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Is Snapchat the next great marketing tool?

Matt Leonhardt - Dec 26th, 2013

SnapChatSure, most people view Snapchat as a way to send risqué photos that have a short-lived existence. But does Snapchat contain more value for businesses to potentially hone in on?

Remember back when tools such as Facebook and Twitter faced criticism when spoken about in a professional setting? And look at their influence on marketing today. Social media has completely revolutionized the landscape of traditional marketing, and those who grabbed first-mover advantage are among those who have thrived in this new era of social advertising.

Snapchat has only made one upgrade in their brief existence, and it wasn’t all that impressive. After facing recent scrutiny regarding holes in their security systems, said systems were hacked leading to a leak of 4.6 million accounts. Still, there are many people predicting Snapchat will rebound and right their ship.

Included in their sole update of the app is the new setting of “My Story.” By creating a “snap”, rather than simply selecting whom to send the snap to, users now have the option to set the photo/video as their “story.” This enables anyone on their contact list to view the snap as many times as they would like for 24 hours. For those who are unaware of what a snap is, the term refers to any photo or video taken with the app that has a user-controlled expiry time of 10 seconds or less. The beauty of My Story is that the user can create media lasting longer than the traditional 10 seconds. Multiple media clips can be stacked on top of one another, with the next appearing as soon as the former has completed.

Screen shot 2014-01-06 at 8.11.21 AMThis is where opportunity lies for companies to promote. You know how whenever you turn the TV on, companies are posting their Facebook and Twitter information at the end of their commercials? In this humble ginger’s opinion, I’d expect to see the little Snapchat ghost appearing beside the twin towers of Facebook and Twitter on those commercials sooner rather than later.

By creating and displaying a corporate Snapchat account, this will give prospective consumers the required information necessary to begin receiving snaps from that business.

  1. Viewers add company
  2. Company gathers large contact list
  3. Company creates 10 second promotional video and sets it as their story for all to see

With the new feature allowing for multiple videos up to 10 seconds a piece, businesses can get creative with stockpiling videos and photos together to create longer advertising if desired. And fittingly, with today’s generation losing interest with things quicker than ever it seems that <10 seconds is perfectly suited with our attention spans anyways.

Will Snapchat be around forever? Doubtful. So somebody playing Devil’s advocate may suggest that diving into Snapchat could be a waste of time for businesses. By the time they figure out how to efficiently use the tool it could be on its way out. But then again, what if it’s here for even a little while? It’s free, relatively simple, and if used properly could provide some great advertising. Just please, no #selfies.

Written by self-admitted selfie taker, Matt Leonhardt ( Snapchat: MLeonhardt90 )

[sociable]

Matt Leonhardt is a recent graduate from the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria. Sports Fanatic. Beer pong enthusiast. One of the few fun Gingers.

5 Responses to “Is Snapchat the next great marketing tool?”

Chris Burdge

Read an interesting article in Forbes today about why Snapchat founder turned down a $3B offer from Facebook. Dude has some kahunes (sp).

Time will tell if he was right. WIth so many options open to marketers these days for connecting and staying connected with customers it’s a lot of work … for us, bwahahaha!

Reply

Helen

Great article Matt! I’m not convinced about SnapChat, but my daughter and I will convincingly help you shatter the reputation of there being a shortage of ‘fun Gingers’ ;).

Reply

    Matt Leonhardt

    Haha, thanks Helen. I always appreciate the ginger love!

    Reply

Rob Shemilt

Great article Matt! My much younger than me daughter(19) got me on Snapchat sometime ago and although I’m still trying to master the 10 second view it’s cool. The younger generation seems to need stimulation and something new so often that I’m sure Facebook’s day’s are numbered. Snapchat may have wheels and takeoff!

Reply

    Matt Leonhardt

    Thanks for the comment Rob. Snapchat does take some getting used to.. Let’s see if/when businesses can start cashing in!

    Reply

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