Snapchat and it's possible advertising  opportunities

One of the latest innovations to hit smartphones is the now-infamous app known as Snapchat. With its wide reach and young demographic, its utilization could prove extremely beneficial to the right businesses. In fact, it might just revolutionize the way we think about advertising. I know, that sounds pretty lofty for one social media app to achieve, but stick with us. Here’s what you need to know about it so your brand isn’t left in the dust.

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a photo-sharing mobile app for your smartphone. Users can add captions and unique drawings to the images and videos they take. It’s sort of like texting but with pictures and videos.

One of the most unique things about Snapchat is the “self-destructing” feature. When you chat with a friend by sending them a photo or video, the ‘snap’ is deleted seconds after its been opened by the recipient. Users can choose for their snap to be deleted after 1 to 10 seconds. Doesn’t sound like you do a whole lot, right? Well, check out these numbers:

-More than 26 million users in the US alone (12% of smartphone users!)
-70% of those users are women
-400 million snaps are sent per day (and growing)

Why Snapchat is important for your brand:

Snapchat’s capabilities have predominantly been used for peer-to-peer photo sharing thus far. However, the app introduced a new feature last year called Stories and many suspect this was done to directly target advertisers. As a result, brands began imagining a new way to utilize the app to get closer to consumers. A select number of well-known brands like Taco Bell and Acura have already began testing its capabilities.

With numbers like those listed above, how could they resist attempting to reach such a wide audience? The demographic doesn’t hurt, either. 26% of all 18-29 year olds who own a cell phone use Snapchat and this number will grow exponentially in the future. That means this platform is key for brands attempting to reach a young group of consumers who are often difficult to engage.

How you can build customer relationships with Snapchat:

Mobile Coupons: Frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles sends discount codes to customers who send them snaps of themselves or friends eating at their locations

Giveaways: Ticket provider Chat Sports has used the platform to give fans a chance to win tickets

Tell Stories: The New Orleans Saints use this new feature to regularly send out images of behind-the-scenes footage inside and outside of the stadium

Introduce a New Product: Taco Bell sent a preview snap of their new Beefy Crunch Burrito

Snapchat could prove to be the next great market for advertising, at least for the younger generation. However, just like every other social media platform, consumers could become overloaded by advertisements and turn away from the app. Just like with your social marketing on other platforms, you will need to find a way to be authentic and organic to the ways consumers use Snapchat to find success.

What do you think about the app’s possibilities for marketers?