Instagram & Snapchat Marketing Hacks for Brands


This post is an excerpt from our Digital Growth Summit event in Sunnyvale.Here are the digital marketing experts who contributed to this blog: Jock Breitwieser Instagram & Snapchat Marketing Hacks for Brands Ryan Faber Instagram & Snapchat Marketing Hacks for Brands Rachael Cihlar Instagram & Snapchat Marketing Hacks for Brands Jennifer Winberg Instagram & Snapchat Marketing Hacks for Brands


Instagram & Snapchat Marketing Hacks for Brands

Here are some key takeaways from the Instagram & Snapchat Marketing Hacks panel:

  • Use Instagram and Snapchat the way your customers do
  • Snapchat marketing can be more raw and in-the-moment; Instagram ads should be more carefully crafted. Brands should take their cue from ordinary users who save their best images for Instagram while having fun playing around with Snapchat.

  • For KPIs on Snapchat, be creative
  • Traditional indicators aren’t readily available for Snapchat, but you can learn a lot by watching audience behavior around your marketing efforts.

  • Build content for the platform you are going to use
  • Images, content and video can’t be one-size-fits-all for Snapchat, Instagram and other platforms. Customize the message to fit the format.

How are brands using Instagram and Snapchat? Do you think one is better suited for a particular strategy than the other?

Snapchat is for engaging people in the moment. –Rachael Cihlar

I think with Instagram we are seeing that it is a lot more posed. People want a picture-perfect image of their life out there on Instagram, whereas Snapchat is a little bit more authentic, real-time, and unapologetic. I think that is how brands and influencers are seeing it too. Snapchat is more for engaging people in the moment, while Instagram is putting your best self forward and seeing how people respond. —Rachael Cihlar

When I look at the two platforms, they are both really in their infancy as an advertising program. Instagram rolled out ads in September of last year, but the value of theirs is that you have the full toolset that you have on Facebook. With Instagram you can make lookalike audiences, customize each post for different audiences, and it is easy to track. Snapchat marketing is new, all ads are skippable and attribution is fairly poor, but people are consuming content in a way that is more natural and engagement is incredibly high. —Ryan Faber

How much does it takes to start a campaign on Instagram or Snapchat? What is the minimum threshold you need to invest in order to see results?

Instagram is a penny. There is no barrier to entry. With Snapchat marketing, on the other hand, a Lens starts at $750,000. A Geofilter I think is a minimum of $250,000 and 3Vi ads are $100,000 minimum. —Ryan Faber

What is your best advice on creating content for Instagram and Snapchat?

When you're being too overt as a brand on Instagram and Snapchat you're going to turn people off. –Jock Breitwieser

Your content is really important. Sometimes you post a piece where you think you are showcasing the product and you are not. I had a product, an audio bluetooth speaker that looked like a silver pillar, and the idea was that it was supposed to be "hidden" in your living room or kitchen. But then how do you showcase that? We had to do a lot of testing to figure out what worked and what didn’t. We had to take it out of its natural environment. Since it is portable, we took it to Coachella and we took it to the beach. That worked in the Instagram space in a way that showing the product in its natural environment, your home or your kitchen, didn’t. —Jennifer Winberg

Don’t force it. You don’t always need an app, you don’t always need to be on Snapchat. Evaluate all of these platforms and see how it could work, but don’t force it. The most important thing to think about is the medium. What happens a lot is I think someone has an ad campaign and they just bolt it onto the platform and it doesn’t make sense. Build content specific for the platform you are going to use. When we make something, we film something specifically for TV, specifically for Snapchat, and specifically for Instagram. —Ryan Faber

It's important to note that when you're being too overt or too pushy as a brand on Instagram and Snapchat you're going to turn people off. –Jock Breitwieser

How do brands convey their brand message while avoiding the pitfall of seeming too pushy?

When you are looking at influencers and interested in partnering with them, partner with the ones that make the most sense. If you look at integration, you want the consumer to say “Is this organic or is this paid?” A lot of times it is not done that well and it doesn’t work well. Your ads need to be consumable —Ryan Faber

How do brands measure success? What kind of KPIs can they share and what are the metrics that they can use?

Show anecdotal evidence of engagement [on Snapchat]. –Jennifer Winberg

Instagram has full attribution. You can see what people are clicking on and understand exactly what is happening. On the other hand, with Snapchat marketing, it is very difficult. You get “wow” numbers. You don’t know how many people are being driven to your site, your product, or your service. It is very hard to measure what impact you have had. One way that you can try to track it is by trying to see unique identifiers on mobile devices where you can try to match it up to new users. It’s a rough match, but they are working on it. —Ryan Faber

For Instagram, from an organic side, it would be much like Facebook: your likes, your commenting, and your engagement. Snapchat marketing becomes harder because they don’t share as much information. If you have a CMO who really wants that data and you can’t get it, one thing that you can do is show anecdotal evidence of engagement. I worked on a campaign for Wolverine when Snapchat marketing was very new and ended up taking screen captures of all of these times when fans were Snapchatting these Wolverine hands they had drawn and put that together. I said, “We don’t have the analytics yet, but what I can show you is the degree to which these fans are interacting with this.” We had fans responding, taking a picture, drawing Wolverine hands, and then snapping it back to us. It was easy to see that there was an extreme level of engagement. —Jennifer Winberg

What would you recommend for someone in the B2B space for an easy way to construct a campaign and dip their toes in without risking too much?

Use your email list as a custom audience list. –Ryan Faber

Most of you probably collect email addresses from people. Use that as a custom audience list. Build that into Facebook. You can target those people exactly with whatever message you want. Most likely they will be on Instagram or Facebook. You can load it in that custom audience list of people. The second one is if you have a list of emails of high-value customers, you can use a lookalike audience. Do a really good job on your landing pages. Capture an email address for everyone coming onto your site. Use software that looks at mouse patterns and tries to predict when someone is going to leave the page. Then it provides an offer and captures that email address. —Ryan Faber