Snapchat is a messaging application for sending and receiving text, photos, and video messages that disappear in seconds.
It offers multiple features including :
- Stories: Photos/Videos visible only for 24 hours
- Memories: Saved pictures to further view and share
- Lenses: Adding a funny layer to change your looks in the camera
- Filters: Added effects on your image/video
- Geofilter: Add a famous monument or brand of the city
Why Even Consider Snapchat For Business?
Well, let’s start with some statistics which speak for the potential of doing business on Snapchat :
- 191 million daily active users are there on Snapchat
- 18% of social media users also use Snapchat
- Snapchat has more users than Twitter
- Snapchat reaches 11% of the entire digital population of the United States
- A daily user spends 30 minutes of a day on a Snapchat app on average.
- 78% of the age group of 18-24 years old use Snapchat avidly.
- 76% of Snapchat users are also online buyers.
- Snapchat has more than 10 billion video views.
Advantages Of Snapchat For Small Businesses
Connecting Your Brand To Younger Demographic
If you have a specific kind of business where your primary target is the younger demographic, Snapchat business is the right place to begin.
Even when you want to expand to the general younger audience, say any less than the age of 35, Snapchat caters to that particular range in the majority.
You might be oversaturated or having a hard time for such a broader range on platforms like Instagram or Facebook.
Snapchat, however, becomes much easier to penetrate, and that’s also what the data shows.
Also, it is amongst the most engaging platforms as well, where on average, a user spends more than 30 minutes per day.
Reflecting The Playful Side Of Your Brand
Snapchat is an application created for the purpose of having fun, being playful, and casual. The idea is to be yourself, and show your authentic, imperfect, and fun side.
So when you extend your brand on Snapchat Business, you are actually opening your brand to be playful and casual.
This will make your brand more relatable and stand out from the competition.
Also, since you will make fun and casual engaging content, it will pander a larger audience giving you more exposure.
You will have chances to be lighthearted, out-of-the-box, humorous, and a bit tongue and cheek.
A lot of brands are expressing themselves through features like cameos and 3D snaps.
Lesser Competition For Market Penetration
As mentioned earlier, Snapchat is still quite uncharted territory for market penetration through social media as compared to others.
Every brand seems to have its social media accounts on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Even, platforms like Pinterest are rapidly gaining business accounts.
So amidst all this competition, if you want to stand out and cut through, you need to found different avenues to reach the audience.
And, Snapchat seems to be a bandwagon that is growing its popularity but still not so common with businesses.
Not to mention, the nature of social media makes it cater to a specific kind of audience, mostly young and fun-oriented.
So, there is less competition on Snapchat, and also easy penetration due to the unique content it demands.
Most Authentic Social Media Platform Probably
Since, Snapchat is so unique, raw, and playful in nature, it truly resonates with the idea of being authentic on social media.
Whereat one side you see professionally photographed Instagram pictures with saturated post-processing, and so on other media, Snapchat maintains to be raw.
It is the best for building rapport with the audience. Also, it is a great platform to show some behind-the-scenes of your brand.
It can be unique content and helpful insight to look at the making of product or inside information of your office.
Snapchat focuses on what’s happening right now, and telling the story in the most authentic way but yet with all filters, stickers, and fun.
So at least for one social media platform, you can show the authentic side of the brand and focus on engagement.
Well, It’s Free Marketing!
That might sound quite obvious but think about it. You are getting free marketing for your brand where you can reach millions of different younger audiences.
It doesn’t hurt to try at least for that reason only. No brand will like to leave that opportunity on the table.
Who’s The Audience On Snapchat?
You’ve already known that Snapchat has a younger demographic but let’s see more closely who’s your audience actually.
The thumb-rule for the success of social media for small businesses is to know the demographics of the particular platform in-and-out.
In general, you can say, Snapchat is the home for millennials, so if your business targets them, then you are good to go.
You will spot more than 60% of 13-34-year-old smartphone users in the United States on Snapchat.
37% of users also found to be in the category of 8-24 years old where 71% of them are under the age of 25.
If you look at the men and women ratio on Snapchat, it is 70% women and 30% men.
