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Creative Snapchat Marketing: Learn How to Recreate Others' Success

As more people become obsessed with Snapchat, brands have a unique opportunity to reach their audiences. This platform's user base continues to explode in growth: 60 percent of daily Snapchat users contribute content. Furthermore, there are 10 billion daily video views, and over 9,000 Snaps are sent every second.; Snapchat's statistics are staggering and should excite marketers. However, to take advantage of this platform, it takes savvy planning, strategy, and cohesive messaging to pull it off. Here are a few brands doing Snapchat marketing the right way, and what we can learn from them.


This fast-food juggernaut doesn't post daily on Snapchat, but when it does, it's usually an extensive look into a new offering or a deeper dive into product sourcing.

For instance, they covered the company's dedication toward responsible fish sourcing in a multi-day Snapchat story that featured actual fisherman who sell some of their harvest to McDonald's. They also outlined how the fish are responsibly found, and how the machines and technology are used to make sure the environment and habitat isn't destroyed.

This idea goes beyond food. If there is something controversial (or unknown) with your brand or products, it's worth showing customers an in-depth look into the process. Users can see firsthand what makes up your products or services. Whether it's clothes or estimates for roofing, letting users see 'behind the curtain' can make them feel more comfortable buying your products or working with you.

The Kardashian Family

The Kardashians are a powerhouse brand and a unique quasi-corporation that have used their likenesses and lives to sell millions of dollars in app subscriptions, clothing, makeup, beauty products, and more. Like them or not, they make a lot of money by giving fans a front row seat to their lives.

Each of the Kardashian sisters has her own Snapchat channel, and they all publish Snaps and stories that focus on their specific verticals. These, in turn, tie into their apps.

For instance, Kim has made millions from her app, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. It has been downloaded 45 million timesand has likely netted around $45 million in straight profit. On Snapchat she frequently shares new approvals and updates she's working on with her team, as well as stories in support of her sisters and their entrepreneurial efforts.

This drives more interest to users who are already on their smartphones, and it is easy for them to download Kim's game or check out her other apps (like Kimoji).

If you are promoting a new service (especially digital options, like a new website or digital product), use these tactics from the Kardashians: Tie in your regular updates with what you're known for to drive interest back to your platforms outside of Snapchat.

Using Snapchat Geofilters

If you regularly have events at your business or it has a lot of foot traffic, consider creating a Snapchat geofilter. These are frames that go around users' snaps when they use the app at a location that you specify.

The Sprint Center, an event venue in downtown Kansas City, regularly hosts concerts and sporting events. It often has Snapchat geofilters that audience members can use for their Snaps, which is great for both users and the Sprint Center: Users enjoy a new, special filter, and Sprint Center gets additional promotion for their venue. This marketing technique hinges on other Snapchat users viewing these filters, asking their friends where they are, and then following the venue's events or social media.

On-demand geofilters allow brand logos and trademarks, and can still be relatively affordable. (They currently start at $5 for 20,000 square feet.) Snapchat also allows community geofilters, which are created for community landmarks (like town names and universities) that are free of charge.

If your company hosts an event, if there's a community event in your city where you can expect a lot of foot traffic, or if you have a new product launch you want to promote in your local area, consider using geofilters as a way to reach local Snapchat users that may already be taking photos and videos at your location. This is an easy way to stay in front of users and their followers without having to maintain an active profile (i.e., post your own stories and Snaps) on the platform.

Snapchat provides analytics on usage and total views for geofilters, and while there's little information on the impact of geofilters on sales or brand awareness, companies and organizations are excited about the potential. For example, the University of New Hampshire held their annual Undergraduate Research Conference and created a geofilter that was live and available for anyone to use on campus for 12 hours. 'Even though the filter was only used 137 times, it generated over 26,000 views on Snapchat, which helped promote the event and the brand.'

Publisher Stories and Current Event Coverage

If you're a large publisher, there is another way to get on Snapchat without having an active channel of your own. Some publishers have story channels, which Snapchat shows on a separate Discover page within the app, as well as in a bar that is on the same page as stories uploaded by users' friends.

Again, like with geofilters, there isn't a lot of publicly available data on how publishers benefit from this service. Cosmopolitan, one of the limited number of publishers on the platform, reported an increase in viewers because of Discover, and saw their 'traffic go from about 1.8 million a day to 3 million viewers.'

There are currently just under a dozen publishers, including Cosmopolitan and Buzzfeed, that have Story channels. Users can subscribe to publishers just like they subscribe to friends', companies', and other people's updates. As the availability for this continues to grow, more content providers will have the opportunity to have their content in front of millions of Snapchat's daily users.

Trending current events have also been getting coverage on the Discover Stories. For example, NBC's coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympics was featured throughout the Games.

While the costs of having a Discover channel isn't made public, Digiday estimates it's anywhere from $500,000 to $5 million in ad spend'a newer offering from Snapchat'per year.

Whether you have a local business, you're a brand trying to show the story behind your products, or you work for a major publisher that wants to invest more on this growing social media platform, Snapchat has something for everyone. With a reach of 41 percent of all 18- to 34-year-olds in the U.S., Snapchat is worth trying out. Experiment with what works best for your brand and how you can effectively leverage your time and budget.

To get inspiration and check out specific brands and organizations, such as Amazon, Nordstrom, and the NFL, on Snapchat, check out ClickZ's list of brand Snapchat's usernames.

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