For many marketers, Snapchat is still a relatively new concept. Despite celebrating its 5th birthday this year, it has only been regarded as a place to do marketing for a fairly very short period of time. This may be driven by the fact that this was not on Snapchat’s agenda until a year or two ago or it may be that marketers have had their head turned by new networks before which haven’t worked out (Ello, Google+ anyone?).

But it is clear that Snapchat will be here for a while. In November 2015, Snapchat reported that its app users were sending 6 billion photos and videos per day with Snapchat Stories (see below) being viewed over 500 million times per day.

Snapchat works by the user taking a photo or video, having the opportunity to apply a filter (e.g. a drawing which can make ordinary photos entertaining) over the top and send it to a list of recipients. These snaps can last between 1 and 10 seconds before they are deleted from Snapchat’s servers…..for good.

So what are the opportunities for marketers on Snapchat?

Demographic: The demographic of Snapchat is mostly between 13 and 23 and 80% of users are based in the US. The sheer growth of the network (unofficially the number of photos and videos shared per day has grown by 1 billion in the last 4 months) means that this may change – but for now, the young and cool are still very much on Snapchat!

Stretch Your Creative: Snapchat is an informal network – the content is extremely dynamic and personal, so this should be reflected in any marketing efforts. Stock photos and slick corporate videos need to be avoided and showing the cheeky side of your brand is highly recommended. For some organisations, particularly larger and more mature ones, this will push the brand guidelines hard.

Snapchat Stories: This is a neat tool which allows the user to stitch together videos over a 24 hour period which effectively means that you can create longer content. A nice way to communicate a slightly more complex message but don’t get bogged down with detail – the more fun content is, the better it works.

Live Events: Rather than use Snapchat to share an event that someone may not be able to actually attend in person (there are other social networks for that), Snapchat has been used successfully to show behind the scenes footage. This is a good chance to show off the culture of your organisation – you do want to show it off, right?!

Cross-Promotions: If you are interested in branching out and trying marketing on Snapchat, it is likely that you have invested some time and money into other social networks. If so, why not encourage your audience to join you on your Snapchat account, or ask influencers who you have engaged on other networks to help drive visitors to Snapchat?

Advertising: This is still in its infancy, but there are some examples of how adverts have driven consumer behaviour. The case study that I saw was about a movie, so it was a really good fit with the demographic. Watch this space for more updates.

For the right product there is no question that Snapchat is a great opportunity. The demographic is specific, in phenomenal growth and the way that content is displayed is unique: the challenge is whether your creativity can grab someone’s attention with in that first second to make your Snapchat activity a success.