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Snapchat for business: How to reach Millennials through storytelling

Snapchat for business: How to reach Millennials through storytelling Carlos Gil

Marketing is always evolving, and the key to being successful comes down to one thing: do you have the attention of your audience?

Let's be honest. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter's engagement are at an all-time low. They have become pay-to-play platforms with lots of noise but there is one platform that marketers are underestimating and underutilizing -- Snapchat.

While most brand marketers relentlessly try to figure out how to reach more than 1 percent of their Facebook fans, Snapchat has figured out how to retain, engage, and keep audiences coming back for more content every single day.

With 100+ million daily active users and 6 billion daily video views, Snapchat has become the fastest growing social network in just four years since its inception.

Once thought of as an app only used by teens, Snapchat is used by more than 60 percent of 13-34-year-olds in the U.S., a demographic which is expected to outspend Baby Boomers by 2017. So if you're trying to reach this audience, then Snapchat is the sandbox you need to be playing in. 

I've personally been on Snapchat since 2013 and watching its evolution has been incredible. Just in the last 30 days' leaders in the Business World such as Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, have gone 100 percent in on the platform.

Here's a snapshot of the results I have seen:

  • 80 percent higher engagement throughout my daily story over other social networks

  • 30 percent increase of my YouTube channel subscribers

  • Increased traffic on clicks to my website

  • Collectively grown all complimentary platforms due relationship building and audience being dialed in

  • 25 percent increase of my email list subscriptions

To put this into context, I receive between 800-1,000 views per "snap," which are seen as photo's or short-form video. Throughout the course of my day, if I post 10 snaps to "My Story" -- a compilation of content over a 24-hour period -- that's 10,000 impressions by followers who are genuinely engaged with my personal brand, unlike Twitter or Facebook, where content disappears instantly into an endless sea of tweets, posts, rants, GIFs, and nonsense.

So why should brand marketers care?

The psychology of Snapchat is at the core what makes Snapchat stand out over all other social channels. The fact that posted content disappears within 24 hours forces users to keep coming back, which creates a stickiness factor that cannot be matched elsewhere.

Tell me -- as a consumer, when was the last time that you felt compelled to go see what your favorite brand tweeted or posted to Facebook?

On the surface, since its user interface is stripped from display ads, Snapchat seems to be the anti-brand network. However, at the same time, it's where consumers actually are going to see what brands are going to post next.

Its unique user interface and features don't place emphasis around followers or vanity metrics. Instead, it's about storytelling and engaging your audience in the most compelling manner possible.

Telling your brands story 10 seconds at a time can be challenging for most marketers, but that's where marketing is headed -- micro-content makes for micro-moments. Consumers, especially Millennials, value their time and want to be engaged in the quickest manner, which makes Snapchat the "Twitter meets YouTube" of social media.

Imagine if you're Home Depot and want to show your community how to make home improvements. Instead of producing a high-quality YouTube video, which you'll likely end up spending thousands of ad dollars promoting on Facebook, you can use Snapchat to deliver the same message over a few snaps.

As Snapchat content is native to the platform, cross-promoting your brand's Snapchat account across your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email is recommended -- and a good tactic for growing your brand's presence on Snapchat.

Whether you're a personal brand, small-to-medium business, or large company, there are a variety of ways for you to strategize around the content you execute to become successful.

Take a look at these three brand examples on Snapchat.

MGM Resorts

To activate its Snapchat in a big way, MGM Resorts leveraged CES 2016 by placing a giant Snapchat ghost in the form of a poker chip on the Luxor hotel, which caught the eye and attention of more than 100,000 event-goers in Las Vegas. Snapchat influencers were also tapped to share the MGM Resorts experience as part of their daily stories.

Taco Bell

The brand focuses on creativity and engagement. Its stories circle around its menu, giving its audience a unique perspective on how to mix and match its food. In recent occasions, it has partnered with Shonduras (Snapchat Influencer) to promote and launch new food items on its menu. Taco Bell sets the bar for how brands should be speaking to younger Millennial consumers -- it's fun, catchy, and engaging.

Mission Impossible (Paramount Pictures)

For the release of the movie, the production studio partnered with multiple Snapchat artists to activate a variety audience around action-packed creative stories. By leveraging influencers yet allowing them creative freedom, content was distributed across multiple accounts with unique perspectives from each creator.

We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg. It's important to understand that platforms such as Snapchat are redefining how people consume and engage with the brands that influence their decisions. Creating great stories and providing your audience with content that resonate on the platform that they spend the most time on is crucial to gain their attention.

If you enjoyed this article, let's take the conversation over to Snapchat, where you can find me at TheCarlosGil.


Carlos Gil is an innovative, bilingual (English/Spanish) executive with extensive corporate marketing experience engaging consumers via digital, social media, mobile and e-mail channels. His excellent written and verbal communication skills help him...

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