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Marketing Yourself, Your Images, and Your Brand with Snapchat

Marketing Your Brand with SnapChat

Ahhhh! Not another social media network to keep up with!!! Whyyyyy????? But seriously… I’m already juggling Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram in my social campaigns.

Admittedly, this was my exact mindset about Snapchat until I started observing how it works as a tool for so many big brands and well niche photographers too…

Something as simple as sharing “your story” is a great way to engage with your followers and even better your potential clients. By sharing the things that are fun and unique about your brand, you can really draw people in using an application such as Snapchat. So really with a little time and effort you can use this social platform completely to your brand’s advantage.

Snapchat has gone from being a simple photo and video sharing app to a marketing tool that can’t be ignored. –Forbes

So really, Why Snapchat?

There are over 100 million active users, daily. 400 million snaps are taken, daily. It’s legit! Snapchat is becoming one of the fastest-growing social networks to date. Talk about a large target audience. The metrics are still evolving but Snapchat seems to be coming into it’s own as an unfettered playground for global marketing strategies.

Stats pulled from…

What are these “Snaps” anyhow?

Snaps are a visual way to capture or create parts of a conversation or “story”. Snaps consist of pictures or video messages taken, then shared with friends in real-time on Snapchat. Snaps are accessible in approximately 10 second intervals for your viewing pleasure, or depending upon the amount of time the user allocates to that snap. If you speed past it, miss it, or multi-task through it, no problem. You can simply play it over again! Easy-peasy, right?

As it’s default, Snaps are set to disappear from the screen after they have been viewed – unless that friend decides to save it or keep it by taking a screenshot or a picture of that snap. (like with another camera… I have seen it done. It happens!)

Uh…that sounds great and all but what exactly can I do with Snapchat for my business? Let’s break it down. 1-2-3…

#1: So. You Can Provide Access to Live Events You Want To Promote (For Free)

Snapchat is awesome for real-time social media marketing, similar to marketing with twitter only more conceptual and all done with imagery (and perhaps some text overlays). It gives the audience front row access to your branded live events. Use it for webinars, product launches, training, demos, trade shows or any one-of-a-kind events you could possibly dream up like best photo caption contest, virtual events that include promotions to a target audience like senior or wedding photography, company wide team building events, customer appreciate day. No matter what event Snapchat will get your audience excited because you’re providing a different, more unique and real glance inside of what’s going on in that specific event. So be creative, the canvas is yours!

#2: Come Up With Cool Contests, Loyalty & Customer Perks or Tailored Product/Services Promotions (+ use this campaign across all your social media…Winning!)

Everyone loves free stuff! Especially winning that “free-stuff” online from the comfort of your at home jammie wearing work bender. Social media giveaways and promotions are the shiz… so it is imperative to think up creative, fun, unique ways to keep your followers engaged. A good example would be offering discounts and customized promo codes to your fan base/users who engage with your product in a new way (like asking them to hold or take a picture with your product, submitting a picture that relates to a general theme or concept that engages with your product) or for simply watching your entire Snapchat story.

Check out some of the ways these inventive services, and companies use Snapchat as a marketing tool:

GrubHub is awesome-sauce at engaging the Snapchat community, with a uniquely cultivated variety of clever deals, promotions, and contests specifically geared towards those users. They even conducted a Snapchat scavenger hunt. During this 5 day campaign, their followers were asked to post a daily snap that consisted of a food drawing or selfie.

Personally I love Grubhub…Not only does this food-ordering biz find ways to entertain their followers, they also tempt them with candid snaps of super-delicious looking food (usually tethered to their punny promo codes…) The entire brand is a little cheeky but it works 100% to their advantage and their customer service is on point. Not only making their brand recognizable but the consistency of their product solid!

Marketing with Snapchat - Grubhub is a winner to us...-xoxox ProShow
Grub hub developed a series of giveaways through engaging stories on Snapchat.
Marketing with Snapchat - Grubhub is a winner to us...-xoxox ProShow
Grubhub tapped into the Snapchat social community to find an intern.


