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This article is all about how to use Snapchat marketing for your business.

We’re going to be looking at what Snapchat is, how you can use implement Snapchat marketing, and why it’s so important.

We will also be looking at:

  • Key people to follow on Snapchat, and how they use their stories to drive engagement and get business.
  • How you can learn to create stories for your business.
  • How you can use Snapchat with other platforms for greater leverage.
  • What snapping means for you and your biz right now.

Snapchat Marketing: Why Is Snapchat Important?

Currently, Snapchat has over 150 million daily users. Of these, 50 million are European, and the US and Canada account for 60 million (via The Drum).

If you are marketing to people aged between 18 and 35, this is an app that you really need to know about:

  • 90% of 18 to 24 year-olds use Snapchat in the US, in fact 78% of internet users are on Snapchat.
  • Snapchat has over 14 billion daily video views.

So, it’s big news and shows no signs of going away.

snapchat marketing plus Selz advertising services is a winninng combination

What is Snapchat?

Feeling that learning yet another social media platform is overwhelming?

Being able to understand how Snapchat works, how the “stories” are told, and how brands are currently interacting will really help you to get started creating your Snapchat marketing plan.

At its heart, Snapchat is an app that started off simply by allowing users to send each other a “snap”, or a message, which disappears after a certain amount of time.

Despite beginning in 2011 as a photo app, video has become a huge feature of Snapchat. Approximately 8 billion mobile videos are viewed per day, rivaling Facebook in terms of video views

Snapchat now allows users to send each other videos, text messages, emojis, and all sorts of fun integrated app filters; these make the experience not only transient but fun and part of the way that the younger generation communicates right now.

Snapchat Marketing: Storytelling is big news

You need to know how to leverage the use of stories in your brand’s storytelling online. What that means is to understand how the transient nature of Snapchat is being loved and used by 150 million people, and what you need to do to be part of the act.

Snapchat is built on stories.

The way that it works is you can create your own stories by pulling together a series of short snaps.

The way that you use snaps will depend on what you are trying to convey – you might want to tell a story in a range of videos, or you might want to snap some locations and to add some geo-filters or fun filters.

You might want to add some humor to the way that you are describing your day, or you might want to show some video for some customer interaction.

Snapchat allows a great deal of fun in the way that it interacts.

snapchat marketing

Brands taking advantage of this are the ones who are already on Snapchat with content channels completely directed at the users of the app.

A quick look at how other people are creating stories, once you log into your app will give you an overview of how to get going on your Snapchat marketing plan.

Once you understand the power of Snapchat marketing and the immense user base that the app has, you will get to really get a feel of how this fun, transient app can add lots of benefits to your business.

Ready to get started with Snapchat marketing for your biz?

Let’s dig into your first steps with the app.

Snapchat Marketing: Getting Set Up

Step 1:

The very first step is to download the app, which is free.
Go to the App Store (for iOS) or the Google Play Store (for the Android version), and download.

Step 2:

Create your account by opening the Snapchat app and tapping “Sign up”; enter your details and create a password.

Step 3:

Choose and create your username. Think of something easy to remember that fits with your name, brand, or business. Snapchat will automatically show you usernames that are available as you type in what you want. Be warned: choose wisely now, as there is currently no way to change your user name without creating a new account.

Step 4:

After verifying that you are human, Snapchat will scan your contact list for people already on Snapchat who have made their Snapcode searchable. Select any who you would like to add to your list of friends. Once they add you back you can exchange snaps.

Step 5:

Add your selfie and make your mark; tap on your Snapcode, and your selfie screen will appear. Tap on the camera and it will snap 5 photos in a row, which appear in sequence for your profile image. You can also use a photo of your logo as your snapchat marketing profile picture.

Snapchat Marketing: Talking the Lingo

Ok, so now you are all set-up, let’s take a dive into the Snapchat marketing terminology and get to grips with what it all means.

A “Snap” is a picture or video you send through the app to your friends. You can send to a group of friends or to one at a time, and you can also add you your “Story”. Snaps disappear – you can set the time limit, but it’s a maximum of 10 seconds – and you can replay a Snap once.

Snapcode selfie: You can personalize your Snapcode by adding a selfie. This will be seen by all your friends and any other Snap-chatters that find you on the app.

Stories: A Story is a selection of photos and videos that you choose to be shared publicly with all your friends on Snapchat. To view stories from your friends, , swipe left from the camera screen on the app.

Snapchat score: Your Snapchat score is the number under your profile name, and is calculated on the number of Snaps and Stories you’ve sent and received.

Filter: The Snapchat filters are a brilliant way to get creative with your Snapchat marketing pics by adding an overlay, special effect, or voice changer. Filters can change automatically, and are based on promotions, special global events, holidays, location, or even time of day.

Snap lenses: Snap lenses allow you to add animated special effects to your photos or videos. Unlike Snap filters, you use lenses while you are taking a Snap.

Filters are unique to your location; to enable Filters, turn on your location in Snapchat. When you get more confident, you can also create your own custom filter for as little as $5 – this can be super useful as you build your personal brand and business on Selz.

