How to Cash in with Snapchat (Local Business Edition)
Snapchat is just for teens, right?
While Snapchat isn’t as big as Instagram or Facebook, it’s still a huge social media site with millions of users. And if your target audience includes Millennials, then you can’t afford to ignore Snapchat.
The trick, of course, is knowing if Snapchat is right for your business – and if it is, how you should be using it in your marketing.
How Popular is Snapchat?
I want to start with some Snapchat statistics because I’m finding that a lot of the local business owners I meet have ruled it out as a potential marketing platform.
Here’s what you need to know according to HootSuite.
- Snapchat has 186 million daily users as of 2018
- 78% of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 use Snapchat
- 54% of Americans between 18 and 29, and 35% between 30 and 49 years old, also use Snapchat
- Users upload three million Snaps per day
- In the United States, only 28.3% of businesses use Snapchat for marketing
What these numbers should tell you is that Snapchat is a huge, untapped source for marketing. You probably won’t reach as wide a cross-section of your target audience as you might on Facebook, but you’ll have less marketing competition – and a better chance of grabbing their attention.
Create a Snapchat Business Account
Ready to use Snapchat for marketing. You’ll need to start by setting up a Snapchat business account. The process is very easy. You can start by clicking here.
You’ll be prompted to enter your:
- First name and last name
- User name (this should be your business name or brand name)
- A password
- Your phone number
- Your birth date
Once your account is set up, you can attract followers, post content, and create marketing campaigns to help you achieve your goals.
Grow Your Audience
Attracting new followers on Snapchat isn’t difficult but you’ll need to do a bit of work. The first and easiest things you can do are:
- Add a Snapchat follow icon to your website
- Include your Snapchat ID and a follow link in your marketing emails and texts
- Post about your new Snapchat account on your other social media accounts
After you do that, you can also use some in-app tools to attract new followers. Snapchat allows users to send Snapcodes to users. You can also send ‘Add Me URLs’ to the people in your target audience.
We’ll talk about paid advertising a little later in this article.
Create Snapchat Stories
Snapshot Stories are Snaps that are meant to be viewed sequentially. Unlike stand-alone Snaps, which disappear almost immediately, Snapshot Stories live on the site for 24 hours before vanishing. They’re an ideal way to connect with your audience.
You should make sure to give your Snapchat Story a compelling narrative arc. Some of the Snapchat Stories I’ve seen businesses use include:
- Behind the scenes footage or tours
- Expert tips
- Fun facts
- Product demos
- Live events
- Special offers and coupons
When you create your Snapchat Story, remember that it should be fun. Make ample use of Snapchat’s stickers, text, and doodles. You should create your Snapchat Story with a specific marketing goal in mind and then have someone review it before you post it. Your goal is to create something entertaining and effective.
All the content you share on Snapchat should meet the site’s technical specifications. They are:
- File size should be a maximum of 5MB for images and 32MB for videos
- Image files should be in .jpg or .png format
- Video files should be in .mp4 or .mov format and H.254 encoded
- Full-screen canvases should have 1080 x 1920 pixels and a 9:16 aspect ratio
Adhering to these specs will ensure that your content is high quality – something that Snapchat’s sophisticated users will appreciate.
Tips to Make Your Snapchat Content Sing – (Chris Format into Checklist graphic)
One of the cool things about Snapchat is that there are lots of fun tools and tricks you can use to amp up your content. Here are a few of my favourites:
- Add an emoji to a moving target by tapping the emoji icon at the top of the screen before you post a video. Resize the emoji, drag it to where you want it, and pin it to the object. When you upload the video, the emoji will follow.
- Use the scissors tool to cut unwanted images out of your Snap before you post it. This isn’t a perfect tool, but you can get better precision by using your phone’s zoom feature before you outline the object you want to delete.
- If your video has audio, tap the speaker feature to add a voice filter to your video. There are several to choose from.
You can find a massive list of Snapchat hacks here.
Track and Refine Your Results
Like other social media platforms, Snapchat has some useful analytics that you can draw on when you pay for advertising. You can use them to track:
- Clicks to your website
- Clicks to your app
- Website conversions
- Catalogue sales
- Video views
- Lead generation
You can find complete details about Snapchat ads and policies by clicking here.
Once you’ve started using Snapchat for Business, you should keep an eye on the above results. You can use them to refine your Snapshot marketing strategy. You may notice that your video Snaps are getting far more engagement than your other content and adjust your marketing budget accordingly.
Marketing on Snapchat can give you a leg up on your competitors…
Remember, only a little over a quarter of businesses in the United States are using Snapchat. If your competitors aren’t – and they probably aren’t – then you can get access to a huge audience of Millennials and grab them as customers before your competitors know what hit them!