Broaden Your Reach to Millennials and Gen Z with Snapchat

Snapchat is a great platform for associations wanting to raise brand awareness among younger audiences. Here are a few tips on how to incorporate Snapchat advertising into your next event or campaign.

My first cell phone was a Nokia, and I got it when I turned 16—along with my driver’s license and pierced ears. Looking back, it was a momentous year. Not only could I drive and poke cheap jewelry through my earlobes, but I could also call and text.

Well, time sure has a way of changing things. Now, Nokia makes bathroom scales, and according to Nicholas Mattar, the director of marketing at the Detroit Regional Chamber, who presented this week at ASAE’s 2017 Marketing, Membership & Communications Conference, 13-year-olds are using the social app Snapchat on their personal smartphones.

Why should this matter to associations?

According to a survey completed last year, upwards of 60 percent of smartphone users ages 13 to 34 use Snapchat. In fact, Mattar said that Snapchat is the number-one social media network among generation Z and number two among millennials, whom we’ve oft-heard will make up the largest portion of the American workforce by 2020 [PDF]. We also know that associations are constantly trying to find meaningful ways to connect and communicate with these populations.

Advertising on Snapchat is one way to do just that, Mattar said, but he gave three requirements associations should meet before diving in:

  • Make sure that you’re aiming for brand awareness rather than a tangible financial return.
  • Make sure that the majority of your target audience is millennials and gen Z.
  • Make sure that the Snapchat advertising is part of a larger marketing campaign or event that has a beginning and an end.

In launching a Snapchat advertisement, associations should be aware that there are three different levels of advertising, which range in price from about $5 to $500,000. The most time and cost-effective advertising option is called sponsored geofilters. “This is something that’s easy to set up,” Mattar said. “It’s very basic, it’s just a simple graphic that you then upload to snapchat, and targeting is based strictly on geographic location and timing.”

For example, say that you want to draw attention to a new initiative that you’re unveiling at your annual conference: You’d create and upload your own graphic, then you’d “draw a fence” on a map around the convention center where your meeting is held and choose the times that you’d like the geofilter to be available. You’ll then pay your fee to Snapchat, which is usually relatively nominal.

Anyone who steps foot inside the conference center during that allotted time would be able to use the geofilter in their snaps, share it with their friends, or post it to their stories—creating not only buzz around your initiative but also engagement from your younger members and potentially interest among nonmembers who might see the geofilter.

“This is a very cost-effective advertisement,” Mattar said. For instance, he created an hour-long geofilter with a “fence” around the conference center for MMCC, and it cost him a grand total of $7.97.

“But you need people in the room that you know use Snapchat,” he said. Still, it’s very easy to integrate and can improve brand awareness among young consumers.

How have you successfully implemented Snapchat advertising into one of your association events or campaigns to boost engagement and awareness?



(Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Emily Bratcher

By Emily Bratcher

Emily Bratcher is a Contributing Editor for Associations Now. MORE

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