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Once a niche app favored primarily by the young and/or tech-savvy, Snapchat has evolved to become one of the major players in the social media landscape. Today, an estimated 200 million users (Business Insider) spend an average of 30 minutes a day watching the Snapchat Stories created by their friends, Snapchat influencers, and brands (Tech Times), making marketing on the platform a must for companies looking to engage with massive social media audiences. Read on to see how the best brands on Snapchat are leveraging the app’s raw, “in-the-moment” format to reach millions of new customers and increase awareness of new products.
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A study by Informate Mobile Intelligence found that the average U.S. consumer checks their social media accounts (e.g. Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) an average of 17 times per day (Digital Trends). For brands, increasing visibility and user interaction on these social media platforms—especially Snapchat, which leverages the “fear of missing out” to boost engagement—is the best way to capture audiences’ attention. Unlike social media platforms like Instagram, which features polished, highly-curated photos and videos, Snapchat offers companies something other social media platform cannot: the ability to connect with consumers in a way that is both authentic and valuable to audiences.
By providing genuine value, creating entertaining filters, and/or giving audiences an exclusive look at products or events, the following brands have mastered using Snapchat as a tool to reach attentive consumers and engage new audiences.
One of the earliest adopters of Snapchat and veteran of Snapchat marketing, Taco Bell uses their often-comical Snapchat channel to promote new menu items (the brand was one of the first to use on-demand geofilters) to engage young social media audiences. This year, Taco Bell developed a brand-sponsored Taco filter (which turned a user’s face into a giant taco) for Cinco de Mayo; according to Adweek, the filter was viewed 224 million times, shattering the previous record of 165 million views (held by Gatorade).
Warby Parker has long been adept at creating engaging social media content, and the innovative eyewear brand’s Snapchat is no exception. Warby Parker uses Snapchat to serve a variety of purposes, from introducing followers to new products to giving audiences a behind-the-scenes look at day-to-day operations at their New York City offices. The brand also consistently promotes their creative Snapchat Stories across other owned social media channels, thus maximizing the reach of each piece of content.
A leader when it comes to branded Snapchat marketing campaigns, GrubHub has made audience interaction the cornerstone of the food delivery service’s Snapchat strategy. Not only does GrubHub use Snapchat to keep followers abreast of new deals and promotions available exclusively via Snapchat Snaps, it also hosts “Snaphunts” which encourage Snapchat users to send the brand Snaps of doodles for a chance to win free food. Famous top Snapchatter Michael Platco (Snapchat handle: @mplatco) even collaborated with the brand for a Snapchat Takeover of GrubHub’s account (as seen above).
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One of the best brands on Snapchat, Birchbox, a subscription service for beauty and fashion brands, engages Snapchat users by asking them to interact with the brand’s Snapchat Stories by taking a screenshot of a particular Snap (which the brand can see). Birchbox also uses Snapchat Stories to introduce new products and give audiences an inside look into exciting events (like the J.Crew soiree, pictured above).
In addition to featuring new items like the Amazon Echo speaker, Amazon generates user engagement on their Snapchat channel by sharing promo codes for the brands “OMG” deals, which allow audiences to buy items for pennies on the dollar.