Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have been successfully utilized by businesses and entrepreneurs alike over the past few years to help them grow their brands reach, and ultimately generate more revenue. Plenty of marketers agree that Snapchat, the social media platform that used to be reserved for teens and young adults, is now a tool which can be used to bolster your brand’s marketing efforts, and further increase your reach. In fact, usage among Snapchat users over the age of 35 has increased by 224% from Q4 2015 – Q4 2016.
Snapchat is a unique platform, both in terms of its functionality, and also the content which users expect to find there, so it can feel daunting to get started with Snapchat marketing. I believe in empowering entrepreneurs like myself, so I’ve created this ultimate guide to Snapchat to help brands, marketers, and entrepreneurs nail their Snapchat marketing efforts.
At the end of this guide you’ll be fully equipped with all the information you need to make sure you succeed when marketing on Snapchat, and you’ll be able to create an awesome Snapchat marketing strategy for your business.
Let’s get started.
Why Should Businesses Market on Snapchat?
When you’re building and running a business, it’s essential that you engage with every marketing channel available to ensure that your brand reaches as many people as possible. After all, every person who engages with your brand is a potential customer. Snapchat offers you a bank of more than 158 million daily users, who generate more than 10 billion video views every day — this presents you with a clear opportunity to grow your brand.
If you were impressed by those statistics, here are a few more which highlight the opportunity which Snapchat marketing brings a business:
- Snapchat has 301 million monthly active users.
- The average number of Snaps created every day is 3 billion.
- North America boasts 71 million daily active users.
- 18% of all US social media users interact with Snapchat.
- Snapchat has more users than Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
- The average Snapchat user visits the app 18 times daily.
If you weren’t already sold by the statistics alone, let us cover some of the main reasons why businesses who use Snapchat for marketing can excel:
Less Competition, More Opportunity. Almost all successful ecommerce businesses have an established presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Pinterest. There is a clear reason why — these platforms offer a gateway to a communicate directly with millions of engaged users. Fortunately, most businesses haven’t established a presence on Snapchat yet, so you can break through and solidify your brand on the platform.
Snapchat Content is Engaging. Due to the unique, time-sensitive aspect of content that is featured on Snapchat, it’s an engaging platform for your audience. If you establish your brand as a leader on the platform, like Taco Bell has with their innovative Snapchat campaigns, you’ll capture the attention of a much wider range of users than you would have if you focussed on Facebook advertising.
Snapchat is Free. It’s important to remember that Snapchat is a free marketing tool which you can use to help your business grow and prosper. When you’re running a business you could be paying for Facebook advertising, Google Adwords, and email marketing campaigns, so Snapchat could provide you with great results without tapping into your marketing budget.
How to Get Started With Snapchat Marketing
Now that I’ve covered some of the reasons why Snapchat marketing can prove to be a valuable tactic for your business’ growth, it’s time that I explained how you can setup a Snapchat account for your business.
How to Create an Account on Snapchat
The first thing that you’ll need to do when you’re getting started with Snapchat marketing is create an account on the platform. It’s important to note that there isn’t an option to create a business account at the moment, like there is for Facebook. With this in mind, you might find it valuable to test out the platform with a personal account before you venture into Snapchat marketing for your business.
Once you’ve installed Snapchat onto your mobile device, open the app and you’ll be greeted with the following screen:
From here, select the ‘Sign Up’ option, and then enter your first and last name.
Once you’ve entered your name, you’ll need to enter your birthday. Note: Snapchat terms and conditions state that you must be 13 or older to use the app.
Once you’ve entered your birthday, you’ll need to decide on a username for your account. This will be the name that is displayed to the rest of the world, so take some time to settle on the perfect username. I recommend incorporating your brand name here, so people will be able to recognize your business instantly.
Once you’ve settled on a username for your account you’ll need to come up with a password. Make sure that this is secure — you want to keep all of your brands assets safe and secure.
From here, you’ll need to verify your account via email or text message, and then it’s time to set up your new Snapchat profile.
At the top of your screen you’ll see the Snapchat ghost icon. Tap on this icon to access your Snapcode (more on this later), manage your friends, and change your profile photo.
For now, I’ll focus on your profile photo. Simply tap on your Snapcode (the Ghost icon with multiple dots around it) and you’ll be able to capture a series of five images. When you’ve taken some photos that you like, complete the process, and you’ll have your very own Snapchat profile photo.
Of course, you can also choose to leave this space blank, and Snapchat will simply display their default ghost logo for your account profile photo.
Above I mentioned Snapcodes, which are a great tool for a brand using Snapchat for marketing. Snapcodes allow you to easily share a link to your brands website, and can be used in various promotional campaigns — you can even include your brand’s logo here.
