Some businesses are still hesitant to invest time and energy into establishing a presence on Snapchat – especially since the ephemeral nature of the app means content disappears after just 24 hours. But learning how to market on this social video network allows brands to connect with a younger demographic on a highly engaging platform.
With over 150 million people engaging each day, Snapchat’s daily active users surpassed Twitter earlier this year. Snapchat’s core demographic is 13 to 34-year-olds, but the app is gaining popularity among older users and more brands are realizing its marketing potential.
So even though the content only exists for a day (unless the creator saves it to their Snapchat memories), it can be well worth the effort to create high-quality content that consumers will actually want to watch. Plus, it’s pretty fun to use once you figure out the basics!
How to Do It
From the main app screen, you can either take a picture or a record up to ten seconds of video. Simply tap the circular button at the bottom of the app to take a picture or hold and press it to record. Videos will automatically play back on loop if you want to re-watch it before sending it to your contacts or adding it to your Snapchat story.
Once you’ve got the perfect shot or clip recorded, it’s time to get creative. The buttons in the top right corner of the screen allow you to overlay text, add emojis and stickers, and even draw something on the image or video.
Next, you can add a filter by swiping a finger across the screen. The available geo-filters change depending on your location and often feature text and images based on your city or proximity to major events. Plus, Snapchat offers a rotating collection of masks and special effect filters that make it easy to add even more interest to your content. And if you want to get really involved, you can create a custom Snapchat geo-filter for your own brand or event.
When your content is ready to share with the world, click the blue arrow on the bottom right corner so you can select which contacts to send it to and, more importantly, add it to your Snapchat story. Go back to the camera to add multiple clips and images throughout the day to create a cohesive, ongoing narrative about your brand.
What NOT to Do
Even businesses familiar with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn experience a bit of a learning curve on their journey to master Snapchat. It’s not a typical social platform and comes with its own set of rules and engagement etiquette. When creating Snapchat content, avoid the following mistakes:
- Don’t be overly serious, scripted, or polished.
- Don’t forget to open and respond to replies from your contacts.
- Don’t record horizontally unless the subject matter requires it.
- Don’t overthink it – everything you share on Snapchat disappears after 24 hours.