Snapchat got a bad rap back when it was new. The media platform, known for it’s disappearing messages, led to some people used it for sexting. Snapchat might have a bit of that lingering association, but continual surveys tell us that a very small percentage (numbers hover around 1.5%) of people actually use it for that purpose. The vast majority use the platform because … it is fun! The social media platform is out-growing it’s old reputation, and businesses of all backgrounds are checking in to how they can be a part of the Snapchat party, in a serious way.

Helllllo Branding!

In January 2015, Snapchat Discover launched, giving brands a “permanent place on the service for the first time,” shares Danny Sullivan of Businesses have been joining constantly ever since, and these early joiners have enjoyed many successes. But first, for those of us who are baby-new to this, let’s give a basic description of Snapchat.

Break It Down (insert beatboxing here)

Jeremy Goldman from breaks it down: “Snapchat is a text-, photo-, and video-messaging app that sends messages that typically disappear one to ten seconds after they’re received. It was launched in 2011 by Stanford University fraternity brothers Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown. Now based in Los Angeles, Snapchat made headlines recently when its potential worth was estimated around the $19 billion mark. The app has more than 200 million active monthly users and counting. Most of them are under the age of 25; 71%, according to one source. Roughly seven out of ten users are women.” If you are concerned with your content disappearing, consider this: “The lack of a digital footprint is attractive to many,” says Goldman. “However, businesses can use this aspect of Snapchat to their advantage. Even though the content disappears, it’s not unlike the way a tweet or Facebook post gets lost in the large volume of content users see every day.”

Oh the Places You’ll Go!

Though several other similar social media platforms (with the young demographic) are strongly limited to small areas of influence, Snapchat has blasted its way into a the global market. Business + solid global reach, now who doesn’t like the sound of that?

The Possibilities Are (Almost) Endless

What can a business do for marketing, branding and advertising on Snapchat? Ooooh, the left-brained side in my head is getting excited with the thought: Let’s make a list!

  1. Brand Awareness and Wider Audience

“Inspired by the disappearing nature of content on Snapchat, the World Wildlife Fund in Denmark and Turkey have launched the #LastSelfie campaign,”Jessica Gioglio, of Convince & Convert Digital Marketing Advisors writes. “Created by Grey Group ad agencies, 41?29! in Turkey and Uncle Grey in Denmark, the #LastSelfie Snaps are meant to symbolize the diminishing population of different endangered species. According to the World Wildlife Fund, ‘The emphasis of this new campaign is to underline that if we don’t take action in real life, these species will disappear for real.’”


See video here.

  1. Brand Advocates

Zahara Jade of gives insight into the rapt attention of snapchatters, and even how partnering Vine with Snapchat creates strong and loyal viewers. “The captive Snapchatter audience is prime ground for brands to leverage. Imagine releasing over 60 snap stories in one day that could tell your brand’s story. Now imagine that you are able to work with a social influencer from Vine to capture and share video content from other sources (YouTube, for example). While potential customers are bombarded left and right and over stimulated with media on Facebook and Twitter to the extent that they have stopped paying attention, the Vine-Snapchat avenue allow you to reach those same people in through efficient, highly engaging interactive media platforms.”

  1. Behind The Scenes Footage That Is Unique

The NBA made a lot of noise with Kevin Durant’s MVP Announcement because of Snapchat. “To add to the awareness and excitement over Kevin Durant’s Most Valuable Player award this week, the NBA leveraged the Snapchat Stories feature. In a three photo story, the NBA created a story to encourage fans to tune in on real time on and as Kevin accepted the award,” explains Gioglio.


  1. Exclusive Content

“Cosmetics company NARS used the Snapchat to release a preview of its upcoming Guy Bourdin color cosmetics collection. Cross-promoted on the company’s @NARSissist Twitter and Instagram accounts leading into the big reveal, only individuals who added NARSissist as a friend on Snapchat before 12:00 p.m. EST on September 24th had access to the preview content,” adds Gioglio. “The exclusivity and opportunity to send personalized content for a limited time only made Snapchat the perfect forum for this announcement.”



  1. Short-Lived Coupons

Nothing better than the inherent act-fast motivation that is Snapchat. “Frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles used Snapchat to bring coupons to their loyal fans. The campaign premise was simple—snap a picture of yourself enjoying a cup of their frozen yogurt and you’d receive a coupon for anywhere from 16 to 100 percent off,” writes Teddy Hunt of “This one worked well on multiple levels: It kept fans actively thinking about 16 Handles and their product, it provided customers an incentive to return and spend more money (maybe even bring a friend or two), and generated tons of free promotional material the company could use for future marketing campaigns.”


  1. Remind Your Viewers of Upcoming Show or Event

“MTV used Snapchat to promote its show Geordie Shore (which, as you can imagine, is the British equivalent of Jersey Shore) during the Summer of 2013. Fans who had friended the show’s Snapchat account started receiving exclusive videos and photographs leading up to the UK reality show’s sixth season premiere,” continues Hunt. “This campaign worked well because MTV marketing executives tapped into their target audience’s unique platform, allowing them to tease story lines in a new way and bring promotional material right to their cell phones.”


  1. Snapchat Stories

Stories gives users a way to step past the one-to-one messaging that was the platform’s past limitation. “Snapchat’s origins, where one individual would send a message to another. Yes, one individual might send to a group of other individuals. But that still isn’t the same as the ‘one-to-many’ broadcast mechanism so familiar to brands who reach out to thousands of followers at once via places like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram,” Says Sullivan.

“Taco Bell create some amazing content around tent-pole events, and it went all out for its 2015 Valentine’s Day campaign using Snapchat. The brand used the ‘Stories’ feature to publish a series of witty virtual Valentine’s card that followers could amend to send to their own sweethearts. Snapchat stories disappear after 24 hours, but Taco Bell created a lot of buzz in the time it had,” explains in their article, 5 Ways Brands are Using Snapchat for Marketing .

072415_snapchat-nachos-750x422 used Snapchat stories with six images in a slideshow “explaining how interested candidates can apply until May 9th with a snap of their best doodle.” (Gioglio).


If you’d like a simple guide to setting up your Snapchat account, check out Danny Sullivan’s step-by-step guide here.


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