Free Versus Paid Marketing On Snapchat


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A Look at Brand-Generated Content Versus Sponsored Content on Snapchat

Once considered a social media app just for teens, Snapchat's demographic is expanding widely and rapidly across the board. More than half of Snapchat's users are over 25, making it a legitimate source for advertising to the millennial demographic and beyond. 

There are multiple effective sources for building brand recognition on the app, but which type is best for your brand depends entirely on your budget and the goals of your campaign. In this blog, Hollywood Branded looks at the past successes brands have had with free versus paid marketing on Snapchat, using brand-generated content or sponsored content. 

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What Sets Snapchat Apart From Other Social Media Apps?

Snapchat is a widely untapped yet prolific source for building your brand and reaching a large audience, especially the millennial demographic. The photo and video sharing app boasts a staggering 100 million daily users, as well as 6 billion videos viewed per day, making it a high-volume opportunity to build your brand using both brand generated content and sponsored content.

Social media has given us the ability to let our followers peek into our daily lives, but Snapchat takes this experience to a whole new level. Because of its real-time quality and its tendency to be filmed from the users’ perspective, the app hosts a unique sense of authenticity that can be used to reach an audience without disrupting their social media experience. Millennials, the leading demographic of Snapchat, are both skeptical and resistant consumers. Because of this, fitting content seamlessly into the app’s style is essential to avoid turning the consumer off to the brand. Brand generated content and sponsored content both offer ways to do this.

Which Type Of Campaign Is More Successful?

Both types of content creation have pros and cons, and deciding which is best for your brand depends entirely on the goal of your campaign and your brand’s budget.

Brand Generated Content

A Snapchat brand generated content campaign involves posting original content unique to your brands image to your Snapchat profile. This content serves to further brand recognition and simultaneously drive consumers to follow your feed, setting them up to consume all future content. The best part of this type of campaign? It can be produced completely for free. Quirky apparel brand Chubbies recently took advantage of the massive Snapchat millennial market to produce brand generated content. Their campaign involved filming the misadventures of the Chubbies staff, as well as the amusing comings and goings of the office environment to be posted weekly onto their Snapchat feed. These humorous videos serve to further the fun-loving and not too serious brand image that Chubbies aims to embody.  The campaign was a huge success. Many of the short video stories went viral and were shared heavily on Twitter and Facebook.

In the past, many brands have produced expensive professional content to be posted on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. Luckily for brands with a smaller budget, Snapchat lends itself well to homemade iPhone recordings, putting brands of all budgets on an even playing field. There are downsides to brand generated content, however. This type of campaign relies heavily on the consumer to share the content on different platforms, or create buzz about the brand by posting about it. There is no guarantee that your campaign will take off, and no legitimate way to track profits and exposure. This takes us to the more solid yet expensive type of campaign, sponsored content.

Sponsored Content

While brand generated content aims to convince an audience that they should subscribe to your brand image, sponsored content serves to spread awareness of a product or service, leaning more towards the goal of a typical advertisement. The main advantage here is your campaign is guaranteed to reach an extremely large audience. On Snapchat, sponsored content is placed within each users’ app in the form of a filter. These filters are easily accessible to the consumers as they can swipe to add a small branded image to the photos and videos they create. This type of campaign also flows well with the consumer experience, as the user feels they have full control over whether or not they use the filter. However, luckily for the brand, the consumer engages with the filter whether they mean to or not just by viewing it.

GE recently made use of these filters with the goal of informing millennial consumers of the major part GE has in facilitating their travels. They aim to inspire the next generation of GE employees, consumers and investors by reaching out to these millennials. Consider it an investment for GE's future.

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The campaign involved a filter that resembled a plane ticket displaying where in the world the user was, which played off of Snapchat users propensity to wordlessly show their followers exactly where they are and what they are doing. They would use these filters to update their friends on their whereabouts, while simultaneously spreading images with GE branding all over it.

The trade-off here is the price. At an estimated 450 to 750-thousand-dollar fee for a 24-hour filter campaign, these impressions don’t come cheap. However, GE reports that their filter was used by 4.7 million people, resulting in 63.5 million priceless views. This translates to a cost per thousand ($CPM) of less than $12 on the high end, or $7 on the low end.  This level of engagement is extremely high-volume for digital marketing, so if your brand has the budget to foot the bill, the resulting engagement will certainly be worth it.

The Power Of Snapchat

When it comes to engaging with consumers by integrating your brand into a pre-existing social media experience, both brand generated content and sponsored content are prolific branding sources on Snapchat. Brand generated content delivers an image-furthering experience, while Sponsored content aims to inform an audience of a brands products and promote its services. As for which one is best for your brand? That’s up for your wallet to decide.  Read our blog on 10 reasons why your brand should be on snapchat

Are you interested in learning more on how your brand can work with social media influencers? Download our infographic that provides case studies, rates and strategies for success when creating a social media influencer program. 

How To Connect Your Brand With Social Influencers