking all throughout the day. If your target audience is older men or women, you probably aren’t going to have much or any success with your marketing strategy. 

It is a good platform if your audience is younger and craves that more authentic approach. Marketing to the Millennial age group is already difficult; Snapchat offers the best chance for your marketing strategy to have success getting through to them by being different. Snapchat has the least advertising competition right now, gives off an authentic vibe, and always has relevant content. If that’s your kind of audience, market to them where they’re more likely to connect with you compared to other platforms with “boring” ads. 

What Can Snapchat Do?

Snapchat consists of videos that can last for 10 seconds and pictures (called snaps) that last for however many seconds you set them for (anywhere from 1-10). They can either be sent to specific users or shared with your followers under “My Story”. You can choose to either depend on your posts to market for you or pay for Snapchat ads to appear in people’s stories. Your posts will be seen only by those who follow you, unless they are shared, whereas your ads can be now be targeted and seen by more than just your followers. 

On both images and videos, you can use drawing tools, text add-ins, and emojis to add some character to your posts. Since your audience on this platform is younger, it’s okay to draw a sunshine in the top corner of your selfie if you want. You can even put however many emojis you want at the end of your message. The good thing about a marketing strategy with Snapchat is that you get to have fun and have multiple posting options.

Tease New Products

The way snaps work, they only last for so many seconds before they disappear forever, assuming a person doesn’t screenshot it. This is the perfect way to tease people with whatever you have to sell. Have a new product that’s coming out soon? Give them a sneak peak. 

Clothing store Free People used Snapchat for their marketing strategy by doing just that. They created a buzz about their upcoming clothing line by posting teasers of their outfits. You want some leads for your business? Tease your audience with what’s to come.

Show off Your Company

Snapchat allows you to show your followers who you are. This isn’t Facebook where you might be frowned upon for posting a crazy video. Don’t be afraid to reveal the behind the scenes of your business and show some personality. Let people get to know who you are, and they might be more willing to buy from you. 

Make a Geofilter

Geofilters are a filter you can have your followers apply to their snaps within a certain location or time. These can be used for events or simply to increase brand awareness. Just make sure to advertise your geofilter on other social media platforms, so people know the filter exists. Otherwise, you just wasted some of your Snapchat marketing budget. 

Dunkin’ Donuts made a geofilter say “I’m Donuts About You” for Valentines Day that worked to put their brand on everyone’s mind. It was a fun way for people to send a snap to their crush or special someone while planting the seed of a donut craving at the same time. 

Another great geofilter example is one created by Lilly Pulitzer, a clothing store known for their paisley designs. For their Snapchat marketing strategy, they created a geofilter of some of their most popular print designs, encouraging people to snap a pic when they tried clothing on in stores to match the filter. You pay for the filter and get endless advertising out of it. 

Push Incentives

Think about why you give stores your email address and why you don’t. Some offer a welcome coupon and some don’t. If your goal is to get more leads as well as sales, start offering rewards and coupons for those following you on Snapchat. Fifty-eight percent of college students stated they were more likely to buy something if they received a coupon, from Snapchat specifically. Snapchat can end up driving people to your website, and a reward can prompt consumers to make a purchase. You can do this by prompting people to screenshot your snap and share with their friends to receive a discount code in response. 

16 Handles offered an incentive to get more customers by asking their followers to send a snap of themselves eating frozen yogurt at 16 Handles. The follower would then receive a snap back containing a surprise reward that could be opened only at the register (otherwise it would self-destruct and never be seen again). The reward ranged from different percentages off the frozen yogurt purchase, encouraging followers to come twice: once for the initial snap and second for the reward. 

Connect with Influencers

A popular way to get more followers that has been shown to work is to get an influencer to speak for you. People will listen to celebrities or popular people because they want to be just like them. Some brands have had a celebrity appear on their Snapchat. If you’re a small business who can’t afford someone like Ryan Seacrest to send a snap for you, try asking local celebrities like everyone’s favorite radio station host. 

One of the most successful cases of a brand using an influencer to get more followers was the luxury car manufacturer Audi who partnered with the hit show Pretty Little Liars. Audi decided that Pretty Little Liars had the best audience for them to target—women between 18 and 34 who were dedicated to the show and would do anything for more answers, even follow a luxury car manufacturer. Rather than connect to this audience by showing them cars, they provided a second screen for the viewers to entice them to follow. Thanks to the hashtags provided on screen during every big scene on the show, viewers are able to connect in conversation on social media. Audi joined that #PLL conversation by providing clues and a commentary about the episodes and even featured the star Ian Harding live, who had his own large following already. 

Of course, Audi targeted only fans of the show and not actual car fans to avoid losing any existing followers. With this Snapchat marketing strategy, Audi was able to gain 115,000 followers they would never have gotten had they not thought to market to an audience outside their initial reach. 

Start Bringing in the Followers

Once you’re good at knowing what to post and how to do it effectively, you can start focusing on your numbers. Always promote yourself on other social media platforms and offer incentives for people to follow you. And don’t forget to use your Snapcode, which is like your profile “fingerprint” for users to scan with their phones and connect with you. 

Snapchat is a casual platform. Think of your image quality on Snapchat compared to that of Instagram or Facebook. It’s a little less professional, but that’s what’s expected on such a casual platform. Think about your audience. Think fun and brightly colored. The average user group on Snapchat ranges from 12 to 34. You don’t have to be super mature or professional. Just be you and show your audience the relaxed, more relatable side of your brand. 



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