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Snapchat Marketing: The Guide for Businesses

Snapchat Marketing: The Guide for Businesses

Snapchat has evolved from a fun, temporary teen platform to a powerful brand marketing tool. With over 400 million daily active users as of Q4 2023, Snapchat offers enormous potential to connect with younger audiences.

However, marketing on Snapchat requires a unique approach compared to other social platforms. Photos and videos disappear after viewing, the audience skews under 30, and attention spans are short. Brands that lean into Snapchat's culture and features can thrive. Those that take a one-size-fits-all approach struggle.

This definitive guide covers everything brands need to know about Snapchat marketing in 2024, including trends, best practices, ad formats, targeting, analytics, and real-world examples of Snapchat success stories. Let's explore Snapchat's ephemeral visual world and how your brand can effectively reach its coveted youth audience.

Key Snapchat Stats for 2024

What Is Snapchat

Before we dive into Snapchat marketing strategies, let's look at the latest platform statistics that inform what works:

  • 400+ million daily active users. Snapchat's audience keeps growing, though slower than in previous years.
  • Over 60% of users are under 30. The audience skews toward Gen Z (13-24-year-olds) and younger Millennials.
  • Users spend over 30 minutes per day on Snapchat. They love consuming Snaps on the platform throughout their day.
  • AR engagement is up 80% year-over-year. Snapchat lenses, filters, and other AR experiences drive significant engagement.
  • Snap Originals reach over 60 million viewers per month. Snapchat Shows and publisher Stories drive traffic. Partner with them as part of a multimedia strategy.

These key stats showcase Snapchat's large, young, and highly engaged audience. Now, let's explore how brands can effectively market to Snapchatters in 2024.

Trends That Are Defining Snapchat Marketing in 2024

As Snapchat evolves from a hot new app to a full-fledged media platform, so do its marketing trends. In 2024, these factors shape the Snapchat landscape:

Quick, Visually-Driven Content Reigns

Photos and videos that capture attention quickly work best. Snapchatters engage most with Snaps under 7 seconds long, especially those featuring animation or AR effects. Brands that adopt the fast, visual style of communication thrive on Snapchat. Verbosity doesn’t work on this platform.

Authenticity and Behind-the-Scenes Access Win

Snapchat was built to share raw, silly, in-the-moment content with friends. Audiences expect and appreciate that same authentic vibe from brands. Give fans a glimpse behind the polished Instagram feed with sneak peeks, bloopers, employee takeovers, and a more raw aesthetic.

Ad Formats Keep Evolving

From Collection Ads to AR try-on experiences to Connected Lenses, Snapchat keeps expanding its visually-driven, interactive ad unit offering. Marketers must stay on top of the latest formats and be among the first to test opportunities to cut through.

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Young Targeting Options Grow

Snapchat continually bolsters its targeting capabilities to help advertisers reach the right audience segments. From ages 13-17 or 18-25 to interests like beauty, gaming and motorcycles, Snapchat makes niche teen and young adult marketing possible.

These 2024 Snapchat trends show how brands must evolve messaging and strategies to thrive on the platform long-term. Let’s explore best practices next.

Snapchat Marketing Best Practices for Brands

Ar Marketing With Filters Snapchat

Given Snapchat's unique, fast-moving culture, brands must do more than just repurpose content from other platforms. Tailored strategies designed for Snapchat work best. Here are crucial best practices for brands in 2024.

Embrace Ephemerality from the Start

Unlike Instagram and Facebook, Snaps disappear in the Stories feed after 24 hours instead of living permanently on a profile. Content must feel timely and in the moment since it won’t get passed around forever. Rethink social media longevity.

Show Personality & Get Creative

Flip through any Snapchatter's Story feed, and you’ll likely see uploads featuring wacky selfies, weird faces, AR effects, Bitmoji, and all types of zany creativity. Follow their lead, and don’t be afraid to show your brand personality and experiment on Snapchat.

Test Various Content Types

The best way to identify what resonates is by testing a range of content: product Snaps, employee takeovers, boomerangs, tutorials, geofilters for events, Snap-friendly polls, AMAs in Chat, etc. See what your audience responds to, and then create more.

Invest in Video Specifically

Video dominates the Snapchat ecosystem more than other platforms due to the disappearance of content. Brands must prioritise video, from quick demos to stop-motion how-tos to captioned Stories showing behind-the-scenes. More on video content shortly.

