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Why Snapchat is the next big thing in digital marketing

Matt Kapko | March 14, 2016
Snapchat is still a relatively small, 'niche' social network, at least compared to Facebook or Twitter, but its more than 100 million seemingly addicted users represent piles of potential customers, and today's savvy digital marketers want in on the action.

Snapchat presents unique marketing challenges

Snapchat is on many marketers' minds, but use of the social network as a marketing tool is still relatively low, according to Misha Talavera, cofounder and head of marketing at social marketing company NeoReach

Many social media marketers today have intimate understandings of Snapchat, according to Talavera, but they face two major roadblocks: pressure from the higher-ups in their organizations; and dysfunctional internal processes. Marketing executives are often hesitant to sink funding into Snapchat, and convoluted approval processes can impede the real time nature of the service, he says.

Some marketers also hold off on Snapchat, because they think the cost of entry for ad partnerships is too high, and the core user too young, according to Len Kendall, vice president of communication at Carrot Creative, a digital marketing agency. However, daily use and frequency have "already rocketed Snapchat into the top three social networks," he says.

"Snapchat's community and user experience encourage in-the-moment content, not the typical highly polished and pre-planned marketing communication that most brands have adopted on social," Kendall says. "As a result, marketers have to move faster to capitalize on cultural events, but the benefit is a sense of authenticity that other more-developed networks are starting to lose." 

Brady Donnelly, managing director at digital-creative agency Hungry, agrees, and he says Snapchat brings a sense of "weightlessness" to any marketing effort. "Because 'Snapchats' are understood to be of-the-moment, unpolished, and personal, they add an insider dimension and a human touch to the outreach of global brands." However, these same characteristics also make it difficult for marketers to integrate Snapchat into large-scale campaigns, he says. 

If Snapchat's audience continues to grow and evolve as it has during the past year, it will increasingly become a "must-include part of any marketer's media mix," says Carrot Creative's Kendall. "My personal prediction is that within three years, Snapchat ad buys will be assumed much like Facebook or YouTube."

 

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