June 5, 2017

Snapchat Storytelling: get up to speed ahead of our upcoming Curious talk

The fourth instalment of Curious Season 5 is just around the corner, this time turning the spotlight on Snapchat, who’ll be talking to VCCP about how its platform offers the ancient craft of storytelling a new dimension. To give you a head start, we’ve pulled together our Snapchat 101 on some of the creative ways in which brands are already using this unique media space.


Bespoke snapchat filters are perhaps one of the most popular ways in which brands have been engaging audiences in recent times. Due to the platform’s highly specific geo-targeting feature, these can be activated in very precise locations and times. Starbucks recently used this in order to tell their fans that it was Frappucino happy hour. Larger-scale activations include branded ‘lenses’, which are like dynamic filters and include animation that incorporates Snapchat’s facial recognition software. Lenses appear on all users’ apps in a certain country. For example, comparethemarket.com created a lens that transformed users into meerpups on the launch day of their Christmas campaign. Both these routes are great ways to co-create content with consumers.

Another way of using Snapchat to broadcast episodic content is through the Discover feature, which allows users to navigate through bespoke in-app content. Whilst this is usually created by publishers and news sites, the space available in this section is paid for, so brands with a great story to tell can do so here. One of the appeals of this approach is the number of views that content in this section is likely to create, making storytelling as far-reaching as possible.


Like other social media platforms, Snapchat is also an opportunity to partner with influencers. Unlike other platforms, however, the nature of Snapchat means that this type of content doesn’t get ‘broadcast’ in the same way that it would on, say, Instagram. Content from collaborations only stays live for 24 hours if it’s added to an influencer’s Snap story, and is only viewed by fans who choose to watch said story. For this reason, this route remains relatively under-explored (unless part of a wider campaign with that influencer), considering the platform’s rising popularity. Furthermore, Snapchat has yet to offer support to their influencer users in the same way that YouTube, for example, who provide regular workshop sessions to help better connect users with their audiences.

For now then, brands can achieve broadcast-like storytelling through Snapchat, through branded filters and the ‘discover’ feature, whereas there is still a lot of opportunity in the influencer space. One key threat for the app is developments on other social media platforms which copy Snapchat’s functionality (Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp now all include these features) – could the pressure from these cause Snapchat to rethink their involvement with celebrities and influencers who attract the highest engagement across the platform? Don’t forget to come along on 8th June to hear some brand new insights and, of course, check back in with us here for our ‘fast five’ key takeaways following the talk.

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