Snapchat’s stylized ghost icon is ubiquitous these days, as the teen favorite messaging app has gained popularity with a much broader fan base – most recently, Snapchat has entered into advertising partnerships with 20th Century Fox, Buzzfeed, and the NFL. How can you make the most of this friendly ghost? We’ve put together a strategy that will allow you to scare up some brand mojo from this snappy new digital marketing tool!

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Photo Credit: The Verge

Be sure to check out these other strategies for social media marketing success

How Does It Work?

Snapchat – as in snapshot – was designed as a mobile messaging app with a special feature: instead of sending texts, users could send “snaps,” which can be either video or still images, and decorate snaps with filters, effects, text captions, and drawings. Users can add friends and search for other users nearby; updates include text and video conferences and “notes.”

Snapchat includes a variety of graphic design and media tools. “Geofilters” allow users to add special graphics backgrounds at certain locations, like destinations and events. The “Lens” feature allows users to add real-time effects. Snaps can be directed to one user or made semi-public using the “Story” function. Recently, Snapchat introduced “Our Stories” and “Live Stories,” which allow users to post their snaps to collaborative photo albums from an event, or share live snap streams from their activities.

What Makes It Popular?

Snapchat combines texting, selfies, and creativity – its popularity with Millennials is no surprise. Users favor Snapchat for fun, “comedic” content like funny faces and customized emojis. It’s also a popular communication app, allowing users to switch back and forth from photo to messaging. Snapchat’s innovative “Timeout” feature allow users to keep snaps temporary. The “Travel” feature means that users can put snap transmissions on hold to save data – for the smartphone generation, this is a must.

Advertisers have already caught on to Snapchat’s marketing potential, with Snapchat’s “Discover” feature providing users with channels of short-form sponsored content from media outlets like CNN, ESPN, and Vice. Snapchat’s graphic features are tailor-made for marketing, with customized wraps used to promote summer blockbusters and sports teams. Ads on Snapchat reach up to a million users, and Snapchat’s platform is diversifying with every new update.

Snapchat’s video and photo-friendly format is perfect for teasers, product demos, and updates. Snapchat is ideal for personalized visual content, and it’s fast becoming a favorite for content creators and designers.

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Image Credit: Valoso.com

Snaps Served Fresh Every Day

Since Snapchat content is designed to disappear in minutes or hours, it’s the perfect platform for sneak previews and other time-stamped content. If you can make a habit of posting exclusive updates, users will hurry to check the latest updates.

Tell the Story

You can also create “Live Stories” from events and conferences, or use the “Story” function to serialize updates from a product release or a store opening. Another option is to use Snapchat to provide members with a “Backstage Pass.” Create videos and photo streams from your offices or your factory floor, or behind the scenes at an event. Users will feel like they’re part of your team.

Be sure to check out these tips for incorporating video content into your marketing.

Inspire User-Generated Content

Snapchat is ideal for user-generated content, which makes it the perfect app for a photo or video contest. You can also use your logo to create a customized graphic, or offer users your own exclusive set of filters. Users can share themed videos or upload selfies holding your product.

Offer Exclusive Content

You can also offer private content to users so they feel like insiders. Fashion designers are using Snapchat to preview collections before they hit the runway. You can offer exclusive access to a product demo, a new design feature, or a promo video for a new business location. Users can get access promo codes by watching to the end of a video, or log in at a particular day and time.

Partner Up

Another great option for marketing exclusives is partnering with another business. A travel agency might offer a promo at a local Italian restaurant to pair with exclusive deals on getaways to Rome. A local concert venue can partner with local bands to offer swag, or a neighborhood music store for a discount on vintage records. If customers see your Snapchat as a portal to unique promotions and deals, they’ll follow your channel and your company.

Build a Network

Snapchat is a social network like Twitter and Facebook; it’s easy to follow other industry professionals who will lead you to new opportunities and ideas. They’ll also be likely to follow you back, which can boost your traffic.

Target Markets

If you can, come up with a list of companies and brands that might catch the interest of your target customer base. If they see your Snapchat channel as a news and entertainment feed, they’ll be more likely to check in regularly. You can also link to articles about Snapchat and other social media trends on sites like Mashable and Upworthy, and include your own caption encouraging users to experiment and share.

Snapchat is about fun, fast-paced, user-generated content. With a little creativity and planning, you’ll be able to take advantage of this addictive new social media platform!

Are you interested in learning more about marketing strategies for social media? At Square 1 Group, our dedicated team of digital marketing professionals will give you expert advice on building your brand across social media platforms. Contact Square 1 Group for a consultation today!