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Marion Willam about why brands should embrace Snapchat in their marketing DNA


It is 2016: Social media does not need any more justification or convincing of executives. It has finally found its natural habitat in the marketing mix. A social media underdog in the past years, Snapchat, has evolved surprisingly fast and is about to hit center stage. We break down the essentials for you.

What is Snapchat?
Snapchat is primarily an app that allows you to share “snaps” (hence the name) with your friends. These snaps / snapshots disappear after a couple of seconds and are gone forever. At least this was the concept. Anyone can make a screenshot so don’t try anything you might regret after hitting the publish button.

You can share your snaps in 2 ways: send your snaps (photo or video) to one or more of your friends, or post the snaps on your history – something similar to a timeline, but it disappears after 24hours. Who can see it in your history is defined by who you allow to see it (one friend, all friends, or all Snapchat users that follow you).

The USP is that you can add fun filters, emoticons etc. to your snaps, which makes them very entertaining. Recently, face-recognition filters have become the most popular tools. They allow you to take a selfie and make you look like a zombie, diver, dog, bear, Viking etc. Celebrities are joining in the game, with Kim Kardashian deliberately sharing her experiments.

Only yesterday, Snapchat launched video chats and calls, which makes it a serious threat to WhatsApp.

To summarize, Snapchat is a platform for behind-the-scenes and ephemeral content, it is fun, and it is has come to stay.

Why should my company care?
Let us do the math for you: Snapchat has 100 million daily users. These users show high engagement with 9000 snaps per second, and 65% of users actually contributing content every single day.

Did we mention that 70% of Snapchat users are millennials? If you want to invest in your future customers, you better be there.

Apart from the numbers there are two more reasons that should convince you:

Guess who just bought MSQRD, the fun app that is so similar to Snapchat’s filters and, in this particular field, a competitor? Exactly – Mark “Facebook” Zuckerberg, who is not known for stupid investments (does Oculus Rift ring a bell?).

Last but not least, people are tired of your glossy advertising campaigns. They want “real” content, “real” people behind a brand, and they want to be entertained. Snapchat is all about authentic, behind-the-scenes content – or why do you think is Victoria’s Secrets so successful when they post backstage snaps from their shows?

How do I use it in my marketing mix?
Snapchat is definitely not an everyday channel. When we asked teenagers how often they would like to see brand content (of brands they follow) on Snapchat, they said: “Whenever it is relevant.” So do use it wisely, don’t spam your fans and try to keep it relevant. And use your other channels to announce whenever you will publish something on Snapchat (a simple crossmarketing exercise to get people there).

What type of content makes sense?
You can create snaps during brand events, interviews – whenever you have something interesting to show that can take a fun filter. In bold words: Don’t show your annual accounts press conference on Snapchat. Do show the setup of an event, some soundbites by your guests or executives – whatever makes sense for your purposes.

Can I get help?
We are no millennials, which is why we understand how hard it is to navigate through the what we first called “swipe maze” on Snapchat. If you need help in setting up your Snapchat account, or if you want advice, guidance or campaign ideas, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

About Marion Willam
Marion Willam is a communications expert with over ten years of international experience. She is specialized in digital and social media. Before her engagement at Brand Affairs she has been working as a Senior PR Manager and Brand Publisher at IWC Schaffhausen.

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