By now, every marketer knows the story of Snapchat. A disappearing photo app that was created by a few undergraduates at Stanford who then turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook, Snapchat has taken the social media world by storm. While the app was quick to be adopted by the 13-25-year-old age demographic, brands have been unsure of how to effectively use the platform to communicate with consumers.
But as the dust clears from the app’s explosive growth period, stories are shedding light on the success that many early adopter brands have realized. Soon enough, companies without Snapchat accounts will be the exception, not the status quo. Here are three reasons why:
Agencies and brands alike are clamoring to understand how Snapchat can be used to connect in valuable ways with the highly sought-after millennial market segment. One thing is for sure, though: Snapchat has that audience captive. It is the preferred social channel for consumers aged 13 to 25. There are more than 30 million Snapchat users and roughly 16.5 million of them are active daily.
Snapchat has also a secured grip on the college student demographic segment. 77 percent of college students use Snapchat daily, and 73 percent of those claimed they would open a snap from a brand they are familiar with. That’s a lot of potential for brand exposure—not only for reaching students with product promotions, but also as a recruitment tool for employers.
As it currently stands, advertising on Snapchat is 100 percent opt-in for consumers. Not only would a user have to agree to add a brand to his contact list to receive snaps from it, but he would have to willingly click and hold his finger down to view that brand’s content when it shows up in his feed.
Consumers love this because they have the ability to choose which brands they interact with. The result is a nearly perfect percentage of positive impressions. This advertising strategy stands in stark contrast to those of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, which all use personas and re-targeting tactics to place native ads in front of consumers who may or may not be interested.
Many brands are already realizing incredible returns from Snapchat; companies like Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Audi, Acura, GrubHub and Karmaloop have all jumped in with both feet, especially since the launch of Snapchat “Stories” in late 2013. But this is just the beginning. Snapchat’s user base is still growing rapidly, and the advertising capabilities are not nearly as brand-friendly as they will be in the future. For example, there is not yet any way for businesses to send custom responses to users or tie multiple devices to a single account. And imagine the possible benefits of geo-targeting via Snapchat in the future; coupons and real-time promotions will be taken to a whole new level.
A bright future
Given the low cost of advertising on Snapchat compared to its social competitors, as well as the opt-in nature of two-way communication, both brands and consumers will be winners when Snapchat content promotion capabilities come to fruition. It’s only a matter of time before brands recognize that they will be able to benefit from Snapchat in one way or another. That’s why your company will have an account by 2015.
To learn more about the values of different content promotion and distribution channels, check out this introductory cheat sheet.
Image credit: Getty Images
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