The "Year of Snapchat" and what this means for User-Generated Marketing

Since ringing in 2016, every marketer has been screaming from the top of tall buildings that this year is the “Year of Mobile.” However, I think we can all agree that, in reality, this has been the year of… Snapchat.

Not a day goes by that Snapchat isn’t referenced by at least 3 major publications. This past March, at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival, CNBC went so far as to say that Snapchat “won” the convention. Which is pretty amazing, considering the fact that Snapchat had no official presence at SXSW.

Moving on to the very end of April, Snapchat released a report stating its users were viewing 10 billion videos a day. That’s billion, with a “b.” After seeing this, it is no wonder more and more brands are clamoring for a place at the Snapchat table.

Snapchat is a wonderful platform. It leverages the power of user-generated marketing (marketing where the consumer both creates and distributes co-branded content) and amplifies an advertiser's reach exponentially. Users can follow celebrities and other social influencers who promote products in their daily stories, which get your brand and/or product out there.

Brands have the option to create their own accounts or choose to be involved in the “Discover” section of Snapchat. But, the real asset for advertisers on Snapchat is in the branded filters. For example, I (a self-identified millennial and Snapchat addict) never even look at the Discover section, or bother to follow a brand. But, I also have a hard time beating my roommate (who admittedly wakes up hours before me) in finding out what all the newest Snapchat filters are for the day. Finding out the newest Snapchat filters is a daily habit as ingrained into my psyche as brushing my teeth.

From movie and album releases, to fast food chains, to car brands, it seems like everyone is racing to capitalize on user-generated marketing. This week I'm seeking to bring attention to Snapchat’s branded filters, and to highlight both the pros and cons of the platform’s advertising capabilities (cough…4.20….cough).

The week of May 2nd

Some highlights this week included…

Stationary Filters:

  • Drake’s new album “Views”
  • Captain America – Civil War
  • Samsung Galaxy

Interactive Filters:

  • Wendy’s
  • Bravo’s “Below Deck”
  • Taco Bell (to celebrate Cinco De Mayo)

Adding a Snapchat filter is a great way to get brand recognition. However, just because you have your filter available, doesn’t mean it is interesting enough to make people use it and share it with their friends.

Bravo’s use of an interactive filter for the return of popular show “Below Deck” is a great way to make the most of the platform’s demographic. The show’s audience is primarily made up of the same millennial-types that religiously use Snapchat.

Drake also capitalizes on his core audience (that similarly mirrors the audience of Snapchat’s platform) to spread awareness for his new album. When it comes to latest music, I don’t live under a rock, but if it weren’t for the Snapchat filter’s presence, I would have gone on in life, blissfully unaware of the new album, and wondering what all the new Drake memes on the Internet were about.

Rounding up the week, Taco Bell seamlessly made an entrance into the day's Snapchat filter repertoire with its Cinco De Mayo-themed interactive filter turning users into a giant taco with eyes. How fun! Tying your brand into an event is extremely savvy, going a step further and using Snapchat as an outlet to perpetuate co-created content is masterful.

I can't wait to see what happens next week in the realm of user generated marketing!

*A note should be made that it was extremely difficult for me to find a lot of media buzz about the different filters on the platform. Although 10 billion views seem like quite a potential market, once the filter is gone and the stories time-out, Snapchat’s marketing effectiveness has run its course. If only there was a way your brand could have extended social reach and also repurpose the content created by your audience? If you’re a marketer interested in getting more out of user-generated marketing, please request a demo of the Vivoom platform.