Learn to Use Snapchat to Capture Key Millennial Audience



Snapchat is growing into a powerful video-and photo-sharing tool for digital marketing experts. Companies such as Dove, Taco Bell and Universal Pictures are a few of the brands exemplifying creative ways to engage young audiences via Snapchat. As a result, they have seen positive growth in their brand equity and awareness in the key demographic of 18- to 34 year-olds. In fact, among 18-year-olds, it’s used more than voice calls for frequent communication with family and friends.

A recent article in AdAge featured comScore research that showed Snapchat is edging up on Facebook and Instagram in popularity among 18 to 34 year olds. For those unfamiliar with how Snapchat works, here’s a breakdown:

  • Take a picture or video using the app, this is called a “snap.”
  • Set the designated time for content to be viewed, 1-10 seconds.
  • Share or add it to your “Snapchat Story. ”
    • You can share with friends by choosing who you want to receive it.


  • “Snapchat Story” is all your videos or images together in one long compilation which all of your friends can view for up to 24 hours. Videos or images are automatically deleted after 24 hours and all of your contacts have their own individual stories.
  • To view images or video of friends, hold your finger to your phone’s screen for the set duration.

According to Snapchat, users send more than 700 million snaps and 500 million stories a day. When that many people with an estimated purchasing power of $200 billion are in a digital space, marketers should take notice and consider implementing it in their online strategies.

Taco Bell, for example, uses Snapchat as a way to personalize their messages to their consumers and drive them to their brick and mortar store locations. By snapping pictures of additions to their menus and creating unique images of their store locations to their followers, Taco Bell capitalizes on the fleeting aspect of Snapchat by piquing instant interest from their users with a strong call to action.  The novelty of the new food item to the menu and the interesting images is a digital form of shopper marketing that helps drive up foot traffic.

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Dove, on the other hand, used Snapchat for their “Self-Esteem Weekend” campaign generated more than 6,700 Snapchat followers, 15 percent of whom shared content from the brand. Specifically, their campaign asked for girls to send a snap about their self-esteem insecurities to Dove ambassadors who where available to engage in open and positive communication with them. Brands that build an emotional connection with their customers are the ones that will continue to thrive in our global and commoditized economy.

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So how do you advertise with Snapchat? All users have a “Recent Updates” list that will now include “Snapchat Stories” from paid advertisers. The ads created by marketers have to be creative to have a long-lasting impression on their target publics. Ads are video-based so that companies can stitch together images or videos to resemble a Snapchat story, which was the case of Universal and their film “Ouija”.

Universal Pictures ran the first advertisement on Snapchat. During Halloween, Snapchat uploaded a 20-second compressed movie trailer ad for their Universal horror film, “Ouija.” They used their film “Ouija” to resemble a trailer you could see on television but compacted into scenes that looked stitched-together to resemble a Snapchat Story.Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 3.36.15 PM

Note that Snapchat is an active experience that resonates with its public and though fleeting, lasting only 24 hours, it works the same way as a television ad. Understanding how and what millennials want to see is crucial. The ad is there for one day and gone the next, but if the images and messages are crafted well, people will connect with your business and walk through your doors. Though Snapchat is not for all businesses, it is a great asset to companies who are service-based and would like to connect with millennials.

If your business decides to join Snapchat, there is potential for a new way of communication, connections and interactions for your organization and consumers. Young adults heavily use social media, and they carry their weight in sales. In the age range of 18 to 29 years old, more than 85 percent use social media and 67 percent access it through their mobile devices.

Businesses in the market of customer service can use this app as a tool to introduce potential customers to the products and services that they offer. It personifies the business to people who may not even know you can offer them. If your business wants to share news about a current service or product then personalize and target a specific audience, Snapchat provides an easy method.

Gaining a consumer base utilizing Snapchat would be fun and interactive for your business. All businesses are made up of people who work behind the scenes and create a unique environment. Snapchat is the easiest way for a business to showcase personality through a 10-second visual.

If you think your business would benefit by incorporating Snapchat in your marketing strategy, esd & associates can help you stay updated on the latest social media platforms.


Written by Mageida Sopon

Mageida Sopon is an undergraduate student at The University of Texas at San Antonio, and is currently a Communications team intern with esd.  She is pursuing a degree in public relations and has contributed to agency efforts in social media, media relations and event planning.


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