When Snapchat first came out in 2012 it was used mostly by teenagers to young adults who would send photos to each other and then see those photos disappear within minutes of opening them. But in 2013 Snapchat introduced “Stories” which quickly became the more popular function. With Stories you snap a photo or video and put them together into a single video creating a “story” that is shared with your friends. Much in the same vein as Snapchat photos, these videos disappear after 24 hours. So if you snooze, you lose.
Snapchat took this video concept one step further. The historic New York snowstorm of January 2015 had many users taking photos and videos. Choosing the cream of the crop from users contributions, a team at Snapchat strung together these photos and videos into one huge “story” and published it onto every user “My Friend” list. In the end, 25 million users watched the compiled “story” and then, like any other Snapchat story, it disappeared after 24 hours.
Since that first compiled story, Snapchat has put together many others about football games, New Year’s Eve, the Daytona 500 and so many others that had staggering views in the millions. With 100 million daily users and video traffic of more than 7 billion clips each day it is stirring up some serious competition with Facebook videos and Facebook has 15 times more users!
Some noteworthy points:
- Whether it’s 10 minutes of a photo view or 24 hours of a video view, Snapchat has users full attention to what is being shown, advertised or marketed in a medium that is engaging and fun.
- If you are trying to reach a young audience, Snapchat is the place to do it because research shows their users fall between the ages of 18 and 34. This is a particularly difficult audience since you need to bring your point across but in a way that is genuine and entertaining.
- Traditional advertising can get boring and lost in a sea of others vying for the same audience. With consumers spending so much time on digital products, Snapchat offers a fantastic new platform where hotels can tell their “story” in real-time reaching out to millions rather than have a stagnant advertisement present itself to users and not knowing if it was actually viewed by the user. With Snapchat photos and videos the user must press and hold the button to have the story played through. If the user lets go of the button, Snapchat will recognize that the interest in it was lost.
- Snapchat photos and videos are viewable for a limited amount of time and not archived for possible later viewing like Facebook. This opens all kinds of social media marketing possibilities: You could build anticipation for and toward the actual presentation of promotional offers such as giveaways, discounts and coupons.
Snapchat has only been around for a few years but the possibilities for its use are promising and, according to predictions by social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk, Snapchat will become one of the top platforms in 2016. Don’t miss out!