Utilize basic marketing principles to reach Snapchat audiences.
Mondelez’s Sour Patch Kids won PR buzz and marketing success with its Sour then Sweet Pranks Snapchat campaign in 2014. The brand took advantage of Snapchat’s easy and fun communication style to connect with their target audience by engaging social media influencer Logan Paul and ultimately delivered 6.8 millions impressions over the course of the week-long campaign. The Sour Patch Kids Snapchat campaign highlighted how marketers can reap the benefits of this new platform when they align the right creative to the right audience and anchor their approach in achieving specific strategic objectives.
“Build an owned media presence by first prioritizing your target audience and objectives, and then evaluating how Snapchat can deliver against them,” said Elizabeth Shaw, research director, Gartner for Marketers.
The Snapchat app launched in 2011 and rose to teen fame for Snaps, its unique content type where users can manipulate images with creative tools and send them to friends. The content lives for 24 hours and then disappears. Snapchat offers a stark contrast from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter which emphasize permanence and algorithmic content delivery. Teenagers and college students quickly adopted Snapchat and snapping selfies became a content sensation. With 158 million daily users, Snapchat can seem like a compelling opportunity to reach an under-25 audience who spends 30 minutes on average per day in the app.
But when it comes to Snapchat, marketers who are seduced by the hype will fail. Getting back to basics is a best practice.
Build an owned media presence on Snapchat
Users create content on Snapchat that is raw, unpolished and whimsical. Creative tools like scissors, 3D graphics, filters and lenses enable this authentic, unscripted and in-the-moment content. These tools force companies to curb their polished, branded content and get creative. To successfully build owned media audiences, offer exclusive access such as behind-the-scenes and sneak-peek promotions, develop unique campaigns specific to the platform or leverage content-promoting partnerships and endorsements with celebrities and social media influencers.
Action item: Use a strategic approach to evaluate Snapchat, leaning on a deep understanding of your audience and defined business objectives. Don’t fall victim to the shiny-object syndrome. For some brands, Snapchat simply doesn’t align to their target audience so engagement will always be a challenge.
Advertise to reach audiences at scale
Since it is challenging to build a large owned media community, supplement awareness and engagement goals through advertising. Snapchat continues to offer brands one-of-a-kind advertising products such as Sponsored Lenses, a brand-sponsored filter that lets users add sound and interactivity to pictures and video. Competitors like Instagram and Facebook quickly introduced similar formats in response to the popularity of these formats with consumers and brands.
The company strategically took a partner approach instead of building and engineering robust reporting and advertising capabilities of its own. Snapchat’s partner ecosystem has expanded along with the growth of its portfolio of clients and ad products.
Action item: Leverage the company’s growing partner ecosystem. This will enable you to deliver rich creative and conceptualized ad formats and capitalize on the ecosystem’s ability to provide robust measurement that is otherwise not available.
“Test and learn as part of your paid advertising investment portfolio; proactively pitch new, creative ideas and advertising concepts that focus on enhancing the user experience,” said Ms. Shaw.