Snapchat had signed up more US users for its app than its rival Instagram has since the beginning of the year, but new data shows those figures are quickly disappearing.
While I am not totally sold on the long term survival of Snapchat as Instagram continues to eat away at it's rival, Ad revenue continues to look strong for the mobile app. Marketing your brand on Snapchat takes some creativity. It can be confusing, especially when you're starting out. Something to keep in mind is that a typical marketing funnel is broken down into three main stages:
1. Awareness. Prospects learn about your business and what you have to offer.
2. Interest. Prospects from the first phase take the first step toward becoming a customer by signing up for a webinar or company emails.
3. Evaluation. Prospects from phase two take the final jump to buy from you, often as the result of a sales call or integrating email.
Snapchat is strongest during the second stage, when you're engaging your prospects and trying to create interest. In fact, research shows that Snapchat gets nearly a 4x higher engagement rate compared to similar platforms like Instagram but this is slowly changing as Instagram migrates many of Snapchat's features. Through Snapchat, you can deliver valuable content to your audience to let them see a different side of your business -- one that might not be as visible through another channel.
Here are three ways marketers can use Snapchat to grow their businesses:
1. Offer promo codes.
Brands have had success using promo codes on Snapchat because of how high the engagement rate is.
2. Launch products.
You can also use Snapchat to launch new products. One of the unique benefits of Snapchat is that it gives you permission to create low-budget, informal videos. Letting them see you “behind the scenes,” where you might be unpolished, will help build a deeper relationship over the long term.
3. Leverage influencer marketing.
By leveraging influencers, you can capture a much larger audience because your content will be viewed by both your followers and the followers of that influencer. It’s one of the quickest ways to build a massive audience of your own. Another way to use influencer marketing is by asking an influencer to do a takeover of your account. This basically means that they run your Snapchat account for a certain period of time, and post snaps on behalf of you.
Snapchat is still an up-and-coming platform. If it continues to hold on as a popular app then marketers will have something. Right now it is an app that has yet to become overcrowded. And, because of that, engagement levels are still significantly higher than many other platforms. Marketers who jump on it now will see significantly better engagement than those who get on board months -- or years later.
FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC
When Snapchat first took the mobile world by storm, most people assumed it was just another teenage fad. Six years and a $16 billion valuation later, one of the most talked-about IPOs to date has since made it clear that Snapchat’s influence goes far beyond silly pictures.
According to Snap Inc.’s recently updated Form S-1 SEC registration statement, the app boasts 158 million active users each day, and those users spend an average of 25 to 30 minutes on the app each day. Clearly, Snapchat has ingrained itself as the king of a social media niche that Facebook and Twitter never knew existed.
For businesses that use social media to interact with consumers, Snapchat presents opportunities no other platforms can replicate. Whether your company's goal is recruiting new talent, engaging current employees or marketing to the masses, Snapchat has something for everyone.
The many faces of Snapchat
Snapchat users become princesses, cowboys, aliens and puppies all the time. Why shouldn’t the app be just as versatile for business?
Direct consumer marketing is the obvious first step, but Snapchat works for internal communications and recruitment, as well. Certainly, a 10-second snap isn’t the best way to notify employees that their bonuses have been delayed. But, for small recognitions, company events, birth announcements, new hires and goals achieved, Snapchat provides bite-sized slices of company life that employees will actually look at A Snapchat channel of employee posts, such as the one Cisco uses, can also be a great tool to show potential candidates what life at the company is really like!
Cisco, for example, allows its employees to post on the channel themselves, giving viewers a live look into the company’s different roles, office locations and special events. The channel has been a great success: Cisco found that 70 percent of its viewers had watched its stories all the way through, and more than five million minutes of its content had been consumed.
What's more, the oversaturation issue doesn't apply here: Just because everyone else uses Snapchat for direct marketing doesn’t mean it isn’t worth looking into, yourself.
10 seconds to better business
With a platform as versatile as Snapchat, most businesses have trouble figuring out where to begin. The following five strategies will help businesses get the most from their Snapchat experience.
1.Keep your content candid. Creating custom-designed snaps is expensive and inefficient. Users of Snapchat want to see slices of real life, not heavily designed ads. So, let your employees post directly to a feed, or put a personable social media expert in charge of capturing moments to share. With brands now posting an average 13 stories per month and 11 snaps per story.
2. Bring in well-known guests. Social media influencers and niche celebrities provide excellent brand exposure. Let someone else take over the Snapchat story for a while, and see what develops. Not only will brand loyalists appreciate the shakeup, but fans of the talent that was previously unaffiliated with the brand might become new customers themselves.
3. Call users to action. Attention is great, but action is better. According to Sumpto, 67 percent of college age students want to receive more discounts and promotions from brands on Snapchat. Encourage followers to visit a website or share on other social media platforms. Incentivize engagement with special Snapchat filters or contests for prizes.
