Let’s face it. Brands are having a tough time on social media right now. With the market saturated beyond any kind of prediction, it’s important that the brand focuses on techniques and strategies that bring quick and powerful reach and engagement. If this doesn’t happen, more time is wasted. Not to mention budget. New ideas are always welcome.
Snapchat has consistently surprised, with a huge user base and a fun approach that makes it particularly attractive to a younger audience. The amazing way it allows people to tell stories is the key to its success, though. If you have a little story to tell (and it can be very little), Snapchat is often the ‘go to’ place to tell it.
For the ordinary user, this means fun little narratives on That Big Night Out, or a holiday. For brands, it means an opportunity to tell a brand story that gets your message across quickly and in a way that can be highly engaging.
One aspect of brands and Snapchat that has recently become high profile is the ‘influencer takeover’. This is where a brand works with an influencer who is on Snapchat (and probably a ton of other platforms such as YouTube) and uses their power to help gain more reach and engagement.
Finding the right person can mean a ton of good marketing coming the way of the brand, so it is worth planning the campaign very carefully. Here are some steps we think will help you along the way.
Why this, and why now?
The first thing you need to be clear on is why you are going to do this. Snapchat is a great platform, sure, but finding an influencer and making sure you have a good experience takes a lot of work and a lot of commitment. You need to make sure you have a map so that you don’t veer off course.
Knowing what your goals are is something that every social media campaign presents as a challenge. Come up with a single goal that you can stay focused when things get tough. With Snapchat being such a difficult and challenging platform to ‘get big’ on, many brands may feel that simply gaining more followers is the only reason why they would organise such a campaign.
However, another great goal may well be centered around an upcoming product launch or event. If this is the case, the entire campaign can be focused on brand messages that simply raise awareness of what is coming. In fact, an upcoming special event can be very useful, in that it is time-bound, and can provide a brand with motivation and focus.
Make your goals clear, and it will make the next step easier.
Grab the influencer
This is the part that is obviously highly important. Choosing the right influencer to approach can save you a lot of time in the long run. Look at the top people on YouTube, Instagram (and obviously Snapchat) as well as other major social media platforms and start to make a shortlist of guys and girls you should be approaching to help build your audience.
Remember, you are aiming to develop a relationship and then piggyback off the influence that is there. Build the relationship carefully, and then offer them a takeover opportunity.
By the way, we are assuming, obviously, that you have a presence on Snapchat and plenty of ‘flying hours’ on the platform. If you don’t, it’s going to look a little weak when you try and contact an influencer for the takeover.
Beware of just picking influencers with tons of followers and fans. Instead, focus on obviously healthy accounts, but also people who have a loyal fanbase with plenty of engagement on each platform they are on. Some ‘big guys’ can have tons of followers, but hardly any conversations are taking place on their profiles. You need an active influencer that speaks to his or her audience.
Take the time to look through the feeds of the shortlist, and see whether or not the content and conversation would resonate with your audience type. This will mean your approach to the influencer would most likely meet with success, as the relationship will make sense. It also means that your brand message will not jar with the influencer’s audience.
Clinique and Sephora hooked up with a hugely influential beauty blogger called Hanah Bronfman. Bronfman took over the brand Snapchat accounts and simply mentioned and shared images of her favourite Clinique products (sold at Sephora).
That relationship and synergy will help with this stage. You now have to plan the campaign out with the influencer. Snapchat is such an ephemeral thing, planning the pre-work carefully means that you can have a message going out before the story happens, which will add even more value to the impact when the campaign actually hits.
This is really important stuff. And if you have an event coming up, for example, making sure the influencer is on message with her audience before the takeover means that a degree of hype can be built in.
Then plan the date and time for the takeover, making sure that it makes sense for your product launch, event or marketing cycle. This then leads to the final ‘busy’ stage, where you spend time promoting the takeover on your Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and so on. It’s a big thing, and people need to know about it.
The big moment(s)
When the agreed time has arrived, simply give your influencer access to your Snapchat account. This allows them to create a story for your audience, and hopefully that perfect synergy between your brand message and their influence.
Once the takeover has happened, make sure you save and download everything. This allows you to keep a record of what happened. You can refer to this if you’re reporting to a manager. If you’re an agency, it’s evidence for the next client meeting.
There are a number of reasons why a Snapchat takeover makes good sense for a brand. It is traditionally hard to acquire followers on the platform simply because of the way it has been built. Using an influencer allows you to quickly tap into a bigger audience. It also has huge benefits as a platform because of the storytelling element. This lends it to strong, compelling narratives, or just a darn good yarn.
Try it. It’s a good idea to pitch to a client, and something every brand with a presence on the platform should be considering. And with social being such a challenge for brands right now, finding any way into one of the toughest platforms to crack can’t be a bad thing.
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