Snapchat, with nearly 130 million daily active users, is the fastest-growing social media platform in the world. This means that it’s becoming increasingly challenging for brands to get a spot in a Snapchatter’s personal feed, whether it be through an ad or through organic content.
With rumors that Snapchat might release an algorithm, brands should think hard about how they can stay relevant (and visible) on Snapchat. Companies like Red Bull, Coca-Cola, and General Electric have found that collaborating with Snapchat influencers can be one of the most effective ways to capture the attention of the platform’s Gen Z’s and Millennial user base.
And it’s a strategy that works. Word of mouth advertising (which includes word-of-mouth recommendations from influencers) is by far the most-trusted source of recommendations. According to McKinsey, marketing-induced word of mouth doubles sales when compared to advertising.
Think of Snapchat influencer marketing as word of mouth advertising on steroids. Companies can enlist well-known tastemakers with polished social media chops, and deploy them to support a brand with the creativity and spontaneity that only Snapchat can provide.
As you prepare to launch your influencer marketing campaign on Snapchat, keep the following tips in mind.
1: When approaching influencers, be respectful and unambiguous
Approach Snapchat influencers based on their communication preferences, whether it be via e-mail or telephone. Most influencers will explicitly state how to contact them on their X, formerly Twitter or LinkedIn profiles. From there, introduce your brand, the purpose of your outreach, and your project as a whole.
“Create an outreach message that defines your brand’s unique position. It will differentiate your company from the other brands contacting the same influencer,” says Matthew Kinsman, founder of Base Creative.
Provide details about how the brand can help the influencer (whether it be monetary or some other benefit). As you reach out to influencers, remember the following:
Learn about them before proposing your project.
Contact them on their terms.
Offer a compelling purpose to collaborate.
Respond promptly to their requests.
2: Select an influencer that embodies your brand’s values
Snapchat influencer marketing goes beyond follower count. Ultimately, it’s about selecting an influencer that fits your brand’s mission and values.
A popular influencer with a million followers does not necessarily guarantee engagement for every brand. And influencers are content creators in their own right — not just an easy way to tap into audiences and make them drink your Kool-Aid,” writes Tanya Dua, Brands Reporter at Digiday.
To find the right influencer, monitor your customer’s interactions on social media. Who are they engaging with? What topics spark their interests, and who are the biggest social media influencers around those topics?
Then, observe those specific influencers. How do they respond to their followers? Do they hold the same values as your brand?
For example, if the influencer is an avid healthy eating enthusiast, a collaboration with your high-fructose soda brand won’t be a good fit. Select an influencer that aligns with your brand’s mission; it will make your campaign much more powerful.
3: Co-create content with influencers for greater authenticity.
Remember that influencers know what they’re doing. They gained a large following from their carefully-crafted images, podcasts, blog posts, or YouTube videos. So, rather than controlling every detail of your influencer marketing campaign, it’s important to build a collaborative relationship with influencers. Stay open to new ideas that your team may not have originally considered, and let the influencer do what they do best: create killer content.
“Brands have to realize that these are our jobs, and it’s OK to give us some creative freedom and control,” says Claudia Oshry, the woman behind the famous social media persona Girl With No Job. “Don’t come with an agenda—it’s a collaboration, and you don’t want to feel like you’re running against a wall.”
For example, brands like Covergirl and Dove have worked with influencer Ingrid Nilson to provide mini-tutorials on Snapchat and YouTube about how to use their products. These campaigns work well because they have a clear value add for the audience, and they’re a natural fit for both the influencer and the brand.
4: Develop calls-to-action for your influencer campaign
Make your influencer marketing campaign really work for your brand by adding a strategic call-to-action. You can’t share links, but influencers are experts at driving action through repeated statements and using a text link overlaid on the image. For example, ask fans to visit your brand’s website or sign up for an email list.
Walt Disney World hired influencer Mike Platco, a professional Snapchat storyteller who draws up to 120,000 views per snap. A former school teacher from Boston, Mike began his Snapchat career by taking his own selfies that included entertaining images and quirky cartoon characters.
Disney World recruited him to generate buzz around the Magical Kingdom’s Snapchat account.
With calls-to-action like “Add @WaltDisneyWorld on Snapchat,” Mike’s tour of the theme park immediately boosted Disney’s Snapchat presence. He showed his audience the magic of Disney through an influencer’s eyes.
5: Host Snapchat influencer takeovers
Influencer takeovers are online events hosted by a user on an account that is not their own. So, if your brand has a Snapchat account, surprise your fan base with snaps from an industry leader.
Takeovers give your audience an exclusive experience while increasing your brand exposure. Not to mention, they can be a lot of fun!
Adidas enlisted musician Pharrell Williams to do a takeover in which he posted his own coverage of an Adidas launch event. His Snapchat story ended up with 3.4 million views in just 24 hours. You can also look beyond the typical celebrity influencers for people who are popular in your niche market or who have a strong presence with your target audience.
Evan Garber is a Snapchat influencer and strategist who has designed campaigns for big brands like AT&T, GE, and NBC. He did a takeover of the US Open Tennis Snapchat account, highlighting the championship games. Through humorous storytelling and images, Garber engaged and entertained the company’s followers. Garber’s snaps drove his fans to follow the US Open, helping increase awareness about the brand.
If your target audience hangs out on Snapchat, then influencer marketing can be an effective strategy for your brand. Remember these important guidelines: Approach influencers with a purpose, avoid selecting people based on just their follower counts, collaborate with influencers to produce worthwhile content, host influencer takeovers, and don’t forget to add calls-to-action.
Snapchat is becoming more popular with each passing day, and by joining with influencers to harness the unique advantages of the platform, you can build a fresh and compelling marketing campaign for your brand.