How Marketers Can Take Advantage of the New Snapchat

Up till now, Snapchat has been an app that lives in the moment, until all communication is gone. Its ephemeral nature made it fun for users but not all that useful for marketers, who get nothing out of sending a photo with a few words that almost immediately disappears. There was no ability to engage in a dialogue.

All that is about to change. Snapchat has released an updated version that not only gives the app a new, sleeker look, but also adds some capabilities that marketers will appreciate. That includes the ability to send text messages and engage in video chatting. Here’s a look at how companies can work the new Snapchat features into their marketing campaigns.

Show Off a Product

Perhaps the most obvious use of Snapchat’s new features is to take advantage of the ability to engage with potential buyers by showing off a product. While before a brand could simply send pictures of something it was selling, now it has a chance to not only show pictures but also answer questions about it.

For example, Nissan is using Snapchat to engage potential buyers, asking them to describe on the app what it feels like to drive a Nissan car. The campaign is already being hailed as an innovative way to interact with millennials, who like to feel like a part of any social-media experience, whether they’re talking to friends or brands. Nissan upped the ante by also promising to reward those who share their opinions with prizes, including a PlayStation 4.

Open a Dialogue

Back-and-forth communication is key to any effective social-media campaign, and it’s especially important to younger consumers, who feel they have earned the right to be a part of any campaign. They want to be addressed directly and have no patience for brands that do not take this straightforward approach. That makes Snapchat’s video-chatting function ideal, because the customer becomes part of what the brand is trying to promote.

Say, for instance, you’re trying to sell Venetian bronze cabinet hardware. In addition to showing it on video, you might also ask people to toss out any questions they have about the finish of the stock or discuss what type of hinge works best with a specific cabinet. By engaging so intimately with the consumer, you are not only answering their questions about your product but also bonding, which millennials love.

Another Level of Hangout

You can only imagine how many brands are going to want to use their celebrity spokespeople to engage with people via the new Snapchat video discussions. After all, what’s the use of a star if you can’t use them to awe people and bring them to your brand? Imagine LeBron James talking with people about Samsung Galaxy live on their smartphone.

Better Demographic Targeting

Of course, the ultimate goal of any new type of advertising is to more effectively target the people most likely to buy your brands, and that’s definitely something Snapchat’s new capabilities can promote. The app’s update will help it to collect demographic data on its users, which will allow ads on the social network to be better targeted. That should be the goal of any social campaign, because the better you target people who will buy your product, the more sales you will make.

Looking Ahead

It’s encouraging to see Snapchat making these changes as the app takes off. With the app’s makers eager to attract more marketers and earn a reputation for assisting them, it’s not hard to imagine that another update will be even more effective in finding ways for advertisers to engage with consumers.

Image: Snapchat


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