The Beauty of Snapchat

The Beauty of Snapchat

Snapchat has become the go-to platform for brands ahead in the marketing game. It’s said to have 30 million active users and claims that people send and view more than 700 million pictures, 500 million ‘stories’ and watch 8 billion videos per day. As content consumption continues to shift toward mobile devices, Snapchat is benefiting due to its quick bursts of immediate entertainment.

Unlike Instagram, which has universal adoption, Snapchat presence is a point of differentiation for brands. The semi-emerging platform has just over 50% adoption rate in the digitally forward Fashion and Beauty industries… with brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills, Tarte and Maybelline getting made-up to their arms (forearms, actually) and brows, in aid of snap-entertainment.

L2 Digital_Snapchat usage_March 2016

There’s no shortage of beauty marketers rushing to meet consumers where they live online, to achieve a moment of relevance amidst the cacophony of tweets, images and posts, that define the current age of social media communication. But it’s taken a while for brands to conquer controlled, advertising minds and gain an understanding of how to organise differing content for platforms. Then something like Snapchat comes along and marketers are faced with the challenge of engaging via an app where the content disappears in seconds.

As with every emerging platform that promises a connection with a millennial audience (reaching 58% of 18-24 year old users) there’s the eternal challenge… the struggle with figuring an application that makes strategic sense to illuminate your creativity, while not thinking too hard about how you’re going to visualise it ‘casually’. Contrary to the desire to produce high quality photographs and carefully constructed text, Snapchat often represents a more authentic side of fashion and beauty. The sometimes blurry imagery, often with emojis or hastily scrawled text, can actually prove beneficial, as consumers say it makes them feel closer to a brand, leaving them wanting more.

Content Experimentation

To achieve success, a brand needs to establish how they can captivate their followers using informal, unedited images that will create a positive impression in seconds.

A featured case study in L2’s Instagram vs Snapchat briefing, highlighted NYX Cosmetics experimenting with how to amplify events with more longevity… store opening parties, Instagram campaigns, beauty tutorials and sales.

L2 Digital_NYX Snapchat Casestudy_March 2016

Other brands are imaginatively tapping into their followers’ thoughts and opinions, with a simple screenshot. Birchbox and Urban Decay Cosmetics have turned to Snapchat’s interface with ‘screenshot surveys’. Firstly, prompting with multiple choice questions, then asking followers to screenshot their pick, or signal a “yes” answer with a screenshot, during the 10 seconds the snap runs in the story.

Before the story expires, companies can take a look at the metrics to see how many people viewed and participated in the survey, and what the takeaways are for them.

Takeaway Thoughts

While both Snapchat and Instagram are all about the images and videos, they go about photo sharing in very different ways. Snapchat is more impromptu and unpolished, while Instagram (which greatly resembles Facebook) emphasises sharing great visual content to everyone at once.

Ultimately, it’s not a question of one or the other. Each platform has its own unique quirks, benefits and challenges, and both have their place in beauty marketing.


Lead image: Birchbox @birchbox

Kathy Wrennall

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