Use Snapchat to Grow Your Business: Your Ultimate Guide to Snapchat Marketing

Use Snapchat to Grow Your Business: Your Ultimate Guide to Snapchat Marketing
Jay Gross

snapchat ghost with kids silhouettes of them on their phones

Snapchat is an often forgotten platform when people are talking about social media marketing.

But should it be?

There’s no denying that Snapchat has taken over the world in a way few could have predicted.

And its shelf-life has remained stable longer than anyone predicted too.

At first glance, it seems little more than a fun little social media platform to send pictures to friends and entertain yourself.

But it’s so much more.

In fact, it’s home for an entirely new generation of smartphone users.

And it’s a place where savvy marketers (like yourself) can connect with a new kind of audience.

If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines, figuring Snapchat isn’t worth your time or isn’t all that important, or maybe even waiting for it to fall on its face, perhaps it’s time to make a move.

Read on, friends, to find out why you should be marketing with Snapchat, to get your Snapchat marketing strategy order, and we’ll even throw in a few Snapchat marketing tips for good measure.

And if you haven’t checked them out yet, don’t forget to read our articles on social media marketing and content marketing to get an overall feel of social media, content, and the impact it can have on your business.

Snapchat Business Marketing – Should You Be?

man sitting on armchair shocked and showing snapchat on his cellphone

You should base the answer to that question on your content marketing strategy, but you should, at the very least, look into it.

Because it can be a slick and engaging way to interact with your audience in fun new ways – with Snapchat, you can build an audience and create a brand personality that people want to connect with.

What is Snapchat and Does it Work for Marketing?

Snapchat is a social media app where people can share photos or videos. You can also create stories, which are a compilation of “snaps” that you can upload.

Snapchat is also a great way to market your product or service as you can engage and interact with your followers and provide them with exclusive content.

Long story, short, it’s a good place for you to market if it fits within your marketing strategy.

Snapchat Users – Who’s on Snapchat?

Many businesses are turning to Snapchat to reach a younger audience.

If your target audience includes Millennials, you should look into Snapchat business marketing.

15-25-year-olds dominate the platform, so if your ideal customer avatar falls anywhere in or around that range, you’re in luck.

Less Competition and More Opportunity

The fact is, Snapchat still hides in the shadows, especially when it comes to marketing. Many businesses don’t even think of it in terms of marketing. But it’s there, and if the app fits your audience, it may be a great place to find them.

And a great place to find your audience where your competition isn’t.

So maybe it’s time to download the app, set it up (more on that below) and give it a spin.

Benefits to Marketing with Snapchat

computer facing each other one hand reaching out money to pay for a bag of merchandise from the other hand

Image by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

I can feel you’re still on the fence about marketing on Snapchat.

Understandably so – I would be too.

But before you walk away, consider these benefits to help you decide.

Snapchat Content is Different – and Engaging

Snapchat is an exciting tool for marketing; it doesn’t play like other social media tools.

But in that way (much the same way as the new Instagram stories), it gives you a chance to be more creative and engaging with your audience.

Snapchat Feels Authentic

Users love authentic content, and your audience will begin engaging and interacting with your brand content if you come across as such.

Snapchat is personal, and you can give your audience a very engaging, behind-the-scenes experience with your social media marketing plan.

On Snapchat, brands are creating new experiences that their audience embraces and engages with.

Reach a Brand New Audience

Maybe you want to reach a new and completely different audience. Maybe you created a new product or service, or realize you want to expand your horizons in your content marketing.

If so, Snapchat could just be your secret weapon to break into a new demographic.

Still with us? Maybe it’s time you set up an account…

How to set up a Snapchat Business Account

woman confused with a question mark on the wall

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

As always, the first thing you’ll need to do when you’re getting started with Snapchat marketing is creating an account on the platform. 

I won’t go in-depth on this, as you all have probably done this before.

But it’s important to note that there isn’t an option to create a business account at the moment like there is for Facebook. 

There’s a little more to it.

First, create a personal account and perhaps download the app (from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store).

Note: It’s a good idea to set up a personal account to play around and test the app out before going all-in on the business account. You can see if it fits with what you want to do.

Once you’ve created an account and are ready to move forward, it’s time to set up a Business Account.

And then the fun begins! It’s time to start snapping and creating campaigns!

Snapchat Marketing Tips: Go Beyond the Snap

Taking a snap is the simple part – and at times, that may be all you have to do.

But there are other cool and engaging features you can break out to give your audience a little more to look at and engage with.

Below are a few:

Use Text on Snapchat

One of the easiest things you can do to personalize your Snapchat content is to add text to the snap.

You can do this by tapping the ‘T’ icon in the top corner, or you can tap on an image you’ve just taken.

Use the Brush Tool on Snapchat

Another great way to customize your snaps is by using the brush tool.

