Snapchat offers exciting opportunities to interact with consumers

Charleston PR's associate, Cecilia BrownOur guest post on Snapchat was authored by our associate Cecilia Brown. Cecilia is a graduate of the University of South Carolina-Columbia and holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Journalism and Mass Communications. We are privileged to work with Cecilia as a member of our social media team.

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat, an instant messaging social media platform which debuted in September 2011, is an innovative and creative communication application. The three co-founders of the application, Evan Spiegel, Robert “Bobby” Murphy, and Frank Reginald “Reggie” Brown IV met at Stanford University around 2010. They worked on a messaging app called “Picaboo”. This app was targeted towards females who wanted to send instant photo messages that would disappear after the recipient opened the message. The name Picaboo was already in use by a photo publishing and printing company, so they renamed their photo messaging app Snapchat.

Click to view a video which explains Snapchat

Click to view a video overview of Snapchat.

Snapchat is very user friendly, once you download the application on your smartphone, you create a Snapchat account and add friends by either their username, snapcode or phone number. The app is used to take and share photos and videos that you can send to friends. Photos can last 1-10 seconds on the viewers’ phones and Snapchat has recently extended the time of videos so that you can take multiple 10 second videos in a row that will send as a series. Also, a cool new feature you can add to videos is looping them so that they play over and over until someone clicks off the Snapchat you sent. You can also upload these timed photos and videos to your Snapchat story that stays live for 24 hours on the app for all of your friends to see. On Snapchat, you can apply funny filters, emojis, text, drawings and more to your photos and videos. Snapchat is much more than simply sharing photos, it’s a social media communication platform that has grown exponentially since 2010. To learn more about SnapChat visit their YouTube channel for informative videos.

Everyday Snapchat is used by so many people around the world to send messages, photos and videos. According to Snapchat, there are 166 million average daily active Snapchatters globally and they open their app an average of 18 times each day. Primarily a youthful cohort, these daily active users spend an average of 30 minutes per day on the app and 60% of them create with the Snapchat camera everyday.

Snapchat infographic

Chart via Mediakix.

Advertising opportunities on Snapchat?

Beyond being a communication tool, Snapchat also provides advertising opportunities to brands and businesses. According to Snapchat’s website, advertising products such as Sponsored Geofilters, Snapchat Lenses, or Snapchat Ads can help your business:

  • “Reach a highly engaged and unique audience”
  • “Tell your story with innovative ad products”
  • “Get great results to meet your objectives”
  • “Grow awareness and consideration”
  • “Drive action”

If you own a business have you thought about advertising and marketing to your customers using Snapchat? If not, it’s about time you jump on board and begin using this application.

What are Sponsored Geofilters?

Sponsored Geofilters are one easy and effective way to reach new audiences and increase brand awareness in your community using Snapchat. Geofilters are creative overlays that show what you’re doing in a Snapchat or show where you are. They are also simple to create and they are cost effective if you’re trying to pinpoint people in a specific area, during a specific time. If your business has a new product launch, an event you wish to increase awareness of, or you just want more people knowing about your business, this is definitely a product worth investing some time and money into.

Geofilters display on photos and videos in the Snapchat application based on the smartphone’s GPS coordinates while using. Having a Geofilter set up during a large local community event or place is a brilliant idea to potentially reach thousands of Snapchat users in that designated area. They’ll take photos with their friends or of the event and as they swipe through the many filters on the app, they’re bound to scroll across your fun filter and may even send it out on their photo if they like it! It is important to have a simple, fun design that works on top of photos, so be sure to follow Snapchat’s templates and guidelines as you create one that people prefer.

Are Snapchat Lenses the same thing as Filters?

Not quite, Snapchat Lenses are real-time special effects and sounds that can be added to Snapchats. Once in the app, you can tap anywhere on the screen to focus on your face. Then you’ll follow an action prompt such as “Lift your Eyebrows” and a lens will appear on your face. This is a good brand awareness opportunity for a sunglass or hat stores, because the lens could show off one of their new products and they could put their logo on the screen. A soft drink company lens could feature a can or bottle in the screen with a straw bent towards the mouth found on the face in the screen. The opportunities with lenses are growing everyday as Snapchat expands on this new advertising feature. This is a little more advanced than Sponsored Geofilters, but it’s definitely a product that will be growing exponentially on digital over the next few years as phone capabilities advance.

Why run an advertising campaign on Snapchat?

The Snapchat Ad campaigns are an innovative and intriguing method to running a digital advertising campaign in your area. Everyone these days are carrying mobile devices, and millions of people are using the Snapchat application- so why not put your ad on their phone screen? Snap Ads are 100% viewable, full screen, and have sound by default. Not to mention- these ads are something that you can create, manage and measure on the go. So what are you waiting for? Digital advertising is booming, so dive into Snapchat methods to get your name and brand in front of a diverse audience by checking out their website today.


Featured Header Photo by Noiseporn on Unsplash

Five Digital Marketing Habits to Ditch in 2017

Five digital marketing no-nos you can easily unlearn

This year, learn new habits to improve your digital marketing. Ditch these five things from your war chest and you’ll be on the road to improved marketing goodness. There is no excuse for lazy marketing year over year.

