Is it time for your brand to invest in Snapchat? The audience is there, waiting. A whopping 52% of Snapchat’s 100 million daily active users are Millenials. According to eMarketer, “22% of senior ad buyers said they plan to advertise on Snapchat this year for the first time.” Your early-adopter competitors are starting to enter the Snapchat scene. Here are three things to consider when deciding how and when to test Snapchat for your brand:

 

1. Snapchat is easier for brands to launch than its social media predecessors  

With Snapchat there’s a lower barrier to entry than platforms like Facebook. By design, content disappears, meaning you can start today and it’s not going to look like your brand lacks credibility because you don’t have years of historical posts. Followers can’t see how many other friends you have. You don’t even have to create a profile page. If you don’t post stories all the time, it will be harder to gain traction. But then again, there is no record of how consistently or infrequently you post. All of these factors make it easier for brands to get started with Snapchat than any other social media platform.

 

2. Snapchat engagement is incremental

Instead of thinking of Snapchat as another place to post the same content you shared on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, think of Snapchat as the place to share behind-the-scenes footage of making whatever it is that’s Facebook-worthy. It’s the place for meta content:

 

  • Let’s say you’re a shoe brand releasing a new product. Rather than posting polished professional photos of the new product, take photos of the process of creating those professional, catalogue-grade pictures.

 

  • Alternately, you could be a B2B company trying to promote an upcoming webinar. On Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you can share the event and ask people to sign up for it. On Snapchat, share exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the webinar, silly pictures of your team preparing for the webinar, and more.

 

Here’s an example of Disney tweeting about how they will Snapchat a behind-the-scenes look at a movie set, inadvertently helping to promote the movie:

 

Disney_Snapchat

3. Snapchat advertising is in its infancy

There are still limitations to the Snapchat advertising product, which is called 3V. For one, the minimum ad spend is reportedly $100K, down from $700K. While this is a significant drop, it’s outside the reaches of most brands, especially for a still unproven branding channel with no clear path to conversion, or even a way to fact-check whether or not ads were seen.

 

Advertisers can’t embed a clickable link in ads other than including a non-clickable text overlay of the URL. This is good for Snapchat, but not so good for brands. Platforms like Pinterest and Twitter drive traffic to brand sites. With Snapchat, advertisers are paying to keep users on Snapchat—they don’t earn “owned” equity in the “bought-earned-owned” trifecta of the current digital landscape. On the flipside, the lack of off-app linking means user attention is more focused on a brand’s content.

 

Here is an example of a Snapchat ad screenshot:

IMG_5050

 

The current lack of visibility into performance is another constraint. But Snapchat is now talking about creating functionality for advertisers to track whether or not ads are seen. There are also reports that Snapchat is planning to build an advertiser API and hire someone to lead measurement efforts. We can expect progress and increased sophistication in Snapchat 3V in the coming months.

 

Where to go from here

If you haven’t already, it’s time to find out if Snapchat is right for your brand by testing the Stories feature. Build your audience and develop relationships with customers by sharing exclusive access to limited-time offers and a sneak peek into the inner-workings of your brand. Snapchat comes with a sense of urgency by definition, so use it to your advantage.