Morgan Buell
Morgan Buell 4 April 2016

Dear Marketers, You Have 10 Seconds

Snapchat & the value it brings to brand marketers.

As I walked to the subway last Tuesday morning, I passed an oh-so-obvious millennial male whose professional “work attire” immediately caught my attention. He was well-groomed in mahogany leather oxfords, well-tailored denim pants, great hair and, unexpectedly, a quaint backpack with none other than a nostalgic Disney star, Donald Duck, emblazoned across it. 

I instantly thought of the perfect snap: #Adulting.

I was compelled to do a bit of research on my fellow millennial’s accessory choice and at $60 a pop, I am certain this was an intentional fashion decision. Furthermore, from the looks of Asos site, it is a trendy purchase that is currently sold out. 

There is no denying that we are in an era where standing out is key to fitting in. We are so bombarded by technology and copious distractions that marketers have to do something so ground breaking, that it gets people excited to talk, share, and engage. But what if that “ground-breaking” attention-grabbing moment is only 10 seconds long? That’s what Snapchat claims to deliver.

There are three key areas of Snapchat that you should be aware of:

  • Live Story: Users build their Snapchat story that is live for 24 hours
  • Discover: Publisher Content
  • Snapchat Story Explorer: Snapchat curates & weaves together a collection of videos submitted by users in a particular location or around a popular theme, such as Super Bowl. These videos can generate 10 to 20 million views.

There are pros and cons with Snapchat’s new vehicle (or phenomenon) for delivery of your brand message. Pro: The days of million-dollar, multi-day, strenuous creative rounds on TV commercial production for one 30-second spot are long gone. Con: Your brand content has a full lifespan of 24 hours. But the biggest challenge that marketers seem to face is letting go control of their brand content and just creating … fun

But does it work? 

Snapchat influencer, DJ Khaled (@djkhaled305), informed the New York Times that Snapchat is the “major key” to his multimillion-dollar success. Once known for his DJ-ing abilities, DJ Khaled has launched his personal brand through relentless positive postings and signature phrases that now generates two to three million views per post. This content helped land endorsement deals with Ciroc Apple, a new clothing line and, most recently, Obamacare.

CPG brands leverage Snapchat stars to connect with audiences while building their social following. Coca-Cola, for instance, has been working with social media star Cody Johns to work the app for Coke during major events. Johns hosts takeovers on Coke’s app for events it sponsors like Nascar races. To generate excitement for the takeover, Johns’ posts tune in messaging and plug the events on his personal account. Influencers are able to drive their audiences to follow the brand, effectively transferring their trusted voice.

Snapchat has also become a destination for media and organizational partners to produce great content. The NFL became deeply invested in Snapchat late last year as the first sports partner for Snapchat Story Explorer. This is a key promotional vehicle for NFL that extends its reach to up to 10 - 20 million views per story. The NFL leveraged this asset as a monetization strategy for the Super Bowl. Sponsors, including Pepsi, Amazon, Marriott, and Budweiser, spent seven figures on the short video ads that will be interspersed in the NFL’s live story.

Marketers can seize the seconds with three tactics:

1. Don’t Brand it, Influence it: Snapchat is a vehicle for entertainment; viewers seek their friends and relevant content experiences. Snapchatters are vehemently opposed to your commercial here, so understand that your brand may not need its own Snapchat Channel. Rather, build trust with consumers through influencer relationships.

2. Message & Brand Relevancy: Story-telling with video has become the most compelling form of content. Maintain consistent messaging and key phrases to establish your brand voice. Geo-targeting and timely content is a great way to be relevant. Plan your marketing calendar around key tentpole events or seasonal thematics to be on trend.

3. Social Amplification: Increase your reach and awareness by supporting the content you create on Snapchat across all social platforms. Simplify brand handles across platforms to allow consumers to find & tag the brand in content more easily. If leveraging influencers, ensure their agreements include sharing and promoting the relationship across social. 

Say goodbye to the traditional. Fleeting entertainment is here to stay. Will you become more invested in Snapchat personally or professionally? Share below or tweet me @morgan_buell.

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