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Snapchat is a mobile photo-messaging app that allows users to take photos or short videos and send them to others. The difference is (theoretically) the image or video disappears for ever after 10 seconds. This is why it’s so popular with adolescent teenagers and couples in long-distance relationships. So why is it relevant to your business?

Snapchat recently added a live text, chat and video feature between users. This significantly increased its fan base even though it already reaches 41% of 18-34-year-olds in the U.S.

That’s roughly 26 million people.

Of course, you want to use Snapchat to advertise your brand.

Snapchat 101

Before we get into the finer points of Snapchat business marketing, let’s explain the 2 main features. Snaps and Stories. A Snap is an image or video that you send to individual users (friends) that follow you. Consider it more of a personal message.

Snapchat business marketing Snaps or Stories

But when it comes to using Snapchat as a marketing tool, you want to post a Story. Stories are a series of snaps viewed one after the other and used to create a narrative.  Stories are sent to all people that follow you.

Don’t forget to market

A survey in early 2016 said that 87% of users wouldn’t buy something advertised on Snapchat.

There goes that idea, right?

Wrong.

This is where Snapchat comes into its own. It leaves itself open to traditional marketing techniques, like an incentive. Why would someone follow you on there? Because you offer exclusive Snapchat only discounts.

Nearly 60% of college students said that they would buy from a company if they were given a coupon code on Snapchat.

Voucher Codes to increase engagement

It’d be way too easy for you to just send a photo with your discount code as a caption in the image.  Get creative with it!

Snapchat business marketing Discount Code

A simple way to share a code amongst your Snapchat followers.

We recently walked you through the process of making discount codes. Pick your favourite campaign and take it to Snapchat!

A great idea we recently saw in action- every hour we were sent a snap with a letter of the alphabet or number.  After 8 hours and 8 different snaps, we had our discount code.

To add a sense of urgency and hype, the code was only valid for 90 minutes after the last snap! A great way to make sure that customers are engaged and keeping an eye on you if they really want that discount!

How competitions can boost marketing.

Just like most social media platforms, Snapchat is a great tool to run exclusive competitions and giveaways. GrubHub has long been pioneers when it comes to Snapcomps.

In 2013 GrubHub ran its first competition. Follow GrubHub on SnapChat, and each day they would post a challenge. Users would respond to the challenge by sending a SnapChat to GrubHub. Each day of the event, the company would award ten SnapChatters with $50 worth of “Free grub.”

A simple concept, but it was paramount to engaging with their customers. Today, GrubHub are well known for how they use SnapChat to engage and promote their product.

Snap Socially

When you’re launching, celebrating or doing something interesting, Snapchat is the tool to use. Throwback to 2014 when the NBA draft was using Snapchat to bring followers up close and personal with young draftees. Couple an event like this with a few clever hashtags on Twitter and you have a simple recipe for a potent marketing campaign.

Because of Snapchat the NBA were successful at bringing fans together whilst simultaneously sharing and engaging with content.

Snapchat business marketing NBA Draft

The NBA are well known for their heavy engagement of fans via Snapchat

Behind closed doors

Snapchat can give your followers an insight into the inner workings of your brand. For less ‘exciting’ moments, it can also give an insight into how your brand operates behind closed doors. Brief images of you hard at work, or your product being tested are fantastic ways to engage your followers.

Snapchat business marketing behind the scenes

Car maker Acura used the snap feature to send its first 100 followers a 7-second video of the brand new Acura NSX being tested. Why did it work? Exclusive behind the scenes content makes the individual feel like he is part of something.

Keep it entertaining

It doesn’t all have to be about business. Have a bit of fun with the built-in drawing tools. Give the boss a makeover with the constantly changing face filters.

Snapchat business marketing entertainment

Faceswaps can be quite disturbing, though.  Mix it up by giving control of your Snapchat account to some (trusted) employees for the day to show what its like to work at your company.

Little things like this pull back the veil of your business. Provided there’s nothing inappropriate shared, it’s some great fun and helps build a rapport with followers.

Know the rules

Snapchat is a casual way to go about business. 15 years ago, few people would consider sharing content like this. But with innovation comes responsibility.

Keeping it entertaining is key so sharing details of last month’s audit probably isn’t going to win you any hearts. Stick with sharing the entertaining (maybe controversial) stuff- but make sure that the content is PG-rated.

Snapchat business marketing recording studio

One final tip when using Snapchat for business marketing – save your life story for the ‘About Me’ page of your website. Snapchat works because it’s cheap and disposable, quick and nasty entertainment.

It’s about being entertained whilst sitting in traffic, waiting in line or on a break. Keep it that way by only feeding your followers stuff they can eat up quickly. If what you want to share lasts more than 10 seconds, split it up over multiple videos.

How have you used Snapchat to market your business? Tell us your favourite competitions you’ve come across!

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Phil Forbes

Phil Forbes

Bearded Australian living in Warsaw, Poland. Content writer and marketer for Shoplo, who enjoys helping and watching small ventures start, learn, grow and thrive. I love my dog, Star Wars, heavy metal and my girlfriend - in no particular order. Find him on Twitter @philbilly86