How to use Snapchat to market to younger demographics

Have you ever heard of Snapchat? Does your company have an account? If you’re looking to market to a younger, more plugged-in demographic, you should be answering “Yes” to both of those questions.

Snapchat logo
When Snapchat first launched, the app facilitated the exchange of photos between friends. Over the past few years, it has grown to encompass chat and mobile payment features, as well as the “Story” component, which means with a little creativity, SMBs can use Snapchat to market to younger members of their customer base.

Throughout Snapchat’s evolution, the app’s ghost mascot has represented the brand. Originally dubbed “Ghostface Chillah,” the ghost was renamed NoFace Chillah after a June 2013 update removed his facial expression in a move that allowed him “to have all sorts of fun expressions and personalities,” according to the Snapchat blog. Whatever you call the mascot, be sure to include his picture in your promotions if you’re looking to raise awareness of your company’s Snapchat account – users will recognize him instantly!

What’s the Story?

Snapchat Stories allow users to beam out photos and short video clips to whoever is following them – and they make the perfect vehicle for marketers eager to engage with consumers via a new social channel. Stories are time-sensitive and are only accessible to users for 24 hours after they’re posted. Once that period has ended, they get deleted by the app, in keeping with Snapchat’s casual, temporary aesthetic. Keep this constraint in mind when posting on this platform.

That being said, people are able to look at Stories as many times as they want during that 24-hour period, unlike the snaps they’re sent directly, which disappear seconds after viewing and can’t be retrieved. If you’re promoting a limited-time deal, post a preliminary Story the day before the offer is set to launch, then another on the day itself. In a sense, using Snapchat to market is similar to email marketing in that most companies send a heads-up message ahead of time to raise awareness.

It’s also possible to take screenshots of Stories, so some brands are incorporating coupons into their Snapchat-based outreach and encouraging users to bring the screenshots to brick-and-mortar locations.

A personal connection in 10 seconds or fewer

Another limitation to be aware of involves the time constraints associated with the app. Although you can add as many Snaps as you want to a Story, no single Snap (meaning one photo or video clip) is allowed to exceed 10 seconds in length. When people view your Story, the Snaps will appear in chronological order, kind of like a slideshow.

One great thing about Snapchat is that Snaps can be personalized with typed text captions and the freehand drawing/writing tool. If you’re looking to add a little pizzazz to your Snapchat Stories, consider doodling on the photos before you post them. This personal touch is sure to add a little humanity and humor to your brand.

Using Snapchat to market is a trend expected in 2015, so don’t overlook it when planning your strategy, especially if you’re in the restaurant and bar industry.

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