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The social media site Snapchat is becoming an increasingly prominent marketing tool. This photograph-focused social platform is particularly popular with young people and the key millennial demographic. Yet digital marketers can often be dissuaded from participating with Snapchat to a significant degree by the expense involved with campaigns and results which are often inconclusive.

The Snapchat Challenge

But as the social media site continues to grow, it is being recognised that embracing Snapchat is absolutely essential for companies from all industrial niches. The type of content which is delivered via Snapchat is particularly vogueish, and this has led businesses to seek solutions to the issues which they have encountered. Increasingly, agencies, businesses and brands are all seeking workarounds to enable them to deliver content with Snapchat more effectively, and additionally utilising the social platform in order to complement campaigns, much as occurred in the early days of Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook.

Aside from the photographic element of Snapchat, the social media site also has a variety of compilation videos from special events and locations. These can be found under the “Our, Live and Local Stories” channels contained within the site. This application enables sponsorships to be purchased, and some of these have already been snapped up at around $75,000 per day. And most notably, large brands such as McDonald’s have outlaid as much as $750,000 for daily official sponsorships via the Snapchat platform.

The Transient Platform

The interesting and unique aspect of this Snapchat advertising platform is that content and advertisements both appear and disappear very rapidly. Within 24 hours, a sponsored campaign will make way for new material. This gives the Snapchat platform a transient nature which does not necessarily appeal to all marketers. Additionally, digital marketers can be sceptical about the value of Snapchat, as directly targeting advertisements that specific audiences can be challenging, as is measuring the efficacy of these campaigns.

Digital advertising executives have commented that Snapchat's sales pitch currently requires improvement. With no obvious way to target advertisements, marketers have a tendency to invest money in platforms in which they already have faith. This is particularly true as the investment in Snapchat advertising cannot necessarily be described as affordable.

However, despite the reservations that some marketers have, there is no doubt that Snapchat can play a legitimate role in marketing as a social influencer. A recent example of this has been provided by the headphone maker JBL. This brand commissioned the social shop Delmondo in order to encourage leading Snapchat influencers to share messages with their significant followings during the NBA All-Star Game weekend. Such a campaign can be relatively affordable, costing around $50,000, yet potentially generating hundreds of thousands of hits and views.

Hiring Social Influencers

The concept of hiring a company such as Delmondo to assist with Snapchat campaigns and influence will become increasingly prominent and important as the social media platform develops. Some of the very earliest advertisers on Snapchat indeed engaged with these networks in order to provide an additional impetus for social media campaigns.

Companies which are able to offer Influence over platforms such as Snapchat can form an important part of an overall social media strategy, which complements a business’ existing efforts. Hiring an influencer such as Delmondo should not be seen as a standalone social media strategy, or as a replacement for a brand’s own campaigns. Instead, utilising such influences should occur in conjunction with an immersive social media effort from a brand’s own marketing department.

The number of social agencies devoted to finding creative ways to measure the effectiveness of social media campaigns is now growing. Companies such as theAmplify are offering real insight into the efficacy of campaigns on ‘new wave’ social platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram. Unquestionably, devoting energy and resources to such social agencies can pay off in the long-term.

Nonetheless, measuring some basic indicators on Snapchat remains tricky. It can be difficult to tell whether users are watching the entirety of Snapchat videos. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that Snapchat users are extremely engaged with the content of the social media platform, with the ‘Stories’ channel in particular proving hugely popular. Snapchat already boasts that this channel alone attracts over 1 billion views per day, And it is clear that this is a social media platform which has real potential.

Taking Advantage of Snapchat’s Uniqueness

Perhaps what attracts young people in particular to Snapchat is its instant and transitive nature. Content on Snapchat is genuinely unique, and one can be certain when viewing it that it is not in any way dated. This appeals to millennials in what is an increasingly fast-moving culture. And although the very nature of Snapchat means that advertisers and marketers can be hesitant about utilising it, early adopters could ultimately be richly rewarded for their faith in the medium. There is a mindset shift among consumers, brands and marketers, and Snapchat is playing a role in this, a role that will expand in the future.

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