  1. Click this. If any single thing gets my blood boiling, it’s the ongoing use of the phrase “Click Here.” In 1994, when the world wide web was new, people didn’t know how web pages worked. Now we do. To get rid of this lazy habit, simply change the way you phrase your call to action. For example, Click to download our marketing insights. Or Click to register for our workshop. Even better is simply a button with a label. If using text hyperlinks, make sure the styling of the hyperlink differentiates it from the other text on your website. This alone provides a signal to users. Want more examples? W3 Schools offers you a variety of ways to avoid Click Here.
  2. Rotating banners. Are so 2012. Banners are pretty. Banners are common. Banners are everywhere. But they do not help conversions. Especially on a home page. They take more time to load. People using mobile devices must wait and watch them …but they don’t. They scroll the page looking for something to orient them to the page, what they can do there and why they should want to. Learn more from Marketing Experiments Flint McGlaughlin. Or visit ShouldIUseACarousel.
  3. Images with text as part of the image. HTML 5 is here. No more do you have to use Photoshop to put text on an image. This change might be beyond you if you don’t know a bit of code. But, many websites have custom interfaces to allow you to post images and overlay text on them. If you simply must have rotating banners on your home page, make certain that your text is not part of the image, but is an overlay. Your website developer can code text overlays on images which are easily read by search engines. W3Schools has a brief example of how to code this. And Chris Coyier of CSS Tricks explains as well how you can overlay text on an image.
  4. Websites which are not mobile compatible. The smartphone is the premiere device for accessing the web. Year over year gains in smartphone use have smashed the boundaries. Google prefers mobile friendly sites. If your site is not compatible with mobile devices, kiss your search position bye-bye. This is the year that you’ll lose out to all those who have made their sites mobile friendly. Google warned everyone two years ago.
  5. Image files which are not optimized for fast loading. Because smartphones are the number one way to access the interwebs, you need to be sure that you upload images at file sizes which do not slow down your website’s page loading speed. You can add plugins to your website to squish images, or you can optimize them before you upload them. Online image editor like Pixlr Editor are great and free to use.

Your competitors are gaining on you every day. Do not give them any excuse to eat your lunch. Grow smarter about your digital marketing.

Want to improve your digital marketing and need help? Contact us to learn how we can support your business growth with smart strategies.

Popping the bubble on pop-ups, opt-ins, and automation

Are opt-in pop-ups rude?

When you begin a conversation with someone, do you immediately interrupt the conversation to talk about yourself? No, I didn’t think so. Only someone totally clueless about person to person interactions would be so rude.

As you cruise the internet for work, research, shopping or in the pursuit of your hobby, no doubt you’ve encountered websites which interrupt your visit with opt-in pop-ups imploring you to subscribe to receive the latest posts or newsletters. This is analogous to interrupting someone with whom you have initiated a conversation, after inviting them to your home.

Slightly less annoying are opt-ins which are displayed as one scrolls down the page.
Opt-ins which seem even more desperate are the ones which are displayed as you exit, inviting you to join now, sign up now!

Current de facto advice to entrepreneurial website owners admonishes one to install opt-in, pop-up displaying software in order to grow your email list. I’m going out on a limb to tell you to stop this annoying behavior. Do really you think someone will want to opt-in after you’ve just annoyed them?

With current trends indicating the escalation of visits from mobile devices, Google is taking note of sites using content obscuring pop-ups. Pop-ups or opt-ins which cover content are frowned upon by Google. They lead to high (mobile) bounce rates. High bounce rates on mobile on sites using opt-ins blocking content are a signal to Google of an issue. Their use  may potentially result in lowered ranking for the site employing this strategy.

There are a variety of ways that conversations are interrupted in digital space all to get the valuable email address of the person visiting your site.  For every conversion or sign-up you get, how many people are turned off and leave your site?

Watch how fast they leave your site

If you want to know if your opt-ins are working, look at your website analytics to see how many people depart the page on which your opt-in is displayed. High bounce rates indicate that the content was not compelling, helpful, useful or that visitors were ticked off by the displayed opt-in.

How do you get more people to sign-up or give you their email address?

Everyone enjoys getting a gift. While it’s true “there is no free lunch”, it is also true we love getting something of value for a low cost. We can be persuaded to part with our email address if we feel we are going to receive something of value in return.

In digital marketing these tactics and deliverables are called lead magnets. Frequently, they are invitations displayed at the end of blog posts asking you to provide your email in order, for example, to receive sales improvement tips. After you’ve finished reading a great article, wouldn’t you be highly likely to respond positively to an offer to receive more of the same?

Another tactic is to offer an e-book or article with knowledge that is highly in demand in exchange for an email address. Business to business firms do this, offering latest insights relative to a particular industry in exchange for an email address.

Whitepapers and best practices / tips are another type of deliverable which may be used. When promoting a digital deliverable, use a landing page to both pitch the value of the content and to capture the lead / contact information. Rather than interrupt a visitor intent on particular information, landing pages are attached to digital ad campaigns or are provided as special graphic invitations, on your website navigation, footer or sidebar.

E-commerce sites may also offer an opt-in checkbox during registration to allow someone who is purchasing from you an opportunity to receive future updates or special offers. Lists built this way have great worth, because these folks are your customers. They want to receive news and offers.

Your RSS feed is another area where you can promote your special insights which are available for free, simply by providing an email address. Facebook and Twitter are additional channels where you can promote your valuable content bringing visitors to your deliverable landing / registration page.

You catch more flies with honey

With so many good ways to entice visitors to provide their email address, why would you scare them off by shoving a registration form in their face? Think about how you feel the next time a digital device holds the content you want hostage in exchange for your email address.