One of my mom’s friends recently posted on social media that her teenage daughter found hilarious the fact that she had no idea what Snapchat was and accidentally called it “snackchat”, thinking it is an app for ordering food. An honest mistake, I’d say. But not one that any marketer, regardless of generation, can afford to make.

Originally the platform was designed for rapid image swap between friends but it has since evolved a great deal. If you don’t want to miss most of Gen Z as a potential customer, you need to be there too. 71% of this generation uses Snapchat as part of their daily routines and half of them go on to it more than ten times a day. And those were the numbers before schools and colleges closed; they are probably skyrocketing right now with everyone spending more time at home. Furthermore, older generations have also become partial to Snapchat so the potential audiences just keep growing.

4 Tips for using Snapchat when promoting your online course

Signing up for a business account is fairly easy and there’s nothing to elaborate on. Here’s what to do after you are “in”:

  1. Have frequent posts to your story

    Your account needs to look active so it’s best to add content on a daily basis since the life span of posts is of a single day. After that, it’s gone – which is an explanation for the company’s ghost shaped logo. There are a lot of stories going around but the initial thought seems to have been that this is the best symbol for the “now you see me/now you don’t” quality of the pictures posted.

    The best bet for you is to post two or three things a day in order to make sure you stay visible enough. Too many similar posts will be deemed redundant and you’ll lose audience instead of gaining it. You want to keep your followers engaged and coming back to your profile so it’s very important not to overwhelm them (keep in mind that you are mostly dealing with digital natives who don’t have an appetite for lingering on a subject for extended periods of time.

    Here are some recommendations to have stories that truly stand out:

    • Have a hook – a good headline will always grab attention.
    • Develop a well-written storyboard as it should be the payoff to what the engaging hook promises.
    • Keep it short because this is a fast-paced platform.
    • Add music or sounds to enhance the narrative and make it more entertaining.
    • Caption videos so they can be also watched by those whose sound is off.
    • Stay informed about the lingo (the slang) your audience uses so you can appeal to them more.
    • Use quizzez and polls as they are engaging and very appreciated by the younger generations.
  2. Create your own sponsored lens or filter

    This might sound a little ridiculous for those of you who are a bit more conservative but trust me, lenses are insanely popular at the moment. Filters too.

    Snapchat has plenty of them built directly into their platform. Instead of posting a regular selfie, users can make the image black and white, apply a filter to make their eyes abnormally large, get a bunny nose, or make it disappear altogether. Some filters for video snaps can even change the pitch of your voice.

    Studies show that out of the thirteen million new daily users of Snapchat, seven to nine million were drawn in by these features. And you can get them for your business.

    Gatorade did so during Super Bowl 50, and it turned into one of the most successful Snapchat campaigns on to date. It is tradition for the winning coach to get Gatorade dumped on his head by the players. So Gatorade created a sponsored filter during the game that would simulate Gatorade getting dumped on the user’s head.

    If you are selling online courses, you can get creative with what would be the best representation and translate it into a fun filter. It’s an awesome way to get noticed and Snapchat offers a comprehensive guide on how to create lenses and filters.

  3. Do takeovers

    Think of Saturday Night Live. It’s been around since 1975 and is still going strong. One of its main features is that each episode is presented by a different celebrity who ‘takes over’ by delivering the opening monologue and acting in various skits. It is always exciting.

    As far a Snapchat takeover is concerned, it can go two ways: you may host a guest on your channel or be a featured guest on another channel. In both variants, the bigger the audience, the better (yet keep in mind that it has to be the appropriate audience).

    Since you are promoting online learning, partnering up with somebody who, for example, is all about wild parties and challenging all known establishments, will not work in your favor. It may actually lead to your losing what audience you do have. It’s best to find those more similar to you (or at least with similar values and message) and work with them for the mutual Snapchat visibility cause.

  4. Learn from Snapchat Insights

    Snapchat Insights will help you track how successful you are at accomplishing your goals on this platform. You can get valuable intel about your audience, story view times, content reach, and other metrics, then use it to evaluate and adjust your approach.

    Follow count is as important as it is in all social media venues, so you’ll want to constantly keep an eye and work on increasing it.

    Your view time shows precisely how many minutes your viewers watched your Snapchat story. This is a good indicator of how successful your content is at keeping the visitors engaged. Furthermore, you can check out the average view time for each day of the week, so you’ll know when it’s best to post and how long the content ought to be.

    It’s also possible to check the completion rate – how many users watched your story from beginning to end.

    Something that is unique to Snapchat is that it also counts how many times visitors took screenshots of your posts.

Wrapping up

Whether you are new to Snapchat or have been engaged with the platform for some time, the possibilities it offers when it comes to marketing are increasing by the day, so it is wise to turn that to your advantage and be present and engaging on this ‘ghostly’ platform.

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