How to Use Snapchat for Business

When many people hear the word “Snapchat” they are reminded of silly filters, doggy faces, and ten-second videos of people goofing off. What many marketers may not know yet is that using Snapchat could be one of the most effective marketing strategies for 2018. Here’s why…

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Snapchat in a Snap

In case you were wondering if this is a platform that someone can do business with, you should consider some of the stats. Snapchat is the most powerful marketing tool on the planet right now, with:

  • 173 million daily active users.
  • 300 million monthly active users.
  • Over 10 billion videos posted every day.
  • Twice the visual attention of Facebook.
  • 1.3 times as effective as YouTube.
  • Reaches 11% of total US digital population.
  • Snapchat has raised $1.8 billion dollars.

The numbers don’t lie, but the platform may not be for every business model, so it’s important that before you dive in, you understand exactly how it works.

The Discover Section

In mid-2016 Snapchat introduced a new section that was geared toward business. It was meant to keep the social aspect of the platform as a separate—yet integrated force. The Discover section on Snapchat is where companies can post shows and host digital channels.

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The section features a Pinterest-style tile layout where people can see images and headlines to preview the content. This section is kept separate from the more personal “live” stories page, but users can still scroll the Discover feed from their general “stories” page to explore new business videos.

The Discover section went through an overhaul last November with the intent to make it easier for businesses to advertise on the platform. The new look and algorithm sorts content according to individual users' taste and is meant to target niche audiences and open more ad opportunities for media partners.

Businesses and Snapchat

Some of the biggest brands in business are hitting a homerun with Snapchat, while other media companies are taking a break. So, what works and what doesn’t? There’s a lot of factors that go into making marketing into a snap.

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Many traditional TV companies are creating shows with Snapchat. NBC News has a team of 30 people for its daily show "Stay Tuned," which recently hit its 250th episode. NBC News also said the show averaged nearly 30 million unique viewers in its first month.

Starbucks is another brand that has seen great success by using Snapchat’s filter feature. The beloved coffee company launched a Snapchat “chilled summer drinks” campaign with a cartoon version of their Frappuccinos. Users could then share it with their friends. After the campaign, the company saw their ROI jump from $50 million in 2015 to $1 billion in 2017.

The popular music app Spotify has also seen the light when it comes to Snapchat. The company purchased Snap Ads to promote their annual “Year in Music,” a campaign where users can review all the songs they listened to that year.

Snap ads are a 10-second long, full-screen, vertical video ad that appears in between user stories. The ads were scheduled to pop up on the Discover channel, highlighting a different music genre every day. As a result, Spotify earned 26 million total views and a 30% increase on subscriber intent.

CNN, however, has decided that for now, it may not be the avenue for them, and has ended their show with Snapchat. Although they have not completely walked away from their partnership, they are “pausing” their campaigns. The company decided to convert their publisher show to a more traditional TV platform that they feel would work better with their audience.

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It’s important to understand that although this platform sees great success for a lot of businesses, it may not work for everyone. It’s important to pay attention to your metrics and test more than one avenue at a time. If you are getting more conversions from your Facebook campaign, maybe you need to pause Snapchat too. BUT, if you are seeing even .001% of the return of Starbucks, stay right where you are!

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