Snapchat has evolved into a two-pronged platform. One prong is for public content, which consists of the personal messaging side of the app. This prong has been the facilitator of dog face filters, live event geotags, and DJ Khaled's entire social media personality. It's the fun side of the app.
The other side of the app “My Story,” which allowed users to compile a series of snapshots chronologically, in storylines. The addition of the video feature makes the storytelling even more compelling. And for marketers, storytelling is one of the best contemporary brand tools, even for B2B companies.
B2B Marketers are Hesitant
There are probably several reasons why marketers hesitate to consider Snapchat as a viable B2B marketing tool. First off, 71% of Snapchat users are aged 25 and younger, which means marketers see Snapchat as silly and frivolous. It’s too new a trend in marketing and not a proven one at that, and the learning curve will force marketers to learn something new that could end up being just a fad.
There are, however, just as many reasons to think about adding Snapchat to your B2B marketing strategy. Here are just a few statistics that might change your mind about Snapchat:
- 22% of ad executives, both B2C and B2B, are advertising on Snapchat this year – some of these may well be your competition
- Snapchat ads as a group are viewed as many as 1 million times a day
- Smartphone users have embraced Snapchat – at least 60% of them
- The majority of Snapchat users are now millennials – young people who are moving into the workforce and moving up in their career paths in their companies.
If you are wondering how your marketing plan can incorporate Snapchat, here are four solid tactics.
This is really the whole point of Snapchat – telling stories via photos and videos. Huge B2B corporations use storytelling on television spots, websites and social media pages. They take viewers into their plants, and tell the stories of their new innovations and products.
On a smaller scale, any B2B company can tell its stories too. The development and launch of a new product or service, feature candids of employees and customers, an event you hosted, either through still photos, videos, or combinations. And you can send viewers to your stories by “plugging” them on your other social media platforms.
Offering Incentives to Potential Customers
You can offer special discounts and other freebies via Snapchat, especially if you want to establish a sense of urgency by only offering them for the next 24 hours. For example, imagine you have a SaaS company. For the next 24 hours, you are going to offer a large discount on your newest product. The way to retrieve the “coupon” is to take a screenshot of the offer on Snapchat and then submit it.
Of course, you will drive these leads to your Snapchat ad via other places, but the long-term goal is to get a Snapchat following, so you can continue to tell your stories.
Providing a Fun Brand
People enjoy humorous and exciting things, even if it is within the context of marketing. Make Snapchat the platform where your customers and potential customers can enjoy themselves a bit.
Snapchat will never take the place of your site, your blog, or your other B2B marketing outreach, but it can be a nice respite and capture their attention. Plus, it makes your company appear more human. Gone are the days of “stuffy” hard sells. A younger workforce appreciates an informal and fun approach.
Relationships must be established so that there is a level of trust when consumers make purchasing decisions. B2B companies must establish those relationships too – it is the current and future of successful marketing.
Snapchat can go a long way toward developing relationships, especially when businesses decide to humanize themselves through stories. You can use your own millennial staff members to create photos and videos for micro-campaigns that millennials in target companies will appreciate. Use Snapchat to send holiday greetings to customers. Get a bit creative, and you will find a number of ways in which Snapchat can foster relationships.
Using Snapchat as a B2B marketing tool is relatively easy and simple. And if you mess up, that mistake is only around for 24 hours. You have very little to lose by adding Snapchat to your marketing plan, and the millennials in your organization will be happy to participate.
Photo: Flickr / AdamPrzezdziek