Snapchat for Outdoor Brands

Even "snap" decisions have a time and a place in a strategic marketing campaign.

By Katie Boué November 9, 2015

When choosing which social media platforms are right for your brand, don’t overlook or ignore Snapchat. With 400 million snaps sent daily by 100 million daily active users, this “now you see it, now you don’t” app has huge impact on the social networks. It’s easy to use, is an excellent outlet for creativity and forges authentic connections with your community.

Need some additional perspective? Photoworld’s interactive infographic spells it out: 8,796 photos are shared every second on Snapchat.

Granted, Snapchat isn’t the ideal app for everyone–demographics should be considered before deciding to adopt a habit of snapping. According to a report by Business Insider, 45 percent of Snapchat users are in the 18–24 age range, and 26 percent are between ages 25–34. It’s a young market, ideal for brands who target millennials. As the demographics for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn begin to age, Snapchat continues to fare strongly among younger users.

The short-lived and low-expectations nature of Snapchat makes it fundamentally easier to share moments with your audience than a more refined platform like Instagram. No photoshoots or edited images needed here; Snapchat is all about spontaneity, authenticity, and a dash of grit.

Want to shake your fist and use words like “new-fangled nonsense” at the mere suggestion of tackling yet another social platform you know little about? Fear not, Mashable has a great guide to Snapchat for beginners that takes you through every step from sign-up to sending your first snap.

Outdoor brands have been somewhat slow to hop on the Snapchat bandwagon—but those that have are already making the most out of this largely untapped platform. Here are a few ways outdoor brands can use Snapchat:

Show the behind-the-scenes perspective of your HQ or factory. Want to tell your supply chain story without the production hassle of shooting and editing professional quality video? Snapchat is the answer. In less than an hour, you can capture and share the inner workings of your brand. Wigwam (Snapchat username: wigwamsocks) recently shared a series of short snap videos that took viewers through the entire process of making a sock, from knitting to packaging. You can also use snaps to give a tour of your retail shop, share peeks into brainstorming meetings or share a new POV the next time you head out to meet with fabric suppliers.

Want to tell your supply chain story without the production hassle of shooting and editing professional quality video? Snapchat is the answer.

SoIll (username: soillinc) has mastered Snapchat. They’re regularly active, share quality moments and even have a strictly black-and-white filter style. Here’s a behind-the-scenes shot of professional climber Jason Kehl during a day of shaping new hold designs and setting climbing routes:

soillsnapchat

Humanize your brand by telling employee stories. The beauty of the outdoors is that everyone who works in our industry has an interesting story to tell. Does your IT guy spend his weekends shredding pow in the backcountry? Let him share his story on Snapchat. Humanizing your brand helps create deeper connections with your consumers. Sharing the stories of the people who work for your brand can be as big as having an employee take over the account for a week during a big trip or as simple as sending someone out to chronicle their lunchtime run.

Sharing the stories of the people who work for your brand can be as big as having an employee take over the account for a week during a big trip or as simple as sending someone out to chronicle their lunchtime run.

The Department of Interior (username: usinterior) is tasked with telling the stories of all public lands through social media and has harnessed the power of Snapchat to allow rangers and park employees around the country to give viewers everywhere a virtual tour of their facilities. The rangers at Arches National Park recently shared these snaps that introduce the faces of the park and playful moments:

IMG_1826

IMG_1827

Give exclusive looks at new products or campaigns. Launching a new product in the upcoming months and want to generate buzz about the big debut? Snapchat is a great platform for giving your community a sneak peek at your brand’s latest and greatest. Offer a first look at your new boots or tease your audience by solely capturing the facial reactions as folks see the product for the first time.

Let brand ambassadors take over your account. If you have an athlete or brand ambassador program, you already know about the value of user-generated content. Your brand’s biggest evangelists are your best source for authentic advertising. What says “buy this harness” better than a video of a climber swinging off the side of El Cap while wearing that harness?

Columbia Sportswear’s (username: Columbia1938) new Directors of Toughness campaign takes two outdoorists and sets them out for six months of adventure, gear testing and media coverage. Naturally, the brand handed over the reins of its Snapchat account to the duo, who have been sharing videos chronicling their travels, outdoor adventures and behind-the-scenes footage, like this:

IMG_2563IMG_2562

Here’s what you need to know about Snapchat:

  • Keep it casual. Set ground rules for your brand’s Snapchat account, but don’t worry too much about perfecting every snap. This isn’t a photo shoot–it’s a short-lived peek into your brand’s story. Authenticity is key on Snapchat.
  • Stories vs. regular snaps: There are two different types of snaps, and outdoor brands should focus on Stories. These videos and images live on the main Stories feed and are viewable an unlimited amount of times over a 24 hour period. Anyone following your account is able to view them.
  • You can screenshot snaps. By simultaneously pressing the power and home buttons on an iPhone, users can capture a screenshot of any snap. Use this to save your best snaps and share them on other social media platforms to cross promote on channels like Twitter and Facebook.
  • Stay short and sweet. Images can be viewed for up to ten seconds, which is the same maximum length allowed for recording videos–but when it comes to static images, your brand’s narrative will be best told with multiple, shorter-timed photos. Keep the pace snappy to avoid losing your audience’s attention.

Have questions about using Snapchat for your outdoor brand? Want to geek out over hashtags and social media platforms? Tweet us @OIA, or e-mail kboue@outdoorindustry.org.

0