Despite the fact that brand use of Snapchat has grown considerably in the last three years, the platform is just now beginning to be understood as a platform for influencer marketing. And few brands who see Snapchat’s potential in this area also understand how to successfully execute influencer marketing campaigns there at scale.
After all, Snapchat represents challenges for brands working on their own without the help of experts: it does not (yet) have an analytics platform for brands or agencies, making reporting and analysis completely manual and therefore annoyingly time consuming. It’s also difficult to assess basic metrics and information marketers are used to accessing or calculating on other platforms, such as engagement rate and aesthetic style.
All of these challenges can mean it’s difficult to take the leap to Snapchat as an influencer marketing tool, when really it just takes an adjustment of perspective. It’s a huge waste of time to judge Snapchat by the same criteria we judge running influencer programs on Pinterest or Instagram. The platform has its own unique merits, and brands who want to keep up with consumers and influencers alike do wisely to consider the benefits of Snapchat.
Influencers: Shedding Light on Snapchat
As an indicator of the platform’s ascendency, it’s worth noting that of the 230 influencers we recently surveyed on their views and use of Snapchat, 86% are active on the platform, with 55% of them using it actively as a platform for influencer marketing collaborations with brands.
It’s true that reporting is a challenge for a brand flying solo, especially when working with dozens of influencers on the platform. However, influencers understand the challenges brands face and are willing to collaborate on reporting: 90% said they would be comfortable sharing screenshots of stories and stats for reporting purposes. 44% were even willing to share their Snapchat logins so Obviously could dig up the stats ourselves.
Clearly, there are ways around the reporting challenges on the surface level. For brands, it helps to work with an agency such as Obviously with the personal relationships and expertise to handle reporting efficiently.
While there’s no consensus on the number of snaps per story that garner the most engagement (as defined as views and replies), 97% of influencers agree that there has to be more than two snaps per story to resonate with their followers. When there’s an actual cohesive story, there’s a clear relationship between the influencer and the consumer--something that we can capitalize on in a referral-driven market.
However, 55% of influencers ranked their most engaging stories as snap stories of them at an event, or out on the town. This supports the tactic of brands hosting events during which influencers have the opportunity to snap about their product or service. Funny and personal snaps of influencers hanging out ranked second, and opening or reviewing products third, making product posts viable as well.
Overall, influencers agree that the platform is all about a more personal, fun, and less processed view of their lives that their followers can access, versus the more editorially controlled YouTube and Instagram platforms, for instance.
Snapchat Influencer Marketing In Action
During a campaign for an international liqueur brand, we asked Instagram influencers who also have Snapchat followings to create content for both platforms at an event for an alcohol brand.
One influencer posted a 1.5 minute long snapstory, meaning her followers were engaged with her content for an extended period of time (in comparison to scrolling through an Instagram feed). She reported 804 views on the story. Conversely, her Instagram photo from the same event got 702 engagements--while that’s excellent engagement for an Instagram post, it’s 15% less than Snapchat content featuring the same brand. For events, it’s wise for brands to add on a Snapchat component to their influencer campaigns.
Additionally, the common thread through all snapstories from the event was the very clear divide between the type of casual, fun content posted on Snapchat and the beautiful, professional-quality posts that ended up on Instagram -- our influencers’ theory about the value proposition of this platform was proved correct again. And they’re right: Snapchat is simply more personal. It’s an authentic connection and conversation between the influencer and consumer, and it offers a great opportunity for brands to take part in that relationship.
So, influencers are already on Snapchat, and already engaging with consumers for up to minutes at a time. And they're ready to share stats for tracking on an otherwise elusive platform. Can Snapchat be a legitimate influencer marketing tool? We say yes, and in fact it is already.