Why You Should Make a Snapchat Story Your Story

By Hannah Fruchtman

A goldfish’s attention span is nine seconds and an average human being’s is eight. So I’ll get to the point because I have about three seconds remaining until I lose your focus. 

TV commercials get fast forwarded, billboards get overlooked, pop-up ads get blocked, and emails get sent to spam. Online advertising seems nearly impossible when removing it is as easy as the click of a button. Ramesh Sitaraman, a computer science professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst, conducted a study in which he found that the 6.7 million internet users he worked with were willing to remain patient for an average of only two seconds while they waited for a video to buffer. Additionally, a team at Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project conducted a study and found that people under the age of thirty-five crave instant gratification and have a loss of patience due to the hyperconnectedness of their lives. 

What does this mean for marketing your brand online? It means you should create short, shareable, content. Snapchat’s new service, Our Story, is a sponsored event played on Snapchat. It allows attendees to contribute to the Story which can be found in all 100 million daily Snapchat users’ Recent Updates feeds.

Via Snapchat


From an advertising perspective, especially if your target audience is comprised of Millennials, there should be no question about the decision to market on this social media platform. 

But First, Let Them Take a Selfie

The content in Our Story is created by the audience, for the audience. This gives the content genuine credibility because it’s coming straight from the consumer and is not produced with brand bias. Social media is used by adolescents and young adults to portray a sense of perfection to their followers and friends by selectively documenting the positive and enjoyable events and neglecting the rest.Therefore, the audience wants to show that they’re having a good time with your product of service. It’s like your product placement is done for you!

Curiosity Killed the (Snap)C(h)at

Concerned ten seconds might not be enough time to convey your messaging? 3M Corporation’s research concluded that humans process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. They say “Curiosity killed the cat,” and in this case, “Curiosity opened the Snapchat.” Taco Bell found that Snapchats have an 80% open rate, and a 90% rate of watching the entire video. To put this into perspective, Funny or Die found a 0.5% click rate on Facebook and Twitter and 10% click rate on the platform, Kik. The speed and privacy of watching a Snapchat video on one's phone makes the message seem special and intimate as if it were meant for each individual in your audience at that specific moment. Although the physical content disappears after a short amount of time the sentiment of the content resonates with viewers and sparks conversations. 

How It’s Done

Brands such as Taco Bell, MLB, Grubhub, Free People, and General Electric, just to name a few, are successful at marketing on the platform in innovative ways. For example, 16 Handles had users add the brand’s account on their Snapchat lists and send snaps of their frozen yogurt to receive a coupon. They sent coupon codes back on the platform, and the codes could only be redeemed in-store at the register. This strategy gave customers an incentive to engage with the product despite the fact that it was in the winter when sales were slow. This also helped 16 Handles create a user list that they can use when they send future promotional content. Similarly, the TV show Girls posted snaps from the premiere and season on their account. This gave viewers exclusive behind-the-scenes info about the show, tempting them to watch the show in its entirety. Guilty as charged, I saw a few of these snaps and binge watched the show shortly after. 

Measuring Your Reach

Snapchat shows the number of people that have viewed your story. The ability for users to interact empowers them to maintain relevant in real time, because the lifespan of shared Story is twenty-four hours. Snapchat does lack in providing marketers with a direct return on investment (ROI), but when you’re sending out a Story to 100 million users that’s a calculated risk you should be willing to take. So if you’ve got about $750,000 lying around in your budget, why not?

Have you used Snapchat to market your brand? Tell us about your experience!