Snapchat's rise is a growth marketing train you need to jump on

6 minutes read
Rich - 30.11.2015

Brands are taking advantage of new growth marketing strategies. Though the nature of the advertisements themselves are short, Snapchat is said to have the luxury of charging $750,000 a day to the big boys and girls of the ad world (McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Toyota, Nike etc).

Who would have thought Snapchat would ever surpass 6 billion video views a day? To put that into perspective Facebook is getting around 8 billion a day. Snapchat’s 6 billion is triple what it was getting in May, which is incredible considering only 100 million people are thought to use the app on a daily basis. What that indicates is that Snapchat’s users are hugely engaged with the app and its content, especially its Discover features which are being used by content creators such as The Daily Mail, National Geographic, The Verge, Huffington Post and many others.

Snapchat’s rise has been phenomenal, and with 60 per cent of users aged 13 – 34, it's a hot bed of "millennial" activity. It’s not perfect though. Like a lot of social channels, it's still trying to hammer down how it proves to advertisers they’re getting a good return on investment.

a brief history of snapchat

Infographic originally posted at

Still it’s a remarkable story, especially when you consider Evan Spiegel (Snapchat CEO) turned down an offer of $3 billion CASH from Facebook to buy the social app in 2013.

“There are very few people in the world who get to build a business like this… I think trading that for some short-term gain isn’t very interesting,” Spiegel told Forbes last year.

Many thought it ludicrous not to trade in his ambition for an estimated $750 million fortune. Snapchat’s most recent valuation of $16 billion suggests it was the right call, though some investors are queueing up to call for Snapchat to justify such an incredible figure, considering there isn’t really a visible, solid stream of income coming from it.

Using Snapchat for growth marketing

Understandably, some smaller businesses question what the point of Snapchat is and how it can help them grow. The above numbers are huge, but how does that relate to the start-up that wants to attract a targeted audience?

It’s easy to get lost in growth marketing stats and figures. Consider this instead; some of the world’s top brands are falling over themselves to associate themselves with Snapchat. FC Barcelona has recently opened an account, whilst Real Madrid – the world’s most valuable football team – used it to great effect in the build up to El Clasico.

Real Madrid’s fans got to see an official live story before the game through Snapchat to get users closer to the match day experience while those with tickets to the game could submit their photos and videos to participate in a separate live story feed.

It didn’t stop their team getting torn to shreds, though, and you could point out it’s easy for a brand with an established global fan base like Real Madrid to get people to engage with it socially (the club’s getting over 200,000 views per story since launching on Snapchat).

That attitude seriously belies Snapchat’s message to tell people a story in an instant. Let’s look at something a lot less popular than football; politics. Democratic presidential hopeful for 2016, Bernie Sanders, is aiming to reach out to Unites States’ millennials with his own unique Snapchat campaign.

It’s an interesting strategy, especially when a recent poll (commissioned by Snapchat) revealed that young users are very engaged with the platform and are likely to vote. "Two-thirds (67%) of Snapchat’s millennial users are likely to vote in the 2016 election, compared with 61% of millennials overall," the poll found.

Its Lens feature is also being used to great effect in the entertainment industry, with The Peanuts Movie using the sponsored lens system to engage with young moviegoers. Avatar Labs, commissioned by Fox Studios, came up with animated lens designs featuring Snoopy and Woodstock that users could put over their pictures.

And, as Snapchat continues its impressive growth, more ways to advertise will surely be opened up to all brands. So, how can you use Snapchat now for growth marketing and engaging with a (largely millennial) audience?

Well, the same as how you would advertise on any other social network. Find the strengths of the platform, follow people and influencers in your local area and industry, and engage with them as much as you can in an organic way.

Snapchat allows you to send people short videos and pictures that are viewable for a matter of seconds. Creatively you aren’t reinventing the wheel. But the message does need you to be in tune mentally with the people you want to attract who will engage with your brand and look to discover more as you continue to post in the future.

Try and collect data from people you’re looking to target either in-store or through polls online to discover if they use Snapchat or not and build up a picture of your average shopper who uses Snapchat.

Snapchat also offers paid advertisements via its 3V platform, though they aren’t targeted as Snapchat says it likes to protect its users’ privacy. Very noble, but harks back to the concerns of advertisers we mentioned before. Snapchat does offer metrics, though, to let people know who the ad has reached and its impact.



And with such a young online-savvy mobile audience to reach (which is said to be sceptical of traditional advertising), can you afford not to explore what social media’s latest great pretender has to offer?

The times are changing, outbound is outdated and in some cases, can be potentially dangerous for your brand financially and in a reputational sense. Big fines are being handed out to serial data offenders. With inbound you can avoid this and get the best from your leads so read our blog “How to create Inbound Strategy Masterclass” for more information.

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