Even as Instagram stories have entered the scene, Snapchat is still a big opportunity for brands and businesses looking to reach their consumers with relatable, organic content. In perhaps what sparked its near-identical competitor, Snapchat overtook Instagram last year among the coveted 18-to 24-year-old demographic, sending fashion and lifestyle brands scrambling to develop a strategy. While some businesses are finding success with the platform’s ad service, many others − especially in the fashion and lifestyle space − have found that influencers are more fitting for the raw, “unscripted” platform.
For start-ups and other Snapchat newbies, here are five tips for launching your first influencer campaign:
- Work With Trusted Influencers
Because Snapchat is fleeting by nature (‘Stories’ disappear within 24 hours), brands often don’t see sponsored posts while they’re live, relying instead on screenshots from influencers themselves as proof of their work. Bloggers also don’t have the option to edit posts or submit for review, giving brands even less control over the content published.
Given these factors, it’s important to work with influencers you know and trust. We recommend starting with bloggers you have worked with previously on past collaborations and who understand your brands’ story. Also keep in mind that your legal responsibility to ensure posts follow disclosure laws extends to Snapchat, so it is important to work with bloggers you trust and will include this language in their posts.
- Allow Influencers to be Themselves
Snapchat, more than any other platform, has embraced authenticity in a way that makes the kind of “packaged” content that might fit on Facebook or Instagram feel out of place. Many brands have even loosened the content they produce themselves for Snapchat to avoid appearing too staged. Letting go of the reigns and leaving your story in the hands of a trusted influencer is part of successful Snapchat marketing. You will have greater success simply letting influencers be themselves than trying to exert too much control.
- Focus On To-The-Minute Content
Make Snapchat’s disappearing act work for you by using the platform to promote time-sensitive content, such as consumer events or sales. Snapchat is also perfect for real-time content, such as behind-the-scenes posts from a fashion show, or live snippets from a store opening event. Working with an influencer host, brands might first utilize Snapchat to “send out” invitations, asking viewers to screenshot the post for entry, then use the platform to stream real-time stories during the event.
- Post a “Takeover” Collaboration
If you’re just starting out on Snapchat, an influencer takeover is a great way to build your audience and establish a strong presence on the platform. Some brands have found them so effective that they stage regular takeovers, rotating in new influencers to post on their accounts.
Takeovers work in much the same way as they do on Instagram, YouTube or Twitter. Influencers announce on their own feeds that they will take over a brand’s account for a specified time, usually from a few hours to a few days. They then post directly from the brand’s account. The idea is to prompt some followers to stick around and follow future posts, even after the influencer has returned to posting on his or her own feed.
Takeovers have proven particularly effective on Snapchat, where the young audience (60% of regular users are under the age of 25) has little tolerance for content that “feels” branded. Using influencers to promote your own feed is one way to gain a better foothold in the space.
- Capture Your Screenshots
For companies used to the detailed analytics provided by Google and Facebook, Snapchat’s reliance on screenshots can be frustrating − but brands can capture valuable data from their collaborations by setting clear guidelines and getting a little creative. Specify for influencers how many screenshots to take and when to snap them. (Ideally, you want to know how many views your sponsored post received, so ask influencers to snap their screenshot towards the end of the 24-hour timeframe.)
From these screenshots, you should be able to tell how many unique views your posts received, how many viewers saw all “snaps” related to your brand, and how many viewers took screenshots of your branded content. Capturing all of these stats requires open, thorough communication with influencers, underscoring how important it is to work with influencers that you trust.
Of course, once you’ve mastered Snapchat, you can transfer all of these tips to Instagram stories.