How to Create a Snapcode for Your Business
A Snapcode is a scannable code, similar to a QR code, which you can use to easily share your account information. Snapchat users can simply scan a Snapcode with their phone cameras, which will allow them to add you as a friend on the platform — once this is completed they’ll be able to view your Snapchat marketing activities.
You can create a Snapcode for your business by selecting the ghost icon, just like you did when creating your profile photo, and tapping the settings icon at the top of your screen.
Once you’ve tapped on settings, you’ll see a tab named ‘Snapcodes’ which you’ll need to select. From here, choose the ‘Create Snapcode’ option.
Enter the URL address for your business here, this will help you to draw visitors to your website.
Once you’ve completed this, you can add an image from your website or camera roll, and then the Snapcode for your business will be complete.
Feel free to include this Snapcode in any marketing campaigns that you run — this will help you to grow your Snapchat following and will also show to your audience that there are various channels where they can engage with your brand.
Snapchat Marketing: How to Take a Snap
I’ve already mentioned that Snapchat is a unique social media platform, both in terms of its functionality, but also the content found on the app.
The most used feature on Snapchat is known as a ‘snap’. This feature refers to a singular message, containing either photo or video content, that is sent to either a singular user, or a group of users.
When you’re creating Snaps, you can use both the back camera, and the front camera. You can also upload an image directly from your camera roll and use it in a snap. This gives you the opportunity to curate brand new content, or use content which you have prepared previously for your Snapchat marketing efforts. If you’re running an ecommerce business, you can also use your camera roll to promote images of your products to your audience.
Snapchat has become synonymous with customized content, so it’s important to bare this in mind when you’re creating snaps for your business. There are various features available on the app which allow you to customize your content to suit your brand’s style and voice.
How to Use Text on Snapchat
One of the simplest ways that you can personalize your Snapchat content is by adding some text to a snap. There are two ways that you can add text to a snap — by tapping on the image that you’ve just taken, or by tapping on the ‘T’ icon in the top corner.
You can customize the color, size, and position of your text when you’re editing your snaps. This can add another dimension to your Snapchat marketing efforts.
How to Use the Brush Tool on Snapchat
Similar to the text tool, you can also use the brush tool to customize your snaps. You can select the brush tool by tapping on the pen icon, just underneath the text tool (‘T’).
Depending on your artistic ability, you can use the brush tool to add graphics to your snaps, or you can use it to add a handwritten note. Change the color of the brush tool by tapping on the color wheel on the right hand side. You can also use the brush tool to add emojis to your snaps, which can help you to increase your conversion rate, by tapping on the heart emoji.
When you’re marketing on Snapchat you can get creative — try out different things and figure out which works best for your brand.
Adding a Sticker to Your Snap
Snapchat have a host of ready-made stickers which you can lay over your snaps. If you’re looking to use stickers for your Snapchat activity then you can add stickers by selecting the sticker icon shown in the image below:
From here, you can select a wide variety of stickers that will help you to bring your Snapchat efforts to life. When you’re marketing on Snapchat, stickers are a great way to engage with your audience, and help your content stand out from the crowd. You can add a wide range of stickers to every snap, and you can move and resize them as you please.
Here’s an example of some of the pre-made stickers that you can choose from:
Creating Your Own Custom Stickers on Snapchat
If you’re looking to create some content on Snapchat that is truly unique, you can create your own custom stickers. You can upload an image that you’ve taken and then transform it into a sticker using Snapchat’s native tool.
Simply select the portion of the image which you’d like to cut out with your fingers, select the scissors tool, and then it will be automatically saved to the app as a sticker. You can also edit the color of the sticker, erase any unwanted areas, and resize as you wish.
Using Bitmoji to Create Stickers
You can also use Bitmoji to add a wealth of new stickers to your Snapchat account, including a cartoon version of yourself. To enable this feature you’ll need to download the Bitmoji app from the App Store or Play store, but it’s an interesting feature that can certainly play a role in your Snapchat marketing strategy.
Once you’ve created your Bitmoji account, you’ll need to sync it with your Snapchat account, and then the stickers will be created automatically. You can find a guide on how to do this here.
How to Use Filters on Snapchat
Filters are one of the most-used features on Snapchat, and they can help you to create engaging content for your audience. There are two types of filters available on Snapchat — Geofilters and Snapchat Lenses (also known as selfie filters).
