Thursday, May 29, 2014

Branding in a Snap

There are certain platforms that come to mind when you think of media used for branding- Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and...Snapchat? This photo messaging app is the newest way the younger generation is communicating with each other and how brands are beginning to communicate with their consumers. A few big name companies like Taco Bell, GrubHub, and even NFL teams, like the New Orleans Saints, are jumping on the Snapchat bandwagon. Despite showing an image for a maximum of 10 seconds, using the app has benefits that could make Snapchat the next big branding tool.

It allows for two-way communication with consumers. By holding contests and inviting users to participate, business are interacting with users, which helps to build brand loyalty and create a strong consumer base.

It positions brands as friends instead of companies. Just like friends, they are letting users in on their own secrets, such as sneak peeks at new products and behind-the-scenes footage.

There is little to no cost to interact with consumers. In the same way as social media, Snapchat can be used to market your brand cheaply and easily without paying for advertising space.

Simply put, it’s fun! Who doesn’t want to get a snap of a Beefy Crunchy Burrito directly from Taco Bell or one from GrubHub with exclusive deals and coupons?

There are, however, a few challenges facing brands when marking via snaps. The app almost completely relies on visuals with little room for text or messages, somewhat limiting brands’ messages. It also lacks the ability to track metrics. This makes it difficult to gather data and evaluate the success of a Snapchat ad campaign. Lastly, there is no “people you may know” feature, causing consumers to have to actively seek out a brand in order to add them.

No matter what the limitations of Snapchat may be, there is no arguing that the popularity of the app. According to Social Media Today, an estimated 26 million Americans are active Snapchat users and are mainly between the ages of 13 and 25. For marketers, those are prime brand loyalty building years, making Snapchat an invaluable tool.

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