Marketing Social Media

5 Ways Snapchat Marketing Can Help Brands Go Local


If you’re working for a music festival like Coachella, taking advantage of Snapchat marketing is a no-brainer. Like the festival’s attendee population, Snapchat is heavily embraced by millennial users, many of whom use the social network to curate and share experiences. And with roughly 90,000 people per day attending, Snapchat allowed the festival to reach a far greater audience around the world—over 40 million watched the Coachella Snapchat Story.

As Bloomberg recently noted, Snapchat is now home to more than 10 billion daily video views, making it a major social network in its own right. But while its arrival comes years after Facebook and Twitter matured into social media giants, Snapchat’s efforts to monetize through marketing and advertising opportunities are keeping pace with its rapid growth.

Events like Coachella demonstrate the large-scale influence Snapchat can wield, as festival-goers use geofilter features to customize their images and videos to effectively promote the festivals to millions of Snapchat users around the globe. Impressive as those results were, it doesn’t necessarily build a use-case for enterprise businesses that want to know how Snapchat can aid their local marketing efforts.

Coachella may not be the blueprint for other companies to follow, but there’s plenty of opportunity to build a local marketing campaign through Snapchat’s offerings. The following five strategies are easy to implement for enterprises who want to reach consumers at a local level.

Snapchat app1. Own Your Location

Geofilters are a cornerstone of successful Snapchat-based local campaigns. These geofilters are custom images that are added into photos or video, providing the content with a custom stamp that is location-specific. In the above Coachella example, you can only publish with the music festival’s geofilters if you are posting to Snapchat from the Coachella property.

In a basic sense, it’s a way of telling your friends “I was there,” and this makes it a very experience-centric feature. But businesses of all kinds can implement a similar campaign that incorporates geofiltering, according to Brand Muscle. Snapchat gives any company the opportunity to essentially own the geofenced real estate in and around their business: For a low fee, you can create your own custom geofilter and establish the territories wherein the filter can be used.

Whether you have a store, a restaurant, a music venue, or another type of business catering to a consumer base, these geofilters can enhance the experience of being there in-person. With every piece of content created, it helps promote and strengthen your local brand.

2. Pop-Up Marketing Plays

Pop-up events have become a successful vehicle for promoting a brand at a local level: It provides close interactions with consumers, data-rich insights, and valuable market research if a brand chose to build a permanent nearby presence. Of course, geofilters also enhance the impact and experiential quality of these pop-up events, which is why it’s so smart to pair Snapchat marketing with a pop-up campaign.

The custom geofilters are only available for a 24-hour period in the first place, so the limited-time promotion lifespan is perfect for pop-up events. This strategy could be applicable even to local events like career fairs or farmer’s markets: The cost is nominal, especially compared to the potential impact.

3. Time-Sensitive Offers

Within the tight timeline of a Snapchat campaign, brands may want to consider how a limited-time promotion can add to the experience and overall engagement. As Street Fight Mag notes, these offers could be presented through contests based on the Snapchat content itself, or participating Snapchat posts could be entered into a drawing.

Or it could be as simple as offering a discount to anyone who uses a particular geofilter when visiting a local store. The applications are endless, but they’re simple to implement because of how the technology integrates with the physical world, adding a new layer of context and engagement. Brands can use offers in the physical realm to drive activity on Snapchat, which will ultimately pay dividends through a more valuable, productive local presence.

4. Value-Added Content

The rule applies to any other social network: The most effective content is the content your audience will find most useful. But Snapchat’s content is slightly different in a couple ways. For one, no other social network plays as integral a role in the creation of content as Snapchat. You can write out a sentence anywhere, but only on Snapchat can you pair that sentence with a cartoon drawing of a taco. Succeeding on Snapchat means integrating its content creation features into your own strategy.

But since the local market is so critical, brands should focus on steps they can take to specifically court and engage that audience. A bike shop needs its content to speak directly to that local audience, going beyond general bike information to provide insightful local-focused posts related to local events, biking communities, and other local points of interest. But the content posted to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter isn’t enough here: Photos and videos must harness the power of Snapchat to gain traction among its users.

Live Video Marketing5. Live Video

Snapchat has had a live video feature built into its platform for some time, and that feature isn’t going anywhere. According to CIO, Snapchat currently rivals Facebook as the social network with the most aggressive live video platform available to consumers, and it has huge implications for digital marketers looking to reach an audience through live video.

Live video is quickly becoming a sought-after form of content for its ability to bring audiences into an intimate engagement with a brand. Live content is successful because of the immediacy it offers, and because it’s such a great vehicle for providing authentic, unfiltered access. Consumers aren’t having an experience distilled into a few photos or a single video clip: They can take in a range of branded experiences, and do so in a way that humanizes the brand behind the content.

If you’re a bike shop running an in-store tutorial on a DIY bike fix, turn on Snapchat’s live video feature and broadcast it to your followers. It’s free and requires almost no additional work, but the quality of the experience is tough for other social networks to match. In fact, most of them can’t—at least not from the standpoints of immersion and immediacy.

As consumers gravitate toward digital experiences more than simply static content, engaging marketing like Snapchat’s local offerings figure to become more of the norm. Instead of resisting the change, companies should embrace the inevitable and get a head start on the competition.

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Jonathan Crowl specializes in digital marketing and content creation for both B2B and B2C brands, with an emphasis on startups and technology. His past and current clients include B2B brands IBM, LinkedIn, Mad Mobile, Oktopost, BrightSpot, and Waze, as well as B2C brands Porsche, Epson, and PayPal. He lives in Minneapolis.

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