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Red Media: Marketing Millenials via Snapchat blog post cover, with a red and purple gradient background and Red Media logo, and a faded image of two girls taking a selfie

We recently successfully carried out the ‘Time to Fly’ engagement campaign for Kennett where we created a bespoke filter that users can overlay on their pictures and videos that they share through Snapchat’s photo and video-sharing messaging app.

Using very specific geo-location management, we specifically targeted Glasgow Airport for this campaign over a busy weekend encouraging young travellers jetting out of the country and eager to tell their friends and followers that they were heading off on holiday. The result was our target market of young millennials and professionals sharing our brand with their own personal networks.

If you’re a brand targeting millennials and you’re not investing in a sponsored Snapchat filter, you’re already late to the game. But fear not as there is still time for you to take advantage!

For those of you who have no idea what Snapchat filters are, they allow users to insert special effects and overlays into their selfies and videos (think turning your selfie into an animated, purring cat).

Yes, it’s slightly odd. Yes, it does sound like a waste of time. But, it’s why your teenage daughter spends hours making silly faces at her cell phone.

But for some reason, we love it. One millennial explained the phenomenon this way:

“Snapchat entered into a niche that’s so forward because it’s catered towards a generation even its creators didn’t understand. It’s not that the user interface is complicated, it’s that the user interface doesn’t even exist. It makes assumptions about its users preemptively and doesn’t care if it’s shutting out an entire generation.”

And better yet, celebrities love it. Plenty of big names idolised by millennials — including Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande — are using Snapchat filters and endorsing the brands that sponsor them without even realising it.

Your target audience’s friends use them. Your target audience’s idols use them. It’s an unprecedented double endorsement opportunity.

Here are three steps brands can take to sponsor Snapchat filters in order to reach millennials:

Speak to us about who you want to target.

This is a tool that brands and companies have been using to great effect. Some previous advertisers include Fox Studios for “The Peanuts Movie” during Halloween and Gatorade for the Super Bowl. But it is not just for large businesses, it can work for smaller brands too, and with Red Media’s help we can work with you to define a specific target market and event and location to target with your bespoke designed filter that does not cost a fortune and will help you reach an audience that is difficult to reach with traditional marketing practices.

We will come up with a really good concept.

It may seem crazy to invest in sponsoring millennials’ selfies that are made to disappear in 24 hours. That’s why if you’re going to do it, you better do it right.

So, what makes a good sponsored Snapchat filter? In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with humor. I’m talking laugh-out-loud funny. But like most innovative branding opportunities, there’s no secret formula for success. A good filter follows the same rules as any branded content: make it memorable, make it share-worthy, but don’t make it too obvious.

While there’s no room — or tolerance — for a full-blown advertisement, your sponsored filter should still be relevant to your brand and if a filter makes us laugh, we will use it whether it’s sponsored or not.

Create a compilation video.

Just because a Snapchat photo or video disappears 24 hours after a user posts it, doesn’t mean your branded content can’t live on. By collecting photos and videos that Snapchatters take with your branded filter, you can create a compilation video. And if there’s one thing millennials love more than Snapchat, it’s compilation videos of their peers making fools of themselves.

Whether you have real-life Snapchatters submit their branded selfies to you, or hire actors to use your filter, this could potentially lead to some hilariously share-worthy content. And if all goes according to plan, your compilation video will now be shared across other social media platforms. Talk about maximising exposure.

Last May, Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel revealed that the company had more than 100 million daily active users, and more than 65 million of them send photos or videos to friends on a daily basis.

So if your company has the wherewithal and budget, now is the time to invest in a sponsored Snapchat filter. But it better be good, it better be share-worthy, and it better be memorable. So speak to us!


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