I had the pleasure of attending PR News’ Snapchat Boot Camp in NYC to learn how Snapchat can be leveraged by individuals and brands to make their voices heard. This conference provided an opportunity to take a deeper look into its capabilities and hear from others firsthand whose content strategies have been most successful. All speaker presentations are available here.
At my table, I was joined by folks from Disney, People Magazine, WE tv and United Technologies – it was interesting to speak with such a diverse group. Many have just recently started paving the way for their brands to explore new up-and-coming social channels like Snapchat, which now offers our industry a more personal way to connect with audiences.
Snapchat is the third most popular social app amongst millennials and is continuing to grow, with 100+ million active users daily (primarily ages 18 to 24) and 10+ billion video views daily (vs. Facebook’s 8+ million video views). For communicators looking to engage today’s health-minded millennial consumers, Snapchat has the potential to be an effective tool – but it’s important to understand the millennial mindset and tailor your approach accordingly.
Here are a couple of tips to consider:
- Develop a content strategy that will resonate: Establish a clear objective and create meaningful content that matters to your target audience – what would they want to experience on this type of platform? What shared values does your story provide? Is there a call-to-action? As health-conscious millennials are taking more responsibility for their own health, brands should try to understand and recognize this generation’s health challenges and preferences.
- Diversify and customize your content: Explore different ways to share your content with Snapchat’s various native options, making it easily digestible and fun – whether it’s health and wellness tips, health expert interviews, patient advocate testimonials or live event coverage. Perhaps create an editorialized series – regular programming can help create loyalty among viewers. Text-based stories, memes and educational listicles are also options for those with limited resources.
- Test the waters and focus your efforts with Geofilters: Geofilters are special overlays that convey the ‘where and when’ of a snap in a fun way. The free community Geofilters can help associate your brand with a specific location or industry. With approval from Snapchat, you can also create your own custom design to more precisely target your audience in particular areas. For brands that don’t already have an established Snapchat presence, like many of our clients in the health and wellness space, custom Geofilters can be a way to ease in; all you need is an account to get started.
- Engage relevant and trustworthy influencers: Live Snapchat takeovers by social influencers are a great way to grow your audience. Take time to vet and educate your influencers, whether it’s a celebrity or medical expert, and ensure the message is genuine – today’s millennial consumers are increasingly skeptical of health-focused efforts by brands. For the best results, snaps should be short, up-close, narrated, uninterrupted and cross-promoted across other platforms.
- Be authentic and transparent: Snapchat is a real-time, ephemeral platform that isn’t as ‘airbrushed’ as other social media, so your stories should be as real and in-the-moment as possible, and not overly produced. Millennial consumers tend to trust healthcare brands that speak in relatable voices and are more actively transparent.