How Brands Use Snapchat

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There is no denying that Snapchat has become a major player in today’s social media marketplace, growing from a simple photo-messaging idea to an over $20 billion valuation. In the span of only four years, Snapchat has helped influence a generation of people that consume media in multiple ways and across multiple platforms. With a user base that consists of over 200 million active users, we would be safe to assume that the world is paying them some attention…a world that includes both people and brands. Yet the question remains: why? Why is it that the simplest of ideas has transformed into an opportunity that allows for millions to view a story being told, or to share a story of their own? Revelator wants to take a closer look at what has made Snapchat so successful and why brands/marketers are getting in on the vertical-video craze.

Through the use of sponsored filters, product influencers, local/live event story integration and Snap Discover, brands have experienced an unprecedented amount of success when engaging with consumers on Snapchat. Telling a story is at the heart of what Snapchat provides in terms of advertising potential, and the ability to deliver messages that are relevant to their audience has made for worthy investments from some of the world’s biggest brands. What we have seen as Snapchat has continued to generate millions of advertising revenue is a streamlined platform that has become fluent in the unique mannerisms of today’s fast-acting and responsive millennial generation. Today’s digital generation demands immediate and engaging experiences when interacting with technology, and Snapchat has definitively championed this process. Speaking of, why don’t you take this moment to scan the image below to add Revelator as your friend.

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So, the beauty of a platform like Snapchat is that it has allowed brands the freedom to carve out their own voice and personality when engaging with users, and this has proven to be key when distributing content that is relevant to their lives. The importance of this detail is that advertisers can create an experience that is hyper-local and uniquely customized. Over 200 million users currently live in this space; how can you reach them all? The short answer is that you can’t. Instead, advertisers have made significant use of features such as the “Geofilters” function and can deliver a message that is relevant and specific to anyone in a certain area. We look at McDonald’s as an example, as the brand has created custom filters for anyone inside or near a restaurant so they can tag it in their photos or videos. Although simple in thought, this idea has prompted people by the masses to add the fun filter to the content they upload on Snapchat whenever they visit a local McDonald’s.

On a more national level, Nike sponsored a U.S.A. themed filter when our women’s soccer team won the World Cup. The filter was available to everyone across the country and users could easily swipe across their screen to show their pride for their winning country. While these are only two of over one hundred examples, the effect this kind of brand exposure can have is truly unparalleled. This exclusive kind of experiential marketing provides Snapchatters the opportunity to share today’s most popular trends and happenings with one another, and allows brands to directly attach themselves to these moments by bringing people together. Everyone wants to feel important and relevant, and when brands create an experience that is unique to whatever someone is doing, positive association with that advertiser or their product can kick into full gear. Wouldn’t you do the same?

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One of the most resonating characteristics of the Snapchat interface is that the content does not last forever; meaning, brands have no more than 10 seconds to get their point across to their audience. Anywhere else, this can prove to be disastrous for advertisers. However, from a Snapchat point of view, this has become one of the most fundamental components of what makes brands and advertisers worthy of following. What this has meant for brands is that they have been forced to be as creative as possible when delivering their messages and have done so in multiple ways. Providing exclusive coverage of events, creating exciting episodes of content, conducting interviews, and promoting contests and giveaways are some of the many approaches that brands have taken to make good use of their accounts. In delivering these strategies, people are left expecting and wanting more, and following through is just as important. With only ten seconds per Snapchat on a 24-hour cycle, continuing to innovate and create exciting content for users to enjoy has generated a high level of spontaneity for brands willing to invest their time and resources on the platform.

For bigger players in the media industry, Snap Discover has become one of Snapchat’s staple features and is currently exclusive to only 14 media companies/brands. Providing brands with a designated story spot that is available to everyone in the Snapchat universe has been an opportunity that should not be overlooked, as recent additions include BuzzFeed, Mashable, and IGN. On any given day, Snapchatters are regularly exposed to creative content by these media companies that include fun pictures and videos, quizzes, celebrity appearances, interviews, games, and news recaps. Our media consumption habits have shifted, and Snapchat has redefined how brands expose consumers and audiences to content in only a short amount of time. In this day and age, it is important to capture someone’s attention and make sure that a high level of interest is maintained. Instead of watching the news or hopping online to get information, people are now turning to Snapchat to stay relevant and up-to-date with the world of content that surrounds them. What is even more interesting is the fact that users have a choice as to what they view, and Snapchat has become their content aggregator for anything they are interested in. Advertisers are well aware of how traditional forms of media consumption are changing, and they have been looking to Snapchat to ensure they have a resounding footprint on the platform that has reinvented what it means to “watch” and “listen”.

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From what we have seen so far, advertisers have been doing an excellent job in keeping up with Snapchat’s potential and all they can do with it. To say that Snapchat is simply a social phenomenon that will fade away in the near future would be denying the massive changes we have seen in the media landscape throughout the previous 2-5 years. In the grand scheme of things, relevance, exposure, timing, creativity, and innovation are all factors that have formulated success for the platform, and it will continue to get better. With the amount of success that brands have had using Snapchat, it can be concluded that this social experiment has fully come to life and will continue to dominate the highly coveted world of media. Nowadays, it only makes logical business sense for brands to live on Snapchat. In fact, it should be a priority. No other medium rivals the level of freedom and exposure that Snapchat offers, and advertisers should enter this space sooner rather than later. It is exciting to speculate where everyone’s favorite white ghost will be in the next 5 or 10 years and how Snapchat will continue to shape how brands deliver us messages and create engaging experiences with us. What we know now is that the game has changed, and now it’s up to the world’s brands to see who plays it best. Snap now or forever hold your peace!

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ABOUT REVELATOR: Revelator is a full service film & video production company in Austin, Texas. We like to write, produce, & edit projects for t.v. and the web. We specialize in brand films, corporate identity work, as well digital advertising and t.v. broadcast advertising. If you need help with your script, production, or just an idea, give us a call.

REVELATOR SERVICES: Video Production, TV Commercials, Brand Films, Virtual Reality, VR Experiences, Script Writing, Music Videos, Lifestyle Videos, Technology Videos, B2B Videos, Product Videos, Feature Films, Motion Graphic Videos, Turnkey Solutions, and Live Event Video Production.