World Wildlife Fund created a Snapchat campaign that stirred the emotional flames of not only myself but animal lovers everywhere. With their partner agency UncleGrey and Turkish digital agency 41?29!, World Wildlife fund (WWF) utilized/or expanded upon Snapchat’s primary application function, the concept that “Snaps” or rather messages disappear after approximately 10 seconds. This in-turn paralleling/illustrating the disappearance of these endangered species all around the world. Titled: The Last Selfie – World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

Marketing with Snapchat - World Wildlife Fund is a hero to us...-xoxox ProShow

Don’t let this be my #LastSelfie

The urgency to act and Snapchat’s dynamic were the perfect match to disseminate our message for species. The continuity of our conservation work is vital for success. For this to happen, we have to clearly and creatively explained our reason for existence to current and prospect supporters. Millennials are targeted for this campaign, and that’s why we chose to use Snapchat, which is mostly used by them.

-Tuba Ugur, Communications Officer for WWF

The Results: Lets just say they were amazingly strong, in just three days, they reached their donation target for the entire month! Not to mention this campaign was also the People’s Voice Webby Award winner for 2015. (Wow!)

Calvin Klein a more consumer, fashion forward brand, wanted to increase their engagement on both social channels, Tumblr and Snapchat. Geared primarily to focus on the “millennial generation” who have shown to be the primary demographic for these social channels. Certain participating celebrities were asked to produce both selfies and videos in a room they called the ‘Self Exploration Lab.’
200 pieces of content were both produced and shared through these social channels, and the experiment asked that the users/followers publish their creations.
“Asking them to Self(ie) Explore.”

The Results: This campaign produced 140 thousand views and hand their engagement on Snapchat up by 15%. with 16.5m impressions on Twitter. (WTW?!)

Be sure to checkout #CKMeforME Self Exploration Lab by Calvin Klein.

Still yearning for more inspiration?
Check out these additional campaigns we found on The Content Strategist.

#3: Let People Look Inside. Let Your Hair Down. Let Them See How You Operate

Snapchat, gives you the ability to open yourself up, generate content and visibility based off how you work and what you do. The behind-the-scenes content to your work style and life style help to create and engage a very strong following in the community. In it’s most simplest form…it’s human interest. Showing that you are not just an entity, that you are relatable. Show it off. If you’ve got it flaunt it…NOT in a boastful way, in a personable way. Show off your work, show your company in both a fun and relatable way. Try to capture the heart of the company, moments that happen eternally like milestones, anniversaries, birthday parties, Friday lunches, team outings. Honestly, when it comes to office or work culture those quality/traits are identifiable and solely unique to your brand. This is really what differentiates your company from any other….well that in addition to your product or service.

Alight. Alright. Alright. So. How Do I Get Started?

Signing-up is totally straight-forward and easy. At least we think so…but please see the link below for a step-by-step youtube video that walks you through how to get started with Snapchat from the super-awesome guys over at Break The Internet.

Okay so…All you need is to provide an email address and a birthdate (make the email an account you don’t mind having notifications populate. Trust me it’s a love/hate relationship with my inbox on the daily). You will also be asked for a contact/phone number, but you can bypass or skip verifying it initially and still have your account activate without a hitch. Note, there is NO explicit support for a company/business account. That means… have someone you trust run your account. There’s also no significant profile to establish. So you won’t have a bio to populate, nor a direct url, nor a custom picture, nor will you receive a verified icon. But you will setup a BooR Code!

What the heck is a BooR Code? Great question! It is a completely customizable code through Snapchat that is unique only to you. It make it way easier to connect with friends than having to search through tons of complicated usernames. Tapping on the ghost/QR code will prompt the camera to open, and snap a burst of five pics, photo booth-like. So when you pull your info page down to share your QR code now an animation of your sweet mug will be looping non-stop. Fun, huh?! So a user simply swipes down on the take-a-picture screen in Snapchat to reveal their code. A friend can then scan it with their phone camera and the Snapchat app will instantly start following them.