By embracing these pillars of Snapchat, brands can organically build their community and presence rather than force-fitting content from other platforms into this unique environment.

Developing a Content Strategy for Snapchat

Given the fast-moving Stories feed and expectations for authenticity, creating a compelling content series requires strategic planning. Follow this step-by-step guide for developing a sustainable Snapchat content engine:

Set Content KPIs Based on Goals

Gaining followers and views matters, but what actions show people engaging with your brand? Set goals around website clicks, trial sign-ups, sales referrals, poll participation, screenshot rate, etc.

Map out Content Themes

Consider product launches, company culture, industry news, creative tutorials, employee Q&As, responding to comments, and teasers leading to Instagram. Mix up formats and topics.

Build an Editorial Calendar

Plan content out weeks or months ahead to remove the guesswork. Align more extensive campaigns across platforms and fill in one-off, timely Snaps as appropriate.

Rope in Multiple Content Creators

To widen possibilities, involve various staffers, influencers, brand ambassadors, outer offices, and experts in your Snapchat content rotation.

With purposeful planning that still allows for spontaneity, brands can fuel their Snapchat content engine for the long haul. Now, let's spotlight key content types.

Top Snapchat Content Formats for Brands

While any visual content can work in the Stories feed if creative enough, these types reliably engage audiences:

  • Product Launch Sneak Peeks: Give fans exclusive news, demos, availability updates
  • AR Try-Ons: Let audiences digitally sample products
  • How-Tos & Tutorials: Get more playful with your expertise sharing
  • Contests & Polls: Spark conversation and interactivity
  • Takeovers: Authentic employee and influencer Stories
  • Behind-the-Scenes: Show raw office moments and bloopers
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Keep testing what resonates, and then make that content style central to your strategy.

Maximising Your Snapchat Ad Strategy

Snapchat Advertising Campaign

While organic content matters, putting money behind Snapchat campaigns unlocks the platform's full marketing potential. Advertising also provides crucial analytics to optimise spend and performance.

Six Snapchat Ad Types Brands Need to Know

Beyond standard Snap Ads and AR lenses, here are the top formats to test:

  • Snap Ad With App Install – Drive downloads with video ads
  • Collection – Showcase multiple products with swipeable images
  • Dynamic – Automate highly targeted product offerings
  • Story – Sponsored Lenses, Filters and Attachments
  • Commercials – Skippable video content in Shows
  • Connected Lens – Interactive brand & user AR experience

Familiarise yourself with Snapchat's broadening ad offerings at Snapchat For Business. Options will continue expanding in 2024.

Setting Your Ad Strategy Up For Success

Follow these best practices when deploying ad dollars on Snapchat:

  • Mobile First Mindset – 97% of Snapchat usage happens on mobile. Design ads accordingly.
  • Vertical Video – 9:16 aspect ratio fits the way users browse Stories.
  • Strong CTA – Include clear calls to sign up, shop, watch more, enter, etc.
  • Targeting Options – Location, gender, age, interests, device type. Get granular.
  • Measure Conversions – Install the Snap Pixel to track sales, leads, and sign-ups driven accurately.

Optimising based on accurate performance data takes time but lifts ROI long-term.

Getting Your Budget Right

You must test spend levels to glean benchmarks with any new ad platform. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Start small – $50 to $100 per day per campaign to see initial traction and data
  • Study the data – Impressions, engagement rate, and CPAs at various budgets
  • Scale winners – Increase budget on top converting targeting and creatives
  • Stay nimble – Pause poor performers quickly and reallocate dollars

Agility to capitalise on winners and stifle laggards helps maximise Snapchat ad ROI.

Measuring Performance and Optimising Efforts

Speaking of ROI, analytics and optimisation enable brands to improve Snapchat efforts and demonstrate business impact continually.

Reporting to Quantify Efforts

Within Snapchat Ads Manager, marketers can access detailed performance reports containing:

  • Impressions and Reach
  • Engagement Rate
  • Swipe Ups and other Conversions
  • Screenshots, Shares, Comments
  • Spend and Results by Ad Set
  • Audience Insights
  • And more…

Review metrics frequently to catch trends and make any necessary adjustments.

A/B Testing Your Way to Better Content

Each audience is unique, so A/B testing content variations is critical to learning what works for YOUR fans.

