05.18.2017

Giving Up on Snapchat Marketing? Don’t. Keep the Dog-filters Coming.

Snapchat marketing, Snapstories, Snapchat filters, geofilters…undoubtedly, this platform presents challenges for marketers. There are a few things missing that marketers have grown accustomed to like discover functionality and visible metrics, but there’s one area where Snapchat has a leg up on other platforms.

It’s no secret that young consumers reject traditional advertising because they simply don’t trust it. In an era of fake news and social media highlight reels, people value authenticity more than ever. Most people are very good at spotting bull shit too. And this is where Snapchat can play a key role in your marketing strategy.

Initially, it was not clear how brands could leverage the platform for marketing purposes— brands and marketers had never worked with disappearing content before, and the lack of visible metrics threw a wrench into traditional ROI-based marketing strategies. However, these challenges are both double-edged swords: by limiting the lifespan of the content, the sense of urgency encourages higher engagement, and by foregoing publicly view-able followers, views, and likes, Snapchat stands out as the one social media platform that cannot be interpreted as a popularity contest.

Yes, there is a financial ROI for Snapchat marketing. Image Source: 5WPR

These factors help the platform appeal to a broader audience…one that just wants to have fun on social media without feeling the need to compete with anyone.

Despite Instagram’s recent introduction of the Stories feature, Snapchat is still overall the most laid-back, candid, and least-produced platform, so it encourages authenticity. As a brand on Snapchat, you are able to reach and engage with your target audience in a low-pressure environment. It’s an opportunity to show your brand’s personality and build closer ties to your customers, especially if your target demographic is millennial or Gen Z. Not to mention, while most brands have a presence on Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook, there is far less brand competition on Snapchat.

So you know why you should be on Snapchat. But what about how? Here are a few best practices for Snapchat Marketing.

Influencer Takeovers in Snapchat Marketing 

Inviting relevant influencers to take over your Snapchat channel will help you build a following as well as bring you brand to life through the eyes of an influencer. Don’t know the right influencers? There are ways to determine the best one for your brand. Once you’ve discovered the right fit, ask influencers to share a day-in-the-life via your Snapchat channel, conduct product demos, or document their experience at special events like store openings.

Cross Promote

Since account discovery is all but impossible on Snapchat, cross promoting Snapchat campaigns on other platforms is key. For simple Snapchat marketing share your username or snapcode with your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram audiences. If you have an influencer doing a Snapchat takeover, make sure that they share your username on their other platforms too.

A Snaplytics study showed that significantly more new followers add users by username rather than snapcode, so make sure your username is easy to remember and consistent with your brand’s other social media handles, and then share it far and wide.

Utilize Screenshots as a Form of Engagement

Other than Views, Screenshots are the only easy to measure engagement metric. Take advantage of that. One option is to utilize screenshots as a voting mechanism: tell your audience to screenshot their favorite product, their vote for what product they want you to work on next, or even what they think you should name the new office hamster. Alternatively, you can prompt your audience to screenshot the next snap and then include a URL to a special webpage or an exclusive discount code (see how Warby Parker used this tactic in the next section). This then becomes a solid metric of engagement, as it indicates your audience is interested in purchasing your products or engaging with your brand further.

Snapchat Exclusive Offers

Warby Parker kills the Snapchat Marketing game with exclusive offers.

Share exclusive offers on your Snapchat channel, whether it’s the opportunity to participate in a Q&A with your CEO, exclusive discount codes for Snapchat followers, or even unique limited edition products announced only via Snapchat. Look to Warby Parker’s special edition Haskel mirrored sunglasses— Warby Parker shared the URL for the glasses exclusively on Snapchat and they sold out in 24 hours. This is a phenomenal example of leveraging the urgency and intimacy that Snapchat marketing can offers. Followers feel like VIPs, and they’re inherently moved to action due to the nature of disappearing content.

Set A Consistent Schedule

With disappearing content, you may feel pressured to constantly churn out content. However, you don’t need to always have an active Snapchat story. They key is to develop and maintain a consistent posting schedule so that your audience knows when they should be tuning in for your content. Just look to Everlane as an example— their Snapchat followers can count on the Everlane team to answer viewers’ questions every Tuesday as part of their Transparency Tuesdays series. You can still post somewhat sporadically, but it helps to have a few anchor points that your audience can always look out for.

Still not down with the dog-filter? Convince us why Snapchat is out in the comments below!

05.09.2017

Learn As You Grow: The Culture Creates Itself

“A great culture provides the context for people to deliver their best work.”

I found this quote in the Hubspot Culture Code and chose it to start the article because it simply states one of the most important variables of any business. Company culture. However, while I love the point of the quote, I actually believe that you should read it backwards and implement it to achieve the result.

Let’s try it.

“Putting people in a position to deliver their best work creates a great culture.” There, that’s better.

It’s impossible to argue the impact that a great company culture will have on your business. Results are obvious in a variety of ways, from bottom line performance to personal satisfaction. The challenge is how do you build a great company culture? In short, you don’t. If things are done correctly then the culture will build itself.

At Sparq Designs, we get a lot of compliments about our company culture from the people that observe us, work with us and ultimately desire to join us. For a long time, we couldn’t pinpoint what we were doing that made people want to be a part of Sparq Designs and it wasn’t until recently that I was able to realize that we haven’t done anything to intentionally create the effect.

The effect was the result of a general company philosophy that we have, “We want you to be doing the kind of work that you are best at, enjoy, and most importantly, have a passion for.”

If you come into work everyday and are put in a position that you are passionate about and do the kind of work that you like most, it becomes impossible not to love your environment and what you do. The combination of those feelings being shared among everyone around you permeates through the office and results in a positive culture and maximum performance.

Every time we hire someone we tell him or her that we never want this to become a place that they aren’t excited to be at. It’s bad for them and it is bad for the people around them. It’s important to hire people that fit the need you are looking for but you should also be sure that the person wants to fit the need.

Putting your people in the best possible situation for them to succeed and achieve personal satisfaction at their workplace is the path to a great culture and a place that everyone is excited to get to on a daily basis. Operate this way and you won’t have to take any specific step to create a great company culture, it happens naturally.


Jim Blundo is the Vice President at Sparq Designs, a digital marketing agency in Pittsburgh. He has been an integral part of Sparq’s growth since the start in 2013. “Learn As You Grow” is his testimony to what he has learned from the quick expansion of business from 2013 to today. Learn more about Jim here. If you have questions about building a relationship, contact the  Sparq team today.

Follow Jim on Twitter & LinkedIn!


Editor’s note: This article was originally published in January 2016 but we liked it so much, we edited it with more information and media, and published it again.