It's time for marketers to stop ignoring Snapchat. As anyone who's ever seen a scary movie knows, ignoring something doesn't mean it's not there. And while many marketers have been busy pretending that Snapchat is just for kids and will disappear — like snaps themselves — the social network has been busy accumulating more daily active users than Twitter.
Not to worry, though. It isn't too late to research Snapchat marketing examples and build a solid Snapchat strategy before you dive in.
Start receiving and sending snaps on a low-stakes personal Snapchat account if you haven't already, and start learning from brands already on Snapchat from these examples. Don't follow many accounts on Snapchat? These companies are a great place to start.
To celebrate the popular political drama, Netflix released billboards in France inviting passersby to face-swap with House of Cards characters. Face-swapping is one of Snapchat's most addictive and silly features, where two faces can "swap" and mix their features to create two new and weird-looking faces. (HoC image via Twitter.)
I love this example because it brings the show into reality. Frank Underwood seems like a real guy you'd face-swap with, like a friend. It also encourages engagement with the character (i.e., the product for "sale," or in this case, for viewing). Much better than your typical and passive TV-promo billboard.
Donuts are having a bit of a moment in American culture. According to Food52, they're "one of the most iconic American pastries." Dunkin' Donuts wants to make sure it stays top of mind in a donut- and food-photography obsessed world, so it created a special Dunkin' geofilter on Snapchat for Valentine's Day.
Snapchat geofilters are "dynamic art for different places," in Snapchat's words. The geofilter encouraged people to send one-on-one snaps to folks about whom they're simply nuts, or donuts. Consider a geofilter if you want customers to commemmorate a certain location and association with your brand.
If you're looking for a B2B Snapchat marketing example, here's one. At Salesforce, we're big on events like Dreamforce and our World Tours. For recent World Tour events, we experimented with custom Snapchat geofilters to enhance our customers' excitement to be at the event. This example shows a geofilter from our Boston World Tour.
These geofilters give people an on-premise thank-you for attending our event, as geofilters can only be accessed in that singular location. They also encourage guests to share their Salesforce event experience with their networks.
Surely you've heard of Snapchat's earth-shattering Memories update that allows users to upload visuals from within their camera rolls instead of only posting original content created within Snapchat itself. The day after Memories was launched, GE shared several snaps of Bill Nye the Science Guy from its camera roll. These videos had previously been shared on Vine and elsewhere on GE's social profiles.
This is a practical way to repurpose old content for a new audience. It works as long as you're not simply posting the same thing on every social network at the same time. No one wants to see the same thing recycled in five places; every channel deserves its own unique, fresh content. In this case, GE is sharing some forgotten videos of Bill Nye on Snapchat to make evergreen content seem new again.
Hey, not all Snapchat marketing is for big brands. Self-marketing is important, too. According to Business Insider, Graham Allgood "designed his own geofilter to run an advertising campaign to promote himself as a great hire to the employees of Horizon Media," an ad agency.
This tactic garnered a job interview for Graham. It's an inspiring example of how to tap into the power of location and social media.
Many think Snapchat is all about the visuals, but audio is an important aspect of snaps, too. Apple Music's Snapchat account brings music discovery to Snapchat listeners, often through current events.
For example, recently, Apple Music snapped about NASA's Juno probe orbiting Jupiter, tying the event in with space-inspired music. They took their snap a step further, asking users to screenshot the song they'd most likely listen to in space. For a CTA, Apple Music shared a link to Juno-inspired music. The examples above don't showcase the music clips included with every shot in the snap.
How do you drive consumers from Snapchat to CTA through to purchase? Here's one way: PopSugar built an app called Emoticode that allows influencers and bloggers to share a special code that Emoticode can read. When a user screenshots part of a snap, Emoticode collects that code. A user can then browse his or her codes in Emoticode, which link to the products for purchase.
One influencer said "fans are always taking screenshots and messaging her to find out more about the products she’s wearing in the stories. 'I really like the idea of Emoticode, especially because the screen-shotting behavior is so natural. I screenshot everything.'" Read more about this screenshot path to purchase in Digiday.
A Super Bowl tradition, now a popular Snapchat lens. Gatorade offered this lens to Snapchat users in February to celebrate the Super Bowl, demonstrating the fun with Serena Williams.
Snapchat lenses let people literally see themselves as part of your brand. In a sense, it's social media meets virtual reality. No other social network currently offers something like this. On other social media properties, you and your customers are separate entities, communicating back and forth via comments or images. Snapchat brings everyone together.
In May for Cinco de Mayo, social media giant Taco Bell shattered a new record, launching the most-viewed Snapchat lens ever. The lens allowed users to turn their face into a taco. It resulted in 224 million views in one day, according to AdWeek.
Why was it such a resounding success? Taco Bell's senior manager of social strategy said, "[Snapchat] content is expected to be lightweight and humorous, and the platform empowers you to be nimble and efficient in creation. That doesn't mean it's not an artful craft, however — my team puts a ton of thought into story development from conception to storyboarding and being constantly curious on how to be even better on the next one."
I agree on all fronts. Just because it's Snapchat — and it's fun — doesn't mean you can skip the strategy. This lens might be lighthearted, but it's clearly met its goals of encouraging users to play with the food brand.
When seeking an intern to work on Snapchat, what better place to look than Snapchat? Grubhub asked savvy Snapchatters to apply for an internship via both snap and traditional resume.
If you're looking for someone to work on your social profiles, consider a similar strategy. Personalize the social test to your own job requirements. You'll see someone's real social prowess in action — and the type of work they'd actually put forth if hired.
Thirty-one Lilly Pulitzer retail stores offered Lilly-themed geofilters. The geofilters let users adorn their snaps with the company's signature prints, just like they adorn clothing.
Lilly's geofilters are smart because they encourage customers to snap from within stores, reminding them of the fun of in-person shopping experiences. Shopping becomes even more fun when you can virtually share it with your friends. For companies with an in-store presence, geofilters are a must-consider.
What brands are impressing you with Snapchat innovation? Click to send me a tweet: @youngheike.
Want more social media trends and insights? Download the 2016 State of Marketing now for an exclusive look at what’s going on in marketing, based on a survey of nearly 4,000 marketers.