Snapchat is the most popular social platform among teens in the US, and with an upcoming IPO in Q1 and demand of growing revenue it is becoming increasingly interesting for brands. This study analyzed more than 500 brands running their own Snapchat accounts posting more than 24,000 stories consisting of more than 217,000 snaps with the goal of understanding how they’re using Snapchat and what level of engagement to expect.
People have been predicting the rise of Snapchat for a number of years now but 2016 has definitely seen the social app force its way into the Internet elite.
Reports vary but Snapchat now has approximately 150 million daily users globally and Twitter has an estimated 140 million.
When you consider that people normally refer to Twitter as being the dominant social player after Facebook you might want to start paying proper attention to the little Snapchat ghost out there… Everybody else is!
One of the key factors determining the “attention” commodity is content saturation and availability.
Nowadays millions of brands and businesses are constantly publishing content on all the major social channels and this has led to consumer apathy. We know we can refer back, or return to, that Instagram image, Youtube video or Facebook post at any time.
The beauty of Snapchat revolves, partly, around its promotion of “disappearing content”. Each video or image can only ever exist for a maximum of 10 seconds and Stories disappear after 24 hours so this keeps attention levels high for each piece of content published.
The introduction of Stories was a revelation and it’s no surprise that Instagram eventually hopped on the bandwagon.
With Stories, brands have the ability to create long-form pieces of content that can be consumed in bite-sized chunks. This allows you to tell your story in a creative and engaging way but also allows the user to consume as and when they want and on their terms and we’ve seen the results.
One of the major fashion brands currently using Snaplytics achieved an 86% open rate, over 27,000 opens, on a Snapchat story featuring 33 unique pieces of content. Similarly, a beauty brand hit an 80% open rate while an education business achieved a crazy 96% open rate.
Can you imagine getting the same return on Facebook, Instagram or via email marketing? It’s almost virtually impossible due to the saturation on those platforms and this makes Snapchat such a massive business opportunity right now.
Another major factor that increases consumer attention on Snapchat is the fact that it’s a closed social network unlike the other major players out there.
With the lack of any real search and discovery options Snapchat remains a closed network in which users actively add only the people, businesses or brands they want to follow.
This subtle difference means users are much more likely to pay attention to your content because they made the commitment to follow you. On Facebook, and other platforms, content is pushed via newsfeeds and suggestions but with Snapchat the user has complete control over what they interact with and we’ve seen the results over various industries. One broadcaster produced a story, with 21 unique pieces of content that was opened by 13500 people!
Everyone knows about the Diffusion of Innovation model and social channels are no different.
Snapchat’s early innovators and adopters were younger people in their teens and twenties but recently the user demographic has aged upwards and this trend is set to continue.
With this growth and expansion of the user base Snapchat is set to grab more and more attention and that will only be a good thing for brands committed to the platform.
To commit your business to Snapchat you need to include it in your social media strategy, consider what type of content you want to create and follow other brands to get those creative juices flowing!
You might also want to monitor what your competitors are doing and, don’t tell anyone but, we’re going to launch a new service to help you…
Snapchat is winning the attention game and you’re about to start winning with them too.
When Twitter announced that it was shutting down Vine in October, the Internet world held a vigil.
It might seem strange that so many mourned the passing of a social media channel no longer used by the masses but Vine paved the way for much of what we do online today, including using Snapchat, and storytelling online will continue to move forward.
While Snapchat was slowly growing and developing, Vine’s use of 6 second video clips gave rise to a new form of storytelling and short-form content took over.
Look at any of the major social media channels out there today and you’ll see the legacy of Vine and how that legacy continues with Snapchat today.
Moving with Attention
This continuation is notable with various Vine stars migrating over to Snapchat as the channel continues to rise and now sits at the top table alongside Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Over the last few years Shawn Mendes went from a 16 year old kid, known only by family and friends, to a new pop superstar with a glittering career ahead of him. He might have started his journey on Vine but you can now find him on Snapchat @ShawnMendes with over 150 million daily global users waiting to see what he does next.
Similarly, US comedy stars Thomas Sanders and Logan Paul can now both be found on Snapchat @Thomas_Sanders and @LoganPaul respectively.
Both performers understand that when one social media channel disappears another takes its place and digital storytelling and marketing is all about moving to where the attention is.
Snapchatting into 2017 and Beyond…
This understanding is crucial and while Snapchat gears up for a rumored $25 billion market floatation in March 2017 the channel still provides users, creators, brands and businesses the opportunity to create and story tell with better short-form content than ever before.
As the channel grows and adds new functionality including new filters, Snapchat Stories, and even the newly released Spectacles, the opportunities increase.
As mentioned in our previous post, Snapchat and the Attention Game, the channel fuses together consumer thirst for short-form content with long-form brand or business storytelling over a 24 hour period.
This melding together of short and long-form content on Snapchat could be seen by some as Vine 2.0 so if you’ve been mourning the loss of your favorite channel, don’t worry.
The little Snapchat Ghost is here to stay, in 2017 and beyond…
As more and more brands turn to Snapchat and begin to vie for user attention the stakes get raised and quality and creativity become increasingly important elements in the battle to standout.
Alongside the need to create something that actually engages, entertains or informs your Snapchat audience is the need to use data to hone in on optimum Snapchat story length and combining the two will help you create the perfect Snapchat Story.
As with everything it’s all about testing what works for your business but as we work with hundreds of brands and businesses, in all sorts of industries, we might be able to give a couple of useful hints and tips to steer you in the right direction…
Study Your Completion Rates
Before diving in to the nuts and bolts of your Snapchat Story you should consider the Completion rate metric. This is a seriously important metric to keep in mind when judging and optimizing perfect Snapchat story length as it quickly tells you whether or not you’re holding follower attention.
