Video Marketing – Part 4: Snapchat

Snapchat Video MarketingSo you think you’re a video marketing wizard now huh? You read the Total Market Exposure blog post about the fundamentals of video marketing and how it’s becoming the present and future of reaching an audience online. Then you worked to implement those fundamentals within the framework of YouTube and Facebook. Your customer base steadily grew, and now you can sit back content with the knowledge that you are a true video marketing guru.

Not so fast!

Just as YouTube and Facebook came along and disrupted how we view video-sharing, a new player has emerged and is completely revolutionizing the game.

I’m talking about Snapchat. If you’re unaware of what Snapchat is, that probably means you’re over 40 and possibly live under a rock á la Patrick Starr. For the final chapter in our epic and potentially historically significant series on video marketing, TME will dive deep into the new rage among kids.


For those of you who don’t know what Snapchat is, it’s an app on your phone that allows you to send pictures or videos to your friends. The files then delete themselves after 1-10 seconds so you don’t have to worry about any long-term consequences .

For a slightly longer lasting message, you can post a picture or video to your “snap story” which your friends can then view for the next 24 hours. Snapchat also has all kinds of fun filters that swap your face with your friend’s face or make it look as if you’re puking a rainbow.


In December 2012, about a year and a half after the app’s first iteration launched, Snapchat released video sharing and changed the game once again. Before this release, all you could do was send pictures so you can imagine the various marketing opportunities that were opened up by the advent of video.

With video sharing, the type of story you can tell is endless. Single videos can be cleverly done to tell a quick story in less than ten seconds, or multiple snaps can be added together to tell a longer story in ten second increments. The slight pause in between snaps also allows for various puns and effects to be inserted into your story.

Snapchat was started by a frat bro at Stanford named Evan Spiegel who made a great app but really turned out to be not that chill of a dude.

Regardless of how you feel about Snapchat, Evan generally being the worst, or this generation’s general lack of attention span, Snapchat is here to stay (ironically enough.) It has over 2 billion video views a day and can seriously help you connect with customers.

Snapchat Great for Ads

Image by HowToStartABlogOnline .net

But how popular is Snapchat really?

Super. Freaking. Popular.

Here are some stats to illustrate just how much of a video-sharing monster Snapchat is becoming:

  • Snapchat ads are viewed more than a million times per day
  • Snapchat’s daily video views increase 400% each year. That’s as much Twitter grew in 4 years.
  • They now have more than 10 billion daily video views, which is already more than Facebook.
  • 60% of all smart phone users are on Snapchat (this accounts for 11% of all Americans).
  • Snapchat is huge in the most important demographic: 12-24 year olds. 26% say they use Snapchat, which is second only to Facebook at 32%. For a point of reference, only 17% use the seemingly ubiquitous Instagram.

So clearly, Snapchat has some staying power (I’m sorry, I can’t help myself). Do you want to know how you can capitalize on this new technology to reach a young and steadily increasing fan base? Well then read on.

Understand the Appeal

Snapchat is ephemeral. That’s what sets it apart, makes it popular, and allows it to be such an interesting marketing tool.

When a message lasts a maximum of ten seconds, it forces the viewer to pay attention for fear that they may miss the crux of it. Snapchat isn’t YouTube where a video can be replayed if something distracted you while watching it. With Snapchat, you’ve got one opportunity to see the video, so you better be paying attention. This sense of urgency actually does lead to a much higher percentage of people who pay attention while watching a Snapchat ad.

When crafting a marketing strategy around Snapchat, account for this and use it to your advantage. Put a promo code in your snap so people have to be quick and pay attention. Send a goofy video without fear of it coming back to bite your business later on down the road (Snaps can be screenshotted though, so don’t, you know, go way over board).

Oprah GivawayGiveaways!

It’s been working for Oprah for years, and more recently, the comedian John Oliver created waves with a big public giveaway.

Now with Snapchat, everyone can be an Oprah! Snapchat’s unique sense of urgency makes it the perfect vehicle to host giveaways for your prospective customers and drive engagement and participation.

