Snapchat, the picture messaging app used by approximately 150 million people on a daily basis, is a pretty big deal. Back in 2013 it was reported that Facebook had offered an eye-watering $3 billion to purchase the business, though the owners held out; an astute decision, it would seem, considering that in March 2016 it was valued by TechCrunch at a colossal $20 billion – not bad for a company that has only recently celebrated its fifth birthday.
Conservative estimates suggest that Snapchat users consume around 10 billion videos on the app each day, putting its video viewing numbers on a par with Facebook: impressive when you consider Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild has more than 15 times the number of active accounts and has been operating for seven years longer.
If a recent eMarketer report is to be believed then Snapchat will hit 217 million active users by the end of 2017, which only emphasises how incredibly popular it is. Its growth is showing absolutely no sign of abating, and all the research suggests that the platform is set to go from strength to strength in the months and years to come.
However, while Snapchat is one of the world’s most popular mobile phone apps, its might is still not being harnessed by countless businesses. This is particularly true of UK companies; earlier this year Hubspot named its top ten brands to follow on Snapchat, but only one UK firm – Domino’s Pizza UK – made the list. Each of the other nine places was taken by American brands – from General Electric to Everlane, Warby Parker to GrubHub.
American companies have taken to Snapchat like ducks to water, but UK operations appear to be a little more tentative; they have been relatively slow on the uptake, but now is the time to start making up that lost ground. Using social media and finding new and innovative ways of engaging with audiences is critical, because a failure to remain on trend and up to date with relevant communication methods could be very bad for business.
The various possibilities that Snapchat affords businesses are not instantly obvious. It’s easy to dismiss the platform as only being relevant to celebrities and those who want to create and share funny images of themselves, but once you look beyond the selfies and silliness, its potential as a powerful marketing tool quickly becomes apparent.
We at Southerly have been curious about the power of Snapchat for a while and, following an invaluable encounter with app gurus Craig Fox and Nick Robertson, we decided to dig a little deeper as to enhance our knowledge. The pair kindly dedicated a few hours of their time to teach us about the ins, the outs, and the multitude of hidden features that Snapchat offers, and it didn’t take long for their enthusiasm to rub off. We are so convinced that Snapchat can be beneficial to many a content marketing campaign that we’ve decided to make this a key area of focus during September, or #Snaptember, as some like to call it.
Over the course of the next few weeks we’ll be publishing various articles on getting the most from Snapchat, highlighting the app’s ability to reach millions of people in seconds and the ways it can be utilised by businesses to interact with current customers, post relevant yet entertaining content, and also reach out to, and engage with, brand new audiences.
If you aren’t already following us on Twitter but want to monitor the #Snaptember journey, then we can be found at @SoutherlyComms. Not only will we be posting content, but we have also decided to take steps to better educate ourselves on the app’s possibilities by hitting up Snaphappen, the definitive Snapchat event for those ready to immerse themselves in a world filled with geofilters, ingenious storytelling and shameless selfies.
Snaphappen, the brainchild of Craig Fox – who also founded the hugely successful JailbreakCon – is the first ever Snapchat conference hosted and run by the platform’s own community, taking place on 22 September.
The aim of the event is to help and encourage businesses to grow their marketing and advertising capabilities through Snapchat by giving novices the information, skills and expert tricks necessary to harness the platform. Snapchat is more than silly pictures and frivolous filters; there is a serious side to the app that can give businesses a platform with which to engage audiences and boost business.
Attending the event will be some of the app’s most famous and prolific users, some of whom have worked with major brands such as Coca-Cola and Disney to help them develop and enhance their Snapchat offering. The day will include talks, panel discussions and also The Ghosties, the first ever Snapchat-specific award ceremony.
We’ll be heading to Snaphappen – smartphone in hand and geofilters at the ready – so make sure you’re following southerlycomms to get the lowdown on all things Snapchat.
If you want to discover a little more about the event then click here, or just take a look at the video below.
A new age of storytelling
To put the app’s growth into some perspective, from May 2015 to May 2016 Snapchat daily video views grew from 2 billion to 10 billion per day – a monumental 400% increase. And such numbers represent huge opportunities for businesses.
In the world of content marketing, storytelling has been a key buzzword for the last few years. Storytelling is an art, a veritable broth of fun, relevance, innovation and originality; it is a means of spreading messages and highlighting opinions, of appealing to an audience in a way that tickles their curiosity and gives them a reason to remember your brand.
When it comes to content marketing, storytelling means more than just being adept at fashioning tales with the written word; individuals digest information in a variety of ways – long-form written content, podcasts, videos and virtual reality, infographics – and understanding what method to use in any given circumstance or scenario is crucial.
Snapchat is a relative new-born when compared to some of the more established communication methods, but that does not by any means lessen its credibility or its usefulness when attempting to target and reach audiences. If it’s true that a picture speaks a thousand words, then the 760 million different images shared via Snapchat each day have the power to say an awful lot.
At Snaphappen expert speakers will not only lay out the benefits of Snapchat, but they will reveal how to tell a story in a way that retains an audience’s attention, gets them excited and, ultimately, makes them interact with your business. If you’ve been struggling to get your message heard, or are looking to discover the best way of reaching the people you desire to interact with, then help is most certainly be at hand.