brand building

marketing on snapchat

5 Basics for Marketing on Snapchat

5 Basics for Marketing on Snapchat 1920 703 Shout Out Studio

100 million. That’s just shy of the number of people that watch the Super Bowl every year. That’s also about one third of the total United States population. 100 million is approximately how many people use Snapchat every single day. Think that sounds like a lot? Now think about seven billion. That’s how many views videos get on Snapchat on a daily basis, with 76 percent of Snapchat’s users are in the Millennial age group.

Visualizing these numbers isn’t what’s important; tapping into them is what matters. With this kind of potential, Snapchat has transformed from simply being valuable for personal use to being a huge opportunity for small and large businesses targeting Millennials.

The Snapchat conversation shouldn’t make you feel out of date. Take a walk through the basics and learn a few strategies your company can utilize through the app.

So you want to try it out. But how does it really work?

To strip it down to the fundamentals, Snapchat allows users to share pictures and videos instantly. The videos and pictures can only be taken through the app and not imported. Once you’ve taken the picture or video you have a couple choices: Post it to your “snap story” where it will remain for 24 hours as a part of a temporary album, or send it to one of your friends. Snap stories can be viewed multiple times by any of your contacts over the course of those 24 hours. The snap story is the more useful feature for brands. If you do choose to send a photo to someone in your contacts, they can view it once before it is gone.

Before posting or sending a picture, feel free to enhance it. It’s encouraged. Swipe right to select a color filter or geofilter. Your geofilter options appear based on where you are and what’s going on around you, but I’ll elaborate on those later on. There’s also the option to include the time, date and details like the current temp. Tap the screen and a text bar will pop up, and if you press the “T” in the top right corner, you can change the style of the text. There’s also a crayon button in the top corner that allows you to get artistic with your picture or video. Just slide your finger along the color spectrum that pops up to choose your paint.

Now that you know the basics, let’s get down to business. Here are five strategies for marketing through the app.

1. Show Transparency 

The rise of social media has fueled the demand for instant information and transparency, and Snapchat is the perfect synergy of those two desires. On Snapchat, you can post more frequently without overwhelming your audience in comparison to an app like Instagram. The pictures aren’t supposed to be premium quality because the concept relies on unscripted and authentic content since the only way to take photos or videos is through the app. People’s desire for raw information paired with the nature of the app makes Snapchat a great way to publish behind the scenes content.

Sports teams are some of the best examples of this concept in action. They use Snapchat to show footage on the bench in practice, on the bus before a game or in the locker room after a game. It relays the personality of the team and its athletes on a more personal level than a formal, produced interview. It makes sense why fans are interested; they feel involved, and the lower-quality handheld video feels intimate. This concept can work the same way for your business. Use Snapchat to tease products or services that are coming soon, and show followers the quirks of your company. Is a product finished but there are a few days before the launch? Fun, team-building day planned? Why not show it off on Snapchat? People are curious about the brands they support, and Snapchat feels like honest communication.

This personal relationship can be developed with more than just behind the scenes content. Snapchat is prime for live event streaming as well. For example, Victoria’s Secret used it before, during and after their fashion show to not only further inform people watching the show, but also to remind their followers to tune in.

Do you have a yearly corporate dinner or host an annual event? Show people where you are and what you’re doing. It gives a firsthand perspective and, if the event is open to the public, people are encouraged to join (virtually) because you will be posting live. Think of your Snapchat story as a digital way to replace live tweeting and target Millennials.

2. Provide Easy Engagement

Just like the social media apps you might be more familiar with like Twitter and Facebook, Snapchat is great because it’s easy for users to engage with your company. If you post a video or picture, followers can view, screenshot or reply directly to you. This is advantageous when it comes to things like contests. For one of our clients, we utilized Snapchat to encourage their audience to add and reply in order to win prizes. These efforts received more engagement than both of our Instagram and Twitter contests. If email campaigns aren’t stimulating the type of engagement you’re looking for, then offering a promo code on your snap story might be an ideal alternative to test.

3. Reveal Tutorials

Showing people how to use your product not only reveals its potential benefits, but also helps prevent any confusion. Snapchat offers businesses the ability to showcase their products and services with a much more casual explanation method. Facebook has been bombarded with how-to cooking videos as of late, and people are big on the simple, quick explanations.

Millennials aren’t as in love with Facebook as they used to be, so if you want an avenue to give them a tutorial, try using Snapchat instead. This can be valuable for all types of products – show people how to put together an outfit with your spring styles, how to make the perfect presentation using your software, style their hair using your extra-hold gel, etc.

4. Connect Through Influencer Outreach

Referral from a friend is a good way to start a new relationship. Utilizing popular and trusted people in your field to gain the interest and eventually trust of potential customers can be a great way to generate business. On Twitter, a retweet from an influencer is nice, but Snapchat takes this relationship to a whole new level. Try a “Snapchat takeover.” This means someone significant to your brand or target demographic runs your account for a period of time. Sour Patch Kids saw a huge growth through utilizing social media influencer Logan Paul for a five-day takeover.

They were able to generate an identity for themselves and wedge into a new niche in a short amount of time because of the instantaneous nature of the app. When you dive into your influencer outreach, it’s worth it to think about someone you can utilize for a Snapchat takeover to create a connection and help grow your audience. The organic nature of the app allows users to really get to know the personality of your company in a short period of time.

5. Advertise Through Geofilters

After taking a photo or video through the app, you can swipe right to add a color filter or a geofilter. Right now at the Shout Out office near downtown in Columbus, Ohio, my options are three different Columbus filters that show a small graphic that adds ‘Columbus’ written in different styles and colors at the top or bottom of the picture. These filters aren’t limited to stating the name of the area though. Companies like JPMorgan are putting their brand name on these geofilters and making them available to people in a specific area.

