Confession: A year ago, I convinced my previous employer to invest in a landing page to support a Snapchat-specific campaign. Although the landing page was pushed across many channels, I wanted the traffic to primarily be from our Snapchat audience. As Snapchat was without any mass traffic-driving capabilities, we were left promoting a vanity URL as text over our videos and images. Predictably, we successfully got no more than one percent of our audience on the landing page.
Nevertheless, I invested my time and attention in maintaining that page because, well, I was riding on my prediction that Snapchat would introduce a feature by which anyone could link to websites through Snaps. My dream was to append these linked Snaps to our Story, thereby driving our Snapchat audience to our brand websites. While providing virtually zero ROI on that landing page for over a year (no, I did not lose my job for this), I took up volatile conversations with marketers, practically begging them to agree that my prediction for Snapchat would prove correct.
I kept running into this terrible fad: Marketers argued that Snapchat was the new TV. But how could Snapchat be considered TV when it serves as a direct messenger? What about website and app download ads? What about the active, engaged consumption of branded content?
Yes, I was bonkers. But, now, I am right. Thank every celestial being.
All said celestial beings, and marketers, are singing. Let me tell you why.
The truth is that Snapchat has terrible reporting—the stuff that’ll drive you to tears if all social media efforts in your company must be reported and only supported if ROI calculations are possible. The introduction of these linked Snaps provides marketers with, arguably, the first reliable method of collecting the data necessary to prove a brand’s effectiveness on Snapchat. Finally, marketers can land a Snapchatter on their website to learn who they are, where they are, and how they like to engage with their brands.
While Snapchat itself still does not provide necessary reporting, 24 hours after marketers have appended a linked Snap to their Snapchat Story, they can jump into their Google Analytics accounts and analyze their Snapchat-delivered website traffic. Google Analytics to the rescue.
Beyond reporting, brands can utilize Snapchat’s update to boost engagement and sales. While the implementation will be unique for every brand, I hope the following strategies help get your creative juices flowing.
Linked Snaps provide marketers with the first reliable method of collecting data on Snapchat.
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Become a Snapchat Influencer
Say you are a YouTube star known for your hilarious reviews on grocery stores. Through considerable time and effort, you’ve grown a healthy Snapchat audience who can’t get enough of your impromptu produce aisle telenovela episodes. Snapchat is fun, but you know you can only chase that dollar by way of gaining the YouTube views and subscribers that lead to brand sponsorships.
At last, you can link your original, promotional YouTube videos in your Snaps. In doing so, you can increase your YouTube views and subscribers by driving your Snapchat audience to your channel. More importantly, by landing your audience on YouTube, you have effectively captured their demographic and geographic information. Now, you can prove to potential sponsors that your Snapchat audience is within their target audience, meaning your Snapchat engagement is valuable to their brand and profitable to you.
Snap to Increase Sales
Say you are a clothing line that relies heavily on online sales to stay out of the red. You have grown a loyal Snapchat audience by providing channel-exclusive content, like behind-the-scenes interviews with the craftsmen of your American-made products. All of a sudden, you can land your burgeoning Snapchat audience on the web page of any product that tickles their fancy.
Say you notice your brand’s pair of red tassel earrings is earning all kinds of engagement on Instagram. Capture a Snap of your craftsmen making the earrings, link to the product page (hopefully with a “summer sale” CTA), and watch those carts fill up and those purchases roll in.
Make Something Out of Nothing
Many brands haven’t grown an audience on Snapchat. No judgment here—it’s hard to do. But even with no audience, your brand can benefit from this Snapchat update.
Throw a link to your website every time you send your Snaps out to “Our Story,” especially if you just happen to manage accounts for world-renowned resorts or events. Cross your fingers, stand on one foot, and pray to your celestial beings that the linked Snap earns a place on one of Snapchat’s curated stories. With much luck, your linked Snap could be seen by thousands of your potential customers.
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