How to Create a Content Marketing Plan for Snapchat

May 3, 2016

11:45 am

With more than 100 million engaged users, Snapchat has evolved from emerging network to major player over the last year for brands looking to reach young consumers. The mobile-based platform has even overtaken Instagram among the coveted 18- to 24-year-old demographic, and its top influencers are reporting between 300,000 and 400,000 views per Snapchat ‘Story,' according to AdWeek. Some businesses are finding success with the platform’s new ad service, while others – especially in the fashion and lifestyle space – have found that influencers work best with this raw, “unscripted” platform.

Whether you're a startup or simply a Snapchat newbie, here are five tips for launching your first Snapchat influencer campaign:

Work with Influencers You Trust

Because Snapchat is fleeting by nature (‘Stories’ disappear within 24 hours), brands often don’t see sponsored posts while they’re live, relying instead on screenshots as proof of work. Moreover, influencers don’t have the option to edit posts or submit for review, giving brands even less control over the content published. Also keep in mind that it is your responsibility as a brand to ensure that posts follow disclosure laws. Given all these factors, it is important to work with influencers you know and trust. We always recommend starting with bloggers you have collaborated with previously since they are more likely understand your brand story and the importance of disclosure.

Let Influencers Be Themselves

Snapchat, more than any other platform, has embraced authenticity in a way that makes the kind of ‘packaged’ content that might fit in on Facebook or Instagram feel out of place. Many brands have even loosened the content they produce themselves for Snapchat to avoid appearing too staged. Letting go of the reigns and leaving your story in the hands of a trusted influencer is part of successful Snapchat marketing, and you will have greater success simply letting influencers be themselves, rather than trying to exert too much control.

Focus on Timely Content

Make Snapchat’s disappearing act work for you by using the platform to promote time-sensitive content, such as consumer events or sales. Snapchat is also perfect for real-time content, such as behind-the-scenes posts from a fashion show or live snippets from a launch event. Working with an influencer host, brands might first utilize Snapchat to ‘send out’ invitations, asking viewers to screenshot the post for entry, then use the platform to stream real-time stories during the event.

Stage a Takeover

If you’re just starting out on Snapchat, an influencer takeover is a great way to build your audience and establish a strong presence on the platform. Some brands have found them so effective that they stage regular takeovers, rotating in new influencers to post on their accounts.

Takeovers work in much the same way that they do on Instagram, YouTube or Twitter. Influencers announce on their own feeds that they will take over a brand’s account for a specified time, usually from a few hours to a few days. They then post directly from the brand’s account. The idea is to prompt some followers to stick around and follow future posts, even after the influencer has returned to posting on his or her own feed.

Takeovers have proven particularly effective on Snapchat, where the young audience (60 percent of regular users are under the age of 25) has little tolerance for content that feels branded. Using influencers to promote your own feed is one way to gain a better foothold.

Capture Your Stats

For companies used to the detailed analytics provided by Google and Facebook, Snapchat’s reliance on screenshots can be frustrating — but brands can capture valuable data from their collaborations by setting clear guidelines and getting a little creative. Specify for influencers how many screenshots to take and when to snap them. (Ideally, you want to know how many views your sponsored post received, so ask influencers to snap their screenshot toward the end the 24-hour timeframe.)

From these screenshots, you should be able to tell how many unique views your posts received, how many viewers saw all “snaps” related to your brand, and how many viewers took screenshots of your branded content. Capturing all of these stats requires open, thorough communication with influencers, underscoring how important it is to work with influencers that you trust.


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Kim Westwood is the Founder and Managing Director of Shopping Links, a global influencer and content marketplace for Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle brands. Having managed 850+ collaborations since launching in 2014, Shopping Links actively works with Fortune 500 retailers and brands such as MARKS & SPENCER, Macy's and Folli Follie, with a focus on aligning brands with influencers who share their target audience. Through a personally vetted network of 14,000+ influencers from 103 countries, Kim and her team have worked with 450 bloggers for a single brand. Shopping Links won the Business Services category at the 2016 Governor of Victoria Export Award and has been named to Anthill Magazine's SMART100 Index of most innovative Australian companies.