This past weekend, I traveled to New Jersey to watch my alma mater compete in their Swimming and Diving Conference Championships. In between sessions, I spotted my old swim coach with a few of my former teammates huddled behind her. Confused yet intrigued, I soon realized I was witnessing my coach’s first interaction with Snapchat filters. How could I tell? Holding her phone in front of her, she was making faces and proceeding to flinch and laugh when seeing how the app distorted her face. As confirmation of my suspicions, I soon received a Snapchat of my coach with a forehead about four times the size of her actual head.
She’s not the only one to have a hilarious reaction to Snapchat innovations.
I guess Snapchat continues to surprise all types of users. Throughout this series on the Content Standard, however, we’ve aimed to educate marketers so that they don’t feel as though Snapchat has snuck up on them. We first took a look at Snapchat’s evolution to better understand where brands are meant to exist within the social media platform. We touched on the basics marketers should know and then highlighted five brands that have capitalized on the platform’s capabilities.
Now that we’ve covered the tried and true features of Snapchat, it’s time to explore the five most overlooked parts of your Snapchat strategy.
For telling your story: When we looked at how brands have best used Snapchat, influencers were a component that should have perplexed no content marketer. However, Snapchat’s unique drawing and editing functionalities allow for different types of creative, influential minds to aid brand storytelling. We mentioned Michael Platco as a Snapchat artist who helped GrubHub, among other brands, execute uniquely engaging Snapchat marketing.
To explore the colorful world of Snapchat artists, marketers should visit “The 11th Second,” a website founded by Snapchat Artist Cyrene Quiamco. This site serves as great inspiration for brands who are looking to spruce up their storytelling with artists, comedians, and other creative thinkers.
For telling your story: In October 2015, Snapchat created more opportunities for editing content when it launched Speed Modifiers for videos. This functionality allows video to be sped up, slowed down, or played in reverse. Talk about a fun tool to play with at a swimming and diving meet.
TechCrunch described Speed Modifiers as giving “normal people with just their phones the same special effect superpowers as a professional video editor. The better the content on Snapchat looks, the more they’ll come back…” The option to easily manipulate video content presents great opportunities for brands to tell stories in even more ways than before. Take, for example, pet brands: a dog wagging his tail at high speed; a cat jumping off of a dresser in reverse; an excited pet running to greet its owner in slow motion. Or, a cosmetic brand: make-up on, make-up off—all at high speed and then reversed. Is your company a food service? Consider that plate of a hamburger and fries cleared in 4 seconds. That dreamy bite of cheesy pizza? Slowed down to perfection. And, don’t even get me started on outdoor brands.
For learning how to tell your story: In the first article of this series, we highlighted the Discover page as a basic of Snapchat marketing, but noted that it had a slower, more criticized start. Over time, Snapchat has refined this component of the app to accommodate initial feedback. Currently, the Discover channels exist in a single-lined, less intrusive space above the Live and Story sections. If a user is inclined to explore the Discover channels further, they may swipe left to see a full page view of the channels.
The user experience isn’t the only part of Discover that has adapted. IBTimes writes that “over the past year, publishers have made it clear that their Snapchat channels have moved from experiments to core offerings.” Publishers have polished their strategies in ways that have elevated their Snapchat presence, with channels like Cosmopolitan generating 19 million views per month and accounting for up to 21 percent of the company’s total traffic. In fact, Snapchat itself has experimented on and off with its own channel, committing recently to a new effort at original content production.
While this space is mostly inhabited by media outlets and is less brand-centric, it’s overlooked in the sense that marketers could be using these channels as examples of original digital content production on a mobile social media platform. So, even though brands might not necessarily seek explicit real estate on the Discover page now, they should be exploring these channels for learning opportunities and inspiration at the very least.
For becoming part of the story: We’ve covered geofilters extensively in this series, but a recent development calls for some resurfaced attention. Last week, Snapchat released on-demand geofilters, allowing anyone to create their own customizations of the popular feature. TechCrunch reports that the size range for these geofilters is from 5,000 to 5,000,000 square feet, and the minimum amount of time for the geofilter to exist is 30 minutes. It is reported to take a day for Snapchat to review and approve the geofilter, while pricing is said to start at $5.
Previously, this feature catered to big brands (like McDonald’s) able to pay for marketing-based filters. With this new on-demand development, small and medium-sized businesses will be able to more realistically take advantage of geofilter marketing strategies as well.
For gaining an audience for your story: One of the tips we gave in our article on Snapchat marketing measurement was to personalize your brand’s Snapchat by uploading a profile picture into the ghost icon.
Did you know that Snapchat, in a digital sense, personalizes your Snapchat account for you from the beginning? Often an overlooked part of the app, each Snapchat user has a “Snapcode” associated with their account. A user’s Snapcode is what those seemingly random assortment of dots surrounding the ghost are (cue: “ooohhh”). This makes it easy for users to add accounts, as they simply upload the account’s Snapcode. Brands have taken advantage of this feature when looking to increase their Snapchat following by uploading their Snapcode in places (like Twitter and Facebook) that are easily accessible to target audiences.
From Snapchat basics, to ROI measurement, to overlooked features, this series has broken down how to develop and execute strategy on the ever-developing social media channel. While the app is sure to continue evolving (for both end-users and brands), marketers should feel better prepared to embrace great storytelling with less apprehension about the initially ghostly-seeming platform. Now it’s up to you, as content marketers, to take the snap and run with it.
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