Mobile apps function provide leverage for brands that are eager to find new ways to promote themselves. In the world of mobile apps, traffic distribution is unbalanced.

Rand Fishkin informed us from his Whiteboard Friday that the top 25 to 50 apps get almost 80% of the mobile traffic and the rest 20% traffic is distributed among other apps. Brands are out of options when it comes to choosing an app for promotion.

Among the limited apps available to use for offering users a captivating brand experience, one is Snapchat. The app was introduced in 2011 and by the second quarter of 2014, Snapchat users were exchanging 700 million daily messages.

Benefits of using Snapchat

For brands, two the utmost benefits of Snapchat are:

Personalization: Brands have been exhausting all available marketing resources to bring a personalized feel in their interaction with their audiences. Snapchat guarantees personalization. The snaps last for only few seconds but as held by Jessica Maslin of DayDreamCinema, offer audiences “a glimpse into the lifestyle of your company.” It’s just like receiving a message from a bud.

Multimedia elements: Even though text messages are allowed, users prefer sending each other videos and images. Multimedia content is the game changer in today’s digital marketing landscape. A brand can win the audiences by connecting to them on Snapchat and sending high-quality videos because it has the resources to create such videos, which ordinary users lack.

Snaps are automatically destroyed after these are viewed by receivers. That reduces the load from Snapchat’s server and makes the communication fast. Another benefit.

Here are the Snapchat best practices for brands to follow:

Create engagement

Even though Snapchat is for lighthearted entertainment, it can be used by companies to promote brand awareness, share their visions and of course, entertain people. The automobile giant Audi partnered with Onion Labs during the Superbowl 2014 and created private snaps for its followers. The snaps, even though low-tech, drove a remarkable engagement and Audi’s followers shared many of those snaps on their Twitter feeds. From this campaign, Audi gained 5500 new Snapchat followers.

Product promotion

Brands can use Snapchat to raise product awareness or inform their followers about new entries in their product line. A cosmetics company called NARS has done something similar to this. In 2013, the company used Snapchat to release a preview of its Guy Bourdin color cosmetics collection.

Access to the content was made conditional, as in, only those who’d add the user called NARSissist on Snapchat were allowed to see the preview. Two other channels that NARS used for promotion were Twitter and Instagram and the NARSissist account was on both channels.

The strategy was lauded by social media experts for not only being innovative but also for being cross-platform. Other brands can come up with their own customized strategies to promote their products on Snapchat; the platform allows them to be as creative as they wish to be.

Live event broadcast

Maybe broadcast or streaming is not a suitable word, but I am using it here so you get the sense. Snapchat is a mix between Vine and Whatsapp. You can capture something in real-time, be it a sport event, music performance or an international trade summit, and message the snap to others.

The message receiver see the live footage but, you need to send them a series of short clips instead of a long-duration video. A brand can host an event and show it to its followers through a string of snaps. One would have to follow the brand on Snapchat to access the content, because it would be private and exclusive.

Visual storytelling

We need to keep in mind that due to the growing importance of visual content, storytelling is now visual storytelling. Snapchat lets brands harness its power. On Snapchat, users can add stories by collecting and arranging photos and videos and broadcast those stories to their followers.

Albeit this feature is not exclusively for brands, its benefits are. By adding several images, a brand can create a story about itself. Its followers can view the story multiple times in 24 hours. After 24 hours, the story will disappear.

What this means is a brand can engage with its followers on Snapchat and treat them with delightful stories every day. It can even set up a creative team solely for this purpose. The brand can also keep a tab of people who view its stories.

Strategic partnership with influencers

Finally, a brand can expand its follower-base on Snapchat by entering into strategic partnership with influencers. The influencers are individuals who have scores of followers either on Snapchat or outside it.

NBA has done this, so has Red Bull. Here’s how they planned and executed this innovative strategy of theirs:

NBA case study: When Kevin Durant was given the Most Valuable Player award, the NBA created a story using three photos. Fans felt excited by the story and visited the to view Durant being handed the award real-time.

Red Bull: The influencer was Mark McMorris, an X Games champion and a snowboarder from Canada. McMorris’s journey into the Big Bear Mountains was captured and Red Bull used the content to entertain its followers on Snapchat.

What’s interesting to note here is the said brands didn’t hire celebrities. They teamed up with influencers, who are people with a fan-following but not celebrities. Because this strategy is not exorbitant in terms of pricing, mid-size brands can follow it too.


Snapchat is a unique social network. Ordinary users love it as they stay connected to their friends and don’t miss anything happening around them. And brands, as we have discussed here in this article, also have enough reasons to love Snapchat.

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