Shortly after downloading Snapchat almost 2 years ago, the app was pushed into a folder away from my home screen and has been collecting dust ever since. After 5 minutes of use I just couldn’t get my head around the functionality and ultimately how I could utilise the app, nor was it something my friends, associates or peers were active on.

Fast forward to January 2016 and the buzz around Snapchat has moved up a gear, enough for me to re-visit the platform, spend time with it, get over it’s functional oddities and understand more about the marketing opportunity, more on that later.

The Buzz

Besides it’s reported value of $15 Billion ($3B offer from Facebook 2013) and 100m+ users, the platform’s demographic is changing, it’s growing up, which is attracting more users, brands and more opportunity.

Other notable Snapchat headlines that got my attention in the past month include a report the platform now delivers over 7 Billion video clips a day rivalling Facebook, President Obama joining the platform, a rumour Kim Kardashian is about to get her snap on and the Wall Street Journal signing up as a publisher, joining brands in the “Discover” option such as Mashable, The Verge, MTV, SkyNews, MailOnline and Cosmopolitan among others.

Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) has also jumped out the blocks in 2016 in his firm belief that Snapchat is in its moment, the sweet spot, citing the new demographic and immediate attention the platform provides. He has backed this up, active on the platform publishing daily stories which have provided some fascinating insight.

He’s not alone in his belief, Comscore carried out research a number of years ago on the tipping point that Social networks become mainstream. Analysing the rise of Facebook and MySpace, the magic number was 15/20% of the Adult population (US), at current rates Snapchat will achieve that in September 2016, furthermore use of Snapchat among 25-34 year old’s has grown by 69%. Source

Other digitals and influencers have also highlighted Snapchat’s strength, long before this blog post. Casey Neistat’s (@CaseyNeistat) video below sets the scene, posted over a year ago.

Hands-on

Considering the above, the nature of my business and despite my previous Snapchat experience, I decided it was time well spent to re-visit Snapchat. Earlier this month I spent a morning to really get to grips with the app, viewing content, finding out what makes it tick and how to leverage any opportunities.

It has been said before Snapchat’s UI does take some getting used to, it does, but in hindsight perhaps that’s its genius and has contributed to its growth over the years. A flood of Millennials fleeing Facebook because their parents friended them would feel suitably safe behind a UI many parents simply don’t have time to figure out.

After 20 mins hands-on, a couple of Youtube walkthrough’s and Google answering any other questions, I had gotten over any reservations about the interface and adjusted to its “sideways” swipe experience versus the familiar scroll downward.

The centre ghost icon is your contact hub, the “add from address book” option soon confirmed I wasn’t a Millennial (sob) with only half a dozen industry contacts with accounts.

After adding a handful of active digital influencers and brands such as Mashable I had stories (updates) in my feed. The Snapchat Stories feature has been a big success, Mashable did a great job of covering CES2016 with them, creative, short to the point as well as the personal, live, exclusive nature of the content. Creating content be it video or images is very straightforward and the overlays, filters, emojis and scribble provide the options for creativity. Check out the walkthrough below from @SunnyLenarduzzi.

The Business Case

Snapchat Stories for Live events, behind the scenes, product advice, walkthroughs, announcements, day to day life, vlogging etc. This will vary depending on the nature of your business and goals but Snapchat’s growth and evolving demographic makes a compelling case to take a look inside. Find out if your competitors are already serving content, what are they doing, search for content related to your business, if there isn’t any, there’s your opportunity!

Personally, I like the ability to combine video and images, using the overlays and graphics, it doesn’t take very long at all to create something original that tells a Snapchat story or delivers a message. This content can also be downloaded to cross promote on other social platforms, this is something I’ll be exploring in the coming weeks for my digital related content.

Snapchat certainly has the momentum, for the unfamiliar it’s like a hybrid of Instagram & Facebook with more creativity, fewer rules, making other platforms look flat and one dimensional.

If you are a marketer or business owner I’d definitely recommend giving the platform some thought within your 2016 strategy. I’d expect to see more UK budgets heading into content for the platform and no doubt we will see more of the ghost with call to actions in the coming months.

Are you already using Snapchat? will the recent buzz or this article make you re-visit the platform? Let me know in comments below along with your Snapchat username.

neilmchugh on Snapchat

 

I am not affiliated with this app, service or business, nor is this a paid or guest post. My posts are not commercially influenced, and all opinions are my own.

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