That gives you one more reason to be on Snapchat if your small business is targeted to young women.
Further, 12% of their user base are 35-54-year-old category where only 2% of them are over 55.
Even though Snapchat has a predominantly younger audience, the platform is rapidly increasing in its numbers of older audiences as well.
So, even if your audience is not purely the millennials or young teens, you still will get a quite large audience unless you are targeting people over the 55 years age group.
Step-By-Step To Setup Your Snapchat Business Account
Before setting up your Snapchat Business Account, you need to know that there is not much difference between a personal Snapchat account and a business Snapchat account.
However, you still need a Snapchat Business Account because the one factor that differentiates between them is you can launch ads on the Snapchat business account.
Personal accounts apart from the ads offer all the services and features that you will find in a business account.
So, here we go step-by-step on setting up a Snapchat personal account.
Step 1: Download & Sign Up for The Snapchat App
You can find the Snapchat application from the App Store or the Google Play Store as well.
Install the app and click “Sign Up” The dialogue box will ask you to enter your first name and last name.
Enter the required information and Click on “Sign Up & Accept”.
Step 2: Enter Your Birthdate
Once you have entered your name, you will need to mention your birthday. Also, according to Snapchat terms and conditions, you must be 13 or older to use the Application.
Step 3: Pick A Username
After entering your birthday, you have to pick a username for the account. Since you are going to turn the account into a business account, you can pick the username as per your brand name.
This username will be public to the people, and also let others search and find you on the Snapchat app.
Choosing your brand name as a username will make people discover you easily and recognize your business as well.
Step 4: Set A Password
Once you have entered your username, you need to come to decide on a password for the account.
Make sure the password is secure because this being your brand account needs to be safe and secure.
Step 5: Verify Your Account
To activate your account completely and also get further notifications on your email address or text, you need to verify your account.
You can verify your Snapchat account via email or text message.
Step 6: Set Your Profile Picture
You can spot a Snapchat ghost icon at the top of the screen. That is the access to your Snapcode. Tap here to change your profile picture.
When you will tap on your Snapcode ( looks like a ghost icon with lots of dots around the icon), you can click five images.
Complete the process when you click the required photos. And that will be your Snapchat profit picture.
In case you want to leave your profile photo space blank, you can. The application will show the default ghost logo in the place of your profile picture.
Well, in the case of starting a business or brand on Snapchat, it is important you choose your brand logo as a profile picture.
How To Create a Snapcode For Your Small Business ?
A Snapcode is a QR code where it can be scannable and used to easily share your account information.
Any Snapchat user can scan the Snapcode with their smartphone cameras to add you as a friend on the application.
After the scan is completed, a user will also be able to see your Snapchat marketing activities as well.
To create the Snapcode, do the same as you did to set your profile picture. Click on the top ghost icon and tap on the setting icon at the top.
After tapping the settings, you will see a tab titled “Snapcodes” which you are supposed to select.
Click on the “ Create Snapcode” option . Now, you have to enter the URL of your business website.
This will help your users to reach at your business website boosting the lead generation as well as the potential sales.
After entering the URL, add an image, preferably logo of your brand from your website or gallery.
And, voila, you have your Business Snapcode ready.
Now, you can use this Snapcode printed on your marketing materials, T-shirts, seminar posters, banners and other merchandising and advertising purposes.
It will get people to know about your brand and engage with it just using the Snapchat application and phone camera.
Snapchat Marketing Tips For Small Business
Add the URL or the Snapcode To Your Marketing Materials
You can add the snapcode or the Snapchat URL to various branding and advertising materials.
Start by adding it on your official website, in your newsletters, email signatures, e-prospects, and others.
Not just the digital, it also works on the physical plains as well. You can get it printed on your marketing merchandise and materials.
Snapchat users can use their smartphones to find your brand profile by scanning the code on marketing material such as T-shirts, business cards, etc.
Engaging With Snapchat Users
When you are using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, the brand content posts get mixed with posts from friends and family.
But on Snapchat, you see the content from family & friends is different from the brands.