Test differences like:

  • Creative Styles – BOGO promo vs. contest giveaway
  • Messaging Angles – emotional vs. functional; playful vs. formal
  • Content Types – meme vs infographic, celebrity cameo vs employee
  • Offer Messaging – framing, exclusivity, urgency

Keep iterating over time to determine ideal combinations.

Optimising Based on In-the-Moment Data

Snapchat not only shares robust analytics but now lets brands track real-time Story performance through:

  • Views
  • Screenshot Rate
  • Fastest viewed Snaps

Review this Story feedback immediately after launch while Snaps are still live to quickly improve or double down on what’s resonating most.

Optimisers are taking full advantage of Snapchat’s expanding array of analytical offerings.

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Real Brand Examples Succeeding on Snapchat

Snapchat Marketing Example Gymshark

Let's check out a few standout examples of brands effectively engaging audiences on Snapchat with fun, creative content and winning ad strategies:

1. Gymshark: Athlete Partnerships & Authenticity

Fitness apparel brand Gymshark nails Snapchat marketing by leveraging influencers and athletes to rep products in authentic training settings rather than overly-staged shoots. Fans love getting a raw inside look at their inspos’ regimens featuring Gymshark gear. Exclusive giveaways add excitement.

2. inflict Fitness Fest: Streaming Digital Events

As in-person events got cancelled due to COVID, inflict decided to stream their popular fitness festivals digitally across social media. On Snapchat specifically, the brand delivered live workouts featuring top trainers, fun commentary and a competition component that drove superb engagement.

3. Covergirl: Branded AR Lenses

The historic beauty brand CoverGirl keeps reinventing itself on social media, and it has been one of the first to leverage Snapchat’s branded AR lenses. Users flocked in droves to engage with lenses that let them digitally try various makeup looks. The beloved brand stays relevant with Gen Z in new ways.

4. NBA: Leveraging Live Stories

During significant events, the National Basketball Association has done phenomenal work promoting its brand and stars through Snapchat Live Stories. They repurpose the compelling video footage already captured courtside into snackable content. The energy and excitement around the NBA get showcased to razor-sharp target audiences.

These brands should inspire even more marketers to invest in Snapchat as part of their social mix.

The key is conveying your brand’s purpose in a way that engages the platform’s young demographic rather than turns them off with overly sales-y messages. Put Snapchat’s tools to work for you creatively.

Conclusion & Key Takeaways

In closing, Snapchat provides a compelling visual environment for brands to connect with Gen Z and Millennial audiences. However, marketers must play by Snapchat's rules to win – not simply repurpose content from other platforms.

  • Embrace ephemerality and personality. Showing the raw, fun, silly side of your brand builds authenticity. Refrain from disappearing content.
  • Go all in on AR experiences. Lenses, Filters and all varieties of augmented reality content drive tremendous engagement. Make them central to your approach.
  • Rope in multi-faceted content creators. Employees, influencers and creative agencies can showcase diverse perspectives of your brand and products through takeovers.
  • Test a range of ad formats and targeting Dial in your optimal mix of Snap Ad types, objectives, budgets and audiences for solid ROI.

While mastering marketing on Snapchat has a learning curve, brands that lean into what makes the platform unique will reap long-term dividends by reaching coveted Gen Z consumers.

Snapchat may feel intimidating or overly goofy to marketing veterans accustomed to polished platforms like Facebook and Instagram. But that goofiness represents the open potential to connect with young audiences authentically. Brands must evolve along with rising platforms, even brief ones.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For quick reference, here are answers to key questions marketers have about Snapchat:

How often should brands post on Snapchat?

1-3 times daily for organic content. Limit posting to Stories that genuinely add value for fans rather than pad posting counts.

What’s better for brands – Snapchat filters or lenses?

Lenses. Snapchat’s varied AR lenses – from beauty try-ons to interactive games – keep topping the App Store charts for driving insane engagement. Filters feel basic by comparison.

Can Snapchat ads be managed through platforms like Meta Business Suite?

No. Snapchat built its own self-serve Ads Manager. Advertisers need to create Snap-specific campaigns with unique creatives optimised for the platform.

What’s the ideal media mix for brands on Snapchat?

60% video, 30% images, 10% animation. Video dominates Snapchat. Capture attention quickly with motion and sound while balancing some still Snaps to showcase products, employees and fans.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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