What if I told you that there was a social platform that would enable you to reach and interact with every single potential customer for your service or good in a way that was authentic, fully personalized and most importantly, almost completely free to utilize? Chances are you’d tell me I was crazy and that Facebook/Instagram/Twitter was none of those things. Insert Snapchat, stage red-hot recent IPO and the answer to your startups growth prayers (if you do it right).
-150 million people login to Snapchat daily and spend 30+ minutes inside the platform
-The core demographic is Gen Y and Gen Z
-90% of advertising on the platform has been done my billion dollar brands with billion-dollar marketing budgets
-Core product is personal messaging with news/content curation built-in
-Limited targeting functionality
Let’s dissect that – basically your entire addressable market is on Snapchat (but you can’t specifically target them), they spend a lengthy amount of time in-app, and they’re spending it absorbing information (usually from irrelevant brands/products) – seemingly a lost cause from a traditional advertiser’s perspective; but from a savvy growth marketer’s viewpoint, this is a gold mine, the biggest opportunity of all time.
Huh? Bogdan, you’re crazy, you’re probably thinking, Snapchat sounds like a nightmare to use as an entrepreneur especially compared to a Facebook or a Google.
Here’s the thing, the reason Facebook and Google and all of those other ad platforms make so much money isn’t because they’re good or effective at acquiring customers for advertisers, it’s because they’re easy to use and eliminate competitive advantage – they’re essentially equivalent to you burning money – because in those exchanges you can be outspent by a more well-capitalized competitor at any point. The opportunity, the real billion dollar opportunity is in the hard – the new platforms that are messy, and broken most likely, but that could offer you that once in a lifetime growth. I think Snapchat, even with all its challenges, does that.
Here’s how you can use these major platform inefficiencies to your advantage:
You want real measurable growth, as such don’t advertise through their ad manager – frankly it sucks and you’ll just blow money without results. The real power of Snapchat is that it allows its users to tell Stories, through video and photos. Your goal is simple – figure out what your existing customers like – the entertainment preferences, general worldviews they have – then find micro-influencers (people with thousands of followers in those respective areas on Snapchat) and reach out to them. Ask them to collaborate and introduce your brand to their audiences, trade product for those mentions and have them offer unique or specific calls to actions/promos. Leverage the power of their networks. Use filters, stories, sharing everything available. It’ll be hard, but if focus and are methodical, you just scaled your brand in an unimaginable way without any chance of being copied. [Insert other social network] eat your heart out.