Geofilters are placed on top of your snap, and can include information about your geographical location, local weather, altitude, speed, and more. If you want to include Geofilters on your snaps, you’ll need to allow Snapchat to access your location. You can enable this option from Settings. Just select ‘Additional Services > Manage’ and turn ‘Filters’ on. When you’ve enabled filters, you can add them to your snaps by simply swiping right — there will be a different options based on your location.
If you’d like to use Snapchat Lenses, you’ll need to select the front camera option and hold your finger over your face. Snapchat will scan your face and apply a Snapchat Lens automatically — if it doesn’t work immediately you’ll need to try and scan your face again.
You’ll see small circles at the bottom of the app, which indicate that you’re in Snapchat Lens mode. You can scroll through the different filters, select your favorite, and take the snap. Here’s an example of me using a funny Snapchat Lens below:
Before You Post
I’ve already mentioned that Snapchat content is time-sensitive, but did you know that you can change the length of time that your audience can view each snap for?
Once you’ve taken a snap, you can adjust the time it is available, from 1-10 seconds, by selecting the clock icon on the right hand side. Snapchat also recently released a feature that allows you to send snaps with no time-limit, which you can also select by tapping the clock icon.
Once you’ve taken a snap you can also save it to your ‘Snapchat Memories’ using the ‘Save’ icon at the bottom left corner of the app. Snapchat Memories acts as a cloud-based library for any snaps or stories (I will cover stories in the next section) which you want to store.
Snapchat Marketing: How to Nail Snapchat Stories
A Snapchat Story can consist of a series of images, videos, or a combination of the two, and is only available for 24 hours. You can customize anything that you post to your Snapchat Story using all of the tools that I’ve mentioned above, and it’s a great idea to do so — it’ll help you to create engaging content for your followers.
When you’re getting started with Snapchat marketing, it might seem plausible to send each snap directly to your followers, but this isn’t a scalable choice. Instead, I recommend that you use Snapchat Stories when you’re marketing on Snapchat.
How to Post a Snapchat Story
Posting to your Snapchat Story is a simple process. First, you’ll need to create the snap that you’d like to add to your Snapchat Story. Once the snap is ready, tap the blue arrow in the bottom right corner, and you’ll be greeted with the following screen:
From here, simply tap on ‘My Story’, press ‘Send’, and the snap will be added to your Snapchat Story.
Making Your Snapchat Stories Public
When you’re using Snapchat Stories to market on Snapchat, it’s essential that you draw in as many viewers as possible. By default, Snapchat will only enable users who you have added as a friend to view your stories. If you want to be successful with Snapchat marketing, I recommend that you change this setting so that everybody can view your Snapchat Stories.
To do so, access your Snapchat settings by tapping on the gear icon. From here, scroll down and you’ll see an option called ‘Who Can … -> View My Story’ which you’ll need to select. From here, simply select the option named ‘Everyone’, which will ensure that everybody who follows your account can view your Snapchat Stories.
Snapchat Marketing: How to Market on Snapchat
Now that I’ve covered the technicalities of Snapchat, it’s time for us to get stuck in to Snapchat marketing for your business. You may be worried about coming up with great, engaging content for your audience, but there are tons of possibilities that you can tap into as an entrepreneur. Here are a few ideas for content that could inspire your Snapchat marketing efforts:
It’s safe to assume that Snapchat users who follow you are interested in both your brand, and then products that you’re selling, which presents you with a great opportunity to promote products through Snapchat. You can alert your followers to the latest product updates on your store, any sales which have just been launched, or you can even provide them with a demonstration of the best way to use your products. If, for example, you’re running a clothing store, you can create outfits on Snapchat and educate your followers about the best clothing to pair your products with. There are plenty of different options here — inject some of your brand personality and try out different options, you’ll soon find what works best for your business.
If you’re taking care of Snapchat marketing for a business with multiple employees, it’s a great idea to showcase your brand to your followers. You can create Snapchat stories which show your company culture, any company events which you’re attending, and to tell the stories of the people who are working at the company. Snapchat marketing works well when you can provide content that won’t be found anywhere else — showcase your brand and provide this for your audience.
Behind the Scenes
If you’re marketing on Snapchat, it’s a great idea to utilize content which shows the inner workings of your brand. Do you have a morning filled with product research? Show this to your audience, they’ll be pleased to see some sneak peeks at future products, and they’ll provide you with honest feedback too. Are you doing some late-night work on a weekend? Let your followers know — they’ll admire your hard work and commitment, and it can help your brand image.
Snapchat Takeovers involve another person, usually an influencer related to your niche, running your Snapchat account for the day. When you’re marketing on Snapchat, Takeovers can be a great way to switch up the content that you produce and ensure that your content remains engaging for your users. This also offers you a great chance to grow your brand’s following, as the person running the takeover will likely inform their followers about the event. Whilst this may typically be limited to the more established brands, it can still work on a smaller scale.
