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Cast your mind back to 2007. You may remember a little social networking site that was taking off at the time called Facebook. This MySpace alternative was initially only available to college students. To marketers and the everyday person on the street, this white and blue ‘message wall’ site seemed strange.

Few of us would’ve guessed that in 10 years time, most of us would not only have a profile, but check it at least 20 times each day. With that in mind, have you considered Snapchat as a credible marketing channel yet?

If you haven’t, take note — here are some of the ways Snapchat could become your marketing team’s new best friend.

Narrowcasting Over Broadcasting

With conventional media models, your ‘message’ will be compelling if you can get it in front of the eyes of as many people as possible. Back in the days of radio, TV, and magazines, advertisers would compete fiercely for the finite supply of column inches and airtime slots.

In contrast, with the creation of social media, the playing field is now open to all. This gives marketers the opportunity to build their own niche platforms for broadcasting purposes.

But the story doesn’t end there. Facebook has recently announced they will be altering the news feed algorithms. This puts a question mark over exactly how many people will see a brand’s latest post on Facebook.

Narrowcasting, on the other hand, turns the idea of broadcasting on its head. Narrowcasting represents the ‘one-on-one’ relationship between follower and content creator. And Snapchat is the perfect platform to experiment with the medium. Snapchat guarantees marketers that posts will receive up to 10 seconds of airtime before they disappear from the user’s feed forever.

You could, for instance, post a discount code and ask viewers to screenshot the snap to get money off their next purchase. The possibilities for creative promotional posts in 10 seconds are endless.

Paid-For Content For Growing Businesses

This year, Snapchat launched its Snap MMM Program. This scheme offers marketers a solution to help them amplify content on the platform.

Previously, the app didn’t include a profile discovery tab. This meant that content creators had to use other channels to drive fans to Snapchat. While sharing your Snapcode and handle on your other feeds will surely drive views, marketers now have more options for boosting their branded snap stories.

For growing tech and mobile startups, Snapchat’s accelerator program offers credit coupon opportunities, self-service checkout services for sellers, branded filters and more. The program runs in three pricing tiers: Kickstart, Sprint, and Scale. Kickstarter creative credits start at $10,000.

Lowering The Costs Of Marketing

Girl Clicking Selfie in Car - Mobile

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The Super Bowl is a huge national event, to say the very least. Every year, advertisers shell out millions of dollars to land these prime-time TV slots. However, last year, the big advertising winner of the Super Bowl turned out to be Gatorade.

The marketing team had the simple idea of creating a football-themed snap filter. For around half a million dollars, Gatorade’s Super Bowl filter got 165 million impressions. Compare that to something like $5 million for a 30-second TV ad. More people saw the Gatorade filter worldwide than watched the actual football game. You do the math.

For smaller brands looking to spread their Snapchat impressions far and wide, there are even more ways to utilize the platform to generate website traffic.

Influencer marketing is another great option to explore on Snapchat. If you are in the early stages of a product launch, for instance, collaborate with prominent Snapchatters to see if you can get some early positive reviews.

You could also host and take part in account takeovers, where you guest post on an industry-leading account for, say, a week. Within these posts, you could set up a dedicated URL through your online storefront and attract direct sales from fans.

Tools like Bitly can help you track ROI and make shortened URLs for easy sharing. The options for influencer marketing collaboration stretch as far as your imagination. Compile a list of the influencers in your industry and start analyzing their content style before sending off your pitch.

Geo-Targeting As A Powerful Tool

Video Recording Snapchat Geofilter Stories

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By ring-fencing a location with Snapchat’s geo-targeting capabilities, brands can create up-to-date, compelling content to draw in engagement. You can submit branded geo-filters to developers for as little as $10. The costs are scaled up based on reach and timespan.

You can also submit branded stories under location hashtags to generate more free impressions.

For marketers and brands on the move, check what’s happening in your area on Snapchat and see if you can get involved. Alternatively, if you know of a big event, bypass the enormous costs of becoming a sponsor. Instead, get onto user’s screens with your own branded geo-filter and become part of their stories.

An Authentic Storytelling App

Ship and Sea Seen Inside a Bubble

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Snapchat has an easy-to-use interface that produces uniquely raw and candid footage. This bare-bones approach allows creative juices to flow. All you have as a marketer is your ability to present an exciting tale for your followers to click through.

Getting in front of the camera for an ‘off-the-cuff’ comment can seem overwhelming to those who are used to a strict protocol.

Usually, every article, photo, and social media post is OK’ed before it sees the light of day. But with Snapchat, this prim and proper approach puts people off. Getting your head around telling authentic stories will be vital to making your brand a success on this platform.

If you are attending an event, a generic post of one of the speakers or a selfie from your booth just won’t cut it. If you can, get a short interview with a concert speaker on your Snapchat or Facebook Live account.

There are different ways to use stories. Start by acting like a journalist covering your own brand story, rather than a publicist. Save the puffy PR talk for your other accounts.

Wearable tech and Snapchat drones are just two examples of the exciting developments yet to take off in the years ahead. Make sure you are working hard and gaining fans to reap the future benefits. Look to other brands and influencers to help you stay ahead of the trends.

About the Author

Victoria Greene - Writer, Brand ConsultantVictoria Greene works as a writer and branding consultant. She runs a blog called Victoria Ecommerce. Here she shares tips with marketers looking to build online traction through innovative ways.