By Charlie Balk
Brands are flocking to Snapchat in droves. As Twitter stock drops and Instagram becomes treated more and more like Facebook (same advertising back-end), it's understandable that social media marketers feel the call.
Snapchat's rapid growth can be largely attributed to its commitment to innovation. It's able to consistently add new features such as filters, lenses, and stories, while staying true to its main selling points of privacy and exclusivity. It's no wonder the size of its user base grows and that brands follow behind.
Here are three brands whose efforts on Snapchat really caught our eye:
Don't let my gushing introduction make you think Snapchat comes without flaws. The platform is not very user-friendly OR brand-friendly.
But in some ways, those warts are where Snapchat's true beauty lies. Figuring out ways to be innovative and engaging through the confinements of the app force marketers to get creative. Mountain Dew chose to create a choose-your-own-adventure narrative through Snapchat.
Innovative: Check. Engaging: Check.
The narrative began with a Snapchat story that activated followers to continue through screenshot CTAs. By prompting fans to screenshot their choice of next steps in the story, Mountain Dew was able to tally up the vote and choose the next steps. In this case, the story was leading up to the Super Bowl, and followers were able to decide on the details of a Super Bowl Party. This use of Snapchat was brilliant.
Snapchat is positioning itself as a competitor to television. Five years ago, this concept would have been unthinkable. YouTube and Netflix (and Hulu and Amazon) have proved that screens are screens and content is content. Snapchat stories fuel 10 billion video views per day. MTV's decision to revive a classic show through a new medium is one that we expect to be very successful when it debuts in June. By taking a proven formula that has great nostalgic value with millennials, and then translating it for younger generations into a medium they prefer, MTV has shown its investment in innovation. And on a personal note, I'm really looking forward to this!
The two prior executions were as cool as they were difficult, especially for teams with limited resources. What Jeep is doing is somewhat more practical for many brands. It ran a content series sharing user-submitted pictures and activated its followers to vote for the best one—similar to the Taco Bell example—by screenshotting their favorite. The photographer of the winning snap will be awarded a special surprise. This example proves that you do not have to have have a huge dedicated content team in order to create campaigns on Snapchat that are creative and engaging.
These are just a few ways brands are taking advantage of Snapchat's features. Snapchat's lenses and geofilters are two other big opportunities for brands to drive views and uses, but their impact can be limited because they do not necessarily encourage follows. I'm very excited to see what the future of Snapchat holds and what other inventive uses for it brands are able to find!
What's the best use of Snapchat you've seen from brands? Share your examples with the Likeable Team below.