If you work in social media marketing, then you are probably familiar with Snapchat. Since its founding in the fall of 2011, the application has grown exponentially to an estimated 100 million users. Even more astounding? These users send approximately 700 million photos and videos per day.

With numbers like these, there’s little wonder why businesses are finally taking notice of Snapchat’s huge marketing potential. The service has been gaining popularity with diverse brands ranging from Madonna (who used the app to debut her latest music video) to Comedy Central.

  1. 71% of Snapchat users are under 25
  2. SnapChat has 100 million users
  3. Roughly 70% of Snapchat users are women
  4. 1 billion Snapchat Stories are viewed per day

As you can imagine, this is why I’m advising companies to consider adding the service to their social media strategy. It’s a great way to do targeting marketing with very little risk. So if you’re ready to join the Snapchat revolution-here are five keys to consider.

Understanding the Service

The beauty of Snapchat is that it allows users to transmit multimedia messages (known as snaps) to a controlled list of consumers for a set time determined by the sender. This means that your messages will have a limited shelf life. Which is perfect for consumers who hunger for ever-changing content.

IMG_1577To keep consumers engaged, brands are utilizing a feature called Snapchat Stories. This provides users with a dedicated section in which to post videos and photos connected to a common event. Unlike the typical message (which self-destructs after 10 seconds)-the posts are available for 24 hours. Best of all, it can be viewed repeatedly during this time frame.

It’s Where the Millennials Are

Looking to reach customers in the coveted 18-34 demographic? Then Snapchat is definitely an app that you should embrace. According to a recent ComScore study, millennials make up 71% of active users. This is impressive when you consider that it currently tops Facebook (38%), Twitter (41%) and Tumblr (53%) as this age group’s preferred social media platform. Therefore it’s imperative that marketers take this into account when crafting their message.

Have Smartphone. Will Travel.

At this time, you can only access Snapchat on a smartphone. Which means that marketers must be nimble when it comes to the messages shared on the apps. For example, video creators must consider the both size of the phone’s screen as well as the internet connection.

Although this can seem limiting, the most success businesses on Snapchat has found a way to make the restrictions count. One example would be the NBA’s clever use of behind-the-scenes photos to build excitement about their announcement of the league’s MVP.

Use Discover to Curate Content.

IMG_1578Snapchat Discover is a recent feature that allows advertising partners (such as CNN or Vice) to develop news channels in which to distribute information. While initially designed to only share information solely through their branded portal, Snapchat is now allowing users to share the content. Which is an excellent new development for small brands looking to be seen as a valued information resource for their audience.

Stand Out by Offering Exclusives

As more companies are seeking out Snapchat as a way to reach out to younger customers, there is a growing need to connect with audiences in a meaningful way. One solid way many businesses are doing so is by offering exclusives on the app by way of content and discounts. Given the snap’s shortened time limit, it’s an effective way to reward brand loyalty.

Key Takeaways

Boasting over 100 million active users, Snapchat is fast becoming the app of choice for millennials. Marketers can make the most of the app’s “self-destructing” feature by offering exclusive content and deals for loyal customers. Be sure to utilize Snapchat features such as Story and Discover to curate content while engaging your audience.