When the Snapchat revolution first swept across the mobile world in 2011, it swiftly captivated the hearts of users between the ages of 13 and 24. By 2012, the app reported over 10 million active users and it wasn’t long before businesses began jumping on the bandwagon to target younger users.
All this began to change in 2010 when Instagram mimicked Snapchat’s main feature and launched its own version – Instagram Stories. And as the number of users on Instagram Stories grew, Snapchat’s steadily declined.
Perhaps what made it worse for Snapchat was when they re-launched with a controversial redesign. Over 1.2 million Snapchat users signed a Change.org petition urging the company to reverse it. And to make matters even work, celebrity entrepreneur Kylie Jenner tweeted “sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me” to her 24 million followers which lead to $1.3 billion being wiped away from their market value.
sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me... ugh this is so sad.— Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) 21 February 2018
In this blog, we explore whether Snapchat is truly dead and what the future may hold for the app which disrupted the social media world with the introduction of temporary posts and interactive filters.
Is Snapchat Really Dead?
Following the launch of Instagram stories, Snapchat’s growth rate declined by 82% in 2017. Business Insider reported that Snapchat’s average revenue per user slumped by 14%, and the number of daily active users increased by just 5%. It was unsurprising that Snapchat’s stock tanked as a result, and what was once a social media craze had been all but relegated to the graveyard of social media flops.
With Facebook and Instagram offering greater follower numbers, more interactions and responses, as well as the sense that there is more engagement, many brands, marketing professionals and influencers expected Facebook and Instagram to dethrone Snapchat entirely.
But what didn’t get as much airtime was a series of intriguing reports which addressed Snapchat user demographics, and how often active Snapchat users engaged with alternative social media channels.
Research by App Annie stated that on an average day, 35% of US Snapchat users could not be found on Facebook, 46% could not be found on Instagram, and 61% weren’t watching YouTube. In the UK, 31% of Snapchat users could not be found on Facebook, 37% could not be found on Instagram, and 50% weren’t watching Youtube.
TechCrunch also found that Gen Z users were not entirely replacing their Snapchat addiction with Instagram stories, while another study by comScore revealed that Snapchat was still ahead of Instagram in terms of its popularity among the younger 18 to 24 age group.
Although Snapchat’s controversial redesign and Kylie Jenner’s ensuing tweet cost the app 3 million daily active users and a significant drop in their market value, Snapchat has emerged more determined than ever to defy naysayers’ expectations.
Snap Inc, the app’s parent company recently revealed a 30% increase in users viewing Snapchat-exclusive stories and shows. In September 2019, Snapchat reported a year-over-year revenue growth of 39%.
Should You Invest in Snapchat Marketing?
Although Snapchat appears to be undergoing a much-needed revival, you need to determine whether the platform is right for promoting your brand, taking user demographics into consideration. The first question to ask yourself is whether your target audience actually engages with the app.
Snapchat has a very specific demographic, and 90% of Snapchat users are between the ages of 13 and 24 years old, while 75% are under the age of 34. You should only incorporate Snapchat into your overall social media marketing strategy if you wish to target these age groups.
On the flip side, if your product or service has use cases that could appeal to a younger demographic, but you’re struggling to connect and engage with them on other social media platforms, Snapchat could be your golden ticket in. For example, CNN connected with more millenials via Snapchat than through their company website.
Snapchat could arguably be the best avenue for brands seeking to engage with millennials and Gen Z users. People under the age of 25 use Snapchat for 40 minutes on average every day, more than Instagram’s latest stat for the same demographic.
3 Ways To Grow Your Brand on Snapchat
If you have decided to give Snapchat a go, then it’s important to capitalise on the opportunity to connect with your audience in real-time.
Snapchat is ideal for micro-influencers and growing businesses to promote localised campaigns and share compelling, interactive stories. Below, we’ll show you three specific ways you can use Snapchat to boost your digital marketing strategy.
1. Promote Your Brand’s Local Events and Campaigns
If you want to promote a local store or an event, such as a workshop, concert, or store opening, Snapchat Geofilters offer a way to interact with a hyper-local audience. Geofilters allow you to create a Snapchat filter that’s offered to all users within a certain geographical location for a specific period of time.
For example, if you’re hosting a networking event, you can create a Geofilter for the duration of the day to encourage attendees to interact with your brand on Snapchat. If people use the Geofilter, they inadvertently spread the word about your brand to friends and colleagues.
To promote their 50th Anniversary event, renowned shoe brand, Vans used location-tailored on-demand Geofilters to highlight specific locations representing the brand’s history. The results were positive, and nearly 1 in 5 Snapchat users who unlocked the Geofilters chose to send them to their friends. What’s more, the campaign helped Vans increase brand favorability and purchase intent above the average mobile retail campaigns.
Wendy’s, the fast food company, was able to increase foot traffic to their stores through the use of an on-demand Geofilter. After the launch of their time-limited Jalapeño Fresco Spicy Chicken Sandwich on Snapchat, 42,000 people visited Wendy’s stores.
2. Collaborate With Influencers in a ‘Snapchat Takeover’
Due to cost and budget restrictions, advertising on Snapchat can be out of reach for many growing brands. However, you could partner with influencers in a ‘Snapchat Takeover’ campaign to showcase your products or services.
A Snapchat Takeover involves influencers running a brand’s Snapchat channel for 24 hours or more, promoting the brand’s products or services throughout the duration of the campaign. Brands can capitalise on the loyal audience and engagement generated by influencers to increase visibility on Snapchat.
One of the first brands to pioneer and benefit from Snapchat Takeovers is Sephora. The French beauty retailer partnered with top fitness and beauty influencer Hanah Bronfman, giving her full access to their Snapchat account so that she could share images and videos promoting her favourite beauty products sold by the brand.
On Snapchat, users must follow each account in order to view the account’s content. For brands, Snapchat Takeovers with the right influencers are powerful for increasing followers since each influencer’s followers must add the brand’s Snapchat handle in order to view the influencer-hosted Takeover.
3. Cross-Promote Your Snapchat Account and Exclusive Content
There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to social media marketing, and you need to give your audience a reason to follow you on Snapchat. It’s not enough to simply repost content from your Instagram stories. You need to create exclusive content that will entice and engage your Snapchat audience.
The most effective Snapchat posts and stories are surprising and exclusive to the platform, delivering humour, suspense, or educational value. In any case, viewers should walk away from your Snapchat content feeling pleasantly surprised and even delighted.
It’s also worth mentioning that Snapchat’s organic reach is also significantly limited in comparison to rivaling social channels, and the only way to feature on the app’s Discover page is by purchasing ads. Therefore, it is essential to promote your Snapchat presence across various online and offline channels.
For example, you could feature your brand’s Snapcode in your email marketing campaign, or promote a custom Geofilter on other social media channels you engage with as a brand.
Snapchat is Here to Stay, but Make Sure It Works for You
Snapchat appears to be the ‘comeback kid’ of social media, but it’s important to continuously evaluate whether the platform works for your brand.
Through measuring results via Snapchat analytics, you will be able to better understand your audience, learn what content performs best and discover key engagement times. The better you know this information, the easier it’ll be to build your brand and retain a competitive edge on Snapchat.