Snapchat is a social media platform that poses both challenges and possibilities for marketers. It’s not as straightforward or intuitive as other social networks, but its flexibility offers enormous creative freedom and storytelling opportunities for brands that can think outside the news feed.
Here are a few examples of brands that are doing Snapchat right: creating fun, engaging content to connect on a personal level with their audience.
In the era of Airbnb and Couchsurfing, major hotel chains aren’t necessarily the first choice for millennial budget travelers. But Marriott is crafting exclusive content on Snapchat to show the benefits of its Rewards program to a younger audience.
The company is releasing four “snapisodes” in a series called “Six Days, Seven Nights.” Each three-minute video features a different influencer staying in a Marriott property, and sharing his or her adventures around the city (the episodes are set in Berlin, New York City, Seoul and Dubai). The first snapisode in Berlin is a whirlwind food tour of the city, featuring influencer (and picky eater) Jen Levinson trying everything from currywurst to schnitzel.
The New York Times
The New York Times is a symbol of traditional print journalism, but it hasn’t been shy about experimenting with new tools, and adopting social media to reach different audiences. The publication started creating Snapchat Stories in 2015, an endeavor it framed as “a new mobile challenge for storytelling.”
Since then, The Times staff has posted self-deprecating Stories about journalists learning how to use Snapchat, glamorous behind-the-scenes footage of the Met Gala and the Grammys, and visual explanations of how the Electoral College works using M&Ms. This week, the New York Times announced that it will continue publishing Stories, but also join Discover, Snapchat’s hub for news and media partners.
NASA’s Snapchat account appeals to anyone curious about science and space, offering followers a glimpse into a day in the life on the International Space Station or at the Kennedy Space Center.
For one Story last year, NASA partnered with Snapchat to document a day in space on the ISS, showing how everyday tasks are carried out in zero gravity, and sharing interesting science facts.
As an early adopter and a Discover partner, MTV has a strong Snapchat presence that targets a millennial audience. Last fall, the network launched three video series on its Discover channel: a game show called “Show Us Ur Phone,” an advice show called “MTV Sex Squad,” and a celebrity interview show called “MTV Threads.”
MTV is also connecting its Snapchat content to its traditional TV broadcasts. For the 2016 Video Music Awards, MTV’s Snapchat Story covered the show itself – including performances by Beyoncé, Rihanna and Britney Spears – as well as backstage footage. VMA-related content on Snapchat earned 30.5 million total video views, up from 25 million in 2015.
Interested in creative Snapchat strategies for your brand? Get in touch!