Cutting-Edge Scenes for Branded Content Marketing: Snapchat


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Cutting-Edge Scenes for Branded Content Marketing: Snapchat

In the flawlessly directed universe of social media, Snapchat seems like a cheeky underdog everyone’s quietly rooting for. With humble beginnings and a rather simple concept, this newcomer has started a long-awaited revolution in the community, and by the looks of it, it managed to return social media to its roots – to spontaneous, unsponsored and unedited online mingling.

According to Bloomberg, this platform now hosts 100 million active users each month, and brands, be they small or big, personal or corporate, are starting to realize that all the buzz is now happening right here, in the 10 second long stories of Snapchat.

Why Consider The Feat?

When contrasted and compared, leading platforms of the niche certainly showcase quite different potentials for brand promotion. Both Facebook and Twitter, as well as Instagram, have launched their business-friendly features a long time ago, thus becoming immense social media moguls when it comes to content marketing and brand-building.

Yet, the question remains – is it really what audiences want? Currently, a vast majority of users is engaging with big brands through these platforms simply because they have no other option. With Snapchat, things are a bit different.

Established in 2012, Snapchat was quickly classified as the new “sexting app” and mostly avoided by social media-savvy users. By the end of 2015, however, this platform had already welcomed a wide crowd of millennials, primarily, and both celebrities and big brands were quick to follow their target audiences.

Today, Snapchat is the next big feat for content marketers – devised as a community of a small, core audience tired of heavily edited perfection that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are based upon, this platform doesn’t make it so easy for brands to ride the gravy train.

So, why make an effort? For now, the numbers are clear – with 10 billion views every day, Snapchat videos are steadily winning the social media battle against Facebook’s 8 million. Furthermore, the current number of users downloading the app is actually surpassing the number of those downloading Twitter. With 9000 snaps shared per second and the current value of $16 billion, Snapchat is where we’ll all be heading soon.

What All The Fuss Is About: Snapchat’s Authenticity

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As mentioned before, the idea behind Snapchat is a quite simple one – the app allows you to share 10 second photos or videos with your platform friends. Even though the app offers an exciting plethora of filters, stickers and captions, the unwritten rule of Snapchat is authenticity. Simultaneously, it’s what makes this platform different and appealing. Instead of perfect selfies and professionally shot campaigns, Snapchat content is mostly unedited and raw.

In addition to this, the platform functions on the disappearing principle, which means that everything you post is time-limited and will vanish quickly. The longest viewing time any photo or video has is 24 hours, and that complies only with a special Snapchat Stories feature that allows you to create a multi-fragment narrative out of everything you post during the course of one day.

Consequently, such an organic approach suggests immediateness and a fast pace of storytelling. And above all, creativity.

How to Conquer the Scene

Apart from authenticity, the Snapchat community respects a number of additional informal rules, all of which make this platform an exclusive one. Celebrities, influencers and brands are not given special treatment – to become a relevant member, you’ll need to make an effort, be creative and think fast. Here’s how some of the biggest brands are doing it.

1. Snapcodes

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Converting your logo to a Snapchat ghost is currently the hippest thing you can do. Simultaneously, it’s the best way of building your following – by sharing your brand’s ghost, which functions as this platform’s version of a QR code, Snapchat users can scan your unique Snapcode and connect with your brand. It’s not only easy and convenient, but fun as well.

2. Branded Filters

Joining the Snapchat frenzy quite quickly, McDonalds and KFC were among first to launch their own branded filters. Whether a simple frame or an animated filter, these brand features have become a staple to personalized content creation on the platform. Recently, the possibility has been made even more creative with Snapchat’s Geofilters, available to users only within a set radius and customizable according to a given location or time. Quirky, effortless and amusing for Snapchatters, it’s user-generated content at its best.

3. Exclusive Teasers

What exclusive Comic-Con teasers are to publicly launched movie trailers, Snapchat’s 10 second videos are to professionally produced ads – an exclusive, never before seen hint of something great coming along that everyone wants to be the first to see. And since this platform is all about authenticity, you won’t have to bother with expensive production; instead, you can simply post a behind the scenes material of your newest product getting prepared for a big public blast.

4. Promotional Snaps

Just like product teasers, your brand’s newest offers, promotions and discounts can generate major buzz if transformed into snaps. The mere fact that Snapchat posts are pretty fleeting creates a whole new level of excitement and turns your campaign into a scavenger hunt. Once you post a snap of a discount, your platform friends can screenshot it and use it as a coupon. Given that they’ll only have a short period of time to do so can make your campaign a lot more engaging.

