Skip to main content

According to eMarketer, 2016 is the year of Snapchat. The social media platform is expected to grow by 27% this year alone, surpassing other social media mammoths like Twitter and Pinterest in the U.S.A.

By estimate, 1 out of every 5 Americans will use Snapchat by the end of the year resulting in a user-base of 58.6 million users just in the U.S.A. Let alone round the rest of the world. And the number is set to continue growing throughout the years.



The app is characterised by short-lived photos, visuals which take up the entire screen of your phone, and features which let you get creative with the photos and videos you take. Overall, it’s just a really fun way to communicate for all millennials and Generation Z members.

So, we know that Snapchat is growing in leaps and bounds and headed for its own success. But how does this correlate with the success of your business? How can you take your Snapchat account and turn it into Snapchat marketing?

Let’s find out.

Why Snapchat marketing is a force to be reckoned with

Snapchat has an impressive user-base of about 150 million people – all active accounts which make use of Snapchat on a daily basis. In the U.S.A alone, 41% of this number are 18 to 34-year olds, meaning all legal adults who are also potential consumers or, at the very least, supporters of your brand.

That’s all well and good, but every decent marketer knows that a large audience doesn’t necessarily translate into effective marketing. But, Snapchat marketing is a winner even when it comes to this.

MediaScience found that when compared to Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, Snapchat rates highest for visual attention, emotional response and purchase intent among the four social media sites due to a unique combination of: short ad time, option to skip ad immediately, and ad visuals take up entire screen of phone.

To maximise on the effectivity of one ad, Snapchat caps the limit of ads it shows to each user at three. In this way, users don’t get overwhelmed and annoyed by the number of ads they have to watch, and are more likely to remember the product or service being advertised.

Snapchat marketing is definitely something which any company set on progressing and succeeding should take seriously. The mobile app wields a marketing power which cannot currently be beaten by any other social media app out there.


Top 5 ways to utilise Snapchat marketing

1. Get your story out there using Snaps

The key-word to keep in mind here is ‘narrative’. When you create an account for your business, you have to think about what kind of tone you want your brand to have and what kind of image you want to construct from the unedited type of photos and footage you’re going to be broadcasting to all your followers.

For example, do you want to showcase a particular product, lifestyle, event, celebrity, provide inside access to your business, or something else? Or all of them?

Basically, you need some sort of Snapchat marketing campaign already set in place before you create your account. But once that’s done, and done well, then the results start flooding in.

You can use Snapchat posts in many different ways. They can act as teasers, offers and promos or even a way to seek out future employees.

But remember: to compliment Snapchat’s own branding, your posts have to be concise, raw, interactive and, above all, memorable.

If you have a particularly good Snap, you can even put it up as the ‘My Story’ of your account where it’ll stay for 24 hours for all to see before it expires.


Case in point:

GrubHub (@grubhub) was one of the first companies to jump onto the Snapchat bandwagon and also a pioneer of establishing two-way contact with their audience through Snapchat.

Most of their posts are interactive, and they use them for promotions, contests, giveaways and even as coupons.

The below images are from a series of posts that GrubHub released to inspire Snapchatters to send them food doodles to win a prize.


Source: fastcocreate


2. Build up your brand using Snap ads


We’ve already spoken about how effective a Snap ad can truly be. They are a great way of making people aware of your brand and of building solid brand loyalty over time.

Case in point:

Spotify, a well-known music app, purchased a Snap ad to promote its annual campaign ‘Year in Music’ where users are given the chance to review the music they’ve listened to in the previous year.

The ad was on Snapchat’s Discover feed to showcase a different genre of music every day. At the end of it all, Spotify had over 26 million views and a 30% increase in subscriber intent. No joke.


3. Draw in customers to your location using Snap geofilters


Geofilters are specially designed overlays which are activated according to the geographic location that you’re in, and which can be bought by anyone and everyone. The wider the geographic area that you want to target, the higher the cost.

Some people have used them as a fun way to spice up weddings and parties. DJ Khaled (@djkhaled305), one of Snapchat’s top stars, even got his own geofilter for a New Year’s Day road-trip to Las Vegas.

But aside from personal use, geofilters are a brilliant way of getting your brand on the map by inviting people to have fun using whatever geofilter you choose. They’ll be telling the whole world that they were at your location just by slapping on a filter. Pretty neat, right?


Case in point:

When Snapchat first started selling geofilters, McDonald’s was one of the first companies to jump at the opportunity. The food company made their range of filters exclusively available at all 14,000 US locations.

McDonald’s achieved 12 million total filter uses, 308 million total filter views and 400 million total filter impressions. More than that, statistics showed that users were actually going inside McDonald’s outlets just to get access to the geofilters. The campaign remains McDonald’s most successful exclusive content activation to date. Talk about Snapchat marketing!
Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 11.24.50 PM

4. Go viral with Snap lenses


Lenses are different from geofilters in that they’re not tied down to any specific location. To activate them, all you need to do is press and hold on your face before taking the photo.

The Snapchat website says that Snapchatters tend to play around with a lens for a good 20s – which is a substantial amount of time to get someone to remember your logo, or your product.

It’s typical for Snapchat users to send snaps to each other trying out new lenses, so it’s always just a matter of time before a lens goes viral. No wonder lenses usually come with a $450,000 price-tag.


Case in point:

At this year’s Superbowl, sports-drink company Gatorade made a splash with football fans everywhere with its sponsored lens.

When a football team wins a match, it’s customary that they dump the sports-drink inside their cooler onto their coach’s head. Gatorade decided to let everyone have their own sports-drink drenching experience.

They launched the lens (which is estimated to have cost a cool $750,000 because of Superbowl season) by having tennis-player Serena Williams, whom Gatorade sponsors, release her own video on Snapchat. By the end of the same day, the lens had been viewed over 100 million times.

gatorade-snapchat-filter-super-bowlSource: adweek

What are you waiting for?

Whether you opt for the budget options and just stick to using normal snaps and inexpensive geofilters, or you want to go for the grander options of Snap ads and lenses, Snapchat is your brand’s dream platform.

All statistics point to the app’s continuous growth as it gains more popularity daily all around the world. Snapchat marketing is neither just for tech savvy small businesses, or for mega-corporations.

So, hurry up and get on the Snapchat marketing bandwagon now, or you’ll start falling behind without even realising it.

Geraldine Sammut

Author Geraldine Sammut

More posts by Geraldine Sammut

Leave a Reply