Your Snapcode is your Snapchat profile’s QR code that is unique to you. Each user has a bespoke code assigned to them, and it’s a quick and easy way to find friends and add them on Snapchat. (Ever wonder why people have those yellow square things on their Twitter and Facebook profiles?! Now you know!)

Chat is Snapchat’s version of an instant messaging platform. As with Snaps, messages also disappear after they are viewed, but you CAN take a screenshot (although if you do, the other user will be notified).

Memories is a feature of camera roll that backs up your Snaps to your smartphone. You can choose to make your Memories public or private, and you can also post older Snaps to your Story right from within Memories.

In the last installment of the Snapchat Marketing series, we covered how to get set up with Snapchat, it’s useful to have a look at how others are using the platform.

Nexts, we’ll introduce you to some key influencers to follow on Snapchat and what we can learn from their stories.

Snapchat Marketing: Key Influencers

To stay in the limelight

Case study: The Kardashians
Kim Kardashian: @KimKardashian
Kourtney Kardashian: @kourtneykardash
Khloe Kardashian: @khloekardashian
Kendall Jenner: @kendalljenner
Kylie Jenner: @kylizzlesnapchats

Reality TV stars, the Kardashians are no strangers to the spotlight. The family has made a career out of letting cameras into their home. So it’s no surprise that the Kardashian siblings are some big names when it comes to Snapchat Marketing, often topping lists of who to follow. The Kardashians use Snapchat frequently, which means they stay front of mind for their fans and can continue flaunting their figures and lavish lifestyles, even during breaks between series of their hit TV show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

To strengthen a brand

Case Study: Charlotte Crosby
Username: @clc_17

Celebrities use snapchat marketing tactics to maintain and reinforce the public image they’ve built for themselves. This is particularly true when it comes to reality TV stars, like the Kardashians and Charlotte Crosby from MTV’s series, Geordie Shore.

Acting as themselves, reality TV stars have established themselves as brands. They use Snapchat marketing tactics as a way to reinforce their reputations and remind their fans of who they are. Charlotte Crosby posts Snapchat stories daily and they are always loud and a little bit outrageous; consistent with the reputation she established for herself through Geordie Shore.

What can businesses learn from this? The importance of being consistent with your brand. Your Snapchat snaps and stories should reflect the tone of voice you use when blogging or posting on other social media platforms, as well as your company’s mission and vision that you communicate on your website.

Charlotte has a dual purpose for implementing Snapchat marketing. Not only does she use the platform to promote herself as a brand and a public figure, but she also uses it to increase publicity of the clothing range that she’s involved with.

To appear down to earth

Case study: DJ Khaled
Username: @KhaledSnapchat

Snapchat can be used as a way for brands and celebrities to communicate their ‘human side’. Example of this include sharing pictures of food, friends and family and everyday activities and chores.

What’s different about Snapchat is that you don’t have to share snaps or videos of extraordinary or unusual events. In fact, you could say the more mundane, the better. Whilst Instagram is perhaps all about glamorizing your life and proving just how good you have it, Snapchat is more about live updates and the reality of the everyday.

A celebrity that does this very well is DJ Khaled. He’s a successful record producer, radio personality, DK and record label executive. Make no mistake, he’s also been known to share snaps of multi-million dollar yachts but by including his friends and family in his stories, he also manages to come across as ‘one of us’.

To promote launches or advertise offers, products and services

Case study: Missguided
Username: @missguidedsnaps

Singers, including Selena Gomez (username: @SelenaGomez) and Justin Bieber (username: RickTheSizzler) use Snapchat marketing ideas to announce important upcoming events, like tour dates and album releases.

Establishing Snapchat as the first place that you will announce new product launches or offers gives people a compelling reason to follow you. Not just that, but it also ensures they’ll watch your stories as you’ve let them know that it could be advantageous for them.

Snapchat Marketing: Making the most of social media

The average person has 5 social media accounts (via the Telegraph) and spends just under 2 hours a day browsing social media (via Statista).

With signs that social media usage is only set to increase, there are new social media platforms popping up all the time. But aside from Snapchat, other popular social media platforms that you need to know about include:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

Snapchat Marketing: Promoting your Snapchat username

You can use these social media platforms to share your Snapchat username and try to build your Snapchat following.

For instance, you could put your username in your bio on Instagram or Twitter. To make it even easier for your Instagram and Twitter followers to find you on Snapchat, you can also include a URL link to your Snapchat account in your bio.

An occasional tweet promoting your Snapchat account can also help, particularly if you give a compelling reason why someone should follow you on Snapchat.

Another snapchat marketing tactic is to include your Snapchat username in your video descriptions on YouTube. You could even take this a step further and feature your username somewhere in all your YouTube videos and Instagram photos.

At the same time, social media is a place that people go to be entertained and informed. Not to be sold to. If your followers feel like your main purpose of using a platform is to promote your products, services or your other social media accounts then they could unfollow you. So it’s important to strike a good balance.

By now you’re all set up with a Snapchat account, you’re up-to-date with the lingo and you’ve taken some inspiration from some of the big guns. Ready to dive into using Snapchat marketing for your business? I thought so! Let’s learn how to create a story on Snapchat for your business!

