Why Snapchat Should Make You Think About Marketing Not Sexting

When I started researching content and stories for the Ultimate Marketing Guide To Snapchat, I came across some photos and websites that were definitely NSFW. Snapchat is without question, still used to share nudes and images you don’t want Nanny or Papa to find online. There I said it, but I’m also going to say it’s not just for sexting.

Snapchat is a channel that can be leveraged by marketers to tell their story in a unique and compelling way. It’s a channel that gives you the ability to capture the attention of a user and captivate them with engaging content for a few short seconds. It’s an easy way to acquire attention and the marketers who are leveraging the tool now, are leveraging it while the user base is still excited to open a snap for the first time.

First, let’s get you up to date with what Snapchat is all about…

Snapchat is a popular mobile smart phone app that is estimated to generate 400 million messages every day — it’s an app that allows people to share photos and videos that disappear after a short time. A Snapchat picture, or snap, is only available for a set time limit, from 1 to 10 seconds upon viewing. However, the new Snapchat Stories feature allows content to be available for up to 24 hours and strung together to create videos that can much longer.

Users don’t have to be too concerned about how they look in a a photo; there’s no reason to worry about the composition, lighting, special filters or anything else. It’s the complete opposite of a selfie that will live forever on Facebook or Instagram.

A lot of marketers still struggle with the idea of leveraging Snapchat as a tool for marketing. Brands are slowly but surely flocking to leverage the power of Snapchat but not fast enough. In a world where attention is rare, we have to strive to do whatever it takes to cut through and connect with customers and our target audiences. Snapchat gives brands an opportunity to have a users undivided attention. That’s powerful. 

People skip through commercials.
People install ad blockers on their browsers.
People are excited and ecstatic when they’re notified they receive a snap.

Here are a few brands using Snapchat and making great strides in communicating with their audience effectively:

McDonalds

After seeing success of other brands on Snapchat, it wasn’t long before McDonald’s  joined the parade of marketers experimenting with the ephemeral messaging service. One of their first snaps was quite the head turner as they enlisted basketball star Lebron James to promote their new account with a selfie.

Karmaloop

KarmaLoop is one of the leaders for Snapchat. I’ve been following them for a while and they send  snaps of exclusive deals, provocatively posing models and a handful of things that make you second guess what you just saw. When they launched their Snapchat account in July, their blog announced that it would snap “behind-the-scenes looks, fresh product drops and office antics (we may throw in a few selfies, too).”

New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints created a Snapchat account but currently has been solely using the Stories feature. The team announced that it would be releasing behind-the-scenes footage, photos of new merchandise, a sneak peek of what uniform the Saints will be wearing each week, and a variety of other interesting snaps.

As you can see, it’s not just being used my mom and pop shops or brands who solely target kids. It’s being used by brands who target a wide range of people and it’s being done effectively. Brands are sharing content every single day on Snapchat that captures the attention of their audience and builds on their brand story.

Here’s a list of some of my favourite brands embracing Snapchat:

Top Snapchat Brands

So why does Snapchat matter for Marketers?

Snapchat Is Built On A Captive Audience

When a user receives a Snap on Snapchat, they’re likely to open it and give that snap their full attention. This might have something to do with an underlying hope that someday they’ll receive a nude snap or it could be related to the ephemeral sensation from the content. I’m leaning towards the ephemeral sensation as the main draw to Snapchat.

The New York times, asked, Why Use Snapchat and the answer they concluded to was this:

One of the simple and obvious answers is that Snapchat is intentionally ephemeral. Images are seen once for one to 10 seconds and then disappear forever in a digital magic trick.

It’s the idea of giving people an ephemeral experience that has resulted in such a mass appeal for Snapchat. People know that the image is going to last only for a few minutes so they need to give it their full attention or they might miss it. I know that for me, I have a serious feeling of disappointment when I try to open a snap and it doesn’t load the content but does the countdown anyways. The “self-destruct” aspect of Snapchat is what gives marketers a chance to tell their story in a space where you have a captive audience (Tweet this).

The limited lifespan of your content makes Snapchat a perfect tool to deliver a call to action for your customers and leverage a sense of excitement while building a sense of urgency. If you’re looking to learn more about how you can leverage Snapchat to drive success, check out the Uncensored Guide to Snapchat below:

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