How to run awesome Snapchat influencer campaigns

Snapchat is the hottest social media platform for marketers in years. In a similar way to how YouTube, Vine and Instagram produced a portfolio of social media stars, it appears that Snapchat is following the same playbook fostering a new crop of digital influencers with millions of audiences.

Being both a marketer as well as being part of the audience – I’m 21 – I've noticed a few trends and insights which help in making Snapchat campaigns successful.

Why Snapchat?

It's firstly essential to understand why, as a brand, Snapchat and Snapchat influencers should be a staple in your marketing toolset.

The kids on Snapchat

For years, marketers have attempted to reach younger consumers – an age which was resistant to traditional forms of advertising. In the past YouTube provided that opportunity, however the parents started to flood YouTube and so the kids scattered. Now the kids are on Snapchat.

Guaranteed visibility

A second reason however is the high levels of visibility on Snapchat. No other platform takes advantage of the vertical video power as Snapchat. This enables 100% visibility for ads in a way which other platforms don’t compare.

Strong influencer connections

The relationship between a user and an influencer is so strong that coupled with the fact that Snaps disappear after 24 hours, users are obsessive about watching their influencers' snaps. It's one of the rare forms of marketing in which fans can be incredibly intimate with their favourite stars – an experience which is perfect for a brand to leverage.

So now we know the importance of using Snapchat influencers, here are four tips we've learnt through our campaigns and studying other campaigns which have been key in delivering results

Four tips for executing blockbuster Snapchat influencer campaigns

1. Takeover campaigns

One of the most understated ways to work with influencers is launching takeovers – that is using influencers to take over your channel on Snapchat. It strikes me as frankly ridiculous that marketers put their hard earned dollars behind Snapchat campaigns without understanding the value of an earned audience.

Influencer takeovers are powerful ways for brands to hit the nail on both achieving brand awareness but also increasing owned audience. A great example of this is a campaign that ABC Family – the network behind Pretty Little Liars – ran with Snapchatter Michael Platco, in which he took over its channels while watching the programme every week, culminating in ABC Family winning 800,000 new followers in just three months.

2. Create two-way call to actions

Snapchat provides the ability for a two-way dialogue like never before seen on other social media platforms. With this renewed opportunity comes a new responsibility for influencer campaigns. Asking influencers to get their fanbase to send pictures and videos to the influencers through a compelling call to action is one of the most powerful ways to create mass engagement and results in a campaign.

An example of this can be seen from beauty brand Shiseido which wanted to promote its new Snapchat brand channel and thus partnered up with Snapchat influencer Jen Chae. Through the campaign, not only did Jen showcase some of Shiseido's wares, but she also asked followers to send her pictures of their favourite items from the brand, resulting in a mass two-way conversation and most importantly over 100,000 new Snapchat views on Shiseido's channel.

3. Create hype then swing for the fences:

We have this saying in Fanbytes: create hype then smash. This describes the process of using the 10-second limit of Snapchat to build up for a brand and then eventually hitting them with a strong call to action. It's basic human psychology, when you amp people enough, the result is a heightened intensity in the eventual action. Due to its 10-second limit, each snap provides the opportunity to amp up audiences more and more until the eventual slam dunk – a promotion, a download link, a link to watch a video.

4. Cross promotion

Everybody knows Snapchat is a closed network. Compared to YouTube or more relevantly Facebook and Twitter, there isn’t an inherent ability to spread a message across an audience. Thus, in order to amplify content and get the most out of Snapchat influencer campaigns, it's important brands cross promote the collaboration with influencers across alternative social channels. An easy way to do this is to take a screenshot of a Snap or download the Snapchat story, then post the content on other social media platforms.

When to use influencers

We've executed tonnes of Snapchat influencer campaigns and in testing as well as seeing industry experts we've deduced that there are three main types of influencer campaigns that drive action. This is by no means exhaustive but in our experience what works.

Behind the scenes content

Snapchat is the rawest, most authentic medium out there which presents a perfect opportunity for intimate behind the scenes footage. An incredible example of this is Nars, the cosmetics company which, in an attempt to release its Guy Bourdin colour cosmetics, showed exclusive behind the scenes content into its unveiling.

Scavenger Hunts

This technique takes Snapchat's personal intimacy and real time nature to the next level. Using clues in 10 second snaps to excite an audience and lead them on a real life scavenger hunt is a strong way to lead a Snapchat influencer marketing. A good example of this is H&M which created an exclusive piece of content called the Boiler Room and hid various tickets in stores. Users then had to use cryptic Snapchat clues in order to find the tickets to win H&M prizes.

Flash Sales

This is perhaps the most obvious way to use Snapchat if you're a consumer-facing brand, taking advantage of its ephemerality and sending out short coupon codes for users to purchase with. A brand exceptional at doing this is a brand I follow called Everlane which from time to time put out discount codes which can be used in the next 24 hours. Some of these discounts are so steep (60 per cent) that they serve as an incredible source of traffic as its audience runs to use the discount.

Conclusions

Snapchat is here to say, however it is still in its infancy. Its closed network and lack of discoverability has made it a headache for marketers, however it also presents a land of opportunity for marketers especially working with influencers. It's down to us as marketers now to tread carefully (read: not mess it up, like we’re so susceptible to) but speedily, and hopefully this article has presented a good starting point for smashing it.

Tiimothy Armoo is the CEO of Fanbytes, the video influencer platform helping brands go viral on YouTube and Snapchat

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