There is a split-screen design, so to maintain your presence for the targeted audiences, you have to constantly engage on the platform.
Here are some ways to engage with other Snapchat users :
- Find relevant snapchatters, and follow them.
- Viewing Others’ Snaps and Stories
- Watch and respond to the snaps sent to you
- Respond to the messages sent to you
- Create regular content
- Try different features of Snapchat to be relevant
- Publish the post at the peak times
- Learn to use the insights
Create Engaging Content Using Snapchat Features
It is essential to adapt the dynamics of the particular platform to excel in it. So, to create engaging content on Snapchat, you need to understand how Snapchat works.
The Snaps are made to disappear, so it becomes even more important to make your snaps more attractive and engaging to hold attention.
You need to stand out from other brand content posts on Snapchat in the ‘Discover’ section. The idea is to be found out by your target users.
Here are some following features which you must use to create content on Snapchat:
- Make doodles and drawing on your snaps.
- Add one or many Snapchat filters to elevate the look.
- Add Snapchat lens
- You must add background music to snaps
- Write interesting captions on your Snaps
- Use multiple snaps to narrate a story
- Remember to add information like date, location, temperature, etc.
- Engage with users by polling
Create Your Brand Sponsored Lens
Snapchat is a lot about the filters and lenses. People crave to find new filters and lenses to try and make their snaps with.
According to an estimation, 16 million users see the sponsored filters each day. Now, that gives a brand huge exposure on daily basis.
People use sponsored filters to make their photos more creative and interesting.
These filters or lenses are capable of changing the photos completely like making the colors pop, disappear the nose, make the eyes large, and other funny gags.
A lot of filters allow people to change the pitch of their voices in video snaps as well.
The point is, these filters are fun and people love to share these snaps with their friends and on social media.
Creating the Story Through Editing & Camera Angles
You cannot make all talking-head videos as it does become boring after a time. So you need to make things in fast-paced movement.
The idea is to tell the story in this given 10 seconds. If you are making 3 or 5 minutes videos by breaking them into multiple snaps, that’s not fair.
Also, using the same angle makes the videos less captivating and engaging.
Instead, make multiple snaps from different angles using photos, filters, back camera, front camera, frames and edit them together to tell the story.
The audience needs to be hooked by your stories and the sequences you make to put your point across.
Small businesses on Snapchat are allowed to create sponsored filters
For Example, Gatorade creates a sponsored filter while the super bowl was going on. It was related to this tradition for winning coaches where they have to get Gatorade dumped on his head by other players.
The Snapchat filter was about stimulating the same but on the user’s head. This sponsored filter increased the purchase intent of the brand by 8%.
The filter gained over 165 million views as it went popular amongst the game fans during the bowl.
The only downside of using this strategy is that it is costly. During the holidays or events, a brand has to give out $100,000 to $750,000.
This cost will keep your filter active for only 24 hours, however, that will be indeed the peak hours to use the filter.
Let Social Media Influencers Take Over Your Snapchat
One of the best ways to increase the reach of your brand and gain more followers is utilizing social proof.
What can be better social proof than the social media influencers! So, you let them take over your Snapchat account for a while.
This means the influencer will be able to entertain a particular account’s audience.
The influencers promote your brand and also encourage their audience to check you out.
It will get your brand a great deal of exposure to your targetted audience. Just make sure the social media influencer you choose has the audience you want to target.
The social media influencer, their content, and audience must be relevant to your product or services.
Tips & Tricks For Creating The Best Snaps For Your Small Business
Using the Double & Triple Layout Filter Combinations
You can use the swipe left on your Snapchat to see what filter you want to choose for your snap.
And most snaps go for any of the filters available on Snapchat where the looks almost become quite recognizable.
But if you use different combinations of two or more filters in different intensities depending upon your snap, you can achieve a totally unique look.
Choose the first filter you want by swiping left, then hold your screen and swipe left again to get another layer of filter on your snap without removing the first one.
In this way, you can use two or three layers of filters but cannot overlap two standard colored filters.
Along with other features, your story or snap can stand out from others. Using multiple layer filters help you achieve distinct looks and more customization.
