A New Wave of Marketing is Approaching Thanks to Snapchat and GIFs
Advertising isn’t what it used to be. Members of the Millennial generation are tough critics for traditional advertisements, and tend to just ignore banner ads and other types of online marketing that used to successfully drive sales. Instead, social media is becoming more and more relevant to younger audiences for branding and marketing purposes. Snapchat and animated GIFs are two of today’s up-and-coming marketing tools, and celebrities and brands can leverage them successfully by engaging with audiences in an authentic way. Here are some ways Snapchat and GIFs can be used to market to today’s young adults.
Snapchat doesn’t have the popularity of Facebook or Instagram yet, but that almost doesn’t matter, considering the age and engagement of the app’s users. Almost 50% of users are between the ages of 18 and 34, and 65% of users upload snaps. Snapchat is very different from many other platforms, because its content is temporary, and it’s all about being spontaneous and having fun. Basic snaps are deleted once they’re viewed, and “stories,” which are longer pieces of content made up of ordinary snaps, last for only 24 hours. Because of this, marketing using the platform requires a different mindset, and a little creativity. Here are some tools brands and celebrities use to grow their customer or fan base.
Sponsored Filters & Lenses
One of Snapchat’s biggest features have to be their unique filters and lenses it offers their users. Sponsored filters allow brands to design their own filter or lens and offer it to the Snapchat community to use. Taco Bell offered a lens this May in honor of Cinco de Mayo that would turn the user’s head into a giant taco. It may have been one of the sillier lenses seen on Snapchat, but it did its job: the lens was viewed 224 million views in one day. Brands pay a lot for these sponsored filters, but the incredible amount of engagement they can produce is often worth the expenditure.
Stories are very popular among the top millennial news brands such as BuzzFeed, Vice, ESPN and Cosmopolitan, because they allow a behind-the-scenes look trending topics, whether it’s a red carpet event or developing natural disaster. These stories are a more authentic way of engaging audiences than a pre-shot video, and millennials are responding well to the real-time updates stories can provide. Behind-the-scenes content works well for celebrities and companies who want to provide a more in depth look into their daily interactions. Some companies have even used Snapchat to introduce new clothing or sustainable products before they’re formally released creating a sense of anticipation.
Contests, Promotions & Guests
There are lots of ways to run fun contests and giveaways via Snapchat, because the platform allows users to engage with the content and respond visually making it a rewarding experience. GrubHub, for example, ran a scavenger hunt for five days, with users uploading related snaps daily during the campaign. Contests promote engagement, and allow brands to show their personality. Some brands have also handed their accounts off to influencers for a few days as guests to help gain a following and add fresh content for users to engage with.
GIFs in Marketing
An animated GIF is a short, looping series of still frames that are animated and appear like a short video. Some have captions, some don’t, but they’re a fun and easy way to communicate with friends. Now, many brands are incorporating GIFs into their home pages and email marketing tactics to increase engagement with their audiences. They’re easy to consume, share and can include a call-to action that prompts audiences to interact. One brand’s testing revealed that emails with an animated GIF resulted in 12% more revenue than emails with still images. GIFs have been around a long time, but they pique consumers’ interest and help move them along in the buying process. Here are other ways GIFs can be used:
- Telling an “about us” story
- Explain a process
- Showcase product features
- Engage on social media
- Add interest to a website page
A Growing Wave
Snapchat and GIFs in marketing are actually a fairly new phenomenon, but they’ve become extremely powerful tools for reaching consumers, especially millennials. As these platforms and mediums continue to grow in popularity, marketing using Snapchat and GIFs is only going to become more powerful in the years to come.
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