Reinvigorate your marketing efforts with Snapchat

Snapchat’s progress seems unstoppable. An incredible 150 million users spend at least 25 minutes on the app every single day.


It is perhaps no surprise, then, that other platforms are trying to learn from its success. Just look at Instagram: it has created a feature called Instagram Stories that is a clear attempt to build on the popularity of Snapchat.

For brands, Snapchat offers a fun, playful and instant way to connect with audiences. It is a great way to inject personality into a brand’s marketing efforts, and to show customers they are moving with the times. It can be exceptionally low-cost, as the best Snapchat content is often rough, imperfect and relatable. For brands that have previously stuck to TV advertising, email marketing and traditional social channels, now is the time to experiment with Snapchat.

Far from a conventional marketing platform, it has (until now) typically been adopted by ‘young’ brands – those targeting preteens, teens and users under 25. But this is changing: as Snapchat’s user demographic gets older, we are seeing an increasing number of brands jumping on the self-deleting content bandwagon.

Recent research shows that the number of users over 25 is growing twice as fast as the number of users under 25. In fact, 50 per cent of new users are 25 or older, which highlights the changing nature of Snapchat’s audience and an opportunity that brands could be tapping into [Source: Mediakix].

Many brands are put off by platforms like Snapchat because they ‘don’t fit in with their existing content strategy’. But this is really the whole point: while conventional social channels enable you to publish informative or in-depth content that users can take time reading and come back to, Snapchat is about being in the moment, and doing things that are not possible on other channels – e.g. sharing exclusive behind-the-scenes content, giving sneak peeks of products or events, or launching competitions.


Snapchat has been embraced by some unexpected brands

CNN is a great example of a traditional media outlet that’s using Snapchat to offer its audience a new, engaging way to learn about what’s going on in the world. Its use of Snapchat Discover allows users to explore visual-led stories that will be viewable for up to 24 hours – tapping into their desire for snappy, instant news. Its marketing on Snapchat is quite unlike anything it has done on other channels, and has proven successful in engaging new audiences.

Another brand you wouldn’t naturally expect to see on Snapchat, General Electric saw an opportunity early on to use the platform to engage with a younger audience. They have used Snapchat for cost-effective engaging campaigns such as sharing fun facts, puzzles, brainteasers and answering questions from their audience. The have also used it in larger campaigns such as when astronaut Buzz Aldrin took over the account over to commemorate 45 years since man walked on the moon.

Fusing online and offline to enhance the customer experiences

Missguided is a great example of a brand that is bridging the gap between the online and offline customer experience. Its first standalone store, in Westfield Stratford City, has been specifically designed to leave shoppers with an urge to Snap. From vending machines that sell ‘unicorn dreams’ in a can to a giant pink monster truck at the bottom-floor entrance, the Missguided store has been purposely designed to encourage shoppers to Snapchat their shopping experience.

Fashion retailer H&M integrated Snapchat into a marketing stunt in Poland last year by hiding tickets to an exclusive party in stores locations. They then sent out cryptic clues via Snapchat as to the whereabouts of the hidden tickets. This is a great example of fusing the online and offline experience to interact and drive customers to stores – for minimal Snapchat budget!

Bespoke filters for every occasion

Every year, customers look forward to the John Lewis Christmas advert and, in support of its 2016 advert, the brand partnered with Snapchat to create a special Buster the Boxer Christmas filter. The filter offered customers a fun way to engage with the new advert on a platform that they love using, showing that John Lewis understands where their customers are.

River Island recently used Snapchat to provide customers with bespoke filters to use in its stores. The filters changed according to the season, giving shoppers opportune and relevant content. Customers that used and shared the bespoke filters while in store were entered into a prize draw to win a £1,000 shopping spree and a digital camera.


Succeeding on Snapchat is all about knowing what type of content your users want, and delivering it in a way that works for the platform. Here are five tips for creating great Snapchat content:

  1. Sneak peak and VIP access – With social media channels constantly buzzing with the latest and greatest, use Snapchat to give your most loyal followers a sneak peak, VIP access or an exclusive preview. This will help build stronger, more engaging relationships with your followers by letting them in on a secret before the rest of the world finds out.
  2. Get the creative juices flowing – Snapchat is a chance to get creative and bring something fresh to the table. The platform is a great place to share your brand personality, show what is unique about your brand and it can even act as a testing ground for fresh content angles.
  3. Add value through vouchers and competitions – Offering vouchers, coupons or special offers that your followers can’t get anywhere else will help boost engagement with your target audience. 
  4. Aim for engagement and discussion – By running campaigns that prompt engagement, you will boost your profile and uncover valuable customer data. Encourage your audience to interact with your brand, ‘Snap you back’ or share a bespoke filter.
  5. Embrace transparency – Snapchat users love raw, imperfect and unpolished content, as it feels personal and trustworthy. Transparency is key on Snapchat, and presents an opportunity for more traditionally positioned brands to show candidness.

For brands that want to experiment with new ways of engaging customers, Snapchat is perfect for reaching new audiences and revitalising your brand. Now is the perfect time to have a look at the opportunities for your brand on the platform and put plans in place for 2017.

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