Oh snap! What marketers can learn from Snapchat's success

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Snapchat is the communications app whose powerful appeal to millennials makes it a prime target for brands wanting to engage the demographic. But what makes it so special? The app's massive popularity has revealed new appetites in consumers that many brands struggle to fulfill or even identify.

Snapchat is re-defining how audiences share and consume content; therefore, brands must adjust how they reach their audiences if they wish to stay relevant.

They are experience-driven

The days of consumers accepting a brand's promise as what they should expect from a product or service are quickly fleeing. Customers want products and services that someone like them, another consumer, have vouched for. Reading a review is great but watching a real life experience is powerful. Snapchat's real time content is experience based, capturing individuals at their most exciting and casual times. It bleeds authenticity and summons positive associations in the minds of viewers.

Companies would benefit from adopting this philosophy now. Creating marketing strategies around the engrossing and authentic experiences of customers is a sure way to boost conversion rates.

Using augmented reality (AR) to keep audiences engaged

Snapchat playfully introduced the world to AR long before PokemonGo existed, and users have loved it. The lens feature from Snapchat displays an overlay image onto the user's face that distorts a real-time video or image. They typically react to a user's movements, like when they open their mouth. Snap Inc offers brands custom lenses for 24 hours that range from $250,000 to $750,00 and up depending on the day requested. AR has proven to be a popular topic in 2016 and will prove to be a powerful marketing tool in the near future.

While virtual reality (VR) removes users from reality to experience content, AR can add important context to reality. L'Oreal Paris has been using their AR Makeup Genius app since 2014 to display what individual products would look like applied to a user's face. Brands who have been successful at using AR usually aim for a fun light-hearted experience for their users but it can be used for more practical applications like displaying how a pair of shoes would look on customer's feet.

Nudges users to create, not just consume

When you open the Snapchat app you are met with the app's camera, not an endless timeline of advertisements and nonsense. Snapchat wants users to create and share memories not just watch someone else's. Great marketing campaigns should inspire consumers to action through subtle nudges. If a marketing plan doesn't lead a targeted audience to an action, it is failing.

Instead of pushing ads or publishing content detailing all the facts, brands should create content that asks consumers to get involved. Brands can ask for ideas that would make their products or services better and offer prizes to the most helpful, or set up in a public area and let people try it. The more fun buyers are having the more likely they are to buy.

Snapchat is popular because it is fun, interactive, personal and somewhat elusive. These traits capture audiences and bring them in droves to the successful app. A brand that can utilize these traits and create an experience for their audiences will draw them in, boosting brand awareness and profitability.

What do you think? Leave a comment below to add your thoughts on the subject.

Article sources

http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/why-advertisers-are-forking-over-big-bucks-custom-snapchat-lenses-172417

http://blog.ama.org/the-power-of-an-experience-driven-brand/

Experience Driven Marketing

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