5. Interactive Campaigns

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Instead of producing one-end promotional content, GrubHub is a successful Snapchat brand that knows how to make their campaigns engaging and fun, consequently earning the envious highest score of any brand on the platform. Using a Snapchat Story feature, for instance, GrubHub has invited their followers to snap back a food doodle, out of which 10 random snaps posted before 12 a.m. will win an award. Only one of numerous examples, this promotional campaign showcases just how opportune Snapchat is for building interactive relationships with your customers.

6. Everything User-Generated

For both users and brands, the pure beauty of Snapchat is that the majority of content created, posted and shared on the platform is user-generated. Branded filters utilize this advantage to the greatest extent, but Snapchat Story is a feature equally suitable for this type of advertising. Take Coachella festival, for instance.

While Facebook, Twitter and Instagram provided an opportunity for Coachella to post mind-blowing and quite photo-shopped images to broadcast a bit of atmosphere from the site, Snapchat has made it possible for their brand to include plenty of authenticity. The whole coverage was delivered in the form of a Snapchat Story that used nothing but a montage of 10 second snaps posted by festival goers themselves.

When it comes to marketing, nothing has more potential than user-generated content – it’s how you gain social proof, build trust and entice new followers.

7. Snapchat Discover

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Once you’ve built trust with your following, you can feel free to explore the platform’s newest brand feature, Snapchat Discover. Made as a paid location on the platform, this feature is perfect for content-heavy brands that always have more to say, share and offer. The key difference in comparison to Snapchat’s “authenticity” rule here is that you can actually post professionally-made content that will appear on a page separated from the snaps posted by non-brand users.

Until recently, the page showcased only brand logos and the events they capture, but with the newest redesign, the Discover seems significantly more enticing. The combination of images, ads, articles and videos available goes quite beyond the usual Snapchat environment, but still doesn’t violate the platform’s uniquely dynamic character.

8. Quality Instead of Quantity

The reason Snapchat’s grown to be so popular is exactly the possibility of building more personal connections with other users of the platform. With the exception of Discover, the app disallows you to repost content generated on other platforms, which is why everything you create here has to be original, unique and appealing.

And, since everything you share is time-limited, you don’t have any space for slips. It’s certain that Snapchat users favor quality over quantity, and if you manage to stay interesting in such an environment, all the while keeping it real and spontaneous, your audience will know you’re not joking around.

Not only will they respect that, but getting them convinced that your motives are not necessarily ulterior, but honest instead, is customer trust building 101.

Despite a whole array of possibilities, Snapchat is still somewhat overlooked by small brands. Nevertheless, it’s a platform worth exploring for the purposes of branded content marketing, exactly because of its set of unwritten, yet strict rules.

If mastered, they offer a bit for both sides – better engagement and exclusivity for brands, organic, native content that can’t be found anywhere else for users and, ultimately, a personal connection for both. In terms of brand building, these advantages are too good to be missed out on.

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5 Visual Apps For Making Social Media Content Go Viral

Greetings, Reader.

It gives me great pleasure to introduce Nancy Grace to you. Nancy is a social media writer at iDigic.net who also contributes for hundreds of other blogs. Her articles predominantly focus on social media and are widely followed by readers from all over the world. Read her new post right here on our blog!

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I’m a person who likes to work on the go and was in constant search for applications that will provide me with the flexibility I’ve always wanted. What about you? Are you looking for applications, that can help you create impressive visual content while you are on the move?

Well, you are in luck! My hard work paid off when I was able to find apps that helped me create images, videos, and animations which are of professional quality.

Here, I would love to share a list of five applications that will be a great fit for both professional and personal use.

1.  Piktochart

Is my content boring? How do I make it more engaging?

These are the questions I have always encountered when text and statistics constitute the foundation of my content. But, to my surprise when the text, pictures, and the graphs came together the there was more engagement! It dawned on me that infographics are a powerful medium. It has about 30 times more probability to be read than regular content.

Creating infographics on Piktochart

It is also important to notice that creating infographics can be time-consuming and challenging for people with less knowledge about software like Photoshop, Illustrator or Coral Draw. So it’s not easy to create infographics in limited time. That is when I stumbled on Piktochart.

The app makes the job easy with several templates and icons. It also opens up an opportunity to customize your infographics the way you want. I would recommend Piktochart to give your content a visual edge. Creating engaging infographics will give your content the best chance to go viral. Piktochart is an all-rounder among visual applications as you can create reports, posters, and presentations as well.

2. Adobe Spark Video

Want to make a video that will stand out? Well, the software giant Adobe have an ideal solution for you. It’s an iOS application called Adobe Spark Video. Before using this app, I must tell you that my expectations were high. The application was named the app of the year in 2014 by Apple, and I must say it fulfilled all my expectations.

