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Snapchat for Business: A Complete Guide

When many established business owners and adults are asked about Snapchat, teenagers with animated dog ears and embarrassing selfies/videos is what typically comes to mind. They would not even consider for moment that the popular app would be an appropriate medium they could use to market their businesses. In fact, Forbes magazine came out with an article last fall titled “Why Adults Don’t Get Much Value From Snapchat”. The author of the article believes that older generations have a more difficult time differentiating between platforms such as Facebook and Snapchat (besides silly filters), whereas younger people view Snapchat as a more creative and personal outlet. Though statistically younger people made up the bulk of Snapchat’s users at its inception, more and more brands are realizing that the app is becoming popular among people of all ages and its benefits from a business perspective. Last year, Starbucks launched a summer beverages campaign where they allowed users to superimpose a festive filter of their popular Frappuccino drink, increasing the odds of users being inspired to head to their local Starbucks and purchase the frozen drink. Additionally, users will be more inclined to follow the brand on the app, making them more likely to drink Starbucks again in the future.

Why should your business use Snapchat? Besides the fact the app has over 173 million active users, watching over 10 billion videos every day, Snapchat has multiple advertising formats and very capable methods of targeting your desired audience. When the app collaborated with MediaScience on a study that tested audience reactions to a variety of advertisements, they discovered Snapchat ads garnered twice the visual attention than the same ads on Facebook and were 1.3 times more effective than on YouTube. Greater emotional responses and a more likely chance to purchase were also observed during the study.

How do I make Snapchat work for my business? First, Snap Ads are an excellent way of garnering the attention of your target audience. They last 10 seconds, are formatted as a vertical/full screen video, and appear between Stories. They offer users the option of swiping up for more information. According to the platform, the “swipe-up rate” for Snap Ads is five times higher than the average click-rate for ads on comparable social media platforms. Second, you can promote user engagement with Geofilters. There are two types of Geofilters that Snapchat offers to businesses to take advantage of: On-Demand Geofilters which start at $5 and Sponsored Geofilters which are much pricier. These special types of filters have been a proven method to bring in new business. They come in the form of small art graphics that you can put on top of your Snap. When users are in the location of your choice and take a Snap, they’ll be able to select your Geofilter and use it to explain where, when and why they took the Snap. For example, if you are the owner of an Art Gallery and are having a special exhibition, users attending your event can take Snaps of themselves at your venue and add your customized Geofilter. In this case, the less expensive “On-Demand Geofilter” will do. If your advertising campaign is less location-specific, for example you run a dog rescue and want to start a National Dog Adoption Day, Snapchat users can take a Snap of themselves visiting shelters/adopting dogs and add your filter over it. This is incredibly effective- according to Snapchat, in the U.S., a single National Sponsored Geofilter typically reaches 40 to 60 percent of daily users (this could also be why they are pricier than On-Demand Geofilters). Lastly, utilize Snapchat Sponsored Lenses to drive increases in purchase intent. Sponsored Lenses offer Snapchat users the ability to play with the interactive ad that you’ve created. To activate the special lenses, users just press and hold on their faces when they are within the camera. On average, Snapchat users play with  Sponsored Lens for 20 seconds.

Snapchat now offers the option to work with advertising agencies to create a campaign for your business. The extra expenditures might be worth the investment to design something more effective than what you could create in-house. If you’re not ready to budget for Snapchat, there is still a multitude of effective ways to use Snapchat for business without having to spend anything. You could tell a creative story that lasts 24 hours- for example, Sour Patch Kids wanted to attract more teenage customers. They sent a popular YouTube personality on an “adventure” with Sour Patch characters that showed them getting lost in a big city. With each piece of the story, popularity and interest in the campaign grew with the company earning 583,000 views on the first Story and over 5.5 million by the fifth. Also, your company can offer incentives by sharing coupons. Because your Story will only last 24 hours, this forces users to follow your business vigilantly and act quickly in order to be able to cash in on the coupon or deal you’re offering. Once your company gets familiar with the Snapchat platform, learn all the hidden tricks and features to take your utilization of the app to the next level!

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