Marketing – From a millennial

Let’s talk about Snapchat.

Snapchat is a platform for sharing authentic photos and videos that “self-destruct” soon after they’re activated, on an app that’s becoming increasingly popular among today’s millennials.

Now, talking about this platform for business use may raise a few eyebrows, but hear me out.

30% of US millennials use Snapchat regularly, with over 100 million daily users on the platform, 71% of them being under the age of 34. That’s a whole lot of millennials accessing a whole lot of content (over 5 billion video views a day).

Snapchat’s potential is huge. Instead of building a larger follower count, Snapchat engages real-world fans ­– the people who are genuinely interested in what your brand is doing. Although having tens of thousands of Facebook likes or Twitter followers may make your brand look good, Snapchat fans could be valuable. Not just because an existing customer is 60%-70% more likely to actively engage with your brand, but because these people are more likely to become advocates of it.

So, at first glance, Snapchat might not seem like a good fit for marketing. It’s not quite a social network, but not quite a messaging app either, and because of that, a lot of folks either “don’t get it” or believe that it’s “only for young people who don’t have purchasing power.” However, these apparent shortcomings – short-lived content shared at a limited scale – are also Snapchat’s greatest strengths.

Taco Bell was one of the early adopters of Snapchat, according to AdWeek, and has managed to amass over 200,000 followers since. The platform makes a lot of sense for the brand — despite “marketing in the dark” — since it gives them the ability to reach a highly relevant audience with a wide range of creative bite-sized content.

Because the platform connects with only your most engaged followers, they are more likely to feel that missing a Snap “story” means that they’re missing out, creating a strong and authentic relationship that no other platform has been able to do.

And as we know, authenticity is how marketers win.

You could consider starting a blog, post photos on Tumblr, or do something to grow a large following somewhere else, but if you know that your brand has a strong fan following, Snapchat should be the next platform to consider.

Keep in mind that the platform is still fairly new, and in the experimenting phase when it comes to marketing. Snapchat has developed “Discover” sections and 3V ads to help brands market themselves without compromising the general user experience, but there’s still a lot of potential to explore.

So yeah, you may be going in blind, but take the chance because, remember, 200 views on Snapchat are worth a lot more than 200 views on YouTube.

Sarah Henry, creative intern