Select the brush tool by tapping on the pen icon, just underneath the ‘T’ (text tool).

You can use the brush tool to add graphics, add a handwritten note, or even add emojis.

Any of these will add another aspect to your snap and can help increase your conversion rates.

Add a Sticker to Your Snap

Select the sticker icon (just below the brush tool icon) to overlay your snaps with stickers.

Snapchat has a bunch of ready-made stickers to help your snaps stand out from the competition.

Once you select a sticker, you can move and resize them as you please.

But wait, there’s more…

Create Custom Stickers on Snapchat

How about creating your own, custom stickers?

To create unique content by creating your own custom stickers, just upload an image you’ve taken, and you can use Snapchat to do the rest.

Once the image is uploaded, use your fingers to select the portion of the image you want to use, select the scissors tool (right below the sticker icon), and automatically save it to the Snapchat app as a sticker.

Note: You can also color, resize, and erase portions of the sticker as you wish. Play around and have fun.

Use Filters and Lenses on Snapchat

Let’s discuss the filters you can use on Snapchat.

If you’ve been on Snapchat for any amount of time, you’ve undoubtedly seen filters – they are possibly the most used feature on the social media platform.

As with these other Snapchat tools, filters can help you engage and create creative content for your audience.

There are two types that we’ll talk about here.

  1. Snapchat Geofilters – these are placed at the top of your snap and include information about your geographical location, local weather, and more. To do this, allow Snapchat to access your location by selecting ‘Additional Services > Manage’ and turn ‘Filters’ on. Once you do this, swipe right on a snap, and you’ll see different Snapchat geofilter options to add.
  2. Snapchat Lenses (or selfie filters) – I’m sure you’ve seen the snaps of people with dog ears or cat whiskers, and there are plenty more where that came from. Just click the smiley face icon at the bottom right (just next to the picture button) to get a whole slew of different lenses for your creative use.

Use Your Snapchat QR Code

Snapchat has made great use of QR codes, so you may have seen them before – It’s the ghost inside the (usually yellow) frame (which contains the unique code.)

Much like scanning a barcode, the camera on your smartphone can read QR codes. And each user has a QR code that’s unique to them.

Note: You can edit it for your brand as well (which we discuss below).

You can share QR codes across social media, in emails, in print, or even in person, making it easy for users to follow you. 

And the easier it is for users to follow you, the more followers you’ll gain.

Snapchat Stories

Snapchat Stories are made up of images, videos, or combinations of the two and are only available for 24 hours. 

You can customize Snapchat stories using the same tools mentioned above.

Again (tell me if this is getting repetitive) – it’s a great way to create more engaging content for your followers.

The idea is to keep your followers happy and engaged, create fresh and exciting content by changing things up and using all the tools you have in your arsenal.

But, Snapchat stories really may be the best way to market to your audience.

Taking single snaps and sharing with your audience can be sufficient to keep people engaged, but when you think of Snapchat business marketing, stories should come to mind as your most essential tool.

So, how do you post Snapchat stories? 

Once you create a snap that you’d like to add, tap the yellow arrow in the bottom right corner, and it’ll bring you to a secondary screen with a few options. Just tap on ‘My Story,’ and the photo will be displayed in your Snapchat story.

Create a Snapchat Marketing Strategy

Comics bubbles for emotions and explosions. Exclamations clouds for wow and omg, wtf and snap, bomb bang or boom explosion. Great for cartoon book or danger, pop dialog and burst theme

I won’t go into detail about creating a Snapchat marketing strategy (check out our social media marketing article for a deep dive into marketing strategy), but we’ll share a few tips to get you started.

Create Your Overall Strategy

What are you trying to say? What are you trying to showcase?

And how do you plan to do this?

Create your content plan, set a schedule, and abide by them.

As you become more and more familiar with it and see what’s working and what’s not, tweak your Snapchat marketing strategy to take advantage.

Plan Ahead

Set aside some time to plan your content ahead of time. 

If you’re trying to post every day at the same time, on the fly, without a plan, you’re going to fail. Your audience will stop paying attention, and your snaps will get no traction.

But if you plan ahead and know exactly what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it, then the Gods will favor you and you will start growing your Snapchat audience.

Digital Marketing Tools Tip: Don’t just plan ahead, create your content ahead of time if you can. This will take make it much easier when it comes time to post.

Post Regularly and Consistently

Use a content marketing calendar for this. Your audience appreciates consistent posting, no matter what platform you’re on, and Snapchat is no different.

So make a plan and stick to it.

Be Engaging

Not only within your snaps but in your responses to your audience too.

That’s right, you can’t just set it and forget it. You should respond to your audience too, especially if they say something first.

And don’t forget to actively use the platform and engage with other’s snaps as well.

Just like with any social media platform, engaging is half the battle.

Don’t Forget the Call to Action

Want your audience to do something? Tell them what that something is. 