This allows you to associate your company with an area or an event, and everyone who posts a picture with your filter is organically promoting your brand. Snapchat also provides analytics for your filter, so you can see how many times it was viewed and used.

All of these campaign methods on Snapchat have similar goals: increasing engagement, recognition and interest. With so many Millennials using Snapchat and a very real need for brands to be transparent, this is a natural way to connect with your audience. Not only will the app give your followers the ability see what your up to, but Snapchat’s newest update pushes users to watch all of their friend’s snap stories. In fact, it’s harder to not watch a friend’s snap story than it is to watch it.

It’s not about being hip anymore – Snapchat is the best way to move from brand awareness to building a connection with Millennials.


Social Media Help From Your Friends

Social Media Help From Your Friends 776 415 Shout Out Studio

Launching a new brand on social media is difficult. It takes time to build your audience, find your voice, and win the attention of your target market. But what if you could speed that up a little bit? How you ask? Just ask your friends. Your friends, whether they are personal or professional, probably have a sizeable head start on your social media presence, and their reach is exponential. A current side project of mine with a non-existent budget has lead me to try this technique to boost our following on social media networks across the board as well as promote a single message in a well orchestrated social media blast. Here is what I did to plan this. read more


Don’t build a brand, build a community

Don’t build a brand, build a community 842 452 Nathaniel Seevers

Don’t set out to build a brand, set out to build a community. Build a place in hearts and minds and memories. Build a movement. Build a collective of beliefs and standards and by that a collective, focused group of advocates.

That collective group will help you build the brand.

Even when it comes to persona or personal brands, from actors to athletes to world leaders, it isn’t about that one person. It’s about what that one person stands for in the hearts and minds of fans and colleagues and competitors. It’s about the ideals or values represented by that individual. It’s about backing up your talk with the walk. It’s about communication and follow-through.

What I’m saying in all of this is a “brand” is only as good as those who stand behind it. Not just the founders and c-levels but the community that gathers to help carry the flag and share in telling the story.


Photo credit: Martin Fisch via Flickr
In use under Creative Commons License 2.0

building blocks

Building Our Business: What We’d Do Differently

Building Our Business: What We’d Do Differently 880 461 Shout Out Studio

When we started this business roughly two years ago we were faced with the challenges that many entrepreneurs and small businesses are faced with…how to build a brand, assemble a team, and form the right client relationships. Now that we’ve been on that journey for a little while we’re able to look back at building our business. While we can’t go back and change the past, we can reflect on what we might do differently.

Luke Pierce

Although it may seem trivial, the one thing that I would do differently is to simply write down our goals, and do it often beginning on day one. Sometimes our creative ADD can really get us going in directions we previously had never dreamed of, which can be fantastic but it can also be a distraction. Sometimes I feel we lose site of what our real goals are and what we are doing in the meantime to get there.

It’s one thing to talk about your goals and ambitions, but to me, it’s an entirely different thing to write them down. If we had written our goals down from day one we could look back on them now and tell the entire story of the company. If we could tell that our goals on day one are matching up with our goals on day eight hundred and nighty seven, we are probably doing something right and if they don’t we can reflect on what changed in us and determine our new direction or how to get back to the old one.

Gretchen Ardizzone

When we first discussed this question, I thought to myself, “Why would we want to do anything differently?” Look at where we are today. But our relationships with our clients goes beyond just being a team of digital marketers, we work side-by-side to understand the constraints and challenges that prevents them from being successful at what they do best. Looking at what we’d do differently helps provide perspective and uniquely relate to our clients who are also trying to grow their business.

If there were one thing that I say could’ve been done differently was to make more time for ourselves. That may seem strange to hear, but I think along the way we’ve determined that we need to make time to focus on our own company and individual goals. We’re finding that happy balance now and I think being a stronger team and continuing to build our own individual skills only brings more benefit to our clients. We now have team members being certified in certain areas of digital marketing and others who are taking on leading their own initiatives. So my takeaway for others is to not just focus on being better marketers, but to focus on being a better team and continue to grow your individual roles.

Shannon Blair

I started working for Shout Out when the company started, only I began as an intern. Essentially, I grew with the business. When asked what I would want to change if we did it all over again, instantly I think “nothing!” The reason I think nothing is because I’ve watched our company go from an idea to a work in progress. Sure, that doesn’t sound rewarding, but it is because every business is a work in progress. If we are at that stage, I think we are doing really well.

However, under the question asked I cant help but think what would I have done differently as an individual. The answer that comes to my mind is to have been more goal-oriented. I recently discovered my love for tools (such as CoSchedule and HootSuite) that help me achieve these goals. There’s a possibility if I had found that love earlier I could’ve been a bigger asset to the company from the beginning. However, I have learned a ton working with this company and other than changing how I could’ve contributed in a different light, there isn’t much I would change because I’m proud of the company Shout Out has turned into.

Nathaniel Seevers

Call it foolish or naive but the thing is, I’m not sure I’d do anything differently if we were to start it all over. I say that for a couple reasons.  First, because we started with a great mix of people who brought a range of skill sets and skill levels to the table. Were we missing a skill or two for a running start? Possibly. Instead we focused on the will do more than the can do and outside of a handful of positions like, I don’t know, surgeon or rocket scientist or bar tender, I would do that every time. The other reason I feel this way is because we’ve learned so much on this path, some easy and some tough lessons, that will make us better over the long haul.

Photo Credit: nettsu

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