These 7 Brands are Leading the Pack in Snapchat Storytelling
Snapchat has come a long way from its early reputation as the teen sexting app. It has evolved to better entertain its users, and somewhere along the way brands decided to get in on the action. With Snapchat reaching 41% of all 18 to 34 year olds in the United States on a given day, it would be a mistake for brands to miss out on this opportunity to directly engage with the millennial audience.
Initially it was not clear how brands could leverage the platform for marketing purposes-- marketers had never worked with disappearing content before, and the lack of visible metrics threw a wrench into traditional marketing strategies. However, these challenges are both double edged swords: by limiting the lifespan of the content, the sense of urgency encourages higher engagement, and by foregoing publicly viewable followers, views, and likes, Snapchat stands out as the one social media platform that cannot be interpreted as a popularity contest. These factors help the platform appeal to a broader audience, one that just wants to have fun on social media without feeling the need to compete. All of that is to say that if you’re a brand (even if you’re just a personal brand), it may be well worth the effort to build an engaging Snapchat presence.
If you’re new to the game, check out our Guide to Curating a Killer Snapchat Story. If you’ve been on Snapchat for a while and you’re looking to up the ante, check out these brands who have pioneered engaging Snapchat content.
Warby Parker | How-to’s & Snapchat Exclusive Products
Warby Parker made waves earlier this summer with the release of a limited edition Snapchat-exclusive pair of glasses. Warby Parker shared the URL exclusively on their Snapchat story, it took users to a page where they could purchase the Haskel mirrored sunglasses, and within 24 hours the special specs were all sold out. If that’s not validation that Snapchat can convert to sales, I’m not sure what is.
Warby Parker also produces phenomenal how-to’s through their “Out of the Box” series in which they demonstrate how to recycle the Warby box into things like terrariums or bird feeders.
NBA | Snapchat Takeovers
In addition to showing behind-the-scenes shots of practice, scenes at the office, and team USA coverage at the Rio Olympics, the NBA frequently features Snapchat takeovers by current and former players who take viewers on tours of locker rooms, hometowns, practice courts, and more. This is an extremely effective way to alleviate your content production load, plus people love to see what a day-in-the-life is like for celebs and athletes.
MeUndies | Comedy Skits
Snapchat skits and longer-form stories made of several Snapchat clips are growing in popularity (there’s even a Tribeca Film Festival competition for Snapchat Shorts!) MeUndies is at the head of the pack, producing creative storylines that simulate film shorts. For example, they recently featured a “behind-the-scenes” skit about the making of the famous Risky Business underwear scene, on the fictional premise that Tom Cruise was wearing MeUndies. Another skit titled "Comfortable Living," produced in the style of an old fashioned TV advertisement, features a man who swaps out his old boxers for a new pair of MeUndies and experiences side effects like constant smiling and rollerblading.
Everlane | Product Teasers, Event Coverage, & Themed Series
Along with exclusive behind the scenes info about new products and behind-the-scenes coverage of events like pop-up Everlane shops or opening parties, Everlane hosts a weekly Q&A session called “Transparency Tuesdays,” in the spirit of the company’s motto “radical transparency.” The strong branding and regularity of this themed series keeps their viewers coming back every week.
Taco Bell | Shareable Content & Custom Filters
Providing content that followers can screenshot, edit and then share with their friends is one of the best ways to amp up engagement. Last year for Valentine’s Day, Taco Bell shared a number of saucy virtual Valentine’s Day cards on their Snapchat story. Viewers could screenshot and customize the images in Snapchat and then send to their loved ones.
Taco Bell also struck gold with their sponsored Cinco de Mayo taco-face lens, which was viewed 224 million times, making it the most successful campaign in Snapchat’s history by a long shot. If you don’t have the big bucks to invest in a nationwide custom lens, local geofilters are a much more affordable option to look into.
GrubHub | Scavenger Hunt Competition
GrubHub was one of the early adopters and creators on Snapchat and they certainly set the bar high with campaigns like their weeklong Snapchat scavenger hunt in which they posted a new challenge everyday. Viewers would submit their entries to be considered for a $50 GrubHub gift card. Challenges included drawing a food doodle on Snapchat, sending in your best “hangry” face, and illustrating your food persona. Not only did GrubHub draw media attention but they also grew their Snapchat user base by 20%.
MPLATCO | Illustrations
Michael Platco is a “Snapchat storyteller” who has created content for numerous brands, from Walt Disney World, to GrubHub, to T-Mobile. His personal brand MPLATCO is known for intricate illustrations and creative plot lines. The secret to his detailed drawings? A stylus pen and the zoom function! (And also a whole lot of talent, duh.) See below for instructions on how to turn the zoom function on. Once zoom is turned on, return to Snapchat and then you can draw inside the zoom box.
Turning zoom on:
Under the Vision section, select Zoom.
Turn Zoom on.
Select Magnification Gestures.
Turn Zoom on.
Which brands did we miss? Who else is killing it on Snapchat that we need to check out?
Creative Community Developer at Snapfluence.
I'm the Oxford comma's biggest fan.