I have come across situations where I had to make a video that stands out and within a limited period. Videos can engage the audience better and convey the idea effectively. But, the only things that will be of easy access to us are our phones, and this application is perfect for such situations.You can create short animated, narrated videos. It is easy to record audio, add music, text, and photos and will help you effectively convey your idea.

Screenshots of Adobe Spark Video

In a nutshell, Adobe Spark Video is a storytelling application perfect for professional use. The biggest advantage is that it works with ease on your iPhone and iPad. The application has around 4 million downloads on the App Store as of now.

The only drawback I feel is that it’s not available for Windows and Android devices.

3. PowToon

Imagine you’re coming out with a new and unique product, it is necessary that your presentation also represents the same. When I came across a similar situation, I was pretty keen on doing something outside the box other than using the same old Powerpoint presentations.

PowToon’s website demonstrates creating animated videos

To my surprise, I was able to find the easiest and innovative tool to create amazing presentations and animated videos, PowToon. The application allows you to export the files to YouTube as well. You can also download the files in the MP4 format. The application is available on the Google Chrome store. It also has an application on edmodo.com.

This app will help you convey your ideas quickly and ultimately boost your sales. If you own Chromebook or have Google Chrome as your primary browser, Powtoon is a must-have and it’s an efficient tool to boot.

4. Adobe Spark Post

Have you dreamt of using a Canva like simple graphic design application on your phone?

Well, I have, and my dream has come true in the form of Adobe Spark Post. I’m not a fan of being chained to my PC if I want to create graphics. This application enables me to exactly not do that. You can create pictures whenever and wherever you want. The application comes in exclusively for the iOS users. When you open the app, you can see examples of different genres. You can remix or take inspiration from the same.

To create a new image, all you have to do is to tap the “+” button. You can click a photo or select one from your photo library, stock images from Adobe, Creative Cloud or Adobe Lightroom app. Once you have zeroed in on a photo, you can choose the type of post you are planning to create.

Screenshots of Adobe Spark Post

The one feature I loved the most about the application is I was able to make custom made images, suitable for each social network. I was able to create images for Instagram, LinkedIn (including the cover image) Facebook (including cover photo), Twitter (including header image), Pinterest posts, YouTube Video thumbnail, Facebook ads, or blog posts. You can also give your specifications like aspect ratio and sizes or edit palette, design, and filters.

5. Tweetroot

If Twitter is the platform suiting your business, then Tweetroot is an essential application. It is a free iOS application that allows you to create tag clouds. I feel tag clouds are great because it provides navigation to visitors and welcomes them with instant illustration. These tag clouds will be made exclusively from the tweets of a particular account.

When I gave the app a try, all I needed to do was authenticate it with my twitter account.  Once it’s done, you can create tag clouds. Paint roller, text icon, slider icon and the check mark allows you to change the palette, change the font, number of words and placement and save your tag cloud respectively.

Screenshots of the app Tweetroot

Another impressive feature I noticed was that I could save the image to my phone or share it to various social media accounts. You can use this application to highlight the top words from your competitors’ Twitter feed and tweets related to your industry. So, it’s not just a visual tool, but an excellent tool for research as well.

6. Word Swag

Word Swag is an intuitive and versatile mobile application. It transforms any piece of text into a well designed shareable visual content. Word Swag has very cool templates that enable you to start from scratch – create an image and add text. In short, when I encountered the application for the first time I was able to get visual content of professional quality. And this was with just my phone!

The application was of great help to me as I was not well versed in Photoshop or Illustrator. I feel this app has the capability to create amazing text-based visual content. You can do it in 3 minutes without even getting out of your comfy bed with Word Swag like I did.

The application is ideal for social networks like Instagram or Facebook as you can create/crop images in 1:1 (square shape). You will also get different typography templates with the app. You can upload photos or click it directly through the app as well. There are some starter images (backgrounds) available which will help you to choose the font and font color you want.

Features of Word Swag

MS Powerpoint, Adobe Photoshop or Adobe After Effects, etc. are the preferred software for creating visual content. But, the applications you discovered today through this article can help you create content much more quickly and easily. For me, rather than sitting in the office the whole day, I could get my job done while riding the subway or the bus. I feel that these applications are a notch above the rest because of the easy to use interface and availability of templates. These applications also let you share to various social media platforms.

Applications like Tweetroot focus on Twitter, while Word Swag focuses more on Instagram. At the end of the day, if you are a business professional, you have to decide which social media you are targeting on. Take a look at this iDigic article to find out which social media platform will benefit you the most and choose visual apps accordingly from the list above.

For the everyday commuter who has a busy schedule, these visual apps are a boon and are sure to help.

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