It hasn’t been around very long, and if you’re over the age of 33 you might not have even bothered joining, but Snapchat will soon be the premium way to reach your audience as it slowly prepares to launch Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising in the future. Read on for the information you need to get your business ahead of the curve, and stay there, instead of playing catch up while the next billion dollars social network charges full steam ahead, carrying your customers with it.
What is Snapchat?
To understand Snapchat properly you will need to open an account – just search for the App by name on your App Store on your phone. It’s mobile only, so it’s used wherever people are with their phones, and very responsive.
Snapchat was created in 2011 and had become the next big thing in social media by the end of 2014. That’s because of the way it caters exclusively to mobile video content, something that Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and every other platform has failed to do. With over 150m daily users, Snapchat has already achieved more than 8bn video views per day for its content, which only lasts a matter of seconds unless you create a ‘story’ for your ‘snaps’ (pictures or short videos), which lasts 24 hours.
Who Uses Snapchat?
Snapchat is dominated by Millennials, and those under the age of 35, and user numbers are growing. Tech-savvy young people, often looking for new and exciting experiences, and an insight into their favorite celebrities and friends’ lives, will use snapchat to share those experiences with those in their home feed.
Why Use Snapchat?
Snapchat is a way to reach a young, tech-savvy demographic that has lost interest in traditional media such as television, radio and Google sidebar ads. It offers a unique way to capture their attention on the platform that is dominated by younger people who still find it relevant when their families and professional contacts have started appearing on other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Snapchat also allows you the opportunity to speak directly to your target audience and provide an ‘insider’ snapshot or an exclusive viewpoint, which only takes a couple of seconds to produce rather than hours for a standard commercial or campaign.
The Secret To Snapchat Success
Snapchat is so successful because it allows users to document their real life, unedited and as it happens, without interruption by ads, and knowing that the message will disappear shortly after. It encourages people to be real, raw and unscripted and users responded by being just that. The effortless way users can tell their story is what attracts people, and an advertising you do on Snapchat will only succeed if you understand that and invest time and effort into creating a story featuring your product or service. It’s like native advertising in print media, but on a live and interactive forum where people can watch and get emotionally involved.
How To Use Snapchat
Snapchat is incredibly simple. You download the app and create an account and user ID. Once you open it after that, the main screen is your camera view.
On the left bottom corner, you see an icon or a (+) symbol if stories are waiting for you. If you swipe down, or double tap the icon you can add contacts. On the contacts screen you’ll have the gear icon to access settings. There are a couple of key terms you need to know before diving in and joining Snapchat:
- Score: The number of Snaps you’ve sent and received
- Snapback: A reply to one of your Snaps
- Stories: A gallery of your Snaps covering a 24 hour period (you can add as many stories as you want and users can view them as many times as they want, within 24 hours).
How To Master Snapchat Video
Snapchat works on a principle known as 3V advertising. This is what makes it different to other ways to advertise on mobile devices. This is also what you’ll need to know to build a profile with followers who will respond to your advertising when you do start adding paid content.
The Three V’s are:
- Vertical – because Snapchat is for mobile only, and that’s how you hold your phone. They fill 100% of the screen, for full attention not just 25% like other platforms advertise. Snapchat captures the full attention of mobile users. That makes it 9x more likely that the ad will be watched all the way through
- Video – interactive, spontaneous and the best way to tell a story, according to Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel
- Views – More than 8bn videos are already viewed daily on Snapchat. Advertising will be exactly like a normal Snap and full screen, with no pre-roll ad that can be skipped, as YouTube has
Get Snap Happy Now
As the digital landscape is moving more and more towards video content, advertisers have a stronger need to be involved and understand the emotional triggers for a Snapchat audience. Snapchatters are:
- Millennials and the under 35’s, but more are joining every day. 86% of users are aged 13-34
- They are also 8x more likely to watch updates from an event through Snapchat than on tv (concert, festival, show, or news as it happens)
- They are already used to entertaining ads that work. 93% of those who watched the ads for the movie Furious 7 ended up watching the full movie
Snapchat Ads and Targeting
Apart from offering geo filtering and using different fonts for different locations, Snapchat lets you target audiences in different ways:
- Via ‘Live Story’ – which is the same as the hashtag concept. For example you might want to view all current Snaps from Coachella, you can search for those and target that audience
- Via Gender
- Via Location
It’s highly likely more options will be added as Snapchat grows and smaller to medium sized businesses are able to advertise on the platform.
All ads are viewed in the context of Snaps seen in a user’s live feed, from people they are following. It’s also naturally part of curated content they have selected, so it will be appropriate to the context they are browsing and how they use Snapchat as an individual.
That means your target audience will be viewing your ads in a live and local context. The implications for that are huge. Imagine that you own a pizza store 5 minutes walk from a huge concert venue, and the Live Feed is full of people lining up in a queue for hours to pay for over priced, boring food. You could create a fun Snap of your delicious home made pizzas and friendly staff, showing the audience inside that you have a whole store full of food ready and waiting, and asking people to come in. You could also get someone to live Snap the walk there so nobody is lost or confused about how to find you.
You could even have people Snap what their favorite toppings are and create a story using that ingredient, among other ideas. The ways to get to your audience when they are nearby, even within a narrow target radius. No more static flyers handed out by people wearing sandwich boards.
Snapchat showcases videos that are relevant, entertaining and engaging. This platform gives you a way to connect with a local audience that’s much more exciting, more personal and relateable.
- Ilan is the cofounder of One Egg and Head of SEO.