Having 100 Snapchat followers that hang on your every word and watch every piece of content will potentially be of more value than having a large audience of unengaged followers who watch less and less of your stories.
With this in mind it’s important to remember that Snapchat is simply another platform for you to deliver messages that are important to your business and if your audience isn’t listening then you’ve got a problem.
Use completion rates as a listening gauge.
Think About Snapchat Story Length
The next step will be to focus on your Story lengths and analyzing your Story completion rates will be a good indication of what your audience currently responds to length-wise.
According to our data, collected from multiple businesses in various industries, short concise Snapchat Stories generally lead to higher completion rates. For instance, one fashion brand uploaded a story with two items (either images or video) lasting just six seconds in total that achieved a 95% completion rate. At the opposite end of the spectrum was an education brand that hit just 66% of its total audience with a story consisting of 100 items and lasting just over 15 minutes!
Obviously not every Story, long or short, will generate the same results but shorter pieces of content generally do better, and this fits in with the disposable nature of the platform, so the challenge is to find the sweet spot in which you can operate and deliver key messages but also retain attention.
With all of this in mind, you can determine Snapchat Story length in two ways: the number of items added to a Story and the respective length of each item.
Build & Experiment
These are just two important elements you should consider when creating a Snapchat Story for your brand or business and the metrics will help clarify follower behavior as you begin to build and experiment with different lengths of Stories, different styles, tones and messages.
What else do you consider to be an important part of the perfect Snapchat story? Let us know or get in touch if you have other questions!
As Snapchat gets bigger and becomes an increasingly important cog within the digital marketing mix online retailers will consider the best ways to use the channel to drive website traffic.
Luckily, we’ve done some thinking for you!
Even though Snapchat has been around since 2011 the channel is still relatively new when used in a business context. As a result, things aren’t just as streamlined yet, as say with Facebook, and using it to drive traffic will take a bit more creativity but the potential impact is there as we’ve already seen Snapchat attention stats skyrocket!
One key way to harness this attention and increase website traffic is by effectively using Snapchat Stories with key goals in mind.
Snapchat Stories are a collection of images and video, lasting no longer than ten seconds in length, uploaded by a user, that can be viewed either individually or as an entire “story” for a total of 24 hours after upload.
Businesses can create stories, treating them like daily or individual mini campaigns, that direct followers to exclusive sales on their website, secret pages, specific products and more.
Snapchat Stories are now considered one of the key elements of the channel and a balance must be struck between providing followers something entertaining or informative alongside trying to promote official brand websites.
Custom Discount Codes for Followers
Custom discount codes aren’t new in the online retail world but sending them direct to Snapchat followers opens up new doors for brands.
This could be achieved in a number of ways but we’ve boiled it down to two different methods.
First, you upload a Snapchat Story with a custom discount code and clearly highlight that followers should screenshot the image or video with the code, as it will disappear in a set amount of time.
Alternatively, you could upload a Snapchat Story saying “the first 10 followers to screenshot” will get a code sent directly to them and then act out this tactic with the winners accordingly.
The positive PR potential of this tactic is insane.
Can you imagine how many people would tell their friends and family “I got 30% off when BRAND NAME’s Snapchat account snapped me a discount code out of the blue”?
Also, as always with discount codes, engagement can be measured on both sides alongside our Snaplytics data. Bonus!
This final tactic takes advantage of the highly visual nature of Snapchat as a marketing channel.
Brands can now use Snapchat to direct people to certain areas of their website using image and video as a simple walkthrough. This content can be added to Stories over a 24-hour period and each Snap can be overlaid with text of the exact URL followers should enter into their browsers.
This tactic could be used to promote a brand new blog just posted to the website, a specific product or sale or even a secret page unavailable to non-Snapchat followers through the normal site navigation.
Brands could also encourage and increase customer/follower dialogue by posting Stories content asking for feedback on positives and negatives within the current website.
As with every aspect of marketing, both social and otherwise, the more creative the better!
When it comes to social media for business there isn’t a golden rule or a one-size-fits-all approach but there is a universal truth that can be applied: diversification.
The last ten years, a lifetime in the Web 2.0 world, has seen the rise of platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but also the fall of Vine, Bebo and Myspace amongst others.
Businesses and brands that built audiences on Vine, Periscope or other channels without moving their followers across other platforms struggled with each channel’s respective demise.
The lesson to learn is to diversify and move your followers onto other growing social media channels to increase exposure, brand awareness, and marketing opportunities but also to decrease the risk of losing your voice completely.
Moving your social media followers to Snapchat isn’t a waste of time, it’s a necessity and diversification is just the start.
Snapchat now has a massive daily audience of 150 million global users. This is a massive audience, almost on a par with Twitter, and with older demographics, specifically 40 and up, still largely untouched there is huge potential for that number to get even bigger as the user base ages up!
As each new update slowly transforms Snapchat into a social media platform even more capable of competing with Facebook and Instagram the audience grows in both size and diversity.
Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that?
As we stated, in our Why Snapchat is Winning the Attention Game post, Snapchat has a serious grip on users attentions right now and our numbers completely back that up.
One Snaplytics user, a food brand, hit massive 91% and 95% story completion rates on two different pieces of content. Can you image 95% of your followers on any other platform watching or reading what you’re creating? It’s crazy!
Similarly a broadcaster picked up a 78% completion rate from an audience of over 8 thousand!
If you haven’t used Snapchat yet these figures might seem like jargon but it all boils down to one key commodity: attention.