I have developed a penchant for Snapchat…and I’m not alone.
Keith Weed, Unilever’s chief marketing and communications officer recently revealed his endorsement for the app at a social media summit in London.
Weed’s approval comes from something a lot more specific.
His company, Unilever, recently reported a huge return on investment (ROI) on its Cornetto brand, thanks to Snapchat.
Cornetto is a branded frozen dessert cone manufactured by Unilever and sold globally under various subsidiary names.
It’s referred to as Wall’s in the UK, Frigo in Spain and HB in Ireland, among others.
According to Weed, the fast growing video messaging app Snapchat has ‘come of age’. Weed was referring to the app’s great performance in boosting the company’s Cornetto sales.
Unilever is an Anglo-Dutch transnational consumer goods corporation co-headquartered in London, United Kingdom and Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Its products include beverages, food, personal care products and cleaning agents.
Interestingly, the company has been testing Snapchat with a number of its fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) for a while.
But like many Snapchat users, they have been approaching it all wrong – unknowingly. With its Cornetto brand, Unilever finally identified a formula that will transform your business on Snapchat.
Using Snapchat Takeovers to Grow Your Audience
If you’re a heavy Snapchat user, you’ve heard of Snapchat takeovers, right?
It’s a Snapchat marketing technique that involves swapping your Snapchat account with someone else.
Under this form of collaboration, you literally control someone else’s account for the day.
Meanwhile, you give up control of your own Snapchat account and audience to the other person – often totally from outside your organisation or business. You share your login details with them to assume full control of your account.
The sound of that whole thing could make you cringe as giving out personal data comes with many risks.
But it’s one of the hottest practices on Snapchat right now.
And influencers, brands as well as regular users are fast adopting Snapchat takeovers as a standard technique to attract insane amounts of audience! Besides, it’s definitely one of the most effective approaches in bringing new experiences to your own content on the messaging app.
Takeovers often involve switching accounts with another Snapchat user with virtually the same size of audience as your own.
However, brands sometimes approach it differently by letting an influencer take over their business account for the day.
In effect, the business gets the opportunity to showcase their products to a completely new bunch of people.
Growing your audience and expanding your reach on Snapchat is now as straightforward as preparing a batch of your grandpa’s chocolate chip cookies. Sometimes, you just need to follow the directions.
So, How Did Unilever Carry out its Takeover – the Results and Lessons Learned
During the last quarter of 2015, the brand partnered with Vine luminary Ben Phillips. The company gave him complete control of the frozen dessert cone maker’s Snapchat account for the day as part of Unilever’s campaign called Winterville. The brand enjoyed immense reach – hitting more than half a million views that day.
Unilever CMO Keith Weed says the campaign paid off from the massive boost in the brand’s sales.
“We had ROI through to sales. We sold more stuff,” he said at We Are Social’s FMCG social media summit in London.
“Now that I can prove ROI, it shows Snapchat has come of age as well and sits up there with the other [social media platforms] and we can make it work at scale.” He added.
Weed believes that brands can now rely on Snapchat for their big campaigns. He further urges marketers to embrace new channels and learn to take it on the chin in the event of failures.
Unilever is not the only one that feels Snapchat has come of age.
Similar sentiments were echoed by HubSpot, “Snapchat is growing up…and has quickly become popular with adults over the last year, making it a serious contender in the social media world.”
Snapchat was a teens’ app when it first rolled out in 2011. Its disappearing photos was an instant favourite factor among these folk who felt it was the ultimate solution to the dreaded privacy issue all over social media.
But over the years, the social media company has rolled out a couple of upgrades to attract businesses.
It recently even considered launching its own ecommerce platform. However, Snapchat feels it must not “stray too far from its entertaining tone if it wants to keep its young user base engaged.” Of course, this leads to an important question…
Is Snapchat Positioning Itself to Grow your Business Faster?
The answer is a big Yes!
Snapchat’s move to become a better business tool is yesterday’s news.
The company rolled out a payments feature, Snapcash, in 2014, for users to send and receive money through the app.
Not only that, Snapchat introduced Discover in January 2015, a platform that allows users to explore stories from various news channels that currently includes Cosmopolitan, BuzzFeed, Vice, MTV and Mashable.
Experts feel that the Discover functionality currently only appeals to publishers looking to distribute their content.
Stepping into ecommerce from content is therefore a sensible idea. The video messaging app is creating an opportunity to entice a broader range of brands.
They however caution that Snapchat should not necessarily move away from its core appeal- the peer-to-peer messaging. This, according to analysts, would still remain even as Snapchat jolts forth into ecommerce.
Simple but Empowering Takeaways from Keith Weed, Unilever’s Chief Marketing Officer
Keith didn’t remain under the hood for initially failing to engage consumers over Snapchat because they had not identified what exactly works.
Using an influencer on the platform has worked for Unilever.
Nevertheless takeover isn’t the only technique that brands can use to realise great ROI over the medium. There’re lots more to growing your business on Snapchat that just creating a company’s account!
Let’s explore some advice to improve your approach;
- Tweak, modify, refine and enhance your Snapchat techniques. Try out with a few approaches and see what will let you scale to epic proportions.
- Share your snapcode everywhere on the Web
- Collaborate with other brands in the same line as you,
- Create content outside your Snapchat that drive traffic to the network,
And if you still see more room for growth, identify the best influencer to collaborate with, not only on the basis of follower count, but keep in mind quality over quantity- just like Unilever did.
Snapchat has made clear its intentions to become an effective business tool. And it’s working around the clock to make this a reality.
It’s now upon you, the brand, to find a way to utilise these elements to benefit your business. Apparently, it takes quality practice and technique to boost your business over Snapchat.
So, take a break from your past business failures and start snapping the right way right now!
Your success will thank you.