Snapchat is a millennial’s dream. Share whatever content you like and let it disappear into the ethosphere within seconds. It’s perfect for the always distracted, busy people we’ve become. With Snapchat, we can quickly consume bite-sized portions of content for entertainment or education, then move on.
Why engage in Snapchat marketing if you only have your audience’s attention for seconds at a time? If you manage to make an impact within those few seconds, you’ve succeeded in impressing an audience who’s nearly impossible to impress. You’ve made an impact during a time when they have your full attention: when they’re communicating with their friends.
If Snapchat still sounds like a waste of time, it isn’t. Here are ten reasons why.
1) It’s a quick way to reach a massive, influential audience
In 2015, six billion videos were posted every day to Snapchat from its 100 million daily users. It sees seven billion video views, inching closer to Facebook’s eight billion daily views from its 1.55 billion users.
We’re not talking about just any users. We’re talking about millennials — people aged 18-34 who make up ¼ of the U.S. population alone. Eighty million Americans with $200 billion in annual buying power. A generation of influencers, with those older and younger looking to them for the latest in food, fashion, music, culture and tech.
It’s no surprise that millennials spend 86 hours per month on mobile apps — 23 more hours than their older counterparts, according to ComScore. Of those, Snapchat has the sixth highest concentration of millennial users among mobile apps at 76%. Meaning, Snapchat and its content has their attention.
Brands are now recognizing the opportunity that is Snapchat. According to eMarketer, a Cowen and Company survey of senior U.S. ad buyers on what social media platform they expected to begin advertising on in 2016 shows Snapchat led the list for the first time at 22%, trailed by Instagram and Pinterest at 12%.
Conde Nast has jumped on the bandwagon, covering large events such as fashion shows and Teen Vogue parties, weaving sponsored “snaps” into Live Stories and sharing revenue with Snapchat while tapping the millennial audience.
Now, Snapchat is making advertising easier by building an API for its partners that’s expected to be ready for testing this spring.
2) It’s adding a chat function, making it a must-have
According to The Verge, Snapchat is working on a new chat interface, which will make it look a lot more like a traditional messaging app. As less and less young people use Facebook (some estimates say up to a million teens are leaving the platform each year), it looks like Snapchat is filling the messaging void.
Users are already relying on the app to communicate with their friends on the platform. Why not add a function that could replace text messaging, making Snapchat young people’s go-to for all communications?
In The Verge, Snapchat’s Evan CEO Spiegel says:
“We’re trying to get rid of these weird boxes that we put media into and get to the essence of conversation — that we’re both here.” “The essence of conversation is not which media format we choose to talk to each other with, so we don’t differentiate between snaps and chats. It’s just someone wanting to talk to you.”
For brands, this means being front and center on what could be young people’s primary channel of peer-to-peer communication.
3) Soon enough, it will no longer be ‘just for teens’
According to ComScore, Snapchat reached 15% of the U.S. adult population in the second half of 2015. As reported by Wired’s Jessi Hempel:
“Several years ago, Andrew Lipsman, vice president of marketing and insights at ComScore, analyzed traffic to Facebook and MySpace in an attempt to discern when each saw the network effect kick in. Facebook started taking off in 2007, once it reached 15% of the adult Internet users in the United States. Its predecessor, MySpace, began hitting the mainstream in 2006 upon reaching just over 20%.”
If history repeats itself as it often does, Snapchat is on the verge of infiltrating the mainstream — adults aged 35-44. Currently, 13% of the demographic is on the platform, projected to grow to 15% by September of 2016.
Older millennials and Gen X’ers are adopting the service at an accelerated rate. The app saw growth of 59% last year to 40.3 million U.S. adult users (as of November 2015) and 69% among people age 25 to 34.
There’s speculation that this won’t happen because the UI is too difficult for older adult users, but that’s what people said about Facebook in 2007. Today, 73% of adults aged 30-49 are on Facebook. Get a head start now before the platform is diluted by noise from other advertisers and brands.
4) The audience is hyper-engaged
Taco Bell says 80% of their over 200,000 Snapchat friends open their snaps.
According to VentureBeat, Of Snapchat’s 100 million daily active users in 2015, 65% of them actually contributed content — snaps and stories — of their own. This is incredibly high engagement for a mobile app and social network. If you’re looking for a captive audience, Snapchat is the place to be.
5) It’s a fun and effective way to showcase company culture
AdWeek says Snapchat is becoming the hottest social tool for ad agencies, from recruiting to winning new business. If the agencies — the people you’d hire to market your business — are seeing the platform’s potential, why not jump on it yourself?
Take advantage of the platform’s fleeting moments to have some fun with your content. Snapchat lets brands relate to their audiences by being silly, casual or funny. You can have a conversation with your audience rather than market to them, which is far more endearing for potential customers.
6) It offers a new way to break news and trends first
If you’re trying to build brand awareness, being the first to add value with fresh content is the key to successful curation. Snapchat offers an interactive way to do that.
According to AdWeek, Giant Spoon started pitching briefs and random digital marketing data to clients via Snapchat last month. After learning from a meeting with Reddit that 47% of Redditors are female, it posted a quick video of an employee breaking down the stat on Snapchat. Next time you go to share an interesting stat on Twitter, try creating a video on Snapchat first.
7) It leverages direct-to-audience video interactions
Sending a quick and personalized video message to a customer can be a powerful effort. Imagine being able to solve a customer service problem, answer a question, or announce the winner of a competition – directly within seconds.
You couldn’t do this with every customer at scale. However, interacting with the right customers can have a huge impact for your brand. If your favorite company interacted directly with you, wouldn’t you tell all of your friends?
Snapchat’s video chatting feature is by design one of fastest and most casual ways to start a video chat, making the investment in interactions minimal. Plus, it’s a fun way to engage with your audience. Sending an entertaining (note: it should also be well thought out) video message feels more like fun than it does work.
8) It’s a powerful vehicle for influencer marketing
Snapchat’s role in influencer marketing is two-fold. For one, it’s a great place to connect with influencers. They are definitely on the platform. Apparently Eva Longoria almost accidentally snapped her engagement.
Not only are celebrities fairly easy to reach on Snapchat once connected with them, they have huge audiences and engaged fans just waiting for their next snap or story. Partner with celebrities to share snaps about your product or service.
9) It’s shaping how we communicate
As mentioned, Snapchat is quickly becoming the catchall for young people’s connectedness. They’re using it to share videos and photos more than any other platform, and soon texts. Additionally, the platform is changing the way we communicate, focusing on communicating “in the moment” and doing away with stock-piled notifications.
As The Verge reports, the app’s push notifications don’t tell you whether you’ve received a snap or a chat, they just show the name of the friend who wants your attention. Instead of read receipts, you’ll know a message was read because it disappears from your conversation (but you can tap on individual texts to save them).
Being a business whose front and center on a platform so forward-thinking says a lot about the brand. The most important thing being that you’re in-tune with your audience and willing to come to them.
10) Your content will never be lost during busy time
Unlike most social networks that you push content out to, sending a snap is like sending an email to an inbox, but people actually open them. There’s no getting lost in the noise or worrying about the shelf life of your content. Your snap or story sits there until your friend or fan opens it. It’s an impactful way of building a relationship with your audience.
Keeping up with the Kardashians
Ok, we don’t actually mean the Kardashians. We mean that although not every social platform or tool is going to be right for you, it’s healthy to get out there and test new strategies to see what works and what doesn’t. By being open and forward-thinking, you’ll always be one step ahead of your competition. You can think strategically without creating big long strategies for everything. Just get out there and start testing content.
What brands have you seen crushing Snapchat? Share them in the comments below!
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