4. Build a following through consistency. Twitter followers may rally around hashtags, but how can brands create a following on an app that relies on transience? Simple -- by making Snapchat a bigger part of the branding outside the app.
5. Track snap data. Even though Snapchat lacks the more advanced analytic tools other platforms use, it still provides some interesting insights. Total views are useful, but story completion (how many people watched all the way through) and screenshots (how many thought it was worthy of sharing) pinpoint the most engaged users.
Don’t be fooled by its often-silly exterior -- when it comes to marketing, Snapchat is the real deal. Follow these strategies to start building better stories and engaging with more users.
FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC
Snapchat is rolling as the hot app and Facebook is taking a serious look at its competitor so it can shore up many of its most successful features.
At the same time, Snapchat is moving away from ephemeral content and beginning to engage in a stronger battle against the most popular social network in the world than we first thought. Will there be a clear winner?
We may not have all the stats to compare side by side the audience for both platforms, but Facebook is #1 with its 1.65 billion monthly active users. There’s no social platform yet that can beat this number, while Snapchat says it has 100 million daily users but no hard facts to back those numbers up.
Snapchat got popular for its impressive appeal to the younger audience, starting as a fun and instant form of communication among teenagers. Although it has evolved since then, it is still popular to the audience aged 13-24, as it forms 60% of its audience. Snapchat states that it reaches 41% of all 18 to 34 year olds here in the US on any given day. Facebook may be the most popular network but it's appeal to the younger audience has given away to mid millennials and the over 40 generation. Teens early 20 somethings don't want nothing to do with those stats as they like their own "space" in the world of social media. There has been a 46% growth of new Facebook profiles from 2012 to 2015 for the ages of 45-54, while a decline of 25% has been noted at the same period for the new Facebook profiles of people aged 13-17 in the U. S. Young people face a new reality when family members join Facebook. They head to new platforms to freely express themselves. They don't abandon Facebook they just don't share content on it as much. They use Instagram and Snapchat for those outlets.
This is probably the most obvious popular feature for Snapchat. The power to make its users check content with high frequency on it's platform before the content disappears. Snaps last for just 24 hours, which means that FOMO (fear of missing out) can become more intense, especially once you start adding more friends.Facebook seems to be fascinated lately with the idea of ephemeral content and that’s why it announced the launch of secret conversations on Messenger, a feature that will introduce encrypted messages with a timer to control the when they will be visible to the recipient.
Snapchat has managed to create impressive engagement with ephemeral content, but it’s still not easy to beat Facebook, which has turned into a daily routine for a great number of its users. Adults spend about 23 minutes a day on Facebook according to most stats. Snapchat has observed that 54% of its its users engage with the app daily, while the average iOS user spends an average of 18 minutes on Snapchat during the day, which means that there is an indication that the battle of engagement will become even more competitive soon.
You don’t have to like (or even understand) Snapchat to admit that it brought a new type of content to social media, with its explosive growth being attributed to the combination of ephemerality, creativity, simplicity and visual content.The idea of vertical video has proven to be successful (and effective for brands), while filters turned out to be a fresh use of branded promotion.It wouldn’t be fair to omit Facebook’s own authenticity back when it started, but as it’s heading to a more mature status, we’ll give this round to Snapchat and its attempt to beat the odds of success at a surprisingly fast rate.
For The Fun Of It
Snapchat is fun. No question about it. Facebook as it is today really is not meant to be fun but more of an informative platform. This is why teens and young people have left it. They want fun because they have not grown up. They want to be entertained and they want excitement. While Facebook in its infancy was cool to be on it has evolved into a communication tool that the older generation has embraced. Facebook however has established itself and we know it will be around a long time. The verdict on Snapchat is still out as it is still a relative "fad" platform but growing. Snapchat is trying hard to be taken seriously, as it is still known as the platform that may turn you into a dog, or swap your face with Leonardo DiCaprio. Lenses have turned out to be very popular for Snapchat and their constant update creates a habit of trying out the new ones, again, for the sake of (useless) fun.However, this changed when brands joined the game of sponsored lenses, which made them more interesting from a business perspective.For example, Gatorade created a sponsored lens during Super Bowl and it led to 60 million plays in total, 165 million views and an increase of 8 points in purchase intent.
Facebook Pages have formed the idea of branded content in social media and they have been imitated by many platforms. It’s an organized way to distribute content by encouraging users to stay up-to-date with a brand’s news, while Facebook offers several tools to boost this experience.On the other hand, Snapchat wanted to revolutionize the idea of branded content, by encouraging a new format of visual content which focuses on the engagement with the user, ensuring that the reach is not missed through a customized feed that hides the content you’ve liked.This doesn’t mean that all brands are ready yet to experiment with Snapchat and this may be attributed to the lack of options regarding the distribution and the measurement of the content, which is certainly something that we’d love to see in the future.Both platforms have their advantages and their disadvantages when it comes to branded content, but Facebook is certainly a winner, mainly due to its established status, the flexibility and its insights.
