5 Questions to Answer Before Launching Your Brand on Snapchat

If you’re anxious to find out how best to reach Snapchat’s young and growing audience and wondering where to start, you’re not alone. Snapchat’s users expect authenticity and creativity, and the platform’s ephemeral content isn't as associated with polished photos and videos as Instagram and Facebook.

Hannah Law, VP of strategy, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, shares some important factors to consider before getting started on the platform.

Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, VP of strategy, Hannah Law
Hannah Law, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide

Snapchat is the cool new kid on the social media block. But don’t let that stop you from jumping in without a strategy:

1. Why does your brand want to be on Snapchat? “Because it’s cool” or “because my kids are using it” are not legitimate answers. Decide on the marketing objective that Snapchat can help you achieve. Maybe it's building brand affinity among U.S. teenagers, increasing attendance for college networking events in NYC or positioning your brand as an innovator among tech-savvy Millennials by experimenting with new social media platforms. Setting up a strong business objective will ensure you stay focused, are positioned to present measurable outcomes and don’t waste money or time.

2. Is your target audience on Snapchat? And, importantly, do they want to hear from you there? Snapchat is not just for teens, but the audience is still young, with 37% of users 18 to 26 years old and 26% 13 to 17. However, 25 to 34 is a fast-growing group, with potential for your brand to capture the early adopters within this segment. Americans are big Snapchat users, as are Australians and Canadians. As yet, geographic data is hard to come by, so rationalize the pros and cons if you're planning on using Snapchat for other markets.

3. What are you going to talk about? Does your brand have something useful, entertaining or valuable to say on Snapchat? Could people find this information elsewhere? If so, why would they choose Snapchat over other media to find that information?

4. How will you bring your plan to life? You'll need to consider many practical aspects of your plan before diving in. For example: How will you use Snapchat, organic or paid? What will you do to attract followers if creating an organic account? Are you prepared to answer customer comments? Do you have an issues-management procedure in place should difficult questions arise?

5. How will you measure success? Based on your objective from #1, you will need to evaluate success after a specified timeframe in order to determine whether Snapchat is working for you. Unfortunately, Snapchat is a (relatively) young social media platform, so the analytics are not yet as sophisticated here as on other platforms. However, you can still obtain different metrics for organic and paid activity by measuring the number of followers, views, screenshots and chats. While you can't yet measure click-throughs, you could experiment with sharing custom URLs or calls to action that lead to a section of your website people wouldn’t see from your homepage (it’s not perfect, but can be indicative of effective content). Some of Snapchat's new paid products hint at in-app purchases and app installs, but these ad products are still in beta.

Follow Hannah: @hannahlaw

Follow Sophie: @sophiemaerowitz