It’s still not uncommon for people to argue that marketing on Facebook and Twitter doesn’t work.
“There’s no direct ROI,” they argue. “You can’t measure the business value.”
Well just imagine what these people would have to say about using Snapchat for marketing.
It could either be seen as the nadir of digital marketing or the very cutting edge of social engagement – messages sent directly to your target audience that are short enough to hold their ever-decreasing attention spans.
The use of Snapchat Stories makes marketing initiatives more viable, as it allows users to weave together a collection of photos and videos to create a narrative.
Stories last for 24 hours so they can be viewed multiple times before eventually disappearing.
In this post I’ve rounded up eight examples of brands using Snapchat for marketing, some of which have been experimenting with the Stories feature.
For more on this topic, read our posts asking whether Snapchat is right for your brand and looking at seven other brands that have jumped on the snapchat bandwagon.
Fashion retailer American Eagle used Snapchat to give people an exclusive look at its autumn 2014 clothing line.
It used the Snapchat Story function to build a more complete picture around the new launch.
Whole Hearted Clothing
I can’t say I’d ever heard of Whole Hearted Clothing before this week, so at the very least Snapchat has allowed the company to gain some useful PR exposure.
It uses Snapchat to give followers a look behind the scenes at its new products and clothing lines.
This builds a bit of excitement and also acts as a reward for its loyal customers.
Another brand using Snapchat to give fans a sneak peak behind the scenes, and I don’t mean showing someone cooking a Big Mac.
Instead McDonald’s has used the app to share photos of its ads being filmed, which includes shots of athletes like LeBron James, and NFL players Richard Sherman and Johnny Manziel.
It has also sent images of its food as part of a campaign to promote the launch of a new sandwich.
Lainey Garcia, the person in charge of McDonald’s Snapchat activity, has been quoted as saying that the brand is keen to explore the possibilities of driving one-to-one conversations with fans, using tools such as face-to-face video.
Sour Patch Kids
For those who have never heard of this brand (me included), Sour Patch Kids are sugary sweets made by Mondelez.
The product’s tagline is ‘first it’s sour, then it’s sweet’, which formed the basis of a Snapchat Story created by Vine star Logan Paul.
It’s a quirky, comedic way of promoting the brand while also taking advantage of Logan’s creativity.
Logan also sent some fans their own personal video messages.
At Coachella festival last year Heineken used Snapchat to give followers clues about surprise gigs.
Users who correctly guessed the artist were given early confirmation of an act scheduled for the Heineken House stage.
This is a clever way to create one-to-one conversations with its followers and reward them with exclusive content.
It’s also a good way to quickly attract a load of new followers who can then be contacted again in future.
Association of Surfing Professionals
Extreme sports always do well on social media as we’re all amazed by images and footage of people doing risky stunts.
The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) uses Snapchat to send photos of its various contests and events, but also does more creative stuff like sending autographed selfies from famous surfers.
This type of activity is a great way of rewarding fans as personal messages generate a huge amount of excitement.
As part of the treasure hunt it posted clues on Snapchat using the hashtag #EarnYourStripes.
People could then try and find a football that was hidden in the city to win a new kit.
Again this is a good way to attract a load of new followers in a short space of time, and is better than just sharing a picture of an advert.
Southampton also shares pictures of player interviews, pre-match build up, and other snaps from around the club. Such as these:
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) November 30, 2014
Audi initially used Snapchat during the 2014 Super Bowl to send people quirky images relating to the game and the halftime show.
It was part of a campaign to increase its awareness and popularity among younger consumers.
The Snapchat account was promoted via the car brand’s other social channels, and by the end of the Super Bowl it had attracted 10,500 followers.
Though this is a tiny number of people the Snapchat activity apparently accounted for more than a third of the brand’s social mentions during the game.
Audi has subsequently used Snapchat as part of its sponsorship deal with the TV show Pretty Little Liars, sending exclusive content and snippets of the stars in real-time.
When not focusing on a particular campaign Audi generally sends a couple of Snapchats each week.