Snapchat: The new way to reach millennials

With the rise of social media over the past decade, businesses and marketers have learned the importance of utilizing these outlets to grow their brands. And they’ve gotten pretty good at it.

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Snapchat has upwards of 100 million daily users and almost 9,000 photos are shared through the app every second. (Alex Galorath)

They’ve become masters at posting, updating, sharing, tweeting and gramming. But a new platform has taken the world by storm, and unless businesses can learn how to use it efficiently, they could lose a major demographic: millennials.

According to a November 2014 poll conducted by Cowen and Company, 18-29 year olds account for 71 percent of U.S. Internet users who had accessed Snapchat in the past 30 days, making it the third most popular social media outlet among millennials.

Unlike other social media channels, Snapchat is unique in that it doesn’t rely on users sharing your content. In fact, there is no way for your audience to spread content other than by word of mouth. Snapchat is driven entirely by user generated content. It’s also very “in the moment.”

Many businesses worry about the reach of this platform because content lasts no longer than 24 hours. They fail to see the silver lining in the 24-hour-model: while it only lasts for a short period of time, it doesn’t get buried below heaps of other content constantly being updated. For an entire day, content on Snapchat will patiently wait for viewers to open them on their own time.

While Snapchat started out as a photo-sharing app, it has quickly become all about video. Bloomberg news reported in January 2016 that Snapchat delivers over 7 billion videos to its users each day—a rapid increase from 4 billion videos each day in September 2015. Although Facebook has nearly 15 times as many users as Snapchat, it reported only 8 billion daily views in October 2015.

The videos produced by Snapchat are also different from what we’ve seen in the past. Because of its user-generated nature, the videos are not smooth and polished, but rather raw and authentic. It puts the viewer into the scene itself. Instead of watching a perfectly choreographed concert filmed with hi-def. cameras, the user sees the chaos of what’s happening backstage.

This form of semi-live video provides a unique opportunity for businesses to reach out to their publics. Through Snapchat, businesses can provide access to live events such as the NBA snapchatting the draft and All-Star games.

It also allows companies to deliver private content to their publics. Consumers love getting a sneak peek of the next new thing before it’s released to the public. Designer, Michael Kors has utilized Snapchat to give his followers a glimpse of his new line before it hits the runway.

The transparent nature of Snapchat is also a great way to give an audience a behind the scenes look at a business. Fashion brand, Everlane excels at doing this. By showing what’s happening from the drawing board all the way to the finished product, Everlane allows its followers to become a part of the process themselves.

Because Snapchat is so different from other social media channels, it can require a little more creativity. But when done right, Snapchat can make your brand shine.

Taco Bell used to Snapchat to reveal its new Quesalopa. (Twitter, @TacoBell)

Taco Bell used to Snapchat to reveal its new Quesalupa. (Twitter, @TacoBell)

Taco Bell, a leading brand in Snapchat marketing, recently generated a lot of buzz during the 2016 Super Bowl. During the time when advertisers go head to head to take advantage of the millions of consumers watching television, Taco Bell utilized the other screen it knew everyone would be watching—their phones. The Saturday preceding the big game, Taco Bell used Snapchat influencers to take its account all across the country. This led up to the grand reveal of its new product, the Quesalupa, during the Super Bowl. This campaign won big among millennials and sent them running to Taco Bells nationwide in order to try out the new product.

Breaking into the Snapchat market can be tricky and intimidating, but finding a way to market a brand through this new app is sure to win a business major points among millennials. Is there room for your brand on Snapchat? It’s time to “snap” it up.

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