March 30, 2016
Snapchat is a social platform that allows users to send quick videos or “snaps” to one another. Designed with brevity in mind, Snapchat’s videos disappear from a user’s phone after a set period of seconds. Thanks to its focus on creativity, sharing and video content, the app has gained popularity with consumers and has become prominent among teens and Millennials. In fact, Snapchat is currently more popular among teenagers than Facebook, with 19 percent of the teenage population reporting the app is their single most important social network.
Consumers aren’t the only group using Snapchat, however. For the last several years, marketers have been flocking to the platform. Many big industry leaders have even made headlines talking about Snapchat, like Gary Vaynerchuk did when he called Snapchat his “most valuable marketing tool.”
Read on to learn more about what makes Snapchat hot and why your company should probably be using it.
Snapchat by the Numbers
As it stands now, Snapchat’s platform earns a whopping four billion video views each day. Roughly 26 percent of 18-29 year-olds use Snapchat and about 20.8 percent of U.S. iPhone users have the app downloaded. The popularity of Snapchat is due in large part to the fact that the app is fundamentally different than any other platform out there. Think of Snapchat as the Twitter of video-sharing apps: brief, creative, and perfect for easily reaching a large follower base.
Snapchat allows users an intimate inside peak of an individual or brand’s life. While the app hasn’t historically been one that companies flock to, businesses in all industries are beginning to notice that, when Snapchat is used correctly, it can be a huge boon for companies that want to connect with their followers in an interesting and unique way.
6 Reasons Your Business Should Be Using Snapchat
1. It’s popular and will continue to be
For evidence of Snapchat’s current and future staying power, all you need to do is look at its history. A year after its launch in 2011, the platform had already logged its billionth “snap.” In an attempt to lay claim to the fast-booming company, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg offered to pay $3 billion in cash for the app in November of 2013, although he was turned down. Today, the app has more than 100 million users and earns more than 400 million snaps each day. For context, that’s more views than Facebook and Instagram.
In terms of its future, industry leaders everywhere, including Gary Vaynerchuk, are predicting that the platform will only continue to explode in the coming years.
2. Snapchat is a great way to engage a pre-existing audience
You’ve worked hard to build your Twitter and Facebook followings and adding Snapchat to the mix can easily provide you with another powerful social platform on which to make connections. Many marketers love Snapchat it is simple to use, free and viral. By encouraging your existing audience to follow you on Snapchat as well, you’ll find a whole new way to provide exclusive content, offer value and give your most devoted fans a peek behind the scenes of your company.
3. Snapchat offers some powerful advertising benefits
2015 was arguably the year of adblockers. The number of people using adblocker software has boomed and it’s now harder than ever for brands to get their messages across through traditional forms of advertising. Fortunately, Snapchat offers a way around all of that.
When users follow you on Snapchat, they get access to everything from product launches to sneak peaks immediately. Because Snapchat is an opt-in platform, it provides more direct value to your customers than traditional advertising.
4. Snapchat is a fantastic way to build brand awareness
For the last several years, the refrain in the marketing world has been “brand awareness.” Companies everywhere know exactly how important it is to increase brand awareness and stand out in the minds of customers. Historically, platforms like Facebook and Twitter have been the go-tos for this, but now Snapchat is emerging as a leader, as well.
Because Snapchat is directed solely at short bursts of creativity and personality, it’s easy to use the platform to tell stories to customers. The platform actually offers a feature called Snapchat Stories: a place where brands and individuals can save snaps for 24 hours to provide a running narrative for their followers. It’s because of features like this that well-known marketers like Vaynerchuk sing the praises of Snapchat for personal brand building.
5. Snapchat can help you make sales
Right now, 58 percent of college-age consumers report being likely to make a purchase from a brand if they received a coupon via Snapchat. Additionally, 67 percent of college students report wanting to gain access to Snapchat coupons from their favorite companies and 45 percent are willing to open snaps from brands they don’t know if there’s a coupon inside. In light of these statistics, it’s clear that Snapchat can be a powerful platform for increasing your company’s traffic numbers and incentivizing customers to make sales.
Additionally, the platform can be a powerful traffic-driver for companies that want to boost in-store traffic by requiring consumers to show them Snapchat-related content to gain entry or participate in a promotion.
6. Snapchat can be a powerful recruiting tool
When you think of hiring, it’s likely that Snapchat isn’t the first app you jump to. Contrary to what you might think, however, Snapchat has emerged as a formidable tool for recruitment. GrubHub, for example, used the platform to encourage followers to apply for an internship with the company. To apply, users were encouraged to submit their best doodles to the company. While this was an enjoyable campaign that Grubhub followers had fun with, it was also a fantastic way for the company to find an intern who was knowledgeable about social media, creative, and brief enough to succeed on the app. Any company interested in locating tech-savvy staff can easily use this same approach.
Companies looking for a new way to engage followers should be turning to Snapchat. Ideal for launching products, providing teasers, giving followers an inside peek, or interacting with new audiences, there’s no question that Snapchat is one of the hottest apps available to companies today. While there are many ways to use the app, companies that use it to make themselves more relatable and accessible to their followers will quickly find that this simple video-sharing platform pays off in a big way.
Julia McCoy is a serial content marketer, entrepreneur, and bestselling author. She founded a multi-million dollar content agency, Express Writers, with nothing more than $75 at 19 years old. Today, her team has nearly 100 expert content creators on staff, and serves thousands of clients around the world. She's earned her way to the top 30 worldwide content marketers, and has a passion for sharing what she knows in her books and in her online course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Julia also hosts The Write Podcast on iTunes.