By the time you finish reading this sentence, 9,000 photos will be shared on Snapchat. That’s unbelievable! I remember when Snapchat first launched in 2011, people judged it too quickly, undermining its photo-disappearance and treating it as another gimmick for teenagers. Shortly after, Snapchat made its way up the ladder, becoming the third most popular social network among millennials. Today, it has 153 million active users, who in total, send 2.5 billion snaps each day. Clearly, the social media giant is doing something right!
As a content marketer, should you be on Snapchat? The answer is still debatable. However, you should definitely use the platform in your personal life to get some inspiration for your content strategy. Below are 4 valuable things I learned from using Snapchat that can help boost your marketing efforts:
1. Make Your Content Fun to Read
A popular myth in B2B marketing is that your content has to be formal in order to be taken seriously. But making your content fun to read does not detract its credibility or educational value. In contrast, it helps readers grasp your information more lightly. Not to mention, your B2B product or service is probably not as interesting or visually captivating as the next iPhone 7. Therefore, your content should be able to stand on its own.
Snapchat has given companies another platform to connect with their audience on a one-to-one level. Renowned news organizations like CNN, Mashable, Huffington Post, and the Daily Mail are using Snapchat to inform readers through a playful user experience. They all use a similar technique which you can implement to enhance your content: incorporate moving visuals like GIF’s and videos to catch readers’ short attention spans. When you swipe up to read their articles, you get more context, which is intertwined with cool visuals.
2. Embrace the Time Limit
The perk (and some may argue, ‘the downside’) of Snapchat is the time-limit. Videos and photos only appear for a few seconds before they disappear and cannot be retrieved – or can they?! While you may perceive this to be a challenge, marketers can use Snapchat’s instantaneous nature to their benefit.
Realistically, your audience are in a hurry. They are hurtling through thousands of content pieces each day and don’t have time to read through big chunks of text. What media outlets on Snapchat do best is keep their content simple. Every sentence should contain one thought. Every paragraph should be short and to the point. Don’t forget to give proper attention to headlines across landing pages, blog posts, ebooks – this is the most important part of your content. You should tell it straight by using plain English – words that people encounter in every-day life. Especially for your mobile-savvy audience, the more concise you are, the more readable your content will be.
3. Inject Personality Into Your Content
Ideally, people want to be friends with people not brands. Snapchat allows companies to find their human voice. Whether it’s publishing photos of employees or using awesome geofilters, companies are trying to give a ‘behind the scenes’ feel to connect with viewers.
But Snapchat is not the only place where you can reveal your company’s personality. Another approach is to showcase employee success stories. This can be done by focusing on a “day in the life” of a specific employee, or even providing thought-leadership tips from one of your executives. You can also get started with employee advocacy. This is about empowering employees to share your company content across their personal channels, which helps to humanize your online brand.
4. Get Your Audience Involved
Finally, as an avid Snapchat user, I learned that audiences matters most. Publishers and journalists joining the Snapchat ecosystem are tailoring their content to their audience’s habits, interests, and expectations. They are experimenting with interactive formats that invite participation and engagement. This is done in the form of polls, quizzes, and contests, just like the one below:
I believe the answer is C 🙂
If you want to keep your audience coming back for more, you should make them part of the process. Try to gamify your content through the different avenues mentioned above. Ask your readers for their opinions and questions. Take advantage of your existing social media channels to promote your polls or quizzes, offer rewards, and encourage members to send pictures next to your product or plushy (if you’ve gone one).
— Oktopost (@Oktopost) March 29, 2017
Snapchat has made some brilliant moves. Even if you don’t plan on using it, there’s a lot you can borrow to push your content forward and maintain an engaged audience.