Nicholas Scalice
June 26, 2016

How Can Your Business Effectively Use Snapchat?

With so many social media platforms now playing an integral role in digital marketing, it can seem overwhelming as you try to figure out which ones will be best suited for your brand. And while not every business may be a perfect fit for Snapchat, this smartphone-based social media app has long surpassed the title of “up-and-comer” to become one of the most popular (and important) social media platforms for marketers and non-marketers alike.

Here’s a closer look at why you shouldn’t ignore Snapchat and how you can use it effectively as part of your marketing efforts.

Getting started

Let’s begin with some statistics. Business Insider reports that “Snapchat reaches 41% of all 18 to 24-year-olds living in the US. That’s in contrast to the top 15 US TV networks that reach only 6% of the same demographic.” When you consider how much time (and money) most marketers pump into their TV advertising, this statistic quickly makes it clear that Snapchat offers much greater opportunities—at a much lower cost—for those trying to market to millennials.

How Can Your Business Use Snapchat?

Better yet, Snapchat’s users are highly engaged. The average user spends nearly half an hour on the app every day, viewing and creating content. And since users can only watch one “Snap” at a time, messages bear a much lower risk of being completely ignored (such as what happens with rapid scrollers on Facebook or Twitter). 

Using Snapchat effectively

So you see how Snapchat can be an effective way of reaching your audience, especially if you’re targeting millennials and teens. But what do you need to do appeal to your audience there?

First things first, you need to make sure your pre-existing audience is aware that you’ve created a Snapchat account. Use existing social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote your account and help build an initial following. After that, your success is largely dependent on the quality of your content. These tips will help you get on your way to creating an engaging Snapchat experience for your audience.

1. Make it unique — Snapchat’s method of sharing brief video and photo snippets is unique from other social media platforms, which means it deserves fresh, original content. No one wants to follow an account that simply recycles your Twitter feed. Social Media Examiner notes that DJ Khaled has achieved Snapchat success by providing insights and commentary that are 100% exclusive to the platform, a move that helps his followers develop a stronger emotional connection and “feel they’re on the inside.”

Whether it’s a behind-the-scenes look at your company, a lighthearted interview, or even an exclusive product reveal, unique content is key to retaining and growing your Snapchat audience. And of course, it doesn’t hurt if you can incorporate a fair amount of humor into your content.

2. Leverage influencers — Just like how YouTube and Instagram influencers can help marketers on those platforms reach new audiences and achieve greater marketing success, so too can Snapchat influencers help your brand. As Elegant Themes notes, leveraging the power of Snapchat influencers can allow you “to promote your product to your targeted demographic in an organic way.”

Whether these influencers are participating in endorsements, temporary “account takeovers” or other campaigns, an influencer partnership provides your target audience with a more convincingly authentic message, while also exposing your brand to a new group of followers.

3. Exclusive incentives — Exclusive discounts and other deals have long been considered a great method for engaging social media audiences, and Snapchat is no different. This can be done through interactive contests that require users to reply with Snaps of their own, or simply by providing a Snapchat-exclusive code for access to a promotional deal.

By offering Snapchat-exclusive promotions, your users are more likely to remain highly engaged with your content and recommend it to others. 

Measure, adapt, repeat

Even with these tried-and-true methods for building an audience, many marketers have long feared that Snapchat is unable to accurately measure content reach and effectiveness, especially in comparison to more established platforms like Facebook or Twitter. However, even in this regard, Snapchat is quickly catching up. The company recently added Moat as an additional third-party metrics/analytics measurement partner. Companies such as Nielsen, comScore and Sizmek are already providing analytics data to help marketers better understand the effectiveness of their Snapchat advertising.

How Can Your Business Use Snapchat?

Just like with your other social media marketing efforts, you may not necessarily see instant success with your Snapchat campaigns. Or perhaps you’ll see some campaigns deliver stellar results, while others are less-than-optimal. Thankfully, with the analytics tools now available, you can effectively determine which ads are engaging your target audience and make adjustments when necessary to achieve better outcomes.


For any business trying to reach millennials and teens with its marketing efforts, Snapchat has quickly positioned itself as an essential player in the digital marketing realm. Ignoring it could cause you to miss out on key opportunities to connect with your audience, but as you use effective Snapchat marketing methods and take advantage of the platform’s analytics tools, you can create a powerful messaging platform to achieve superior digital results.

So, is your brand on Snapchat? Are you thinking about it? Let me know in the comments section below. And of course, happy snapping!

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Nicholas Scalice

Founder at Earnworthy
Nicholas is an inbound marketing consultant and the founder of Earnworthy. He focuses on helping brands get attention, gain trust, and generate sales using powerful inbound marketing tools and technology.