In 2015, Snapchat was all the rage among millennials and the marketers trying to reach them. According to Business Insider, it became the third most popular social media platform among millennials. The company has 100 million active daily users and is valued at $12 billion. Brands got extremely creative on the platform, creating various Snapchat campaigns to receive traction amongst their audiences.
The following are the top Snapchat campaigns from 2015 that stood out:
Sphero – Star Wars Influencer Campaign
To promote their new Star Wars toy, the BB-8 droid, toy company Sphero reached out to some of the platform’s biggest influencers to post pictures and videos with it. One of the influencers they tapped, Shaun McBride, garners two million views a day on Snapchat. According to the Wall Street Journal, the toy sold out in a matter of hours from stores and the campaign saw 10 million views in a day. Plus, there were half a million engagements on other social media sites.
The lesson: Find popular Snapchatters within your niche that would be genuinely excited to help you promote your products. They know their audiences best and could help you come up with content that would be well-suited for them.
Taco Bell – Valentine’s Day
This past Valentine’s Day, Taco Bell delivered funny customizable cards on Snapchat for their followers. These cards featured photos of their products and humorous puns. The campaign was perfect for millennials, who not only enjoy the restaurant’s food, but also like quirky marketing.
The lesson: Don’t hesitate to be goofy on Snapchat. It’s a platform that’s set up for playfulness. If you’re going to show off your products, do it in a hilarious way, just like Taco Bell.
Terminator – Social Cross-promotion
Leading up to the premiere of “Terminator: Genisys,” Arnold Schwarzenegger was promoting his Terminator filter on Snapchat. Users could put the filter over a video or picture and look like the title character from the film. After Schwarzenegger posted about it on Facebook, he received more than 2,500 shares and 54,000 likes.
The lesson: You’re not going to be successful with a Snapchat campaign if you’re solely marketing it within Snapchat itself. Venture out to other platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, to get your audience to check out your content within Snapchat.
MTV – VMAs Celebrity Story
During the 2015 VMAs, MTV held a Live Story on Snapchat. Audience members and celebrities took videos and photos from the red carpet and the actual show itself and posted them on the platform. Though there were only 9.8 million people tuning into the actual broadcast, the network received 12 million views on Snapchat.
The lesson: Millions of people got an up-close, exclusive look at what happened at the awards show, as well as a chance to see intimate interactions with celebrities. In your campaigns, figure out a way to give your audience a behind-the-scenes glance at your company and what it’s all about.
Cody Johns & Coca-Cola
— Coca-Cola Racing (@CocaColaRacing) November 8, 2015
Cody Johns is a social media star who takes over Coca-Cola’s Snapchat from time to time. In a recent campaign for the beverage brand, he was given the keys to the account to help market their sponsorship of a NASCAR race. When he’s working Coca-Cola’s account, he does cross promotion with his personal pages.
The lesson: If you’re hiring influencers for your campaigns, give them full control. Take it one step farther than Sphero and follow Coca-Cola’s lead. Don’t censor your influencers; let them create content they know will be resonate with your audience.
Manon Mathews – Vine Cross-promotion
Manon Mathews is another social media influencer. She has 2.4 million followers on Vine and more than 234,000 people are fans of hers on Instagram. Mathews posts frequently on all of these platforms, and uses Vine to promote her Snapchat campaigns.
The lesson: Millennials love Vine: 63 percent of them use it every week, according to PublicReligion.org. Posting your Snapchats on Vine is going to increase your views.
iHeartRadio – Festival Buzz
iHeartRadio, which was brought onto the Discover channel on Snapchat this year, used it to build buzz leading up to their music festival in Las Vegas. They hired Ryan Seacrest to announce the lineup on the social media platform and get fans excited about the concert series. During the festival itself, because of their promotional efforts, iHeartRadio experienced 340 million Snapchat impressions in two days, according to Adweek.
The lesson: Use Snapchat to increase excitement about a new product release or event you’re holding. Give your audience the inside scoop on the platform before they can find it elsewhere.
