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Snapchat and the evolution of craft communications

By: Sabrina M.

Life has sped up. What used to take days now takes hours and what took hours now takes minutes or seconds. Hello, microwave. How’s it going, Google? Compared to 10 years ago, our lives have begun moving in fast-forward motion. And so has our way of communicating and consuming information. Whatever doesn’t interest us is easily dismissed. Our attention span has fallen from 12 seconds to 8 seconds in the last 16 years. In case you were wondering, that puts us officially behind the goldfish and its impressive 9-second attention span. How much attention span do you need for Snapchat? Under 10 seconds. Snapchat imbibed the best qualities of social media platforms before it and took it to the next level—fast, entertaining, authentic forms of communication. It reflects (dare I say it?) the evolution of communication.

Snapchat’s ability to put its finger on the pulse of changing communications catapulted it to a $16billion worth within four years. It was only a matter of time before brands wanted a piece of that pie. And it happened in 2015, when Snapchat introduced ‘Discover’, which housed channels of ad-supported/branded content from big name publishers. Combine that with Snapchat’s purchase of Looksery (which is responsible for all the fun, cool filters you see on the app today) and the landscape broadened significantly for digital ad opportunities. The future holds possibilities, my friends.

By 2017, Snapchat is poised to earn over $1billion in ad revenue alone. Between branded filters, the Discover section, and Snapchat’s backend capabilities for audience matching with ‘Lookalikes’, brands have a wealth of opportunities to reach 100 million daily users. More so, users are more open to branded content on Snapchat as it is entirely an opt-in/opt-out experience. Unlike other platforms like Facebook or Twitter, Snapchat clearly defines what is branded content and what is not, allowing users to engage at will. This empowers users, builds curiosity, and emphasizes a level of authenticity that is hard to obtain in the digital sphere. The challenge? Keep it quick. Keep it entertaining. Keep it authentic. Most importantly, embrace the extremely fast and incredibly personal magic behind Snapchat content.

So who’s creating great content on Snapchat? Here are our top brand picks:

Warby Parker – The on-demand eyewear giant does a fabulous job of storytelling on Snapchat. Using the Stories feature, Warby Parker features employees, gives sneak peeks of their new brick and mortar stores, provides discounts, and showcases their eyewear. They’ve figured out that brands don’t always need 60-second videos or planned meetings to humanize themselves. They’re enhancing their brand by showcasing the people behind the swift, on-demand technology that made them so wildly popular.

GrubHub – If you want a success story from an engagement perspective, GrubHub’s Snapchat case history is your go-to. With the highest branded Snapscore (calculated by Snap algorithm that takes into account snaps sent and received), GrubHub’s primary content goal is Engage, Engage, Engage. Their content ranges from funny to absurd, incorporating doodles that inspire scavenger hunts, uncover discounts, launch contests, and respond to fans. They’ve got the whole “quick and authentic” vibe down, especially given that they recruit via Snapchat. Who needs long job postings when a 10-second doodled snap will do?

Gatorade – This is a hot favorite of because they’ve proven that you don’t have to have an account on Snapchat to make a big splash on the app. How? Gatorade takes full advantage of Snapchat’s ad services and branded filters. Their viral value skyrocketed with the Gatorade dunk filter, appropriately timed to coincide with the Superbowl. The filter got over 160mm impressions, including some great celebrity action,  which is more than the Superbowl’s 115mm tuned-in viewers. Gatorade set a new bar of performance on Snapchat based on carefully planned impact rather than frequency. Turns out less really is more, even when it comes to communications.  

Sour Patch Kids – No brand is worth its salt if it doesn’t know how to talk to its target audience. Sour Patch Kids has gone one step further; thanks to Snapchat, they’re not just talking to their audience, they’re participating in full-blown peer-to-peer conversations. Through their Snap videos, SPK turns mundane matters into humorous sketches, inspiring action and engagement. SPK continues to tap into the power of the influencer and even uses other platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, to encourage people to follow along with the zaniness. They’ve really blazed a trail for collaborative communication with Snapchat.

General Electric – Want to step into the Mouth of Hell, a.k.a. Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua? General Electric takes you there. Fancy a chat with Buzz Aldrin? General Electric can hook you up. Want to find out what a normal work day is really like at General Electric? The snaps don’t lie. No matter what the day is, I always find myself wondering what they’re going to share next. Anticipation. Value. Keeping people coming back for more. They’re following the tried and true mantra of Show, Don’t Tell all within the realms of our, more realistically expected, 5-10 second attention span.

All of these brands have recognized and harnessed Snapchat’s power and contributed to the evolution of communication. And what is branding if not innovatively crafted communications? All those in favor, Snap. 

09.26.16   The Biz

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