SNAPCHAT – IT’S RIGHT NOW OR NEVER!

ver the last year, app sensation ‘Snapchat’ has redefined the meaning of the word ‘instant’. For those of you who aren’t as technologically inclined, Snapchat is a social media app that allows user to send pictures with a caption or a doodle option.

Marketers everywhere are always looking for a new outlet to promote their products, and with the advent of an app like Snapchat, the dilemma of providing important and attractive content in the matter of a few seconds has social media departments everywhere buzzing.

Why does it work? Straightforwardness, of course! No complex graphics, twisted or flowery language or even tonnes of money. All it needs is the ability to catch the eye and influence the mind.

So what’s been happening in

So what’s been happening in the Snapchat universe?!

The Frontrunners

Fast food chains like McDonalds and Taco Bell have long been known for their innovative advertisements, so it was no surprise that they were among the first few to jump on the Snapchat bandwagon. While fast food brands have used it for basic promotional purposes, fashion brands like Rebecca Minkoff and Michael Kohrs have used the app to give sneak previews into their new lines. For a person obsessed with a particular brand, there is no bigger honour than being so intimate with it.

Celebrity Endorsements

They have obviously scaled their way into this growing trend. Players and team managers at the NBA have really taken to Snapchat. Kevin Durant’s recent MVP award was released first on Snapchat through a series of three pictures, urging fans everywhere to tune into the actual event on NBATV.com. Whether its basketballs biggest stars promoting brands, speaking for a good cause or interacting with their fans; the app has become synonymous with sporting promotions all across the continent. Brands like McDonalds have used sporting stars in their snaps to promote new products. To think of it, using sporting events and stars is a very smart marketing tactic. These people are probably the biggest stars after actors and models, and they can be utilized to promote anything from personal care to fitness and even fashion!

Not just products, but causes too! Probably one of the most innovative campaigns on Snapchat was the World Wide Funds #LastSelfie campaign. The campaign is based on the concept of messages diminishing from the app after a while, and applying this same notion to endangered species of plants and animals around the world. The campaign wants to spread the message that humans play a vital role in the preservation of such species, and the absence of a conscious effort from our part could mean the end of an entire species. Encouraged by the reach of this campaigns, many NGO’s and even companies willing to take a stand on various issues have joined Snapchat , elevating the app to a more noble status.

Not All Smiles And Sunshine:

For all its positives, brands have to think once or twice before jumping on the Snapchat bandwagon. One thing must be made clear; Snapchat is not paid for advertising. In fact, it isn’t advertising at all. Unless users search out a company’s handle and add them, it is very difficult to build a fan base on the app. Secondly; the app makes the concept of ‘target marketing’ redundant. It is very difficult to acquire stats related to Snapchat and this means that when a company puts out content, it’s basically a leap of faith in the dark. It is nearly impossible to segregate your audience on the app, based on age or gender. Finally, Snapchat is notoriously a youth driven concept and so it only makes sense for brands like MTV to utilize it.

Oh, but wait…. On a cheekier note, snapstories only last for a brief period of time and hence the notion of liability disappears. Companies can be assured that their company’s reputation would be maintained at all times, because any offensive material would only be temporary. Sounds like the perfect crime, doesn’t it?

So For Those Looking For A New Promotional Venture –

Snapchat calls for creativity. Snapchat calls for innovation. More than anything Snapchat calls for originality. With its short time frame, the app is unforgiving and there is no place for anything boring or lacklustre. At the same time, trying to fit in something too complex within a few seconds can make the snap story confusing. For brands that know to balance on that fine line, Snapchat can provide unlimited opportunities.

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