This article was originally published on reverb, Drake Cooper’s reflections on advertising, creativity, and trends. Read more.

Mastering Snapchat: 5 Brands That are Doing it Right

Break through the clutter, cut through the noise, stand out in the crowd. Anyone who works in the ad world undoubtedly lives and breathes these mantras. Pushing communication toward consumers is easier than it’s ever been, but with this convenience comes a cluttered market and messaging chaos. In a landscape where every brand fights to have their voice heard, consumers tend to unconsciously block out ads as noise. These days, it’s not enough to push out communication aimed at customers.  Brands that break through have a way of starting and perpetuating ongoing and authentic conversations with their customers on social media.

So how does a brand distinguish itself from the competition?

Mobile apps like Vine, Instagram, and Twitter are transforming what we know as traditional media marketing, and even traditional social media, and turning social strategies upside down. As brands rally to  adjust to the changing landscape, some are finding more success than others.

One of the mobile apps that brands (as a whole) have struggled to master is Snapchat. This application is based solely on human interaction, which is key to brand loyalty and establishing a stable, more loyal consumer base. Snapchat launched in the iTunes App Store in September of 2011 and is proving to be extremely popular with the younger demographic that most marketing and ad agencies are working (and struggling) to reach. That being said, the cost of connecting with consumers via ‘snaps’ comes at little or no cost. When you compare that to other forms of advertising, Snapchat is economically appealing while being engagement-heavy with this hard-to-reach demographic.

Snapchat changed the game in October of 2013 when it came out with a longer conversation format called Snapchat Stories; allowing users to play (and replay) a snap story for up to 24 hours, versus the standard 10-second snap that users were accustomed to using. Brands are now able to communicate creative, continuous content to their users on a more consistent basis.

Maximizing the Potential of Snapchat for Your Brand

You may be wondering what all of this means for your brand. Should you attempt to break through the clutter? Ultimately, you must decide how you want to communicate with your consumer base. Before deciding if Snapchat is right for your brand, consider the following:

  1. Research, research, research. What are your competitors doing on Snapchat? Do they use it effectively?
  2. What do you hope to gain from Snapchat? You will unquestionably receive different accolades from snapping culture content than snapping discounts and deals.
  3. If you want to get in the Snapchat space, you have to be invested 100%. Constant contact with your audience on other channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, reminds them that you’re on Snapchat, and you’re killing it. Decide if this is something you can devote a lot of time to, if you aren’t consistent, they will forget about you the moment you fall off the radar.

If you decide that Snapchat is right for your brand, I recommend offering exclusive content only through your Snapchat channel. You can do this via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Once you drive customers to your channel, establish a consistent tempo and don’t stray from the schedule.

5 Brands that are doing it right:

If you want to know how to knock this opportunity out of the park, look no further than these five brands who are absolutely destroying the Snapchat game. Put on your thinking cap and get ready to be inspired.

1. Audi

Audi owns the Snapchat world. During Superbowl XLVIII, Audi partnered with Snapchat to raise awareness with the Millennial demographic. They used the opportunity to reinforce their “Stay Uncompromised” message. Needless to say, it was a huge success (See for yourself in the video above). They gained over 5,500 followers over the course of the game, one of the largest spikes Snapchat has seen in the mobile app’s history.

2. Comedy Central

com

Comedy Central uses Snapchat almost solely for getting hilarious content out to their fans. From short snippets of the popular shows on their channel to stand-up comedy bits that are only a ‘swipe-up’ away, Comedy Central has ingrained themselves into the minds of the Snapchat community as a “must-watch” every day.

3. Food Network

food

Food Network is one of the most impressive and creative brands on Snapchat. Popular content includes mini-videos with mouth-watering recipes, simple do-it-yourself meals, and unique drink concoctions that keeps their fans begging for more.

4. CNN

cnn

CNN tends to stay away from the strict and formal setting that they have established in all of their other mediums. On Snapchat, this news network is whimsical while conveying news stories. This strategy has proved effective in helping them to connect with Snapchat’s younger demographic.

5. Buzzfeed

buzz

Buzzfeed does an excellent job of getting fun, interactive content in front of its users. From humor to interactive quizzes to delicious dessert recipes, Buzzfeed keeps their users coming back for more.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Taco Bell (tacobell)
  • GrubHub (grubhub)
  • EA Sports (easports_snaps)
  • Acura (acura_insider)
  • Wet Seal (wetseal)
  • MTV (mtv)
  • McDonald’s (mcdonalds)
  • Ellen (ellen)

What does this mean for your brand?

If you take one thing away from this article, have it be this: Snapchat should be an experiment for your growing brand – where you get in the sandbox and test different types of content to see what resonates with your followers. The content you put together should surprise your traditional audience. Find ways to animate the information you want them to remember, test formatting and content-type, and learn from what your audience tells you by how they do (or do not) interact with you. By doing this, and learning from the digital conversation you are having with them, you’ll find your brand’s own unique way to keep your younger crowd wanting more, and guessing what comes next.

 

References:

Giolio, J. (n.d.). 5 Creative Ways Brands Are Using Snapchat. Retrieved January 11, 2016, from http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-case-studies/5-creative-ways-brands-are-using-snapchat/

Walgrove, A. (2015, October 14). Infographic: How the Best Brands Use Snapchat. Retrieved January 11, 2016, from https://contently.com/strategist/2015/10/14/infographic-how-the-best-brands-use-snapchat/

8 Brands Rocking Snapchat. (n.d.). Retrieved January 11, 2016, from http://mashable.com/2013/12/05/snapchat-brands/#gallery/brands-rocking-snapchat/52a0500b97b2f829ce0009cd

10 Brands on Snapchat Right Now | Simply Measured. (n.d.). Retrieved January 11, 2016, from http://simplymeasured.com/blog/10-brands-to-watch-on-snapchat-right-now/#sm.13mak6d1dm7e1ox938awwnt5gl