Is Snapchat “Growing Up” in the B2B Space?

snapchat for b2b

Snapchat in Space

Like an undetected UFO passing in the distance, the notion of using Snapchat for B2B seems way out in space. Perhaps it’s this far out idea that one “out there” team member (you?) keeps bringing up…but it keeps failing to go ding in the minds of your team as they brainstorm their next social move.

After all, Snapchat doesn’t rank anywhere near the top five social networks on the B2B roster.

Why?

Well, it’s not tried and true yet…but it’s also not used and abused. Keep following…I promise I’m going somewhere with this.

Snapchat challenges B2B marketers to think outside the box, get creative, and build a community from the ground up. This is something that every customer desires you to do (even though they probably don’t know it).

I would argue that Snapchat actually presents a unique opportunity, and while it should not be chosen OVER the other networks, it is an important channel to add to the list.

I’m Writing This Article Because

A week ago I was snapchatting with a good friend of mine, @RobZaleski, Marketing Manager at MarketingProfs. We were having fun joking about our mutual love of Snapchat. As the conversation progressed, a light bulb came on for me. I realized why I favor Snapchat over other social networks. Two reasons, actually.

Snapchat encourages and empowers me to live in the present and develop stories that engage my audience.

Then Rob brought up the most recent update – “Memories.” This new feature allows users to add images from their camera roll and save them in Snapchat’s gallery.

All of a sudden their philosophy around living in the present seemed empty. It was as if their solid foundation was turned upside down and it completely deflated my energy and enthusiasm towards using the app. In that moment, I thought I might step down in my role as their number one cheerleader. BUT…

Then I thought about it. Keeping records of stories doesn’t deflate the value of the live memory.

The value of Snapchat remains, and it is THE most powerful yet untouched social app for B2B marketers.

Many B2B Marketers may be skeptical of that statement because they have bought into the common stereotypes and notions around the app’s target audience. But surprisingly, 37% of Snapchat users are 25 and over.

Snapchat age chart

Chart by Statista.com

Or maybe, if you’re reading this, you’re already on board. And let me guess. While you want to implement Snapchat within your organization, a few myths are holding the decision makers back like horses in tightly held bridles. If that’s you, you will find the following information very useful in your upcoming conversations.

 

Let’s debunk a few Snapchat myths you may have heard before:

1. High effort, Low Impact

Snapchat adds the unique opportunity for direct communication and back and forth conversation to take place between you and your customers. This is the type of relationshipping that is often lost in today’s overly communicative world – and it allows you to form a true one-to-one bond with individual users.

There is effort involved in building a community on Snapchat, just as there is on any network. However, the impact is ten times higher.

How and why? Snapchat doesn’t have the organic newsfeed because it is based on present events and brand stories. This differs from the big five social networks that have an almost dead organic reach. They are heavily focused on advertising and monetizing.

Snapchat isn’t there yet and that’s why it’s an opportunity for B2B marketers to move in like early birds and build a viable, engaged community that produces leads, builds awareness and progresses people through your funnel. 

Takeaway: Use Snapchat at events for updates, periodically for webinar reminders, or simply create an engaging brand story that inspires your audience to make the next move.

 

2. Not the right audience fit

 Most B2B marketers stray away from Snapchat when they learn about the age groups using the app. According to Statistica, nearly 40% of Snapchat users are above the age of 25. The audience base is strong and active on a daily basis. Business Insider points out how the 25 and older user base has grown almost 2x more than users under the age of 25.

Fortune claims there are 57 million U.S. users on Snapchat and that over one half of them log on everyday. The app is shifting towards a bigger audience because of its capabilities.

The demographics and the use of Snapchat make it a fitting piece in the B2B audience puzzle. It offers just the right mix of professionalism and creativity to be effective in one to one marketing.

Takeaway: “If you’re a B2B marketer looking for a way to stand out from the crowd, then Snapchat is your best friend.” – Sweta Patel

 

snapchat facts

3. Losing Brand Focus and Positioning

 Snapchat has a reputation as a fun, playful and entertaining app. It takes an intelligent, forward thinking marketer to see the flipside of the coin: Snapchat’s potential for educating.

