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With 100 million daily active users and over 8 billion videos views per day, Snapchat is the fastest growing social media platform in the world. Just as YouTube, Vine, and Instagram’s popularity produced an array of social media stars with millions of followers each, Snapchat’s rise has now engendered a new crop of digital influencers, many of whom appeal to young, tech-savvy audiences. Notable companies like AT&T, Toyota, McDonalds, and the NBA have all found that working with Snapchat influencers is one of the best ways to capture the attention of often-elusive Millennials and increase brand awareness through creative partnerships, Snapchat Takeovers, and cross-promotional campaigns.
When Snapchat was first launched in 2012, most marketers did not take the app seriously – after all, in its infancy, the photo-sharing platform was little more than a way for teens to send suggestive pics that were erased from existence within 24 hours. Today, however, Snapchat is a social juggernaut, and recent partnerships with Neilsen (the standard-bearer for TV advertising metrics) and moves to develop a native application programming interface (API) are signals that Snapchat is serious about increasing the platform’s advertising power.
Snapchat’s popularity, especially among young users, cannot be understated. In a recent article, we cited that Snapchat’s video views (7 billion as of January 2016) were closing in on Facebook’s figures, and that Snapchat now reaches 11% of the U.S. population who regularly use smartphones. According to Snapchat’s advertising statistics, teens and Millennials comprised the majority of Snapchat’s audience, with 60% of Snapchat’s users in the 13- to 24-year-old demographic and 63% of users in the 18- to 34-year-old category.
For years, marketers have been trying to figure out how to reach younger consumers resistant to traditional forms of advertising, and creating partnerships with Snapchat influencers now gives brands a way to target demographics that possess an increasing amount of buying power.
In addition to capturing the attention of younger audiences, brands are partnering with Snapchat influencers to take advantage of the app’s high levels of engagement and visibility. When a user opens the app to watch a Snapchatter’s story on their smartphone, the picture or video occupies the entire screen, meaning that both native ads and sponsored content enjoy 100% visibility.
The way users interact with Snapchat influencers and their content is a factor for brands as well. Because Snaps disappear within 24 hours, users obsessively check posts continuously throughout the day, and this leads to high levels of engagement and more visibility for every piece of sponsored content.
Snapchatters post over 500 million Snapchat Stories a day, and the growing popularity of the platform has made it more difficult for sponsored content to reach audiences. While partnering with Snapchat influencers to produce branded content is still a common way to increase exposure, many companies are turning to Snapchat Takeovers – wherein a Snapchat influencer “takes over” a brand’s channel for a set amount of time – to grow their followers and reach thousands of engaged Snapchat users.
Learn how brands can take advantage of a Snapchat Takeover strategy here.
Cross-promoting Snapchat content is another way for both brands and Snapchatters to turn one piece of marketing material into several and maximize the reach of a campaign. To do this, brands can take a screenshot of a Snap or download the Snapchat Story, then post the content to other social media platforms like Vine, Instagram, and Facebook. For brands that already have a large following on another social media platform, this is an excellent way to encourage users to follow the brand on Snapchat as well.
Currently, one of the challenges for brands partnering with Snapchat influencers is measuring the success of any given influencer marketing campaign. While companies can ask the Snapchatter to document the number of Snaps they make, the length of each video, the number of people who see each post, and download the entire Snapchat Story after the campaign wraps, traditional marketing metrics (as available on older social media channels including YouTube and Instagram) are currently not as easily available.
Fortunately, the aforementioned partnerships with Neilsen and the development of an API should help brands measure the success and calculate the effectiveness of their Snapchat marketing campaigns.
For the best Snapchat marketing tips, see our article here.
Some of the world’s most innovative brands are relying on partnerships with Snapchat influencers to reach tech-savvy, socially adept audiences. Here are a few campaign examples of creative marketing collaborations with this new class of digital stars.
To promote the upcoming season of the show “Pretty Little Liars,” ABC Family enlisted Snapchat star Michael Platco (@mplatco) to take over their channel while he watched the program every week. As Digiday reports, the campaign garnered ABC Family over 800,000 new followers in just 3 months.
Snapchatter Shaun McBride (@shonduras), who is best known for creating intricate works of art on his Snaps, was recently approached by Disney to promote the film “Frozen.” During the Snapchat campaign, Shonduras followed Frozen’s star, Olaf, around Walt Disney World to drum up enthusiasm for an upcoming “Frozen”-themed event (Forbes).
Snapchat influencer Jen Chae (@frmheadtotoe) partnered with beauty brand Shiseido to promote their new Snapchat brand channel. The campaign generated over 100K new Snapchat impressions on Shiseido’s channel and exposed Chae’s audience to the brand through clever Snaps (like the one pictures above).