How to Create a Story on Snapchat

Step 1:
Open your Snapchat app and take a photo or video. For a photo, simply press the circle on the screen. For a video, hold that circle down.

Step 2:
When you’re happy with your snap, click the blue arrow in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Step 3:
On this screen, choose the “My Story” option. To give Snapchat permission to use your story publicly and feature it in a collection of other stories posted around your location, you can also select the “Our Story” option.

Another way to make sure your story reaches as many people as possible is to go to Settings in the Stories part of the app and select “Everyone” under the “Who can view My Story?” option. This means that everyone in your geographical location will see your Snapchat story, regardless of whether they’re following you or not. This is a great trick for your Snapchat marketing. It allows your profile to get more exposure and coverage.

How to Create a Story on Snapchat: Adding more than one snap or video

You can keep adding to your story, but you can only add one snap or one video at a time. This means that your Snapchat story is effectively made up of different snippets. What’s good about this is that you can keep adding to your story throughout the day.

Snapchat will also only let you record a video that’s up to 10 seconds long. If you want your video to be longer than this, you’ll have to stop the recording, add it to your story and then repeat the process.

What’s handy is that there’s no limit to how many snaps or videos you can add to your story. So although it will play in chunks with a short switchover after each snap or video, your story can go on for as long as you like!

How to Create a Story on Snapchat: The shelf life of a story

Keep in mind that Snapchat stories only last 24 hours. So while your social media marketing initiatives should be to make sure that any content you share online is consistent with your brand, it’s not a great use of time to spend hours creating mind-blowingly perfect content for Snapchat. Particularly if you’re not planning to re-purpose this content anywhere else.

Like other social media platforms, content shared on Snapchat is transient and as the clock ticks, Snapchat requires fresh material.

How to Create a Story on Snapchat: Using stories to promote products and services

If your story features your products or services, you can include text to give your followers more detail. For example, sharing the date the product or service will be available from, the code of the item or the URL where it can be purchased

Stories are a great way to encourage conversations with your follows as Snapchat features a quick and simple to use “Chat” option.

This makes it easy for your followers to ask you questions about your stories that may be beneficial for your business.

For example, if your story promotes a new product or service that you’ve launched, your followers can use Chat to ask you when the product or service will be available or where exactly they can purchase it.

How to Create a Story on Snapchat: Feature your business in other people’s stories

Snapchat users are creating stories all the time. Luckily, Snapchat has made it easy for you to make sure your business is a part of this.

Create your own filters and lenses! This means that anyone within 20,000 and 5 million square feet of your location (your choice) who creates a story then swipes right to see which filters are available to them will see the filter you’ve created.

Your filter must include your business name and can last for any length of time up to a maximum of 30 days.

When someone uses your filter, everyone who watches their story will see your business name. So this is a great way of using Snapchat marketing to increase awareness of your business.

Now it’s time for you to have a go at creating a story for your business. Have a play around with the filters that are available in your location and see if any inspire you to create your own.

Snapchat Marketing: Re-purposing stories

When you take a snap or record a video on Snapchat, there’s an option to save it to your camera roll using Memories. You can then re-purpose your content for use on other social media platforms.

Some suggestions for doing this Snapchat marketing tactic include:

  • Sharing the snap on Instagram
  • Putting the story on Youtube
  • Tweeting with the snap or story attached
  • Posting the snap or story on Facebook

There are a number of benefits to re-purposing your content. Firstly, it’s a great way to keep all your social media platforms active without to doubling your workload by having to create new content for each channel.

Re-purposing content on different social media platforms also means it will achieve maximum exposure and get in front of as large an audience as possible. You’ve invested time creating the content in the first place, so you want to make sure it’s seen by as many people as possible.

Content re-purposing also means that you can link your social media platforms to each other and use one platform to increase your followers on another.

For example, you could post a photo on Instagram that you originally shared on Snapchat and in the caption, say something along the lines of: “Here’s what happened earlier today when we announced the winner of our Valentine’s Day competition… For real-time updates like these, follow us on snapchat: (insert username).”

Snapchat Marketing: Teasing stories

Another way to build your Snapchat followers by re-purposing content on other social media platforms is to tease your content.

For example, instead of posting the whole story on Instagram or Facebook, you could share just a snippet. If you do this, make sure to include your Snapchat username in the caption so your followers know where they can go to see the rest of the video.

Another way to tease your content on another social media platform is to notify your followers before you plan to post a snap or story on Snapchat. Some businesses run ‘takeovers’ with bloggers and celebrities on Snapchat and use their other social media accounts to let the world know when these takeovers will happen.

Hopefully, now you’ll feel confident getting started with Snapchat marketing and this series has sparked some ideas about how you can use the platform for your business. Time to put them into practice!

About the author

Jo Gifford

A widely read contributor to Huffington Post, Selz, Regus, Prowess, YFS Magazine and many more interwebz rabbit holes, Jo is a respected UK voice on life as a pocket-sized enterprise owner.

Jo’s background – a seasoned blogger, copywriter, podcaster, and graphic designer with an MA and research interest in creative thinking for small business – makes for an eclectic and colourful killer content approach.

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