Adding New Flair By Using Doodles With Stylus
A stylus might seem to be quite an outdated thing now but it works like charm on Snapchat.
You can create extraordinary doodles using the stylus or pen on the snaps. It makes your stories stand out and something flavorful to look at.
Now, doing that without a stylus make drawings look like stick figures, and even ugly most of the time.
Having fun with doodling by intricating on your photos and stories is quite an art and epitome of creativity on Snapchat.
Stylus helps you make sharp and precise curves and outlines. It helps you create Snapchat masterpieces, if you may like to call them.
The strategic use of stick emojis
Well, there’s a whole lot of things you can do with Snaps if you be creative enough.
And, stick emojis can help you do wonders with it only if they can be used strategically as a video element.
Over time, stick emojis are quite commonly used to show feelings or emotions to the context.
But again, to stand out in Snapchat, you have to think differently.
Think of it as making a movie where you are the director, Snapchat is the camera, special effects, and editing platform, and emojis are your characters or special effects to use.
You can tell a whole lot of stories by using emojis creatively. You can use images or videos as background and then emojis as characters to tell the story.
For example, Click an image of a bus stand and place emoji faces at the seats, looking as if they are waiting for the bus. And now add more elements to tell more about the story.
Using Text To Tell Stories
It doesn’t have to be the video stories or the music all the time to make your snaps interesting enough to look at.
In fact, the combination of picture and text is better because it caters to the people who prefer watching the stories without the sound on.
Also, it prevents you from over-using the video feature and ending up preferring quantity over quality.
Just adding the right text to the image will communicate, also it will be less exhausting and easy to consume.
Design A Customized Geofilter
It depends upon what kind of brand you are, but designing your own geofilter is a great step to increase brand exposure.
Especially if your business is related to travel or lifestyle, having your own customized geofilter helps you gain momentum in engagement.
You can get more information about creating one on the Snapchat geofilters website.
Usually, geofilters are meant to tag the location of the user, mostly the city or famous places.
However, you can even make geofilters of small neighborhoods, or even your events and seminars as well.
Turn Around The Camera Mid-Video
The whole idea of creating snap videos is to have fun at it. And, the more creative and new stuff you will try, people are more likely to get attracted.
While shooting the videos, you can switch the perspective of the camera to show the story the other way around.
It can be to react to something or show behind-the-scenes of your usual video or working setup.
Just try to play with camera effects and keep the attention of people intact. Your brand should publish videos that must be relevant but repetitive.
The brands which are more experimental, unique, and fun with their content, especially on platforms like Snapchat grow faster.
Using External Lenses To Stand Out
External lenses are a great investment to make in terms of uplifting the quality of your snap videos and pictures.
It reduces the effort and doubles-up the quality and sharpness of your pictures and videos.
Most of such lenses can be used as a small clamp attached to your camera lens. Some of them also come with additional support like metal rings and magnets to secure the grip.
Coming from a brand, you have even more responsibility to deliver extraordinary quality and utmost conviction.
And that’s how you can lead on Snapchat content marketing.
Switching Between Presenters
If you want to boost the engagement on your Snapchat business profile, one of the best approaches is to introduce interesting people to your audience.
For small businesses, the audience will love to see people working behind their quality products or services to interact on camera.
Snapchat is the best place to show the fun side of your team or crew members. And, this gives people more reasons to watch your content.
And, the best you can do with multiple interesting people is to record a short intro of your team members and put it together.
Switching between different presenters will be an engaging story to watch from a brand.
This is just one idea, you can create many videos like this by switching the cameraperson from one to another.
You can also make behind-the-scenes fun videos regarding your business meetings, events, and celebrations as well.
Publish User-generated Content
You can ask your followers on Snapchat to send their pictures and videos involving your brand or products.
These videos act as testimonials, but still better and far more interesting. Now, you can publish these videos or images on your brand account.
Posting user-generated content help you boost engagement rapidly.
It also encourages your viewers to interact and even promote your products in the most effective way possible.
The best way to get more user-generated content is to run various contests, giveaways, and other such promotional campaigns.
