Let's cut right to the chase: is Snapchat dead?
The network has come on tough times over the past couple of years. User growth has slowed down and actually lost users, and the network has largely stagnated in adding new and interesting features for marketers and standard users alike.
Or so it seems...
Earlier this month, Snap Inc—Snapchat's parent company—had its quarterly earnings call. On this call, Snapchat surprised the market by not losing (but also not gaining) any active users and set a new record for quarterly revenue: $390 million.
So with that, Snapchat may be going through a badly needed revival. And in this article, we'll show you what companies should be using Snapchat and how you can use it for marketing your products.
Sound good? Let's get started. 👻👻👻
First, should you be on Snapchat in the first place?
Snapchat has a very specific demographic: young people. In fact, 71% of the network's users are under 34 years old and 45% of Snapchat users are between the ages of 18-24.
So when planning out your marketing, only include Snapchat if you're targeting users in these age groups. Targeting older users may prove to be much less fruitful as these are such a small minority on the network.
Give your audience a reason to follow you on Snapchat
So you've decided to use Snapchat—now what?
Well, you need to give your audience a reason to follow you on Snapchat. You can't simply repost content from your Instagram stories, but rather, you need to make exclusive content that will entice and engage your Snapchat audience.
Some types of content you can put on Snapchat include behind-the-scenes footage at the office, previews of upcoming products, and on-the-road videos from conferences and out of town meetings.
The possibilities are endless—but you need to make sure they're original and Snapchat exclusive.
Organic reach and Snapchat don't mix, so you need to cross-promote
Another thing to note about Snapchat marketing is that organic reach is extremely limited.
The only way to land on the Discover page is by purchasing ads. And further, there is no "recommended accounts" area that takes brands into account.
Instead, you'll need to get Snapchat followers by promoting your Snapchat presence elsewhere.
Here's a few of our favorite ways:
Promote your Snapcode in the real world
Your Snap Code is a specialized QR code that—when scanned by the Snapchat app—will direct users to follow you. Place this Snapcode on restaurant table drops, menus, business cards, and an even in your email signature to encourage your customers to follow you on the network.
You can find your Snapcode by doing the following:
- Swipe down on the main screen of the Snapchat app
- Tap on the Share button
- Tap on the Share Snapcode button
- Tap Save Image to add the image to your Camera Roll
Advertise your Snapchat presence in your email newsletter
Make sure to promote your Snapcode to your email audience too. Snapchat gives each customer a unique Snapchat URL, so find it and place it in your newsletter footer next to your other social media links.
When someone clicks on this link he or she will be prompted to add you on Snapchat. If on mobile, Snapchat will automatically open on their device and prompt the user to add you as a friend. On desktop, the user will be presented with your Snapcode.
Here's how to find your Snapchat URL:
- Swipe down on the main screen of the Snapchat app
- Tap on the Share button
- Tap on the Share Username button
- Click the Copy button and send it to yourself via email, text, or through the notes app
Cross-post on other social networks
You can also share your Snapchat presence on other social networks. Simply tweet, share, and Instagram your Snapcode or URL to encourage your existing audiences to follow you on Snapchat.
When sharing, make sure to promise your social followers that you'll post exclusive content on Snapchat. Otherwise, why would they follow you in the first place?
Snapchat has an awesome set of ad formats
Despite organic Snapchat reach being nearly nonexistent, Snapchat does have a pretty awesome set of ad formats. In fact, it has one of the most innovative advertising platforms on social media.
Snapchat has five types of ads: Snap Ads, Collection Ads, Story Ads, AR Lenses, and Filters.
Each of these ads have different features, uses, and—of course—price points. Here's a quick look at each of them:
Snap Ads: front-and-center
Snap Ads are the classic, in-your-feed Snapchat ads.
These are full-screen ads that show in-between Snapchat story plays. That means that your ad will be seen while users are sifting through their friend's stories. You can add videos and photos to your Snap Ad, giving you lots of room to promote your product.
If a user wants to learn more about your product, all they have to do is swipe-up from the bottom of the screen. This will take them to a landing page of your choosing, so make your ad interesting.
Just note that users can easily skip these ads. All he or she needs to do is tap on the right side of the screen and they'll will move onto the next Snap story in their feed.
Collection Ads improve upon Snap Ads
The only thing better than a Snap Ad? A Collection Ad.
These Snapchat ads are the same as Snap Ads but feature a list of products at the bottom of the screen. The user is taken to the product page when he or she taps on one of the icons, giving them a direct link to your web store.
We like Collection Ads because they make it super easy to direct traffic to particular products instead of relying on one single product page.
Story Ads get you on the Discover screen
Story Ads look like Snap Ads but are placed on the Discover page.
This means that your brand will get its own slot on Discover, putting it front-and-center when your audience is scrolling through their friend's, influencer's, and sponsored Stories. Just note that users will have to manually tap on your ad—it won't autoplay.
Filters get you on photo and video messages
Filters put your products on Snap stories and person-to-person snaps.
Filters are images and can be overlaid on top of a user's video or photo snap. Snapchat generally publishes these for locations and holidays, but brands can also publish sponsored filters.
This gets your product in front of new users that may not use Stories or the Discover tab. Even cooler, users see the filter ad twice: when making and receiving a snap.
AR Lenses let you make an interactive experience
AR Filters are—in short—interactive and immersive filters. Users can interact with your AR Filters, making for a super memorable experience. You can add functions like face tracking, movement, and more.
Make sure you target your Snapchat ads properly
Snapchat's ad platform has some seriously advanced ad targeting features. You can drill-down your audience by demographic and location, even going so far as to only display your ads in a certain radius of a specific location on a map.
There's also built-in retargeting features so you can show your ads to the same viewer multiple times. This increases the likelihood for conversion and makes the most of your Snapchat ad dollars.
One of our favorite parts of the Snapchat Business dashboard is Ad Sets. Using this feature, you can make different ads targeted at different sets of users, maximizing ad spend and ensuring you get the most bang for your buck.
And there you have it: the 2019 guide to Snapchat marketing. If your target audience matches up, there's no doubt that you should use the tips outlined in this piece to market to users on the platform.
But now we want to hear from you. Does your brand use Snapchat to market its products? If so, how? Let us know in the comments—we're excited to hear from you!
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