This article appears in the Mar/Apr 2016 issue of Business Franchise Australia & New Zealand
A white ghost strategically placed in the centre of a yellow background—an incredibly simplistic form of marketing, but a logo that is recognised by many. It’s safe to say the free mobile app, Snapchat, is sweeping the globe and being utilised as a marketing tool for businesses.
In September of 2011, Snapchat was launched as a simple way for Millennials to share photos and videos between friends, but shortly revolutionised into a $16 billion platform used by companies and individuals of all ages worldwide. The popular app is reported to have more than 200 million users who open more than 7 billion photos and videos every day.
So how does it work? When a user posts a photo or video, it self-destructs as soon as it is opened and a few seconds elapse – never to be seen again. If a user chooses to post the content to his or her ‘story,’ it remains displayed for 24 hours.
Snapchat has become a marketing tool that businesses are not passing up. The smartphone app has created endless opportunities for industry insiders to increase community engagement, create innovative marketing campaigns and boost brand recognition. Leveraging one of the fastest-growing social networks, marketers are making the most of every second the app has to offer.
Targeting Millennials versus Baby Boomers
The concept of marketing on smartphone apps often carries a negative connotation among Millennials, in particular. The practice arguably poses a disruption to their mobile activity. However, Snapchat has found a way around this with the introduction of geofilters. This feature can help a brand maximise the effectiveness of its marketing campaign while reducing the chance of appearing intrusive.
A location-based filter allows users to add stickers to snaps in order to show off their location or an event they’re attending. Activating the location services on a smartphone can help the app identify whether the user’s location is within the geo-filter’s boundaries. This new form of marketing is powerful since it allows users to interact with promoted content in ways that don’t interfere with their user experience.
Millennials may hold the majority on Snapchat, but Baby Boomers are flooding the app, as well. Over the last year, there has been an 84 per cent increase in users over 35. Older family members looking to stay in touch with the younger generation influenced this significant growth. Having the opportunity to view real-time images and videos is an aspect that other apps have yet to explore. The recent addition of the ‘Discover’ channels is also a major draw to those who are 35 and older. ‘Discover’ channels curate snaps from different editorial perspectives. The in-house content allows large media brands and companies to highlight content and news stories.
Marketing to the Baby Boomer generation requires an air-tight strategy. This target audience spends less time on their mobile device, and would rather hear about the news or the best place to eat. Holding more than 40 per cent of Australia’s wealth, Baby Boomers have money to spend – making them a perfect audience for this real-time tactic, if executed well.
Making the most of your seconds
In order to maximise your brand via Snapchat, there are several tips and strategies that a business can apply. First and foremost, humanise your brand. Snapchat is designed for frequent use with no added pressure, since the photos and videos are only available for a few short seconds. It allows them to show their true identity. By using a behind-the-scenes strategy when posting, you give users the opportunity to learn more about you, your business, and its employees from a raw, honest perspective.
Everyone is attracted to social media giveaways. Create promotions, contests, perks, and even teasers about new products that you may launch. Asking users to post a photo with your product for a discount can create a demand. When people see something LIVE, they want it.
If you have the opportunity to partner with an influencer, do so. Finding a user with a large social media presence to promote your product or engage in a Snapchat takeover is a great way to turn their followers into your followers.
Being open to new technologies gives your business a competitive edge since we live in a time of constant change. Snapchat is a real-time, authentic social media platform that can make a positive impact on your followers while strengthening your brand image. With the right marketing strategies, your business can flourish and inspire the masses to join your following. As the amount of users continues to grow on Snapchat, the opportunities for your franchise business to create a social media presence do as well. So make the most of every second you get.
Matthew Jonas is President of TopFire Media and a digital marketing strategist with over a decade of in-depth experience in SEO & PPC, social media publishing, conversion based marketing, inbound marketing, sales management, and online lead generation. Matthew has built a career dedicated to delivering an integrated marketing approach that achieves client success and long-term relationships.