Make sure you put out some attractive rewards to bring more participation.
How To Build A Successful Snapchat Marketing Strategy For Your Brand?
If you are counting on Snapchat to be one of the torch bearers of your brand marketing, it is critical to come up with a sustainable marketing strategy.
You need to plan your snapchat marketing strategy in relation to an elaborate content plan for the platform.
Having a steady plan on how you are going to market or position yourself on Snapchat makes your daily task easy.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to build a winning marketing strategy for Snapchat.
Pre-Planning For Content
Creating a content plan must be your utmost priority, especially if you count Snapchat amongst your top marketing channels.
Pre-planning your content doesn’t only help you to publish content frequently and regularly but also lead you towards the style of content you want to publish.
It tells you about your content preferences and determines the quality over time as well. You get to know what kind of content you would publish in upcoming weeks.
Merely pre-planning your content gets you into momentum to create more.
Also, you might be hiring people to manage content, so having a content calendar helps you communicate your content strategy to the hired talents.
Planning ahead also includes incorporating the feedback you are getting from your users and results from the analysis as well.
This further furnishes your content to shape it better and continuously adapt and make it better from time to time.
Creating The System For Regular Publishing
Developing a system is more than just pre-planning your content.
It is about creating an automated machinery that takes consistent brainstorming ideas to develop it towards publishing the content on given dates.
Everything needs to fall in the place where your involvement must be very limited, and yet with utmost creative control.
The point of asserting a system is to publish regularly. It involves various automation tools, skilled talents, high-quality content, research and scheduling as well.
Best Marketing Strategies On Snapchat
Connecting With Influencers
One of the powerful marketing strategies is already known to be influencer marketing, and that’s the same goes for Snapchat marketing as well.
It can bring a huge impact on your brand exposure and engagement rate.
One of the most effective examples of influencer marketing strategies must be by the brand Audi.
The luxurious car brand wanted to connect to the young audience, especially the female millennials, the people who will buy the cars for the first time.
Audi teamed up with ABC’s popular TV show “ Pretty Little Liars” where the show has been a great influence on the young generation.
The brand set out to publish exclusive updates and content about the TV show.
In this way, the show is get exposed to an additional social media platform and Audi gets to the young followers of the show.
Towards the end of the campaign, Audi gained more than 115,000 followers on Snapchat.
Offering Coupon Codes
Apart from the most obvious marketing strategy influencer marketing, another tried-and-tested Snapchat marketing tactic is offering coupon codes.
A lot of brands offer coupon codes to their users under different contests and advertising ideas.
For Example, Sixteen candles ran an ultimate successful marketing campaign on Snapchat. They offered coupon codes to their users in exchange for the snaps with the frozen yogurt.
The brand suggested their users visit the location and take a snap of themselves or their friends tasting any of their flavors.
And then send it to them to get the coupon code where they can get the coupon code redeemed back at the location.
This will get the discount they won, it can be anything between 16% off to 100% off as well on their yogurt items.
You can utilize this method to attract new users as well because people are more likely to tell such things to their family and friends.
Creating Sense of Urgency
This has always been a powerful advertising and marketing tool to motivate your prospective customers or users to take a specific action.
And, this goes the same for Snapchat as well. Since there is an already ticking time on the Snaps, you just have to push it further.
You need to create content that gives out a sense of urgency, encouraging the audience to take action right there.
For Example, GrubHub publishes snaps/stories that say “ 10 random snaps by 12am will win”. Now it gives a strong call-to-action to the users with a good enough incentive as well.
You have to capitalize on the effect of time scarcity and fear of missing out emotions of people. This method also quite proven to bring out the higher engagement
Tailoring Your Content As Per The Platform
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram is about sharing your life with people. It is about transparency on social grounds.
However, there is too much filtering out, posing, and professionalism going on platforms like Instagram.
But Snapchat takes it to another level as it ditches the idea of all glossy, well-edited, stunning imagery.
In a sense, you are free to quickly get the phone camera and shoot, try new things, be yourself, edit in the most fun way possible and share at the moment.
So it becomes very important for brands to understand to not treat it as Facebook or Instagram.
