According to eMarketer, almost one in every five Americans will use Snapchat this year. Snapchat is also on track to expand its active US user base to nearly 59 million by the end of 2016, putting its active user count ahead of both Twitter and Pinterest.
With updates like Snapchat Partners and the acquisition of Vurb, promising to propel the emerging channel into even greater growth, now’s the time to get in and find the right content and strategy that works best for you.
But how do you track and optimize on a channel where the content disappears?
We’ve rounded up a few neat ways we’ve learned to use the link to do that and more.
1) Drive & Track Traffic
You swipe right, left, up, down. Tap. Snapchat is an endless loop of content that keeps you engaged right within the app. It’s great for the user, but a little tougher for marketers since there’s no way to organically drive traffic out onto a landing page or a branded app.
But Snapchat doesn’t have to be a black hole.
KIND recently used Bitlinks to both drive followers to shop their site and track engagement. KIND posted a snap calling followers to shop using the branded short domain, “kinded.com/1ULuvX2”, along with a promo code, “SPRING15.”
Followers, driven by the urgency, can then quickly and easily remember this shortened URL and type it into their browser to land on the product page.
Back in the Bitly dashboard, KIND’s campaign results would look like this.
Using Bitly Campaigns, a feature of Bitly Enterprise, KIND would be able to see both the macro and micro view of how all of their efforts on Snapchat are performing.
The team can see that they received for example, a total of 7.8K clicks across all of their Snapchat marketing. This number is pulled in in real-time, showing both the performance over time but also by day and hour.
From the data above, it looks like the Snapchat campaign in December performed a lot stronger than the one in January, so this would be something to look into and learn from.
2) Find The Right Kind Of Content That Works
We’ve seen other brands use Bitlinks to test the effectiveness of certain types of content on Snapchat, like still images versus video.
Back in the Bitly dashboard, there’s a view to dig deeper into how each link performs by channel. Here, brands can do some serious A/B testing and get really granular.
The Social Quant, a tech company with a platform that helps clients build engaged Twitter audiences, uses Bitlinks to optimize their CTAs on social.
“Bitly allows you the opportunity to effectively test different copy to see what gets more clicks and what’s a complete dud,” says CEO Mike Kawula.
Kawula and his team regularly tests copy and visuals across different tweets to see which combination drives the most engagement around their blog posts.
“We’ll send 3-4 tweets the day a post goes live to see what gets the most clicks,” Kawula explains. “We review that data the next day and take the most clicked tweet and put it in a bucket of tweets that gets tweeted consistently.”
By keeping the blog post constant but using different Bitlinks, Social Quant has been able to learn what types of CTAs most resonate with their audience, and has seen over 25,000 new visitors a month just from Twitter alone.
The same strategy can be applied to Snapchat. It’s all about setting a hypothesis, and testing against that until you find the right mix of content that resonates most with your audience.
3) Guide Users To The Right Place
Research shows that the average smartphone user only really uses about three apps. On top of that, paid ads to promote app installs are expensive. Salesforce reports that the average cost per install (CPI) for paid apps is $3.39.
Bitly Mobile Optimizer, a feature of Bitly Enterprise, can be used to organically drive followers directly from Snapchat into your app to shop or engage with multimedia content.
On the backend, the dashboard in your account shows a full view of metrics such as app opens and store visits driven from Snapchat.
One major media company was able to leverage Mobile Optimizer to create a seamless user experience for their audience. Instead of sending followers to the mobile browser, the company ensured that viewers would land on individual episodes directly in the app.
Mobile Optimizer can help organically promote app installs and re-engagement, snap after snap.
Beyond That 10 Second Window
As the platform grows increasingly saturated, it will be even more important to engage with and listen to consumers beyond the 10 second lifespan of a snap.
This means driving consumers out of the app back to branded content, taking them one step closer to downloading or purchasing your product. It also means getting a holistic view of how Snapchat fits into your greater marketing strategy.
Since the link lives everywhere – email, SMS, social – you can use Bitly see how much engagement Snapchat attributes to a certain campaign, or just marketing as a whole.
Keeping this big picture in mind, you can build a highly personalized, seamless experience that starts from Snapchat and ties together every touchpoint your consumer comes across.