Snap, the Job’s a Game: Snapchat Demonstrates Promising Potential for Marketers

After three years of operating without a revenue stream, mobile app Snapchat is making a powerful play for advertisers’ attention. In late June, Snapchat launched an official website dedicating to informing and attracting future advertisers. Less than a week later, the company’s CEO Evan Speigel pushed Snapchat’s advertising potential to a group of 6,000 advertising elites at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.Smartphone With Apps Flying Off The Screen

Speigel didn’t have to do much to convince Cannes Lions that Snapchat is a valuable marketing tool. The four-year-old app currently has 200 million active users, 80% of whom live in the United States. Every day, users take 700 million photos on the photo- and video-sharing platform. Plus, Snapchat is not totally new to advertising. Brands like Sephora have already run successful viral sweepstakes on the platform.


In the last decade, social media advertising has emerged as a playful alternative to big bucks television advertising. Unfortunately, sites like Facebook have infamously low clickthrough rates. It seems the site’s users, who often source content from a large number of casual friends, are only offhandedly engaged in advertising campaigns including viral campaigns.

Snapchat is a little different. The app does not have a search feature, which means a user can only find someone if he or she already knows that person’s phone number or Snapchat handle. Snapchat also makes it easy for users to be selective about who sees a certain snap, so users can personalize their post for its receivers. Because Snapchat is a more intimate social network, a snap is also more likely than a Facebook post to generate a conversation.

Advertisers know that word-of-mouth is a powerful marketing tool. That is, after all, the assumption behind using social media for advertising at all. When a potential consumer hears about a product from a friend, word-of-mouth is even more convincing. Forty-seven percent of Internet users say they have purchased products that a friend recommended. Snapchat users are not sifting through a large number of posts from casual friends, leading experts to conclude that viral campaigns will be more effective on the app than on Facebook.

Two Men Discussing Social Media Recommendations

The key to a successful Snapchat campaign? Get on Snapchat’s level. The social network is known for silly selfies and funny videos. That’s what most users expect when they open Snapchat and what they want to see. Sephora’s successful 2015 #MyGuyAtSephoraSweeps had customers send snaps of the men in their life at one of the cosmetic retailer’s stores.

Pavement With User Generated Content Written In The Yellow Paint

The sweepstakes poked fun at the self-sacrificing men that women drag into Sephora. Campaigns that connect with consumers over Snapchat’s goofiness, like this one, blend seamlessly into the social network’s user-generated content.