Three reasons to engage millennials, Gen Z on Snapchat

Jul 12 , 2017

Reprinted from South Florida Business Journal.

Social media companies with 26-year-old CEOs might frighten the financial markets, but not the growing numbers of millennials and Generation Z Snapchat users.

Not just your teenager’s social platform, Snapchat now counts among its users 40 percent of Americans 18-34 who together watch a total of 10 billion videos a day. GE, Taco Bell, Gatorade and other large advertisers have paid attention – and a high price to advertise. And results have been good, with more than 8 percent of Gatorade viewers more likely to purchase post-campaign.

Last week, at the South Florida Interactive Marketing Association’s annual Pubcon SFIMA Summit at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, speakers Brett Lindstrom of CBS Sports and Social PR Secrets author Lisa Buyer told how Snapchat self-serve ad tools, while not nearly as robust as Facebook ad buying tools, are now offering smaller organizations more affordable advertising options.

Sponsored geofilters

Lindstrom pointed out advantages of Snapchat’s sponsored geofilters for local event promotions from sports to retail to weddings, and the fact that they are currently very affordable for smaller businesses.

It is also important to note that even big businesses – such as Uber, Twitter and Pinterest – have used these geofilters to brand their headquarters locations. So smaller businesses could benefit from the halo affect of doing this for their organizations, as well.

The Snapchat ad tool provides maps to “fence” the area where promotional ads will appear within specified time frames, usually not longer than 30 days.

“And since you can buy an ad that appears for as little as six hours within a 3-mile radius, you can reach an amazing number of viewers for under $500,” Lindstrom said.

“These costs will go up,” Buyer added. “So if you are going to test Snapchat geofilters, do it very soon.”

Lindstrom, who has used the sponsored geofilters with much success for sports events in Tampa, advised to build in planning time for Snapchat ad pre-approvals, which usually take 24 hours, but not all ads may be approved.

A Snapchat Guide for Business, which gives buying detail, is available online.

Spectacles videos

During the presentation, Buyer put on a pair of the new Snapchat Spectacles with a built-in video camera. Fun, stylish-looking sunglasses, they can capture 10-second video clips by pressing on them lightly. For Snapchat users, this offers a way to string together a series of videos to answer the question “How was your day?”

For the creative business user, a string of 10-second videos can be the platform for a surprising one-on-one presentation, introductory email or explanation of a “day on the job” for new hires. It’s a blank canvas for business.

A path to augmented reality

To a degree, the future is here, in terms of possible entry into the augmented reality space. Already armed with an augmented reality section offering various facial lenses and the like, Snapchat is almost there. While today’s Spectacles act as a camera, could they, in the future, play back an augmented reality experience?

It’s possible that the acceptance of the glasses may be similar to the stylish replacement of the traditional watch by Apple Watch. Buyer even had prescription lenses in her Spectacles.

Snapchat continues to roll out fun, new ways for users to view and share on its platform. It reported user views increased 350 percent in one year.

While there’s no doubt it has a visual advantage, the real advantage for advertisers is an intensely engaged user base that accesses the platform nearly a dozen times a day to check in on friends and share their own and their friends’ videos multiple times.

In fact, if they are so inclined, they can download videos and then upload them to Twitter and Facebook. Now that is “super sharing” on multiple platforms – a true competitive advantage.

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