Inbound Marketing

Having a social media strategy is one of the keys to effective inbound marketing, and in the quickly changing digital world, we have more options than ever to attract, convert, close, and delight our customers.

Recently, we talked about Pinterest as a means to increase B2B and B2C marketing results, but today we’re here to discuss another social media super power: Snapchat.

I’m sure you’ve heard of it, or at least you’ve seen pictures of people with those cute puppy dog filters over their faces. Well, now it’s so much more than just that. The latest update, coming out just last week, “separates the social from the media.”

4 Snapchat Tools That Boost Audience EngagementThis means there is now a noticeable separation between the chats, photos, and stories from your friends (accessed by a swipe to the left) and content from publishers, community, and advertisers (accessed by a swipe to the right). That’s right, Snapchat created a hub specifically for businesses to reach consumers!

But what, exactly, is Snapchat, and what does it mean for B2C marketing?

A Little Story, A Snapchat Story

Snapchat is a mobile app that began primarily for image messaging between two people in which the images are only available for a limited amount of time before they self-delete, like Inspector Gadget.  

Pretty cool concept, right? Snapchat is, essentially, a way to get around the performance aspect of social media. Imagine the “I woke up like this” – perfectly applied makeup-face that you see on Instagram versus the “I literally just woke up like this” – drool-crusted hair, retainer in mouth, face of Snapchat.

In short, Snapchat is so much more personable and in-the-moment than other forms of social media.

And it has a pretty active user base, too!

Snapchat has, on average, over 178 million users who spend roughly 30 minutes daily on the app, with more than 60% of them using the camera to create stories or send photos. Snapchat touts itself as a way to “raise awareness,” “increase consideration,” and “drive action.”

Not to mention, an App Annie analysis by Snap Inc. determined that 80% of Snapchat users in the United States do not use Twitter on any given day. This means that if you’re using Twitter as a part of your social media strategy, but not Snapchat, you could be missing out on a key portion of your audience.

How Do I Harness This Power For B2C Marketing?

Snapchat has evolved drastically from simply sending person-to-person photos at its inception in 2011. This app is now rife with these handy little tools for B2C businesses to generate new leads through audience engagement.


1) Sponsored Lenses

Lenses add effects to an image or video by using face detection. You can create a lens that lets Snapchat users play around with your brand! They can even be interactive! Snapchat released an interactive dancing hotdog filter this year that took over the internet for a time. Imagine something like that, but with your brand’s logo. Users can literally interact with your brand!

Pros? It’s super fun for users! And it works, Kraft Macaroni’s sponsored lens reached almost 20 million chatters in 24 hours and their brand favorability increased by 5 points.

Cons… It costs upwards of $400,000 per day (yikes!).

2) Snapchat Ads

Snapchat now allows advertisers to buy space and show an ad on the platform. The “Discover” feature was added in 2015 as a separate page in the app showing short form ad content from reputable news sources (think ESPN, CNN, MTV).

Utilize the new ad-manager to create your own goals, optimize, and measure your results in real time. You can even customize the audience you want to reach out of 300 indicators, like interests, buying habits, location, and entertainment preferences. You can reach out to specific demographics, too. They can be as broad as an age range or as specific as a mother with preschool age children.

Pros? It’s a great way to reach the right people, and to track your results so you’re not wasting your time.

Cons… The minimum daily budget is $100/day (costly, but not as bad as $400k, right?!).

3) On-Demand Geofilters

Geofilters are image overlays that are only accessible in a certain location. For example, a wedding party can create a wedding-themed image overlay or frame that all guests in the venue can access and place over their wedding pictures.

This is useful for businesses who want to advertise a sale, promotion, or event. Snappers at an event can apply an overlay promoting your brand’s name or involvement. Shoppers at a major sale can overlay snaps with your geofilter before they send them to friends for second opinions (37% of Snapchatters do this!).

Pros? Creating geofilters for specific promos is a great way to increase audience awareness and engagement, which ultimately drives lead generation! Also, they cost as low as $5 so they’re great for smaller B2C companies.

Cons… That $5 only gets you brief time periods and small locations.

4) Stories  

Stories allow users to create a chronological narrative of photos or videos that stay on a person’s page for 24 hours! It’s a great way to show what’s really going in the behind-the-scenes of your business. This is a free way to promote to and engage all of your followers for a 24-hour window!

Even better, “Our Story” lets users add their videos to a story that’s shared with a larger community (i.e., a shared location or event). Now you’re not just able to reach your own followers, but connect with a larger source of possible leads!  

Pros? It’s great for letting people know about contests, perks, or promotions. It can also serve as a way to really engage your followers if you’re willing to get a little creative and playful (see Grubhub’s scavenger hunt).

Cons… Your stories can only be seen by your friends, so the reach may not be as far as you’d hope (unless you’re utilizing Our Story!).

To Snap or Not to Snap?

That is the question, right? Well, the answer is, SNAP!

Co-founder Evan Spiegel says it all:

Snapchat isn’t about capturing the traditional Kodak moment. It’s about communicating with the full range of human emotion — not just what appears to be pretty or perfect. {…} We’re building a photo app that doesn’t conform to unrealistic notions of beauty or perfection but rather creates a space to be funny, honest or whatever else you might feel like at the moment you take and share a Snap.

Whether you have a multi-million dollar budget or $5 in your pocket, Snapchat has a tool you can utilize to increase your reach, improve audience engagement, and generate more leads.

So snap to it!

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Topics:   Inbound Marketing

Aimee English

Aimee is an intern at Stratus Interactive getting her feet wet with content writing and digital marketing. She got her undergraduate degree in English at West Chester University. She’s also an avid cross-fitter and certified cat-lady (a winning combination, for sure)! See all Aimee English's posts.