Teenagers have an undeniable love for ephemeral photos, and right now, Snapchat is their go-to platform.
47% of US teenagers prefer Snapchat over all other social media platforms. While Snapchat may have had its fair share of ups and downs as a company, it’s impossible to deny the platform’s impact when it comes to normalizing vertical video. Regardless of your stance on the app, these days, most marketers agree that optimizing your content for vertical consumption is an absolute must.
Though Snapchat was the primary pioneer of vertical video, investors started to lose faith once Instagram released its own version of stories.
However, with only 24% of US teens ranking Instagram as their favorite platform, Snapchat still scratches a unique itch for its extremely dedicates user base.
Why Millennials Love Snapchat
Unlike most social media platforms, Snapchat places the biggest emphasis on content from your closest friends. Instead of encouraging users to grow their following outside of their immediate network, Snapchat hones in on the 5-8 people you connect with most.
Millennials also love Snapchat because it’s still relatively unsaturated in terms of sponsored content. Story based ads are skippable, and Snapchat’s extremely young audience remains unplagued by the “uncool” adults that started flocking to Facebook a few years after its release.
Snapchat’s ephemerality makes it inherently intimate. The tight-knit nature of Snapchat users’ friends lists encourages people to share personal moments on a frequent basis.
How to Start Marketing on Snapchat
Don’t start without first establishing a clear marketing objective—you can’t build a following without first establishing your brand’s social media goals.
Snapchat offers three main ways for businesses to connect with their audience:
- Snap Ads: skippable advertisements displayed between stories found on the Discover page and generated by users
- Filters: branded geofilters that encourage users to engage with your business in a unique way
- Lenses: the most interactive way to showcase your brand on a massive scale
The Best Part About Snap Ads
After a subpar IPO, Snapchat has been putting a ton of effort into becoming a better platform for advertisers. With the introduction of Snap Ads, marketers can use 10-second videos to drive web traffic, app installs, or long-form content views, all without ever forcing users to leave the app.
If you’re already spending time creating content for other platforms, building a presence on Snapchat won’t end up taking that much extra time. If you’re gearing up to try some paid ads on Snapchat, always track the performance of your campaigns against how much revenue they generated and how much time you had to invest.
Make Something People Want to Play With
About one-third of Snapchat’s 173M daily active users use interactive lenses every day. Sponsored lenses are great because they encourage users to interact with your brand in a new, unexpected way.
HD video is out—if you want to leave a lasting impression on your audience, you need to create something unique.
Back in 2016, Taco Bell launched a sponsored lens that generated 224 million views in just 24 hours.
To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Taco Bell created a sponsored lens that allowed users to transform their faces into giant tacos. While it may not sound like a premium ad buy, it’s important to keep in mind over 224 million viewers engaged with the lens for an average of 24 seconds before spreading it to their friends.
Unless the selfie goes away sometime soon, interactive lenses are here to say—master them and it’s easy to set your business apart.
The Power of Location: On-Demand/Sponsored Geofilters
At the moment, on-demand geofilters are the cheapest way to enter the world of advertising on Snapchat. They’re great for businesses with limited marketing budgets that want to test their audience on Snapchat.
Depending on the size of your geofence (the area where your goefilter will be visible to users), you can start for as little as $5.
Snapchat allows advertisers to deploy geofilters across massively different scales to accommodate their individual marketing objectives. From helping communities, schools, cities, and public attractions raise awareness and expand their virality to small brick-and-mortar businesses that want to tap into customer advocates, geofilters are a great and affordable way to start creating interactive ads.
Everyone who uses your filter in a story immediately exposes their entire follower list to your brand without interrupting their regular content consumption. Incorporating geofilters into your advertising strategy is one of the quickest ways to build a network of targeted micro-influencers without spending a ton of money on everything they post.
Snapchat’s latest update helps marketers even more by expanding on geofilters, allowing businesses display locations, ratings, and reviews directly within the app. For marketers, this is a huge step in the right direction—you’ll be able to track how many users get directions, visit your website, leave a review, place a call, and more.
Snapchat May Eventually Take the Throne Away from Instagram
Instagram might be more flexible when it comes to allowing advertisers to create different types of content, but it’s really hard to beat just how engaged Snapchat’s core audience is.
For now, whether or not you decide to advertise on Snapchat comes down to who you’re trying to target and what your ability to spend looks like. There’s definitely a case to be made for Instagram’s ability to generate cheap video views, but if you’re trying to make a lasting impression, Snapchat might be the way to go.