Snapchat Marketing: Creating a Snapchat Marketing Strategy
If you’re looking to use Snapchat as a sustainable marketing channel for your brand, it’s important that you take the time to strategize. If you create a Snapchat marketing strategy you’ll be able to plan your Snapchat content so it coincides with your other daily tasks, and it’ll help you to maintain a steady output of great content for your followers.
Here is our 5 step guide to nailing your Snapchat marketing strategy:
If you’re using Snapchat for marketing, I highly recommend that you create a plan for your content — not only to help you plan what you will be posting, but also to help you understand how frequently you’ll be posting. You’ll be looking to provide quality content for your audience, and thoughtful planning can help you to do this. Depending on your personal preference, I recommend using an organizational tool like Trello or Asana, or you can also use something more traditional like a paper storyboard.
To succeed in Snapchat marketing, posting regularly is essential. This will help you to grow your following, and also solidify a regular viewership from your existing followers. Chubbies Shorts, a men’s clothing company, post at a similar timeframe every time they use Snapchat for marketing, and they have amassed a huge following from their regular, engaging content.
Build a Narrative
Once you have planned out the content which you’ll be posting on a specific day, take the time to think about the best way you can build a narrative for your audience. Snapchat stories can, and should, be broken down into multiple different segments.
If, for example, you’re showcasing one of the newest products on your store, it’s unlikely that you’ll only have 10 seconds worth of content to provide your audience with. Be creative — you can create individual snaps detailing the size / shape of the product, the core functionality, the quality, and one to provide your users with a CTA (call to action). Build the idea of a narrative into your Snapchat marketing strategy and it’s likely that you’ll find much more success with your campaigns.
Experiment With Snapchat
Most brands haven’t yet ventured into Snapchat marketing, so there is still some ambiguity on the science of Snapchat success. This means that you could stumble upon a brand new way to engage with your audience, and ultimately increase your sales, which no brand has tried before. Perhaps you find that offering a Snapchat exclusive discount code is the most effective way to use Snapchat for marketing. Maybe you’ll find great success offering your followers with practical advice on the best way to use your products. You’ll soon get an idea about what engages your audience, so use these insights to optimize your Snapchat marketing efforts.
Snapchat is a unique social media platform that is filled to the brim with personality, so have fun whilst you’re using the tool to grow your business. Try out any new ideas that you come up with. Take a chance with a new campaign that you have in mind. For marketers, Snapchat is a great tool which you can use to express yourself and your brands unique voice.
Snapchat Marketing: How to Measure Success on Snapchat
If you were looking to measure success on other social media platforms, like Facebook or Instagram, you could take advantage of their own analytics platforms. Unfortunately, Snapchat doesn’t yet offer a complex analytics tool, which can make it difficult for brands to fully measure their Snapchat marketing performance.
To track success on Snapchat, there are two metrics which you’ll need to track; the number of views (indicated by the purple eye icon), and the number of screenshots (indicated by the green snap icon). You can access these statistics from the stories section, tapping on ‘My Stories’ and then selecting the icon with three vertical dots.
Important Note: These statistics will only be available 24 hours from the time that you submitted the snap — another reason why planning can help your Snapchat marketing campaigns succeed.
If you’re interested in what one of the most successful accounts on Snapchat looks like, here is an image from DJ Khaled’s Snapchat:
This exemplifies Snapchat marketing done right, so this should be your ultimate aim. However, don’t be discouraged if you don’t find this level of success straight away, DJ Khaled has been active on the platform for years already.
Snapchat Marketing: How to Grow Your Following on Snapchat
If you’re looking to increase the amount of views and engagement that your Snapchat marketing campaigns receive, growing your following is a great way to achieve this.
Unlike other social media platforms, Snapchat doesn’t have a built-in function on their app which you can use to grow your following. Instead, you’ll need to take advantage of other marketing campaigns to grow your following.
Earlier in this Ultimate Guide to Snapchat Marketing, I discussed Snapcodes, and how they allow other users to follow you with ease. It is Snapcodes which will be your most effective tool when you’re growing your following on the platform.
Try to include your brands Snapcode on any emails, social media posts, or popular webpages — this will help you to drive the necessary traffic to your Snapchat marketing campaigns.
Get Started with Snapchat Marketing
Now you know everything that you need to succeed when marketing on Snapchat — congratulations!
If you have any other questions about Snapchat, or marketing in general, let us know in the comments section — I’m always happy to help you on your entrepreneurial journey.