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Snapchat is a sometimes overlooked, but powerful marketing channel – thanks to its highly engaged, young audience. 210 million people use Snap every day, creating a whopping 3.5 billion Snaps daily. With each user checking the app roughly thirty times daily, there’s a lot of opportunities for the best brands to shine on Snapchat.
The best brands on Snapchat leverage the network’s unique ad formats, including short-form video and AR. They take time to produce content that’s truly interesting to Snap’s audience, and ensure their ads aren’t boring, aggressively hard-sell, or easy to ignore. In this article, we learn from the best brands on Snapchat, so you can replicate their success.
SHEIN is a global online fashion brand for men and women, operating in 224 countries with over 10 million users. SHEIN wanted to reach a millennial and Gen-Z audience, so Snapchat marketing made perfect sense given 90% of Snapchat users are aged 13-24.
To drive installs for their app, SHEIN used Snap Ads. These feature short videos showcasing their products, with a link to swipe up and buy directly, or browse. SHEIN targeted these ads to users with fashion interests, leveraging ‘Snap Lifestyle Categories’. Snap Lifestyle Categories are a bank of 100+ interests based on content users watch and engage with, unique to Snapchat.
SHEIN also targeted Story Ads to audience segments who showed high intent to purchase. For Story Ads, SHEIN showed off variety and depth in product lines. They used Tile images (the preview you see in ‘Discover’ feeds before you tap Stories) with interesting headlines to spark curiosity, encouraging Story taps. Additionally, they used Audience Insights and Goal Based Bidding to give users that final push to convert. These strategies helped SHEIN become one of the best brands on Snapchat, connecting to younger audiences at a 50% lower cost-per-purchase on Snapchat than other channels. Their app also achieved 20% lower cost-per-install on Snap – a great success!
Dating is hard enough at the best of times, and felt almost impossible with lockdown. Enter virtual dating! Bumble, the dating app where women swipe first, is seeking to normalise virtual dating in the post-pandemic world. To resonate with (mostly London-based) women aged 18-35, Bumble partnered up with Cosmopolitan for their Snapchat campaign.
Bumble used Snapchat takeover movies, the first of which featured ‘Lockdown Love Lessons’. This resonated with Snapchat’s audience of mostly young women, who are looking for culturally aware and socially responsible ways to date and connect. Their second film featured a takeover from a Cosmo staff member, talking about their own experience with virtual dating. This strategy works similarly to influencer marketing. Cosmo is a huge brand for women worldwide, so hearing about virtual dating from them adds credibility and breaks the air of awkwardness around digital dates.
So, what can we learn from Bumble? They really knew why Snapchat would work for them: given the general demographic was ‘just right’. They were also culturally aware and understood what their audience wanted to see. By leveraging Snap’s native ad formats, and partnering with an established women’s brand, they expanded reach without coming across as a traditional ad. They also delivered real value, giving people a social avenue in this new normal.
Taco Bell is an American fast-food chain selling tacos, burritos and nachos. They established themselves as one of the best brands on Snapchat by breaking records a few years ago. Their Cinco de Mayo lens turned user’s faces into giant taco shells, totaling a record-breaking 224 million views on one day. According to Snapchat, their Cinco de Mayo campaign generated 12.5 years of plays in just one day!
While not all brands can get away with a giant taco face filter, there’s still lots to learn here. Taco Bell leveraged Gen Z’s love of interactive elements by adding a filter, something that makes sense when you realise 70% of Snapchatters regularly use AR filters. They also kept marketing lightweight and humorous, which is important when your audience really dislike aggressive ads, and will simply ignore them. Their campaign was also incredibly simple, with one clear goal: get Taco Bell on people’s minds.
So, to be like the Bell, get experimental and think about weaving in tactful humor into your marketing.
Yubo is a Gen Z-focused social network helping users connect via streaming and chat. While Yubo already has 25 million users, they wanted to encourage app installs and awareness with 13-24 year olds. The big challenge? They’re in a very competitive market for Gen Z attention, since digital natives are spoilt for choice when it comes to social media.
To differentiate themselves, Yubo took a multi-channel approach on Snapchat and TikTok. They combined paid ads with influencer partnerships, which makes sense given both platforms are human-centric and influencer driven. Yubo asked influencers to create Snapchat media pages featuring text messaging based skits, using popular music tracks in the background. This won them over 10,000 app installs and a whopping 13.6M views across both channels.
To learn from Yubo, consider partnering with relevant influencers to take your campaign to the next level. This works to make your content relatable, and expands your reach to all the influencers’ followers as well.
One of the best brands on Snapchat: the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants! The ACCA wanted to change how young people see the accounting profession, going from dull and elitist to enjoyable and accessible. Looking to attract their next generation of members, they needed to target Gen Z and bolster relevance with this market.
To do this, we activated a Snapchat campaign for them. We partnered with influencers to create videos where they talked about ACCA qualifications and where they could lead, especially in the creative industries like music, film and art. This added a ton of reach and encouraged organic engagement, with users asking questions and having natural conversations with the influencers in our campaign.
The next step we took was to encourage deep engagement with an interactive element. We know Gen Z love AR filters, so we developed an AR lens allowing users to switch between an old-fashioned accountant image, and a digitally-savvy modern accountant. We pushed these filters further by getting our influencer partners to feature them in short videos. Both of these tactics were incredibly successful, with the ACCA receiving half a million views, and high CTRs on Snapchat.
So, we’ve covered top strategies used by the best brands on Snapchat. To see results like this, pick up on common tactics used in these examples. Influencer marketing is key to Snapchat, as is creative and original content. Your brand could really succeed with some well-placed tactful humor, but shy away from this if you’re not sure it’s culturally relevant.
And that’s all, folks! Experiment with Snapchat to see what results you can drive for your brand. If you’re not sure where to start, get in touch.