***Added bonus here is a directory of featured accounts, accounts and even celebrities!

ProShow Snapchat Explainer


Taking Pictures, Video & Adding Text

Now onto the important part of Snapchat, making those awesome Snaps! These as mentioned earlier are the pictures and video that you will be sharing with followers in the community. Earlier I mentioned text overlays… meaning you can make up these snaps with text. The picture and video part is easy. Then from the home screen (see screen above for example), tap on the big circle button at the bottom to take a picture. Tap and hold if you want to record a video. If you need flash well, you guessed it…use the flash icon. Located in the upper left corner of the home screen. If you want to selfie-on, then use the front facing camera (the camera switch icon in the upper right corner). Okay, now you are probably wondering “how do I add text to my image after taking it?” Simple. Tap on the image itself, and a text entry box will appear allowing you to type in a short caption. Once entered use your finger to drag the caption up or down within the image. Oh hey…. You can also alter the size of the text + change the color. Locate for the big “T” or font icon at the top and tap on it, thus making the text large and left-aligned. Tap it again, and it will then center. Select the text when large, this enables you to use the color palette on the side to change colors. Use two fingers in a pinch-like motion to make your text smaller, larger or to rotate it.

Hey! Beginners… Check this helpful video out: HOW TO USE SNAPCHAT FOR BEGINNERS – Snapchat Tricks and Tips

Sharing Stories, & Public Snaps

So we got “snaps” down right? Now are you ready for stories? Stories are a collection of snaps that followers/others can view. For a brand, “My Story” (your own story in the “Stories” area, as opposed to those from others) is effectively your Snapchat feed that others follow. Each snap you send to your story can be seen by anyone, if you make it so, and you totally should. Sent snaps will last for 24 hours from the time when you first send them. If you send multiple snaps, people can watch them from oldest to newest. It’s like sending a tweet that only lasts 24 hours then disappears. Don’t let this Hudini-like act freak you out… If you think about it, tweets sent out to followers only really make short-lived impressions before also pretty much disappearing from plain sight, if not revisited yet again through the retweeting of others. Snapchat has that short-burst attention span/desire for instant gratification thing covered, which extends to how people interact with brands. Now that’s an opportunity marketers can tap into.

Some Things To Consider

It is completely unlike Twitter (Twitter is a more augmented experience, for example their moments feature is short and sweet) or Instagram where you can just scroll, see the beautifully filtered photos and like-away (…however their new Spotlights feature is interesting. “Spotlights display an auto-advancing feed of video clips around a theme, artist or, in this case, a live event.“). This is truly curated social media, we are talking, “Live Stories”. It is more about community and cultivating a story that you can follow along with, be it live events through stories or via users sending snaps to other users. We totally encourage visual storytellers or photographers to utilize Snapchat as a marketing tool. The stories feature is pretty essential in our opinion for captivating an audience of visually responsive users and lets face it, the most compelling marketing these days is limited to almost mere seconds of focused attention. As really that is all our attention spans can afford us before gravitating onto the next shiny albeit captivating bit of content. So, snap on!

Be sure to checkout Snapchat Support, their help area is filled with a wealth of advice and useful tips to help with getting started!

Using Snapchat’s platform can truly make an impact with your client/followers that will result in strengthening your brand’s point of view with real-time marketing. We think it’s something that will continue to evolve, and continue to provide a great space to explore fun and unique marketing concepts with your brand.

So are you ready for Snapchat? Or are you already Snap happy? If so how do you use Snapchat towards marketing your work or business? Would you like to share your experiences? If so leave a comment below to share your thoughts! We would really love to hear from you.

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Candace works as Photodex’s Art Director. Always striving to create out-of-the-box designs, that are both stunning and engaging. Special loves are Photography, Photoshop, Plotters, and Pixel Pushing.