It’s 100% safe to say that Snapchat is a force to be reckoned with. Like something you would see on Silicon Valley, after rejecting a $3 billion buyout from the mighty goliath that is Facebook, the platform that had no way of monetising itself saw its value rocket to $15 billion, had more daily watched videos than any other platform at the time (circa 2014) and had 60 million active users.
Fast forward to 2016, Snapchat is a serious content, advertising and millennial engaging machine. A platform that has world leaders and celebrity influencers using it daily and now is a new frontier for businesses and brands to be utilising. But what use is Snapchat for my company I hear you screaming: We see the platform as a storytelling device, where the key is being REAL...it's basically the opposite of Instagram and is amazing for businesses who embrace the fact that their audience (and customers) want real time experiences. So how do you make sure you grow an engaged audience on the platform?
Noticed how an insane amount of people have changed their Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter profile pictures to a yellow square with a ghost outline in the middle? Well that’s their unique “Snapcode” that uses the same technology as QR codes (remember those?). That’s because Snapchat isn’t a platform that makes discovering users very easy, so if someone doesn’t have your phone number or Snapchat username, this is the only way to allow for people to follow you.
It’s as simple as going into your settings and allowing your conversation settings to be open! **TIP** You could also add your Snapcode to your email footer and business card as a way for a more personal and non-evasive touch. **
We’ve talked about vertical video a fair bit (our creative director Josh Hine filmed a vertical advert for Facebook For Business earlier in the year), but you need to know that Snapchat is basically the reason this has become a genuine format to watch video in. Why does Snapchat favour vertical video? Because users hold their phone vertical for 90% of the time during use. Adding to this, vertical video is just optimised perfectly for smartphones, especially if you think about how annoying your experience with watching a tiny landscape video on you smartphone is. A vertical video means you don’t have to move your phone around and it just fills the screen naturally.
Lenses, Filters and Geofilters
Snapchat’s ever popular filters have became a phenomenon in their own right. The filters feature actively encourages users to be creative, take selfies and share content with friends - something content creators and marketers should take advantage of. Snapchat filters also allow for Instagram esque editing tools like like colour, time, speed and temperature.
Snapchat lenses use your phone's camera to motion track stuff like dog ears, panda faces or even face swaps! These lenses are a big deal because they’ve created an entirely new advertising space (although prices come in the hundreds of thousands due to your ability to reach Snapchat's 60 million users).
So if that sounds unaffordable, what's a solution for smaller businesses? Geo filters... this nifty little feature allows users to share a "filtered" story of themselves at an event, location, or nationwide conversation (i.e. the final of X Factor).
So why is that good for you? Well firstly, this feature can cost from as little as £5 per interaction. Secondly and most importantly, when you encourage people to use your custom geo filter, anyone that does is actively choosing to engage directly with your brand and not only this, share this experience with their wider community of Snapchatters! And why does that matter? Because you’ve earned free media my friend. For example, there was an event where the brand used their own geofilter that was only used 137 times but seen by over 26,000 people.
Just like Youtube, Facebook and Instagram, annotations are brilliant for increasing your contents engagement, reach, watch time and call to actions on Snapchat. Annotations fall under a number of things on Snapchat: emoticons, text, doodles etc - basically any kind overlaid media that you place yourself (so this excludes filters, lenses etc).
Frequency of Stories
Snapchat is a storytelling platform and stories have chapters. So although Snapchat videos are 10 seconds in length, that doesn't mean you should post one video up and consider that your story done. Think of it like chapters with each chapter telling a different part of your story...i.e. aim to do 2-3 posts per story minimum.
For ideas on how to tell great Snapchat stories,We'd recommend following Apple Music, The Nerdist and Domino's Pizza.