Ashley Zeckman

7 Tips for Incorporating Snapchat into Your Marketing Strategy

Ashley Zeckman     Online Marketing


Let’s face it, Snapchat is an application that has many of us scratching our heads and wondering if it’s simply something the “kids are doing these days” or if there is valuable as part of a marketing strategy.

The good news is, Snapchat has faced tremendous growth since launching a couple years ago. In fact, there are an average of 9,000 snaps per second and over 8 billion video views on the platform per day.

So, how fitting that the session I attended about Snapchat Marketing at Social Media Marketing World yesterday started strong with the panelists sending videos of the audience to their respective Snapchat audiences.

In this session, led by Carlos Gil of BMC Software, these brand marketers and Snapchat influencers shared some wisdom on how they use Snapchat to create connections and build engagement.

The panel included Snapchat sensations Shaun McBride and Shaun Ayala (Shaun Squared?), as well as brand marketers Callan Green from L’Oreal and Joel Price of the San Diego Chargers.

These experienced Snapchat experts covered a plethora of tips and best practices for marketers during their session. Below are what I considered to be the top 7 takeaways that both B2C and B2B brands can use to create a more impactful Snapchat marketing strategy.

#1 – Add Value for Everyone

Brands should try to add value to each person that they share their Snapchat stories with, and that value should be present throughout the entire story. Snapchat can be an incredibly effective way to build brand affinity (especially with Millennials) and with all of the options available to them today, they have to see themselves in the content you’re publishing.

#2 – Be Innovative, But Don’t Strive for Protection

According to these Snapchat experts, this platform is a great way to try something new that doesn’t have a ton of risk associated with it. Understanding how to create the perfect snap will be largely dependent on how your audience responds to different types of content that you create.

That means, companies just starting out shouldn’t be afraid to do something innovative or interesting to initially catch the attention of the Snapchat audience. This helps relieve some of the pressure that many brands are likely experiencing when trying to create a strategy without having first tested the platform and trying a few things to see what resonates.

#3 – Give a “Behind-the-Scenes” Look

Both of the marketers from L’Oreal and the San Diego Chargers strongly recommend giving a behind-the-scenes look at your organization to draw in new users, and engage your existing ones. Some of those that have performed the best featured high profile celebrities in a way that fans may have never seen them before.

This is a good opportunity to showcase the raw or real story behind these brands and the celebrities that work with them.

#4 – Allow Influencers to do a Snapchat “Takeover”

One of the topics that all of the panelists unanimously agreed on was the benefit of the Snapchat takeover. Allowing someone that is influential to your fans takeover your Snapchat account for a day can be a way to draw attention to your message.

Sometimes it can be scary if you aren’t exactly sure what they’ll say or do so you’ll need to set a realistic game plan beforehand but let the influencer run with it. Why? There is a reason you wanted to collaborate with them and the more they can be genuine, the more successful this type of campaign can be.

#5 – Don’t Be Afraid to Test But Be Realistic About ROI

Currently, it seems that Snapchat is best used as a mechanism for growing your audience and creating ongoing engagements. While some companies like the San Diego Chargers have used it to manage sweepstakes (one of which received 6,000 submissions in less than 24 hours), you need to be realistic about your expectations for conversions solely based on Snapchat.

Marketers have experienced the same struggle with other social media platforms providing conversions. While there may not be a direct conversion from one social message (or snap) it is part of the process of leading customers through the buying cycle, as well as building brand affinity and trust.

#6 – Take Advantage of Snapchat’s Features

A good Snapchat strategy won’t fulfill everything your audience is looking for immediately, but instead gives them small nuggets of information that make them hungry for more.

Some of the suggestions included utilizing many of the different tools available within the platform to add vibrancy and a mix of drawings and text to keep your audience scanning and engaged with the message.

#7 – How to “do” Snapchat with Limited Resources

Fortunately for marketers, Snapchat currently requires little to no investment to get started. Because of the low financial impact, now is the perfect time to begin figuring out the best application for a brand just breaking into Snapchat.

The panelists also recommended utilizing interns (typically a low cost center), many of which will likely be Millennials to start building your Snapchat following. Chances are many of them are already using Snapchat personally and could actually teach the marketing team a thing or two about the formula for a perfect snap.

7 Snackable Snapchat Marketing Takeaways

As a bonus, I’ve also included 7 additional, snackable tips to keep in mind when you’re venturing out on a Snapchat marketing initiative for the first time:

  1. If you want to humanize your brand, you have to be on Snapchat.
  2. When you’re getting started, utilize your other channels to drive traffic to Snapchat.
  3. The key is to string together a perfect story with a beginning middle and end that is unique and different.
  4. It’s imperative to give your audience a compelling reason to follow you.
  5. People want attention, they want to be famous on social media and they want to win free stuff. If you focus on making your viewers famous, you’ll win the Snapchat game.
  6. No matter what your role is within the company, you should be on Snapchat. So you can understand the platform.
  7. Take Snapchat seriously as part of your marketing but remember to have fun and create a great user experience.

Is Snapchat Marketing Right for Your Brand?

After what I learned today, I think it’s safe to say that every brand has the opportunity to at least test Snapchat’s capabilities and see if there is a fit for their brand marketing strategy.

If you’ve tried and succeeded (or failed) to add Snapchat to your marketing, what has been your experience?

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Ashley Zeckman About Ashley Zeckman

Ashley Zeckman is the Director of Agency Marketing for TopRank Marketing. In addition to finding innovative ways to showcase the exceptional work of her team, she is also responsible for creating digital marketing programs that drive customer acquisition and growth for the agency. Her background includes expertise in everything from content marketing strategy to branding, account management and social media.

Outside of her role at TopRank Online Marketing, Ashley prides herself on being a great home chef, painter, prankster and dog mom.