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Snapchat Marketing for Generation Z

November 28, 2016
snapchat marketing

Snapchat Marketing is one of the hot topics right now in business and technology alike.  At every other technology or business conference out there are keynotes and seminars for the little yellow ghost. But what does a real world application of this social network look like at the moment? And what are the specifics to consider if you are a fashion or luxury brand? Should you even get involved in Snapchat?

For the late bloomers – What is Snapchat?

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Snapchat is a little handy app that was first released in 2011. It allows it’s users to share pictures with their friends (who are connected to them on Snapchat) and add captions and funny filters like dog noses or cat ears. The special thing about those “Snaps” is that they have an automatical expiration date – single snaps send to individuals or all your friends delete themselves automatically after viewing. For the so-called “Snapchat  Stories” which are multiple snaps and/or short video clips combined into a longer format which can be viewed be receivers up to 24hs. After that time period they are gone too…poof. The app really started to get popular in 2014 and boosts now over 100 Million daily active users with over 400 million daily snaps send. This means several things, the Snapchat community is growing and highly engaged. So does this mean that every brand should immediately jump on the bandwagon?

Snapchat Marketing is surely great. But who should do it?

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Most of Snapchat’s users are 18-25 years old. It’s a very young demographic. Now that can work for your brand, or against it depending on who you are. If you want to engage with Generation Z, you should probably be one of the following:

  • An activewear brand
  • A streetwear brand
  • A high street brand
  • A skater/punk rock inspired brand
  • A model agency
  • A hip food or drink brand
  • A social conciouss brand with a human message

If you are in the luxury segment, I would personally be careful with Snapchat. Luxury relies a lot on the control of information, timeless aesthetics and reaching a demographic which is affluent and in general 35+. Snapchat’s demographic and its need for extremely well timed and short-lived campaigns does not really fit the busy schedule of today’s HNWIs.

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Pretty vulgar and tasteless if you ask me.

The exception might come in the form of event-marketing combined with for example account-takeovers. For example, letting a supermodel do Behind-the-scenes snaps on fashion week or giving the account to a hip and cool creative director for a day can work wonders. Also, a general disadvantage of Snapchat is it’s yet under-developed capability for targeted advertising and it’s emphasis on silly, more humanistic filters. Sending out a professional vibe that exudes elegance is nearly impossible right now. Another factor is that without targeted PPC, you have to use other channels like your homepage, OOH ads (with your Snapchat QR Code on it) and other networks like twitter or Instagram to first build a following before you can leverage it on Snapchat.

If you are funky, hip and don’t take yourself too seriously (an anathema in luxury, I know), Snapchat can work wonders for you. In any other case, you should wait until the platform develops and matures further before you start spending big bucks on Snapchat campaigns. Being an early adopter for a new marketing channel has its advantages, but in our opinion, Snapchat marketing is still couple steps away from its final and most useful form.

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