10 Ways to Use Snapchat for Marketing in the ‘Attention Crisis’ Era
What could brands possibly do with disappearing content? A lot, it turns out.
Especially when analytics driven marketers realize that the Snapchat market targets users in the 13-25 demographic who are slowly languishing from other social media platforms. And the user base is over 26 million American users, sending of 400 million snaps a day. Attention spans have dropped dramatically, making this real-time and infamously disappearing content platform an immediate success amongst users. There’s something alluring about content which ceases to exist, and that is exactly where Snapchat has scored in an era that is fondly called the ‘attention crisis’.
As a frontrunner of disruption and innovation, here are 10 ways that brands can harness the technology of Snapchat for marketing.
Behind the Scenes Footage
Users love seeing raw content. The unadulterated, un-doctored content is appealing to users who see the faces, the works and the processes that go behind their favorite brands. So whether its a manufacturing process, a new package design, or behind the scenes of a photoshoot or runway show, a brand can show their followers a real face. One can even go a step further by having a hashtag on twitter to guess the sequence or surprise of the behind-the-scenes video series, and subsequently convert the anticipation into a measurable metric.
Feedback on Unfinished Products
Similar to the strategy of using influencers as product developers to create campaigns and content, Snapchat can enable brands to provide sneak peaks into developing works. Users can be asked to showcase their thoughts on other platforms and effectively provide feedback on what they want to do or see with the preview. Integrating this into new product launches can have a longer term positive impact on the brand – with crowdsourced commentary and ultimately more satisfied customers.
Capitalizing on the FOMO Crowd
Capitalizing on the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) mindset is key to Snapchat’s success. Behind the scenes footage is one way of doing this. What’s more, providing information to attendees of events, before the preview of a movie, or even when hosting a conference, can make Snapchatters feel like VIPs, who are privileged to know more. Rebecca Minkoff did this at NYFW, making her fans feel like they were more privileged than actually being at the show. Another example is telling Snapchat followers to focus in on an episode of their favorite show at 12 minutes for a hidden twist; a tactic which is bound to drive traffic and TRPs. As is telling event attendees that there’s an afterparty or preview party at a certain time, which is invite only courtesy of Snapchat.And it doesn’t even have to be for luxury brands: Taco Bell made their consumers feel like VIPs with access to their new product launch ahead of time. This tackles the more emotional side of marketing, which is often overlooked as it is harder to measure.
Limited Edition Sales
Similar to the FOMO trend, offering a limited edition item – a menu item, an accessory, or a special edition movie, could work for small businesses or retailers. Holding a low inventory of products could trigger a Black Friday effect, when only a certain portion of Snapchatters can acquire access to an item if they find it in stores. Or in the case of restaurants, only they can taste that special dessert that is served if they found out about it on Snapchat. Since either strategy refers to real products that aren’t as regular purchases, their commerce is trackable, too.
16 Handles effectively launched coupons on Snapchat which could only be opened when in stores. The easily mimic-able strategy can ensure that loyal followers are making some sort of purchase – either in person or on an e-commerce site. Plus, coupon codes can be tracked to measure the ROI of your Snapchat strategy. It can work well for flash sales, and perhaps even work in A/B testing versus an email marketing or text messaging campaign.
Cross Platform Sales Strategies
There are many other sales strategies besides couponing. ‘Fill in the blank’ on an empty snap image, or having a contest on Snapchat; both can be answered on Twitter or Instagram, whereby a user gets a direct message on their personal coupon code. Such tactics build engagement between a social following, and bolster the likelihood of cross channel promotions.
Effective Influencer Marketing
Influencers are no longer new to the endorsement and marketing world. Almost in ways that makes a handful of influencers the go-to for every product in their niche. Many have noticed one influencer marketing several products, which makes their series of Instagram posts less influential, in a sense. Having a raw, unedited version of an influencer using a cologne, a fitness supplement, a flight or any other product, can thus be very useful in converting followers to potential users.
Taking influencer marketing one step further is the concept of a takeover. Lending a brand’s snapchat account (or Instagram account for that matter) to an influencer for a day allows users to see their own behind-the-scenes footage of how an influencer lives their life and connects it to the brand. Case in point: Red Bull by Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris. Or picture Evan Garber taking on the US Open account. Growing audiences and building connections just got easier, didn’t it?
Location Based Marketing
Snapchat’s geo-filters enable people to utilize them at certain locations. As a brand, one can utilize it to showcase where a new launch is, where they are, etc., and also purchase and personalize them. This has been common during fashion week, conferences, shows, and time sensitive events. Lilly Pulitzer created a branded image as a geo-filter which was used exclusively in stores and made to match custom patterns. Besides showcasing brand exclusivity, this also gave awareness a boost. The simple example was a case of digital guerrilla marketing, where friends of friends saw the filters and consequently looked up Lilly Pulitzer.
Real Time Marketing
A twist on location time marketing is the real time rendition of it. With Snapchat giving audiences behind the scenes privileges, using geo-filters is a no brainer. But accenting those with temperatures, speed (e.g. when traveling on a plane!) can enhance the reality even further. Buffer did this with their employees working remotely from Mexico, showing how you do not need to be a consumer brand to snap away – B2B works too!
Ultimately, similar to what Periscope has done with video, Snapchat has taken the ‘real time’ and ‘instant’ tag from Instagram, and is an opportunity for brands to capitalize on keeping themselves alive in the moment. Strategies are definitely possible to execute beyond the disappearing image, the 24 hour story or the 10 second video snap.
For disappearing from a platform does not mean it disappears from public memory; if anything, it makes the desire to seek things out even stronger in the era of the attention crisis.