Snapchat: The New Marketing Wonder?

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Once regarded merely as a vehicle for illicit teenage trysts, Snapchat has, like all other social media phenomena, turned into a useful marketing tool. Skeptics maintain that it is impossible to capture consumer interest in an immediately-disappearing video clip, but enthusiasts beg to differ. Snapchat can prove an integral tool in your arsenal of content marketing strategies, provided that the targeted content is actually capable of capturing audience interest.

Understanding Snapchat And Its Users

Snapchat is a mobile app that allows users to take and send photos and videos of themselves. These images and video clips automatically delete after the recipient has viewed them. Developed by a group of forward-thinking Stanford students, Snapchat is still primarily used by coeds, although young professionals have also embraced the app. According to a survey from Sumpto, 77 percent of college students use Snapchat on a daily basis. The majority of these users are female, although Snapchat’s male base is growing rapidly as well.

Although older mobile phone users remain skeptical of Snapchat, college students regard the app as a valuable means of keeping in touch, but also as a reflection of the Millennial generation’s allegedly narcissistic tendencies. Due to the overwhelmingly young and technologically-savvy vibe of this app, the ideal Snapchat marketing initiative will feature fresh, forward-thinking content capable of getting users excited about a specific brand.

Casual Is Essential

Originally a means of sexting on the down low, Snapchat remains a stubbornly casual platform, although, fortunately, its applications now extend beyond raunchy communication. Twitter, Facebook and, of course, LinkedIn, can prove useful in select formal situations, but when it comes to stodgy content, Snapchat should be avoided at all costs. Remember, the vast majority of your subscribers will be Millennials and, even then, user demographics will skew toward the youngest members of the so-called Me Generation. High school and college students are not interested in complex, jargon-filled advertisements; they want simple, yet exciting videos that effortlessly capture their attention.

Take Advantage Of Snapchat’s Time Limit

The average Snapchat video is over in a matter of seconds and when it’s gone…it’s gone. Some may regard this as an inherent weakness, but it’s possible to harness this quality and use it to your advantage. The brief nature of Snapchat photos and videos makes them ideal for previews or teasers, which can then direct viewers to a particular brand’s website, Facebook page, or YouTube account. Forbes recommends coupon-based promotions, in which users are asked to send photos of themselves in exchange for exclusive coupons. According to Mashable, a frozen yogurt chain recently used this approach to great effect, taking advantage of the novelty factor still surrounding Snapchat-based advertisements.

Although Snapchat alone is not sufficient for an effective marketing strategy, the app can prove incredibly useful when combined with Facebook and Twitter. By including Snapchat in an already well-rounded content marketing approach, you will give yourself the tools necessary to capture the interest of the in-demand Millennial generation.

Stephanie G is a passionate copywriter with an affinity for entertainment and lifestyle articles. She primarily uses Snapchat as a means of sending and receiving cat videos.


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