digital marketing

Snapchat’s Emergence as a Premier Digital Marketing Platform

Video is one of the largest drivers of growth in today’s economy, so much so that many in the digital marketing space project that video may one day be at the core of all digital services. Advanced broadband and mobile technologies are making that projection an increasingly plausible reality. Innovations such as live-streaming, 360-degree video, virtual reality and Snapchat offer new ways for brands and consumers alike to both communicate and consume video.


There exists a simple, traditional adage in marketing that goes something along the lines of “content is king.” While that’s still true, that adage doesn’t explain which type of content is actually the king versus a lowly filler. Video is one of the most popular forms of content. That shouldn’t be too surprising considering that a sizable portion of the population tends to be visually oriented.


Today, several digital platforms are leveraging the public’s visual orientation to their advantage. Twitter has Moments. Facebook has Canvas and Live. Instagram and Snapchat have Stories. The one thing that these platforms all have in common is that they each provide users with an avenue to express themselves through video.


In terms of sheer digital marketing prowess, Snapchat has recently emerged as an organic video powerhouse. Why? The answer is two-fold. First, the platform has mastered the art of participatory content. Traditionally, participation marketing took on many forms: contests, polls, trivia, live chats, etc. Snapchat has completely circumvented those more traditional forms by essentially incentivizing the user’s participation. Specifically, Snapchat offers users the ability to brand their own photos and videos with filters, graphics that are superimposed on top of photos or videos taken within the app.


According to Mark Whitney, while many filters are fun and frivolous like adding rabbit ears to a person’s head, others offer up ar real marketing opportunity. While branded filters are oftentimes geographically-based, some are tied to a specific event, like a film release or product rollout. These filters allow users to engage their friends with branded content by allowing them to brand themselves with a company’s logo or message and then send it out to the world, thus increasing the likelihood for further engagement with the message’s recipients.


Second, in addition to branded filters, Snapchat may soon offer sequential ads that are targeted based on offline purchases. According to Marketing Dive, Snapchat is pitching a new ad format for its Discover section. It’s said that marketers could take an existing 30-second ad and turn it into three 10-second ads for Snapchat that run sequentially throughout a user’s experience in the Discover section of the app.


According to The Wall Street Journal, Snapchat has also signed a deal with Oracle Data Cloud that will enable marketers to target users using offline purchasing data. The deal marks the first time that third-party data is available for targeting on the platform. By enabling third-party data, Snapchat is taking an important step in helping marketers make their ads more relevant to the users they’re attempting to reach.


If you’re looking to tell your brand’s story in a creative way that fits a younger, digitally engaged audience, Snapchat may be an avenue to pursue.