Are brands Snapchat-ing successfully?

Snapchat recently launched several features in India to up its advertising game. We speak to experts to find out if the social media network can achieve its goal.

In today’s digital era, marketers and brand managers are constantly looking out for exclusive content to connect with their customers.

The latest social media phenomenon, Snapchat, where users communicate by sending photos that automatically disappear after few minutes, hopes to tap into the interests of the Indian youth. The social media network, along with its India monetising partner Tyroo, recently launched a slew of geofilters, stickers, bitmojis and lenses for the Indian market. While brands are optimistic on experimenting meaningful digital content, the big question here is will they leverage Snapchat by overcoming the creative challenges and turning disappearing content into their advantage?
exchange4media spoke some industry experts.

Experts Speak

Giving a thumbs up to such a tie-up and its impact on brands in India, Rakesh Yadav, CEO & Founder of AdGlobal360, said, “Needless to say when you combine video and stories, the alchemy is addictive. Snapchat’s innovative camera and video ad products such as lenses, filters, and snap ads make it a compelling choice for brands, especially those that rely on visual storytelling; there are quite a few in tourism and FMCG segments.”

“With an estimate of 16 million users in India, Snapchat could expand its ad network with Tyroo and bring itself to more advertisers in India. It will help brands see the value in connecting with the highly engaged users through the most fun and effective ad products in the market,” Yadav added.

Prashant Puri, Co-Founder & CEO of AdLift, stressed on how Snapchat could vastly engage with the large mobile app audience, especially the young consumers, due to its video and image content.

“Snapchat being the pioneer of its kind has an upper hand in this domain. With close to 9 million app users in the country, brands stand a chance to reach out to a large audience with customized, focused and engaging ads and digital campaigns. Businesses in India realize the immense potential of social media as a tool of commercial communication and profit maximization. Therefore Snapchat eyeing the Indian market will prove beneficial to brands here,” he said.

Meanwhile, with digital platforms taking it by storm, there has been a steady increase in the adoption of vertical video formats by Indian online users. Snapchat seems well positioned to capitalize on this shift with its camera features that have the power to address both brand evolution as well as performance, which makes it a compelling choice for marketers.

Brands Using Snap Features

According to reports, Snapchat may soon team-up with e-commerce giant Amazon on a visual search feature that will help users buy things on Amazon just by snapping them. Not only Amazon, but also Tinder uses Snap kit to test the bitmoji feature. Also, Snapchat filters have the ‘overlays’ feature that posts snaps that are location based. This feature is being extensively used by travel and tourism companies to show pictures or videos at any given location.

To put its advertising game in place in India, Snapchat has now also initiated launch of a new range of stickers representing Indian colloquial terms. Colorful text-based stickers with words & phrases and other stickers with names of popular Indian food & beverages like filter coffee, tandoor paneer, pav bhaji and dhokla have also been added to the list for customers in India.

While all seem hunky dory for brands in India to benefit from Snapchat’s reach in the Indian market, a question mark can be raised about the average age of Snapchat’s target audience. The app enjoys a craze among a specific target audience ranging in the age group of 18-25, which looks like a barrier for most brands when it comes to advertisement. The age group using Snapchat today could be influencers, but are not decision makers to have an impact on the sales of a brand.

Pointing out why brands would not benefit much from Snapchat’s promotions in India, Sahil Chopra, Founder & CEO of iCubesWire, claimed that brands looking for lead conversions and money-making from digital platforms would not choose Snapchat as a promotional platform.

“Snapchat has been a rage in the Indian market since its launch in 2011. Though the app seem promising with the eye-catching pictures, video sharing properties and camera effects platform, reports suggest that only 2-3% of the brands use Snapchat for promotions. The brands looking for lead conversions and money-making from digital platforms would probably not choose Snapchat as a promotional platform.”

“However, FMCG brands, restaurants, electronic brands etc. could advertise their products & services on Snapchat, as it could be beneficial keeping in mind the target audience which is tech-savvy & explorers of eateries and places around them. Also, other social media platforms have explored plethora of options for advertising whereas the options in Snapchat remain limited as of now,” Chopra said.

With several lenses, filters and augmented reality functionality, Snapchat camera seems to have become the next stop of communication for all. But only time will tell whether it emerges fruitful or falls flat in the face in this race to score marketing goals in India.

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