Small and medium businesses are always on the lookout for new, innovative and cost effective ways to promote their businesses online. Thanks to the smartphone technology, consumers have the option to evaluate or buy goods or services while on the move. Brands have to constantly innovative ways to add mobile technology to their marketing strategy & deliver time-sensitive offers to their customers. One such application that small businesses can use to their advantage to connect with their consumers at personal level is Snapchat. Market research reports are shared on Cnet by Nielsen reveal that around 400 million messages are shared every day in Snapchat, and that more than 8 million Snapchat users are of age 18-25.
Snapchat is a simple mobile application that can be downloaded on to your iPhone or Android smartphone. It allows you to send photos, caption and video messages that are automatically deleted once it’s viewed. These messages are called snaps.
A snap has relatively short shelf life i.e. between 1 and 10 seconds. Once the receiver opens and reads it, the snap simply disappears. But it is long enough for your customers to see the snap, read the offer and show you the snap to redeem the special offer. Recently, Snapchat unveiled a new feature called Snapchat Stories which allows the photos and videos to be available for 24 hrs. This makes it all the more sweeter for small businesses to use "snaps" as part of their mobile marketing strategy.
How can you use Snapchat for your business marketing needs
Think of Snapchat as a multi-media messaging service. Imagine you’re a pizza joint and video library owner. On a Friday evening, say at about 6 PM, your ideal customer is probably thinking what to have for dinner or how to spend the evening. That’s just the right time for you to send them a snap with a discount coupon for pizza and/or a video. Reach your customer, at just the right time, with just the right offer. A win for both of you!
We’ve put together a few pointers on how YOU can use Snapchat to engage directly with your customers.
1. Woo your customers by sending Mobile Coupons
Use Snapchat to send out a discount code or exclusive offer to your consumers with whatever time limit you deem appropriate. These coupons are delivered in a matter of seconds. The customers have to click snaps of your product being used either by them or their friends and send them back to you. They will then get a special discount, that’s tailor-made for them. This way they will come back to you for more. It’s one of the ways to reach out to your customers.
2. Generate Leads with Giveaways
Encourage your fans following you on Facebook, twitter or other social networks and also on your website to add your brand to their Snapchat community. You can reward those fans who rope in their friends and spread the word. Giveaways are a fantastic way to help retain the old customers, keep in touch with the new ones and also generate leads.
3. Use Snapchat stories to show behind-the-scene footages
People are curious to know what happens behind the scene. Create a quick snippet, a range of photos or a 10 second video or a combination of both, of your brand and send it your customers to create a buzz. This snippet can be anything from photo shoots to fashion show preps, community service or even a teaser for your new product that is likely to be launched shortly. You can probably give a link to send them to your website or YouTube to view the full story.
4. Allow a sneak peek of your new product
You can offer your loyal clients exclusive access to and information about your brand's new offerings. Snaps can include a string of teasers before divulging the complete picture of the forthcoming product launch. Snapchat allows you to treat your customers like personal friends.
5. Play up occasions using Snapchat as a celebration tool
Snapchat provides a perfect platform to announce special holiday sales and promotional events. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a major holiday. Every month comes with lesser known occasions that call for celebrations such as Chocolate milkshake day, International Talk like a pirate day, day or even local community events. These are perfect times to offer special goodies and other takeaways to loyal and potential customers.
6. Gamification using Snapchat as a novel marketing strategy
Gamification has been a buzzword for a few years now and it is being increasingly adopted as a potent marketing tool. A customer has to successfully complete a game(s) to qualify for the discounts or prizes. Leverage Snapchat to build a scavenger hunt which has to be completed successfully to avail attractive offers.
7. Use Snapchat as a reminder service
If you're running a vehicle service station and have a well-maintained CRM system, you can use Snapchat as a reminder service. It’s been eight months since your customer's last oil change. You can send him a snap with a coupon offering a discount for an oil change and car wash. To avail this offer he has to come before noon on the following weekend. This snap reminds him that it’s time to change the engine oil and also encourages a quick response if he wants to avail the offer.
In this era of intense marketing campaigns and their quick emulation, Snapchat offers a refreshing approach to attract and engage customers. It’s an affordable marketing tool to engage the tech-savvy crowd. As business owner are you making the most of it? Do you Snapchat? Tell us in the comments below!