Snapchat is here to stay. The red-hot platform turned away a $3bn offer from Facebook, and now it’s reportedly worth 5 times that number. Now we all get it – it’s a new place to run to with your megaphone. Big brands from National Geographic to Comedy Central are utilizing its Discover feature as prime ad space, the selfie lenses are rumored to cost $750,000 for a one-day campaign, and its 100 million+ users are eating it all up. But what’s a less-than-behemoth brand to do with Snapchat when the Discover/Lens route isn’t quite an option? Create stories. You’ve been doing it on Instagram, Facebook, and via traditional marketing content, and now it’s time to take it to full-throttle video on Snapchat. Rolling in 3, 2, 1…

Let’s harp on a prime example of how it’s done. LACMA, a brand that knows how to target the demographic they’ve long sought to engage, millennials, has optimized Snapchat’s invite to be hilarious, a move the generation covets. The museum brought in some top social media talent, who have repurposed 1,000 year-old art work to apply to 5 minute-old trends. Our favorites: The Bohemian Rhapsody story and Mean Girl references. LACMA’s Snapchat isn’t just surface-level funny, it turned a brand many young people viewed as serious, stuffy, and foreign into an engaging and attainable form of entertainment. Andy Warhol would be proud.

Ready to emulate and transcend? These get-started pointers will have your Snap followers hitting replay every day.

Set Yourself Up

Username? Check. Snapcode? Check. That’s easy enough, but what’s going to gain you an audience? Those stories won’t watch themselves. Make smart moves like replacing your Twitter avatar with your Snapcode, and point your followers to your platform. Print your Snapcode on packaging, or take away materials at your shop. And of course, do a casual blast on your other platforms for a healthy dose of cross promotion.

Get a Hand With Outreach

As a new user, it can feel like you’re floating in Jello or outer space. You have no bio, no business profile, followers have to search you by exact name, and it’s unlikely that any of your brand loyals have your company as a contact in their phone for easy adding. That’s where the promotion above comes in, but go a step further. If you have influencers in your back pocket, this is even easier. Partner with influencers that align with your brand and can speak to your audiences. Invite them to host a takeover, do a once-a-week feature, or just request a shout out. It’s the way to amplify your voice.

Craft the Content

Draw out your go-to strategies from past video content, and even visuals in general; think behind-the-scenes, spins on pop culture, contests, a mini-movie, product unveils, personifications of your slogan, and more. Snapchat allows you to cross lines, play it cool and casual, and make your followers feel intertwined with what they love about your brand.

Play Around

Utilize what Snapchat offers – a marketing move that’s delivered in a clean package of daily updates. Depending on your brand’s culture and voice, the amount of edginess, bells, and whistles may vary. But unlike Instagram, you can go from modest to crazy (ish) with the finishing touches built right inside the app. Use the text feature (don’t forget emojis) and drawing tool to drive the message home.

It’s a visual Twitter, an Instagram disappearing act. Snapchat diversifies the way your brand engages, and can bring your voice to dynamic heights. Are the cameras rolling yet?

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