Don’t forget to have a call to action in many of your snaps. A link to your sales page, your website, or tell them to come on down to your office, and they’ll get a free ice cream cone.

Create Urgency

If you’re marketing on Snapchat, it’s always wise to create urgency. Have a flash sale, a 24-hour sale, or a limited-time offer.

Let your audience know they can purchase your product for this price, but they better hop on soon, or they’ll miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime.

Track Snapchat Metrics

It’s always important to know what’s working, and what’s not.

So track your metrics to figure this out.

What’s your audience engaging with? What do they seem to like, and what do they not?

Alter your Snapchat marketing strategy to follow suit.

A Few More Ideas for Marketing with Snapchat

wall with hand and strategy written on it

Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay

Once you have your plan down and you’re regularly snapping, then it’s time to implement a few other tips for marketing with Snapchat that can help you increase engagement and grow your followers.

Don’t Forget About Video

Pictures are a comfortable place to start, but once you do, you’ll find video has the ability to do so much more for your business.

And your audience loves video too.

Ideally, you would have a good mix of both.

Tell Your Story

Have you been avoiding the Snapchat stories feature while you got acclimated? Understandable. But don’t forget, Snapchat stories may be the best use of Snapchat for marketing purposes.

Once you’re comfortable with the platform, start telling stories.

Experiment and Try New Things

There are many bells and whistles on Snapchat – try them all. Experiment and see what works for your brand and your audience.

Show Off Your Behind-the-Scenes Experiences

Your audience enjoys seeing behind-the-scenes images and videos. Show how something is made, introduce some of your key players, show your office staff having fun celebrating a coworker’s birthday.

It gives your brand, your business, you a more human side.

Stand Out by Showing Your Brand’s Playful Side

Long story short – have fun. People love to see a brand’s playful and fun side, and Snapchat is an excellent platform from which to do it.

Snapchat Marketing Tips for Business

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

We’ve gone through marketing strategies, but now it’s time to get to some Snapchat marketing tips.

These aren’t all necessary, but when you want to inject a little something into your Snapchat marketing strategy, grab a few of these that work for your campaign and implement them.

Customize Your QR Code (or Snapcode)

You can only change your QR code so much, but you can customize it a little.

You can’t (nor would you want to) change the actual code since it’s already unique to you, but you can add a logo or image inside the ghost, and you can change the background color (though the last part isn’t recommended).

Create a QR Code for Your Business

Speaking of QR codes, you can also create one just for your business.

Fancy, eh?

You can enter your URL to direct people to your website and a custom image (or your logo).

This way, you can share this with everyone and make it easier to drive people where you want them to go.

And you can add this to any marketing campaigns you run.

Speaking of…

Add Your Snapcode to Your Campaigns

It’s not a bad idea to add your Snapchat QR code to any marketing campaigns you run.

It’s a fast and efficient way to drive people to your website.

Get Creative with Filters and Lenses

Pro tip: You can create your own filters and lenses.

Think about that for a moment; what can you do with that information?

The sky’s the limit, my friends.

  • Create a branded filter.
  • Design a sponsored Snapchat geofilter.
  • Create custom, branded frames to frame some of your product pictures or events.
  • Can you create fun lenses that show off your fun side while showing off your brand?

Get creative and have fun!

Interact With other Users

We’ve already mentioned it, but it’s so nice, we’re saying it twice.

But in all reality, interacting with other Snapchat users will prove to pay off in a big way. So take a little time each day, or every other day, to do just that.

And while you’re interacting…

Don’t Forget About Private Messaging

Many platforms are finding private messaging to be a vital marketing feature.

On Snapchat, you can reply to a user’s specific snap or portion of a snap story, and your reply will be sent as a private message. And your audience can do that to you as well – make sure you’re responding.

Last but not least…

Make Your Snapchat Stories Public

If you’re hitting Snapchat marketing hard,  you may want to reach a broader audience.

Lucky for you, we can do just that!

Go into your Snapchat settings (the gear icon), scroll down until you see the option ‘Who Can->View My Story’. From there, select the option ‘Everyone.’

This will ensure that everyone who follows your account can view your stories. And I’m sure you want to get your stories in front of as many eyes as possible.

Are You Ready for Snapchat Marketing?

snapchat ghost with rainbow coming from its mouth

Snapchat is the fast-growing, not-going-anywhere, be-creative-and-fun app of teens and young adults.

And while it may not seem like much on the surface, there’s massive potential there for businesses.

If you’ve done your homework on social media marketing, you know the demographics of your ideal customers, your brand and style fits, and you’re ready to try something new, Snapchat marketing just may be for you.

Go through the steps above, create your account, and begin your Snapchat business marketing journey.

And last but not least – have fun, engage your audience, and grow your Snapchat following to new heights every day.

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