This is probably the biggest battle between Facebook and Snapchat and it’s also the most interesting one. Both try hard to succeed in this field, as this may be the battle that will crown the ultimate winner.Video content is on the rise and it’s not expected to stop anytime soon, and both Facebook and Snapchat have their own advantages and disadvantages on its creation and distribution.What’s more, Facebook has launched the idea of Facebook 360 videos, in an attempt to succeed with another popular trend. Snapcat is definitely ambitious enough to compete with Facebook’s plans with video content, This sign of explosive growth cannot stay unnoticed and that’s why there is an attempt to keep up with its fast growth by offering more features and options for brands that join the platform.
Snapchat started as a fun platform of instant communication between teenagers and that’s how it became popular with its ephemeral content, its simplicity and its mysterious appeal.Facebook started as a platform that connected people all over the world, although the concept of communication changed over the years. The launch of Messenger was a great move for Facebook. That brought the best features of Facebook and it's apps into one platform. which now boasts over 1 billion users.Both Snapchat and Facebook have benefited from their appealing instant communication in their own way, the first by creating a strong engagement rate which helped it grow, the second by expanding its features to interesting paths that we keep exploring.
Instant communication in terms of business opportunities is already changing on Facebook Messenger with the introduction of chatbots, the pre-programmed messages that allow users to stay informed from their favorite brands and pages regarding a new release, a sale, or an event.This could be the big step for Messenger in e-commerce and further business opportunities, and as there are more than 11,000 bots in Messenger, we are expecting great things from this feature.
This is an unfair battle, as Facebook is already established in advertising, offering numerous options for brands to promote their products. There has been a 50% increase in Facebook’s active advertisers in a year.Mobile advertising has turned out to be extremely effective, as it accounted for 79% of the company’s revenue of Q1 2016.From a brand’s perspective, Facebook’s advertising tools can help an ad reach the right audience, while the introduction of Canvas led to more creative formats that may be more appealing to users.On the other hand, Snapchat is yet at an early stage of its advertising growth, but early reports from Snapchat on it's ROI is very impressive. It has noted that its Snap Ads have a 5x higher CTR compared to other platforms.
The fact that Snapchat managed to become a serious competitor for Facebook in certain areas in just a couple of years is an indication that we cannot ignore its potential, as its growth is expected to continue. Snapchat is expected to surpass Twitter and Pinterest in users this year, reaching 58.6 million users with a growth of 27.2%, while it will keep building its audience until 2020 to further close its gaps with Facebook.Even if it’s not enough to ever beat Facebook, it is still impressive to monitor its success to go up against Facebook.
Snapchat, that crazy little app that just a few short years ago nobody but teens paid any attention to has reinvented itself and is now one of the hottest apps going. Even huge Fortune 500 companies are now on board salivating for advertising and branding space. Why? Because the platform has done a total 180 and is now loaded with cool features and it is just not for kids anymore wanting to post selfies that disappear in 10 seconds (although that feature is still there) So lets talk about snapchat and some of the things you may not even know about exist on this little app that is in fact, quite powerful.
Snap length. You can set your snaps or videos to run up to 10 seconds if you wish. The little dial is in the lower left hand side.
I want to save my selfie! If your picture is safe for the world to see (or normal enough) you can save the shot to your smartphone gallery and to that great storage cloud in the sky by simply clicking on the icon just right of the timer.
Text & texting. Snapchat allows video chat and texting as you may already know but you can also add text to your photo or draw on it and those features are self explained on the upper right top of the app. Pinch the letter box to make the letters larger or smaller. The same goes with the emojis if you want to use them. They can be placed anywhere by using your finger to slide them around. Your letter colors can also be changed by the color slider.
Face Swapping is fun with teens obviously but if you are an adult and want to be a kid again or had too much to drink, you can use this feature by holding on to your selfie picture until the lens icon shows up. Then you can mess with your face and add goofy things.
Videos are fun and you can actually do some effects with them such as speed them up, reverse them or slow them down. Remember the time frame though that you have when being creative with this feature. You can also do video calls with Snapcat or voice calls.
Snaps can be replayed up to 24 hours now which was not available some time ago. You can do this one with the person who sent it to you if they enabled this feature themselves.
The Video Note Feature allows you to make a slefie GIF for a few seconds by holding down the front facing camera button. again, you have 10 seconds to do this.
There are a few other goodies Snapchat has that I won't go into here but these are the fun ones. Get the app and check it all out!
Roy FDMC Social and Digital Media