Mondelez – Candy Competition
Candy company Mondelez is running a Snapchat contest where the winner can win $10,000 for participating. All they have to do is snap a photo of a TimeOut chocolate bar, modify it using Snapchat drawing tools, and send it to TIMEOUTAU. The company is currently showcasing some of the creations on its website.
The lesson: Give back to your audience, especially during the holidays, if you want to increase customer loyalty. They’ll be more likely to keep following your brand if they know that there might be something in it for them, other than great content. In addition, you’ll generate a ton of user-generated content if the prize is enticing
Beats – Black Friday Lens
To increase Black Friday sales of its headphones, Beats bought the first Sponsored Lens for consumer products on Snapchat. Users could take the lens, put it over their photos, and produce a funny video. In the video, users’ eyes get wide and their heads bop back and forth to Drake’s “Big Rings.”
The lesson: Beats is known for being experimental and trying out new techniques on different social media platforms. In your own campaigns, don’t hesitant to do the same. Don’t be afraid to take a chance; it just might be the best way to break through the noise and appeal to your audience.
Burberry – Spring Sneak Peak
Before Burberry held their Spring 2016 fashion show, they revealed their newest line of clothes on Snapchat. They also produced pictures and videos featuring Anna Wintour, as well as their models, gearing up for the show. The Snapchat campaign captured the excitement before the runway show officially took place.
The lesson: Want to build up anticipation for your brand? Give Snapchatters a sneak peak at your products before they go on sale. Display the preparation that goes into making them so that your customers appreciate the process and your efforts.
(RED) – Donate with a snap
This fall, (RED) collaborated with Snapchat and celebrities to create special filters for users’ photos and videos. Every time a user tried out one of the filters, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated $3 to (RED), and pledged to go up to $3 million. The campaign ran during World AIDS Day.
The lesson: Millennials love to make positive contributions to the world and participate in causes. Pick a cause that’s near and dear to you that users can jump on board with and create content around.
Major League Soccer – Player Takeovers
MLS ran a week of Snapchat takeovers featuring its star soccer players. The players took videos and photos of themselves doing everyday activities, and created hilarious content for their fans. It cultivated fan-player relationships and gave followers of the MLS a look at what life is like for the players.
The lesson: MLS’ Snapchat campaign humanizes their league. Fans only get to see players on the field usually and not in their everyday lives. Let your team’s leaders take hold of your account and show what it’s like to be them. Give exclusive peaks about the life of your CEO or owner, for example, and show what’s involved in running a business.
GE – Holiday Travel Filter
Just in time for the holidays, GE has launched a holiday travel filter that users can place on their photos. The geofilter is useful to Snapchatters because they can make their followers aware of their locations at all times. For example, if a Snapchat user is at JFK traveling to Milwaukee, she can put the geofilter on her photo and write where she’s going as well as her flight number, gate, and seat.
The lesson: Give Snapchatters something useful that will allow them to connect and stay in touch with their friends, family, and followers. Remember to keep the emphasis on practical content, and not just on your brand.
Target – Holiday Geofilters
To celebrate the holiday season, Target has been introducing a new geofilter to its followers on Snapchat every day leading up to Christmas. These geofilters, which include snowmen, presents, and cups of hot cocoa, get the brand’s followers into the holiday spirit and promote the company itself.
The lesson: An easy way to jump on board a content marketing trend is to create Snapchat campaigns that are holiday-centric. Come up with geofilters and hashtags that your users can incorporate into their own content around Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, Mother’s Day, etc.
Ulta – marketing to millenials
Up until recently, Snapchat had primarily been a place where brands could raise awareness about their products. Now, to promote their line of CoverGirl Star Wars makeup, P&G has turned to geo-targeting on Snapchat. Anytime that a Snapchatter is in proximity of P&G’s Ulta stores, he or she can place a themed filter over his or her photo. Though the company wouldn’t reveal their numbers, they found that this campaign has so far been cost-efficient and far-reaching.
The lesson: Focus on local marketing within Snapchat. Create filters and content around your local stores, and then promote them to customers in places that are close to said stores.
In 2015, many brands tried—and succeeded—on Snapchat. As the platform evolves, we’ll continue to see more innovations on it in the New Year. What was your favorite Snapchat campaign from 2015?