Snapchat is a very dynamic medium in what you can do with the relatively simple concept. You can paint, you can take videos, you switch your face with your dog’s face…It’s incredible!

This makes it so that you can hold many different type of giveaways. Maybe you do one for best drawing that includes your product, or maybe you do one for whoever best switches their face with their dog’s face.

Horrifying? Yes. Potentially great for user engagement? Absolutely. Hey, no one said this marketing business was going to be pretty.

Snapchat Takeovers

The app has an option to let another user “takeover” your account for the day. Now generally speaking, allowing someone else access to your social media is paramount to social suicide. Embarrassing statuses will be written, and mortifying messages will be sent to crushes. It’s just the way the world works.

Kim Kardashian SnapchatBut Snapchat is different. If you have high-end celebrity partners or anyone with a unique perspective that is associated with your business, you should consider letting them take over your account for a day. For starters, the risks inherent with allowing someone access are mitigated by Snapchat’s ephemeral nature. Second, more than any other social media, Snapchat really allows viewers to feel like they’re receiving a personal look inside the life of the snapper.

Imagine what a day of Kim Kardashian running your snap story could do for your marketing efforts. You may not love what she’s snapping, but I guarantee that people would be paying attention.

Now maybe (probably) you don’t have access to Kimmy or a celebrity of similar stature and exposure. This can work on a much smaller scale as long as you’re willing to think outside the box. For example, say your business sells software for large-scale construction jobs. Why not let one of the foreman take over your corporate Snapchat account and take videos of the cooler parts of their job (people love watching buildings be constructed) and videos of your software in action helping to get the building be erected.

Share Promo Codes

This requires some skillful execution, but if done correctly, is an example of how unique of a marketing tool Snapchat is. The frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles ran a promotion where if you snapped them a picture of yourself eating their yogurt at one of their locations, they’d reply with a snap of a promo code for a 16-100% discount on your purchase.

The one catch? Since it’s a snap, you only had 10 seconds to show the cashier. There couldn’t be any manipulation or tampering. The campaign was a resounding success, and 16 handles became known as the first business to use Snapchat for location-based real time marketing.

Now, I know that this sounds like the most classic So-Cal frozen yogurt thing of all time, but it can work for a wide range of businesses. Like all of marketing, the tool is there. You just have to be creative and think outside the box in how you want to use it!

B2B Marketing

This is Snapchat’s greatest weakness. The application is amazing at business-to-consumer marketing because companies have such unfettered access to their consumer base. Like Twitter, Snapchat allows your brand to be constantly in front of the cherished millennial demographic on their phones at all times.

B2B Marketing

This does not translate to business-to-business marketing for several reasons:

  1. Snapchat is predominately used by millennials (please consult above stats), and millennials right now are typically consumers. They haven’t aged to the point where a significant portion of them own businesses. So when you’re marketing to another business, the odds are that the person you are trying to speak to and convert is not a Snapchat user or aficionado.
  2. The platform is inherently too personal for effective B2B marketing in most situations. It’s made for people to speak to other people, and for brands to speak to people. It doesn’t work well for brands speaking to brands.
  3. It’s too informal and short. While marketing from one business to another, it’s important to appear professional and competent. That’s tough to do on a platform that initially seemed designed purely for the consequence-free exchange of naked photos.

In Conclusion

At Total Market Exposure, we realize that it can be incredibly tough to keep up with the constantly evolving world of video marketing. Just when you master YouTube, Facebook comes along. And when you finally understand how to game the Facebook algorithms with video, boom! Snapchat shows up, and now your videos are less than ten seconds and disappear after being played.

It’s all very daunting. It’s also all very essential. Video keeps evolving, so you need to be ready to evolve with it.

Well now you’re ready to effectively and efficiently reach your customer base and potential new customers via Snapchat. If you have any further questions or would like to discuss your business’s marketing needs, please give us a call today at Total Market Exposure! (503) 305-6319

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