Could Snapchat boost your marketing strategy?

If you’re involved in marketing, the chances are you’ve heard of Snapchat – one of the latest social media channels to burst into global prominence.

The booming social media platform is attracting users from around the world. But does it have any place in the corporate world? And more importantly, could your business benefit from a slice of Snapchat in its marketing strategy?

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is used to create and send ‘snaps’ – multimedia messages where filters, text, effects and drawings can be overlaid on photos and short videos. The messages disappear once they have been viewed, so there is an informal, conversational feel to much of the platform’s content.

By the end of 2016, more than 2.5 billion ‘snaps’ were being created every day by the app’s 158 million users. And each of its users spend an average of 25-30 minutes each day on the platform.

But while there is clearly a large and committed base of Snapchat users around the world, are they users that your business should target? And if they are, would Snapchat be an effective way to engage them anyway?

Before you launch a Snapchat account for your business, consider these three factors:

1. Your customers or client base

The bulk of Snapchat’s users are under 25. They rely increasingly less on traditional media to supply their news and information, and much more on social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter.

Does this profile fit with your audience?

If your product or service appeals to managers and directors aged 45+, Snapchat probably isn’t the best place to try spreading your message.

But if tech-savvy, fun-loving millennials are your target, then a well-executed business Snapchat account could be ideal for spreading the word.

2. The platform’s ‘rules’

Like any new line of communication, the key is whether you can do it well – and whether that investment in time and energy is worthwhile for your business.

The tone and style of your ‘snaps’ will go a long way to determining whether you are successful. And you are likely to need entirely different content for Snapchat compared to your corporate Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn accounts.

Companies and organisations that generate strong results on Snapchat often take a more offbeat approach. They mix up video, photos, doodles and humour in a very informal, casual style designed to appeal directly to a Snapchat audience, but which still align with their overall marketing objectives.

So it’s important to take some time to understand the culture and language of Snapchat users before putting your company on the platform.

3. Your organisation’s needs

Consider the investment in time and resources you will need to set up and run a successful Snapchat account.

Who will be responsible for creating the content? How will their success (or otherwise) be judged? And could those resources be better used elsewhere?

Perhaps more importantly, would your customers or clients care that you were now on Snapchat? If you work in a traditional B2B sector, such as banking, finance or manufacturing, or in the public sector, it’s unlikely your business would get much leverage through your ‘snaps’.

Creative industries, on the other hand, or B2C sectors like retail or food and drink, are likely to suit it better and arguably have more Snapchat friendly themes to ‘snap’ about – behind the scenes at a photoshoot, a new menu or new clothing collection, for example.

Snapchat is an increasingly significant platform for a growing number of successful brands around the world. But as with all social media channels, just because it works for some businesses doesn’t mean you should rush to join the Snapchat crowd. What is a valuable marketing tool for one business, could be little more than an expensive and time-consuming distraction for another.

To discuss whether your brand would benefit from incorporating Snapchat into its digital and content strategy, contact Adam Booth.

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