Snapchat brand stories allow you to engage your audience with your culture and build the initial trust without using countless, infamous phone calls and emails.

People want to learn about your business, be a part of your culture and understand the big “why?” This is the perfect app for providing that education and experience.

They say there is no connection that beats the “face-to-face” interaction. Even though the app doesn’t allow you physically meet the person, it allows you to connect with the person on a different level. This is a level far beyond Facebook Live or Periscope. The “live” aspect on those apps does not effectively open the door for the human connection because the probability of getting found in a noisy newsfeed is lower than usual.

 

Takeaway: Brands can enhance their positioning by opening the gates to Snapchat and using it to create brand stories that ignite community building. The stories should move the audience to the next stage of the buying cycle through authenticity.

 4. Low adoption rate

There is some truth to this. Yes, the adoption rate is low. BUT, this fact should not be a showstopper.

This is an opportunity for B2B marketers get ahead of their peers by claiming their Snapchat real estate and getting a head start at engaging with their audience.

Of the many benefits to doing this, one important mention is that you will be communicating with people before they are used to communicating with businesses on Snapchat. So, in their minds, you have just become more real, more modern and more available to them than your competitors.

You may start out with a few followers but they will grow over time. Like any other network, the success of this venture will rely on your ability to prioritize the associated tasks.

To be successful, you must designate at least one team member with dedicated hours to learn about the platform, communicate with the audience, and purposefully apply growth hacking strategies for the channel.

Early adopters may be afraid to take that initial step, but once they start harvesting the results from their community, they will not look back. Social networks are getting nosier and the inbox doesn’t stand a chance. You have to ask yourself: What’s the next best method of communication? Snapchat.

On another note, SMS campaigns might be considered comparative and may be effective for your super fans. However, most of us prefer not to have anyone get in the way of our personal business. Personally, the only business that’s allowed to text me is B2C (It’s Jamba Juice – and I just genuinely want the free smoothie). Snapchat allows B2B marketers to bridge the gap between the noisy social networks and direct communication channels.

Takeaway: Build integrated campaigns that invite audiences from other networks to join you on Snapchat for live updates and reminders. Why does your organization do what they currently do? What are the motives? If the audience finds your content intriguing and valuable, they will join you.

snaps as event reminders

 

5. Low Discoverability

Unfortunately, Google doesn’t index snaps. Snapchat is a private network that encourages users to live their present lifestyle. You may not be easily found (this is not an SEO tool), but that creates a layer of exclusivity for the segment of the audience that does decide to join you.

This comes right back to the face-to-face interaction. This is as close as it gets. It is completely separate from the content you are constantly creating and scheduling out in order to build your “fake face” on Facebook and Twitter.

The most effective use of Snapchat will mimic real interaction and prove to your audience that you are actually, truly, genuinely interested in THEM.

snapcode for sharing your snapchat handle

 

Takeaway: It’s getting harder to gain real value and insight from content you attain from a conference. The insights are missing and so is the value. There is so much access to information that, chances are, whatever you hear, you’ve heard it before. What you don’t know is how to apply something new and get results.

Well, we know that attention spans continue to decrease. Snapchat supports this phenomenon through short, timed content. If you create content that can only be seen by those who join you on the Snapchat channel, you’re ahead of the game. The more useful, actionable, and thought provoking it is, the more engaged your audience will be.

Seeing Snapchat Clearly

 It was a sad day for me as a marketer when I realized that the organic goldmine that Facebook once was had died (Yes, it’s in the grave…). Most of these channels become more monetized as they grow and mature. I’ve grieved and come to terms with this.

As marketers, it’s not our job to find a pattern or strategy that works and stick to it for now and forever. No, our jobs are much more complicated than that. We are entrusted with the responsibility of providing GPS directions that lead decision makers down the newest, fastest routes. Again, and again.

You will likely continue to advertise and grow a paid audience on Facebook and other top social channels, as you should. But please, please, do not wait for the statistics to catch up before you jump on board with new opportunities like Snapchat. Be the first of your competitors to do it. Do it right – and you will continue to build your reputation as a reachable, human brand.

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