Snapchat Advice: How To Harness The Power of a Unicorn

|Dan Solomon

Outbrain Advice on Snapchat

If you are a marketer trying to reach millennials then look no further. Snapchat is where you want to be. They’ve built their audience and are now offering several different ways to integrate your brand into the app and into the faces of millions of consumers.

By the time you’re done reading this, you should be brainstorming creative ways to get your brand integrated into all of them.

Snapchat is currently valued at close to $20 billion, which tells you a lot about how valuable their audience is. This growth is also incredibly special considering they only launched about five years ago.

For comparison, here’s how they stack up against the other social media platforms in the first four years of launching:

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Here are just a few more stats to show you how dominant Snapchat really is:

  • 150 million users (100 million daily active)
  • 2+ billion views per day
  • 9,000 snaps sent per second
  • 10 billion daily video views
  • 73% of Snapchat users are millennials
  • $250 million in projected revenue for 2016

Now that you know how powerful Snapchat can be, you might ask yourself, “How Can I Leverage This For My Brand?

There are 4 main ways you can use Snapchat to market your brand:

1) Stories

Snapchat Stories allow you to create a compilation of snaps for all your followers to view. Your snaps will appear in chronological order and expire after 24 hours. This is an excellent way to engage your fans and create a narrative. Here are a few of my favorite brands that I follow and how they’re leveraging stories:

Taco Bell: What I like best about these guys is their creativity. They do a great job of being artistic, funny, and also promoting their newest products.

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MLB: They excel at showing what it’s like to see a ballgame in different cities. You get to see the food, the views, and even interviews with some of the players.

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Warby Parker: These guys like to engage their fans by offering contests within Snapchat. They also like to cross promote to their other social media accounts. Here’s an example of a contest they ran recently:

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2) Discover

If you’re a publisher, you can also market your brand and reach new audiences via Snapchat’s Discover section. This section allows publishers to upload custom content that gets prime real estate in the app. Not only that, but any ad revenue Snapchat generates from these pages is shared with the publisher.

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3) Sponsored Lenses

These are a bit more difficult to set up, but if done right, can be extremely successful.

Taco Bell had one of the best campaigns in my opinion. They created a lens that turned your face into a taco. It took them six weeks to set it up and $750k to execute, but the end result was well worth it. The recorded 224 million views in one day! Here’s what it looked like:

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4) Filters

Each time a snap is taken, the user has the opportunity to add a filter by swiping the screen. Now brands, and even you, can make own custom On-Demand Geo-filters. Just upload your design, select the time range and area on the map with a geo-fence. Then Snapchat will determine your price, which can range from inexpensive (as little as $5) to quite expensive if you’re trying to have your filter available to an entire city. Prices can start as high as $500,000 if you want to hit a whole city during the holidays.

Just the other day I decided to see which brands were sponsoring geo-filters in the Outbrain office.

Here’s what I found…

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Outbrain tested this one out at our company summer party a couple weeks ago

Some of the results:

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Doesn’t it look fun to work here?

On that note, Snapchat Geofilters could potentially act as a great recruiting tool — think of the interest it piques for people swiping across the filter who are in its operating radius.

To conclude, the main point I’m trying to make is, if you want to reach millennials, then get your brand on Snapchat.

Take advantage of their Stories, Discover, Sponsored Lenses, and Filters. But if my word isn’t enough, then just take a look at Facebook’s latest move of copying part of the Snapchat model for Instagram. Some say Snapchat should be worried, but as a loyal Snapchat user, I don’t think people are going to jump ship just yet. It would take a lot more to bring down this unicorn.

And finally, if you still need more proof that Snapchat’s audience is legit, take a look at these facts below from

1. Snapchat’s Daily Video Views Have Increased 400% Year-On-Year

From May 2015 to May 2016, Snapchat’s daily video views have grown 400% over the course of the year (from 2 billion to 10 billion, according to Bloomberg).

2. Snapchat Ads Are Viewed Up To A Million Times Per Day

According to Re/code, Snapchat ads are seen anywhere between 500,000 to a million times per day.

3. Snapchat’s Video Views Are Now Greater Than Facebook’s

Snapchat now boasts over 10 billion videos views per day, according to Bloomberg, surpassing rival Facebook’s 8 billion daily video views (Fortune).

4. Snapchat Is Now Worth $20 Billion

In light of its latest round of fundraising (which yielded $1.8 billion), Snapchat’s current valuation is approximately $18 billion (TechCrunch).

5. 60% Of All Smartphone Users Are Now On Snapchat

An eMarketer report found that 18 to 24 year-olds make up 45% of all Snapchat users in the U.S., and comScore discovered that 60% of U.S. 13- to 34-year-old smartphone users are Snapchatters (Snapchat). According to Forbes, 37% of Snapchat’s users are between the ages of 18 and 24 and over 60% of U.S. 13- to 38-year-olds are Snapchat users.

6. Millennials Account For 7 Out Of 10 Snapchatters

Millennials, a demographic marketers are spending 500% more to reach than all others combined, account for over 70% of all Snapchat users (eMarketer).

7. Snapchat Now Has More Users Than Twitter

An estimated 150 million people now use Snapchat, according to Bloomberg.

8. Snapchat Reaches 11% Of Americans

According to a 2015 comScore report, Snapchat reaches 11% of the entire U.S. entire digital population.

Dan Solomon

Dan Solomon

Dan is a Senior Account Strategist at Outbrain focusing on premium publishers. He considers himself an expert at Snapchat and... Read more

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