Use Snapchat to Transport Your Customers

What the outdoor industry can learn from EverestNoFilter—a Snapchat journey to the top of the world.

By Alex Lemley June 26, 2016


Snapchat has come quite a long way as a marketing and content curation tool in its five years. The growing social media giant has become a vehicle for sharing everyday life, whatever that means for you, as it happens. Twenty-eight percent of 14- to 19-year-olds think it is the “most important social network” (Ypulse). There are 100 million daily users; everyone from Taco Bell to Red Bull and now the outdoor industry have all recognized the power of the “snap,” a piece of content posted through Snapchat.

Just ask Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards, the two professional climbers who used Snapchat to document their entire Everest journey under the user name EverestNoFilter, from plane rides to acclimatization to Richards’ triumphant no-oxygen ascent and Ballinger’s difficult decision to turn back after frostbite began to set in. Their Snapchat stories are a perfect lesson in how to use Snapchat’s informal style to connect with your customers. Here are two—yep, that’s all you need—big takeaways.

There were plenty of companies involved in the expedition, including Eddie Bauer Guide and Athlete team, Alpenglow Expeditions, Strava, Soylent, Scarpa, La Sportiva, etc., but they weren’t the main focal point. This was such a successful campaign because the brands involved were just part of the authentic story being “snapped”.

Lesson: Don’t try to push a sale. Push a laugh, a curious thought, a cringe or a question. If potential customers are brought in through an emotional connection, making the sale will require little to no effort because of the positive experience they already associate with your brand.

EverestNoFilter’s content was about letting the non-climbing community know what it’s like to make an attempt on Everest—unfiltered, with no frills or fancy camera work. The effort was educational and promotional of the climbing community but with massive heart that came across loud and clear through the casual and stripped-down nature of Snapchat. Ballinger’s and Richards’ authentic enthusiasm, frustration, exhaustion and humor played out on Snapchat like an epic, unpolished saga with daily installments that left viewers eager to see the next day’s progress.



Lesson: If you’re wanting to understand the type of content to use on Snapchat, it’s all in the name. A “snap” is just that, a quick snapshot of a candid, unpolished moment. What Snapchat content may lack in the way of amazing camera work or lighting it makes up for, tenfold, with in-the-moment, feel-like-you’re-there images. Because of its informal nature, Snapchat is a prime place to evoke an emotional connection with your brand through sponsored filters or account takeovers from your athletes or veteran shop experts.