How Snapchat Has Become A Hot Platform For Digital Marketers


May 12, 2016


Social Media


Marketing Professionals

As Snapchat continues to evolve so too does its user base. It launched in 2011 as a photo and video sharing app where the content would self-destruct after 24 hours. But now companies and brands are signing up to use it as a marketing tool to reach their target audience in a more creative and direct way.

Snapchat has 100 million daily active users, with an average of 9,000 photos shared every second. It’s also Facebook’s main competitor when it comes to video content with 7 million videos per day. According to IPSOS MRBI’s April 2016 poll, Snapchat is the most-used social messaging app in Ireland with the percentage of daily usage being 72 per cent.

Snapchat has changed and is changing the face of digital marketing. According to social media manager and internet expert Jeff Bullas, “Snapchat is raw and real. Not much polishing is done there. And the law of scarcity can be used to drive traffic to your blog, landing pages and online portals.”

So why is Snapchat the go-to platform for digital marketers?

The photo and video sharing app offers digital marketers the opportunity to run brand campaigns.

World Wildlife Fund in Denmark and Turkey used Snapchat to warn of endangered animals in their ‘Last Selfie’ campaign. They were inspired by the disappearing nature of Snapchat’s content (10 seconds) and how they could relate it to the problem facing many species around the world. The emphasis of the campaign was to underline that if action is not taken, these species will disappear for real, just like Snapchat’s content.

This campaign was pure genius at getting the message across to the audience and without Snapchat, it wouldn’t have had the impact that it did.

Cadbury’s loves Snapchat’s tag line of “life’s more fun when you live in the moment” as it ties in perfectly with the Cadbury mantra of #Freethejoy.

A spokesperson for the chocolate company said: “It was a natural platform for us to spread the moments of fun and joy with people. However, it was an untested space.

“Although we knew people were using the Snapchat platform, we found it difficult to get the actual numbers. In the lead up to Easter, we wanted to explore new ways to engage with our audience with the Creme Egg brand. We decided to take the risk and have the first-mover advantage. This completely paid off and we were delighted with the final results.”

After the success of the Creme Egg filter, the company made the decision to introduce a Crunchie one.

“We have already activated it over three Fridays with one more coming shortly. They are the perfect opportunity to allow people to #FreeTheJoy no matter where they are.”

Cadbury was keen on Snapchat as its users are highly engaged with the platform, spend large amounts of time interacting with the lenses and want to be first among their friends to discover new features.

Snapchat is attractive for digital marketers because it allows them to connect with the audience in a direct way, which leads to massive exposure.

Niall Harbison, founder of Lovin’ Dublin, uses Snapchat because he feels it’s “where the audience is at these days”.

“It allows us to get massive exposure and engage with our audience in a very direct way. Unlike the paid platforms like Twitter and Facebook you can still get a large organic reach with Snapchat and that appeals to us big time.”

Snapchat allows digital marketers to take the audience behind the scenes in the working world of the office, give them direct access to events such as trade shows, conferences and product launches, host Q&A sessions and even run promotions and competitions on the platform. For example, snap a code to get offers, or enter a competition via a snap to the company’s account.

Confectionery company, Mondelez, ran a Snapchat contest that offered participants the chance to win $10,000. All they had to do was snap a photo of a TimeOut chocolate bar, modify it using Snapchat’s features and send it to the company’s account. And the best thing? Audience participation was crazy.

Snapchat is a really creative and different way of doing social media which is why all people involved in digital marketing are keen to embrace it. Messages on Snapchat demand to be looked at now as they have a short shelf-life of 24 hours. Snapchat’s fun element and fast-paced nature allows marketers and brands to create exciting, bite-sized pieces of content that keep the audience coming back for more.

Paddy McKenna, editor of popular site, is a big fan of the app. “JOE’s Snapchat is built on humour, insight and relatability. Our reporters used it every day in France at Euro 2016 to give those at home regular snapshots of the crack the Irish fans were having following the Boys in Green.

“We’ve also used it to interview Olympic athletes, have buzz-bands like ‘Walk the Moon’ take it over for day and to grant our users exclusive backstage access to music festivals like EP and Longitude.

“It’s just a brilliant way to tell live stories and stay in touch with our audience.”

Michael Freeman, editor for online site The DailyEdge, is all about originality when it comes to content.

“We’re investing resources to post original stories on our Snapchat every day. This isn’t stuff that’s copied from the site, or shots of computers in our office. It’s unique content that’s not published anywhere else. We’ve done weird taste tests, Pokémon tutorials, gone behind the scenes in gourmet donut shops… you name it.”

And why are they doing it?

Freeman says: “Because it’s such a powerful way to connect with our target audience of young Irish influencers. We want to be part of their conversation every day. We’ve found that the engagement and feedback we get from our Snapchat audience is richer than anywhere else. They tell us what we should post, what stories they want, and we listen.”

This is why it’s so hot. It’s fresh, it’s unique, it’s original, and it’s creative. You can be as silly and as crazy as you want and still reap in the benefits.

The power of Snapchat is too hard to resist. The direct contact with the audience, the uniqueness of its features, and its increasing popularity are all key factors as to why it’s become such a hot platform for digital marketers in such a short time.

If you’re not on Snapchat, get on it.