John Bohan's Top Ten Ways Market Your Brand on Snapchat - John Bohan
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John Bohan’s Top Ten Ways Market Your Brand on Snapchat

As a follow up to our recent blog and video on the Ten Top Reasons Why Brands Should Embrace Snapchat Now!, we are providing some best practices below on how you can use this platform to market your brand.

Among the many things I love about Snapchat as a marketing medium, my two favorite are:

  •  Its linear storytelling capabilities.
  •  Like no other platform, it allows marketers to be content producers by developing entertaining, informative experiences that get people talking and coming back.

Here are seven ways in which brands are creating compelling content for their own Snapchat community, followed by a few highly effective Snapchat advertising campaigns.

Contests (Cover Girl)

Cover Girl offered its audience the opportunity to star in a video with Katy Perry and to be featured in MTV’s Video Music Awards.

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Takeaway – Leverage your existing relationships to create a contest with a prize money can’t buy, that encourages your audience to create stories on your behalf.

Clever Event Tie In (Audi)

Audi teamed up with The Onion on Snapchat to produce funny, highly relevant, in-the-moment posts that generated an estimated 37 million impressions

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Takeaway – You don’t have to buy expensive TV ads to capitalize on major events as long as you can deliver interesting, timely content and amplify it through influencers or third party publishers.

Behind-the-Scenes (Everlane)

Everlane is perhaps the best brand on Snapchat for opening its doors to the public. It uses Snapchat to show its commercial shoots, behind-the-scenes meetings, the personalities of its employees and culture, etc. Its transparent, daily communication allows customers to feel like they are an insider within the brand’s community.

Takeaway – In late 2014, Everlane wrote on its Blog, “Snapchat is going to become the defacto social channel for Everlane. Over the past month, we’ve been testing it in small batches and we’re in love.” It’s still the early days! Marketers that truly embrace Snapchat and invite customers behind the curtain have much to gain.

Coupon for a Snap (16 Handles)

16 Handles offered its followers a coupon anywhere between 16 and 100 percent off if they snapped a picture of themselves enjoying their frozen yogurt.

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Takeaway – A pic for a coupon is a win-win for any brand that offers price incentives. The ephemeral nature of Snapchat also allows brands to create an urgent call to action, e.g., good for 24 hours.

Exclusive Offer (Acura)

Acura offered its first 100 followers the opportunity to see a video on the NSX prototype before releasing it to the public.

Takeaway – The most important thing to us humans is to feel important. Providing special content that is available only to your Snapchat audience is a sure way to build loyalty, word of mouth and…more Snapchat followers.

Influencer Takeover (Wet Seal)

The teen retailer Wet Seal built 9,000 new followers and 6,000 views by handing over their account to a 16-year old influencer for two days.

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Image Credit: Ad Age

Takeaway – The best way to grow your audience is via an influencer takeover, particularly if the influencer starts a story on his/her own handle and then continues on yours.

Short UGC Stories (Sour Patch Kids)

Sour Patch Kids used Snapchat to promote the candy brand’s tagline, “First they’re sour, then they’re sweet.” Together with influencer Logan Paul, they spent five days in NYC dreaming up very funny Sour and Sweet short videos.

Takeaway: If you want to connect with your audience, there are very few things that work better than funny UGC content.

Snapchat Advertising

The following examples showcase how three brands have capitalized on Snapchat’s advertising opportunities.

Geofilters (Hollister)

Geofilters allow consumers to send pictures with their location overlaid on a photo. Brands can customize these filters around public gathering places such as concerts, schools, sporting events, etc. Hollister customized its own set of filters to target 19,000 U.S. and Canadian high schools. Learn how to use Filters by clicking here.

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Takeaway – Create custom filters in destinations where your audience is located and make it relevant to their experience.

Lenses (Gatorade)

Another Snapchat sponsored opportunity is Lenses, which allows consumers to send animated selfies to their friends. Gatorade took advantage of this one-of-a-kind marketing opportunity by allowing consumers to send selfie videos in a Gatorade dunk during the Super Bowl, which had 165 million views. Taco Bell just shattered the Gatorade record on Cinco de Mayo with its lens that turned customers’ faces into a giant taco shell—resulting in 224 million views in one day.

To learn how to use Lenses, click here.

Takeaway – Consumers love to use new lenses, even if it incorporates a brand (as long as it is done in a creative way).

Discover (Burberry)

The Discover section of Snapchat features original content from CNN, ESPN, BuzzFeed and other top content producers. On April 4th of this year, the first slot of this section went to Burberry where it promoted its men’s fragrance line Mr. Burberry with steamy behind-the-scenes footage, style tips and videos that showcased the making of the fragrance.

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Takeaway – Create entertaining and/or informative content that is on brand. This content can be used for a number of other purposes once it disappears from Snapchat.