I’m a strong advocate of focusing your spend on product development, particularly in the initial stages of your business, but there must also be a focus on gaining and retaining customers in the most engaging way to convert.
When Gary Vaynerchuck singled out Snapchat on his YouTube Channel I sat up and listened. He is the social leader that called Twitter big in 2007 and has continuously made smart allocations in both media moves and tech.
If Warren Buffett or Chris Sacca is telling you to invest – you sit up and listen at least, right?
I’ve been playing with Snapchat for over a year now and have learned the intricacies. But I have started to notice little subtleties outside of my friends sending me social snaps.
In particular, it was high quality brands that I enjoyed viewing the most. This level of engagement was something I’d never seen before, through stories and behind-the-scenes glances of what they do with their time and it fascinated me.
Any moment I saw a new snap by that individual or brand, I was in.
1. The best businesses have always focused on why they exist
It’s about their vision, cause and story. Why do they wake up every day and go to work?
They do it because it connects at a level deeper than dollars.
For Apple, it’s thinking differently.
For me, it’s helping build businesses that push that envelope. It’s that same going against the grain attitude that my grandfather showed my own family. It’s who we are.
2. You can build on your story and solidify brand loyalty
Before adding Gary Vaynerchuck on Snapchat, I wasn’t that engrossed. Now, I know what he strives and lives for, how he spends his time and what his personal goals are. I’m fascinated by his personal story. I’m now hanging out for his vlogs, which may turn into future dollars through book purchases or talks.
In the space of four weeks, I’ve gone from being somewhat interested to totally captivated. That sort of captivation builds loyalty that no other product engagement can. What’s more, those types of core users are what you want, because they can help you with product releases and early feedback .
3. It’s direct to market
This is one of the only true channels that commands user attention. Think about it: there are no ads, no buttons, no need to filter to view a snap – just whether or not you press on a story and view.
That is unparalleled for showing some why you exist, what your story is and how you do it.
If the viewer likes your brand enough, they’ll immediately be clicking on your story to learn more in future.
Conversion rates, which are more important than total numbers, are what really matters – and Snapchat is known for giving you 50-60% plus convertibility.
What should I do then?
Get your presence and plan set up as soon as possible, prioritise it and blend it into your marketing plan this year – invest the time and money now, be prepared to be the startup in your marketplace with the best user engagement on Snapchat.
Snapchat is still in its infancy, invest now and receive dividends later.
How to get your startup involved with Snapchat:
– Get a Snapchat account and learn about the Stories feature
– Build a plan, think about how you will use all media (social, email, product) to drive a following on Snapchat that doesn’t require your users to give up something immediately
– Understand how your creative and product team can build nuance into your own Stories
– Get your Snapchat code, post it to your community on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Tell them you’ll be providing a behind the scenes of how your company and team operates
– For the next six months show your users why you do what you do on a daily basis
– Don’t fall into the folly like most brands of just shamelessly promoting. Give some value and over time, expect some back
– After that six months start offering viewer specific promotions and giveaways thanking those users for their commitment to your story
– Rinse and repeat your plan every six months for the next three years and identify where you’re succeeding and failing in your engagement through Snapchat. This is also very important for your future product development in potentially launching betas.
The time is now – expect to see the coverage of Snapchat blow up later this year. Put in the hours, learn from your users like no other and enjoy the experience.
The inverse of laying down that groundwork is not doing anything at all and is that a safe way to hedge your business?
Jordan Michaelides is the founder and managing director of Single Partners. You can follow him on Twitter.