You will only grow on Snapchat only if you make content that is tailored for Snapchat. So, focus more on making content that feels more fun, casual, and connecting.
Building An Anticipation
Whether you are going to launch a new product, set up a new office, or bringing out anything new to your prospective customers and users, anticipation is a great marketing tool.
And it works wonders on Snapchat, also because there you have more freedom to play with the idea creatively.
The idea is to create the hype of what you are set to do through building anticipation for it, and then capitalize on it.
It doesn’t only make great content for Snapchat but also pushes the engagement rate on your account as well.
It starts by baiting the audience with a tiny bit of information towards the big reveal. You need to throw breadcrumbs and lead the audience about what’s going to happen.
You can start posting some initial images or videos about the inception or the preparation of the event or product.
There are a million ways to do this, and different durations to stretch it over. However, you need to make sure it’s not too long or too short.
You have to just keep making stories and snaps to engage your audience and keep them hooked to the anticipation.
Promoting Your Products
Snapchat users very well know that you are a small business or a brand, and you have products to sell.
So, you can safely assume that if they are following you, they are not just interested in our content but also in your product to at least some extent.
Also, they give you the space to promote your product, since you are killing it with extraordinary content on the platform.
In that case, be confident in product promotions. Creatively promote your product,and demonstrate how it can solve the user’s certain problems or how it is beneficial for them.
On other hand, you can also give alert to your Snapchat followers about your latest product or any new improvement.
Still, promotion should be wearing some level of educational foundation, so it connects to the target users.
You also need to explore your brand personality and see what style of promotions fits for your business.
Targeting Your Existing Audience
It is essential to have an understanding of your current existing audience on Snapchat. Because most of the time, you will be creating content for this particular set audience.
You need to keep updating yourself with the audience as it will increase and change at some level over time.
As long as your content is interesting and relevant to this target audience, you are doing well.
It is about knowing the audience, their sensibilities, the demographics, language, and what they are interested in.
And, then, you can push the content a little bit further every time. Also, you have focal point to create your content around.
So keep entertaining and engaging with your existing audience.
Testing Your Content As Private Message
Snapchat is totally unique as compared to other social media channels, sometimes even unpredictable on the results as well.
You just don’t know what will work and what won’t. It becomes necessary to test your ideas for the content beforehand to see its potential.
But you still want to see how it will work under the sensibilities of Snapchat.
Testing your content ideas very often also makes it easier to monitor what works and what doesn’t’.
It also helps you see what kind of content is bringing more engagement.
So how do you do it? Well, the next best thing you can do is share the content with all or some of your followers as private snaps.
You can see their response as well as get feedback from people as well.
This is a highly effective content practice for small businesses to be sure about their content on Snapchat.
Telling A Story
Snaps are something that automatically plays one after another. It is like telling a story using different media.
You can utilize the images and video to tell a particular story across multiple snaps. That’s what makes Snapchat different from other platforms.
Whether you are talking about your product or making casual content, the idea is to incorporate it in a storytelling narrative.
Don’t get too caught up in saying something right there in the first snap. Make it a sequence of snaps to deliver your message.
The best way to do this is to follow the beats of a traditional story such as the start, middle, and end.
Setup your conflict and then resolve it in another one or multiple snaps. Or build anticipation only to reveal in the next snap.
That’s quite the basics of Snapchat storytelling. Then, you have all these tet, graphics, filters, lenses, and other elements to elevate the story.
Behind The Scenes
One of the most successful content strategies works for brands, not just on Snapchat but on any social media platform, is showing behind-the-scenes.
Users, prospective customers, customers or your targeted audience loves to see the inner workings of any company or product.
It can be showing the insides of your workspace or maybe some footage of your team meetings.
You can also publish the making of your product or stories of the people behind it. You can also create content covering your future projects amongst your core members.
Even some light conversation you do with your team members on weekends, people are quite inclined to see that.
It is also about showing your audience on what projects you are working on, any new updates from your side and also a peak inside your life to connect more closely.
It really helps to build a good brand image when you connect to the audience on a much deeper level.