In Digital Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Social Media

Marketers are always searching for new ways to connect with their target audience. Snapchat is one platform that has made major improvements to include more ways for businesses to do so through digital marketing. If this powerful platform reaches your target market, Snapchat marketing may be worth your time and energy. 

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat has gained huge popularity since its 2011 debut—reaching about 190 million daily users in the first quarter of 2019. While the platform originally only allowed users to send pictures to one another, Snapchat has evolved as it has grown. New features such as the Discover channels, filters, Stories, and in-app links to external sites have made it a robust platform that keeps users engaged for longer—and more frequent—sessions. These changes allow marketers to get in touch with their audience in a more seamless and exciting way. 

Creating an account for your business is easy and free. It is a great way to connect with your target audience and current clients about sales, new products or services, and what is going on within the business on a day-to-day basis. This is easily—and least invasively—done through organic posts on your company’s “story” page, where you can share a post with followers for 24 hours before it disappears.

Some things having a company Snapchat account can do include: 

  • Offering discounts and promo codes to your followers as an exclusive perk for following
  • Driving traffic to your website with embedded links in both organic posts or ads
  • Engaging with your audience by answering any direct messages your followers may send
  • Showing followers the new items in stock or new changes via images and videos, and so much more. 

A visual medium

Snapchat is ideal for products or services that are visually appealing to promote, due to its heavy image and video focus. Because it is primarily a visual medium, content posted to the channel must be excellent visual quality. While you may be able to get away with using average and amateur photos on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn—that also heavily promote written content—you will need to master the medium of Snapchat in order to see success.

Snapchat demographics

Before investing a portion of your budget into Snap Ads, consider whether Snapchat users make up a large part of your target market. This is crucial, as you do not want to run ads or post about a product or service that will not see the results needed to make the time, effort and resources worth it. 

Snapchat is most commonly used among 13–29-year-olds, with 69% of 13–17-year-olds using the app and 68% of 18–29-year-olds also active. Currently, usage drops considerably in older age ranges; only 26% of those ages 30–49 use the platform. 

If your target audience is not within this range, that doesn’t mean some Snapchat marketing can’t be part of a well-rounded marketing strategy. Rather than paying to promote ads,  you could post frequent organic content to your followers—in any demographic. 

As users on this application age, these demographics will continue to expand both in age range and in overall user numbers. 

Paid Advertising

In addition to organic content, Snapchat offers paid advertising features to further promote your brand, products, and services. These include:

  • Sponsored Filters. A filter is an image or graphic that is placed over a Snap when selected. Filters can be holiday-themed, location-specific (called Geofilters), or just something fun. Businesses can sponsor a filter featuring their logo or company name to increase brand reach. It is estimated that over 16 million users see these filters every day. 
  • Direct ad campaigns. Snapchat shows direct ads to users in the geographic area where the ad runs. They appear in between the stories of users’ friends, or in between pages on the Discover Channel. (The Discover Channel acts as a place for news, media, and magazine outlets to show mini-series of information to app users, who are able to also subscribe to channels they prefer.) People Magazine currently, as of August 2019, mentions their discover channel in their Instagram bio, with a link directing followers to their channel, as a way to promote their Snapchat content. 

When you engage your target audience on Snapchat, the possibilities are endless. It serves as both an organic resource and paid campaign resource. Snapchat is only eight years old and still one of the fastest, most adapting applications in terms of marketing, allowing marketers to reach users who may be less active on other social platforms.

For further reading check out Hootsuite’s take on running effective Snapchat ads for specific information on advertising with and using Snapchat for business. Or if you’re quite new to the social media landscape, catch the basics of some other popular social media platforms that might be a good fit for your brand

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