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Due to Snapchat’s evolution, demographic, and user experience, marketers must approach Snapchat differently than other popular social media platforms. Snapchat first gained widespread traction in 2011 as the social media messaging app with instantly disappearing content. This core functionality coupled with its initial user base helped shape how the app was (and largely still is) used—sharing in-the-moment photos and videos with close friends. Since users are required to manually enter other users’ Snapchat handles to view their content, Snapchat influencer marketing campaigns can see high levels of engagement and conversion (as following other users on Snapchat is arduous, following another user usually means that one is committed to watching and engaging with their content on a daily basis).
While Snapchat has evolved much since then, the way its 150M user base use and approach the social media app is much the same. Brands seeking to advertise effectively on Snapchat and leverage Snapchat’s high viewing and engagement rates towards marketing objectives need to keep the above-mentioned elements in mind. Collaborating with social media influencers on Snapchat marketing campaigns can help brands advertise successfully by leveraging each influencer’s established following on Snapchat.
At present, users are unable to click through URLs on Snapchat (unlike other social media platforms which allow clickable URLs in bios, posts, and more). To surmount this obstacle, beauty subscription box brand Birchbox created a vanity URL “birch.ly/steals” for their Black Friday and Cyber Monday Snapchat marketing campaign (Digiday). Birchbox also tested Instagram Stories‘ new “see more” function (in contrast to Snapchat, Instagram does allow for clickable external links).
While accessing birch.ly/steals on Snapchat required viewers to both 1) screenshot and/or note the vanity URL image and 2) manually type in the URL address, Birchbox experienced greater engagement with their Snapchat campaign than with Instagram’s easier process. According to Birchbox, the beauty subscription box brand “sees a higher level of intent on Snapchat because it’s harder to discover people there. You have to actively seek them out versus stumbling upon them in your Instagram feed.”
Utilizing vanity URLs can be a great tactic when needing to drive engagement from Snapchat towards an external landing page however, this is predicated by either a) serving this to a brand’s established Snapchat following and/or b) having influencers on Snapchat share the vanity URL. For brands who do not already have an established following on Snapchat, working with top Snapchat influencers to share vanity URLs can be an effective tactic that leverages both Snapchat’s high user intent and each influencer’s established social following.
Several brands (see our list here for “50+ Brands Using Snapchat Marketing”) including Shiseido, Mountain Dew, and Disney have partnered with social media influencers for a Snapchat Takeover. For a Snapchat Takeover, a brand allows the selected influencer to “take over” the brand’s Snapchat for a given period of time. With the right influencer on board, Snapchat Takeovers can be effective at building a brand’s social following on Snapchat as the influencer(s) will direct his or her established social media following to join, follow, watch, and engage on the brand’s Snapchat channel for the Takeover.
While the concept of a social media brand channel takeover is not new, orchestrating a successful Takeover on Snapchat requires advance planning and a well thoughout strategy. See our related post below for our 6-step outline on how to do a Snapchat Takeover.
Related Post: How To Do A Snapchat Takeover In 6 Steps [Infographic]
Since Snapchat’s content is largely ephemeral (save for Memories, a new feature Snap Inc. introduced over the 2016 summer that allows users to permanently save content), marketers may choose to supplement and/or preface Snapchat marketing campaigns with social promotion from involved influencers across their Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram channels. By prefacing Snapchat takeovers or other Snapchat marketing initiatives with posts on other (more permanent) social media, marketers can substantially increase visibility ensuring that interested audiences will tune in at the right time on Snapchat.
Additionally, feature Snapchat as just one of several social media destinations for a larger, cross-platform marketing campaign. Brands can design campaigns that start first on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube and then subsequently requiring audiences to tune in, screenshot, or participate in some way on Snapchat as part of an overarching giveaway or sweepstakes. In order to move forward and successfully qualify for the giveaway, participants must engage on Snapchat. Since content on Snapchat is only viewable when users are manually added, this approach can be effective for a brand seeking to build social following on Snapchat.
Towards the start of 2016, Snapchat debuted its “On-Demand Geofilters” enabling anyone to create and submit Geofilters for personal and business use (previously, only “Community Geofilters” were available for city, landmark, and community locations prohibiting use of business logos). Businesses seeking to incorporate one of Snapchat’s most fun/attractive features into their Snapchat marketing campaign can design an On-Demand Geofilter to coincide with their initiatives.
Done well, On-Demand Geofilters can be a great way to add an additional layer of brand awareness and messaging. Brands can create On-Demand Geofilters to be used in conjunction with their Snapchat influencer marketing campaigns. Though On-Demand Geofilters can be used creatively for a variety of campaigns, they are well suited for location-specific event activations where participating influencers can utilize the On-Demand Geofilter to highlight and promote leading up and during the event.
Perhaps one of the most critical influencer marketing tactic is to find and partner with the right social media influencers. This approach extends beyond Snapchat, but is applicable and will directly impact the success of your campaign.
For detailed information on how to find Snapchat influencers and why the right influencers are critical to a brand’s campaign success, please see our related post below. To learn the basics of influencer marketing, see our free downloadable white paper, “10 Things To Know About Influencer Marketing.”
Related Post: How To Find Snapchat Influencers