Five reasons to engage the Snapchat generation

Snapchat’s 238 million users are “the most informed, tolerant, active and diverse group in history” says Snap Inc CMO Kenny Mitchell. So, two Snap advocates gave Media360 the reasons and ways to connect with Generation Z…

Five reasons to engage the Snapchat generation

1 Snapchatters are different 
Snap isn’t a social media company, explained Sam Bevan [pictured below], international head of emerging at Snap.

It’s a camera company, and Snapchat’s primary use is for visual conversations between real friends. The platform has no “vanity metrics such as likes, comments and shares”.

Starling Bank is a UK-based digital bank that has worked successfully with Snap. Maria Milenkova, Starling’s senior acquisition manager, explained: “Snapchatters are completely different [to other social media users] because they’re hyper-engaged. They practically live on Snapchat.” She said that they send Snaps instead of texts, and when they do text, they also do it through Snap.

“They like the ephemerality of the platform and because they don’t care about putting a perfect image or photo of themselves. Knowing it will disappear in an instant, it mirrors face to face communication, which I think is what this generation really cares about. And knowing it will disappear, you’re also more inclined to watch because of the fear of missing out.”

“And I think that also extends to marketing – you can get away with things on Snap that just wouldn’t work on other platforms.”

Bevan added: “It's essential for brands to understand this generation is different. Brands need to adapt to make sure that they’re addressing this generation’s values and helping them to achieve their goals.” 

2 Performance or brand building – why not both? 
Brand and performance are not mutually exclusive, according to Milenkova [pictured], explaining that you can run a TV campaign but “use Snap as part of a second screen strategy to get people to convert and over the finish line”.

One of Starling’s big engagements with Snap last year was a branded lens. “It was a beautiful starling murmuration,” explained Milenkova, “and at the end it created a Starling logo in the sky.” And it had success used by over 1.5 million people in the UK in a single day.

“[Starling] also did a brand lift study with Snap and [Kanter as a measurment partner and we] saw a seven-point increase in brand awareness.” She said that with the right strategy in place, “Snapchat can definitely work for any type of objective.”

“We want to speak to advertisers about full funnel solutions – Snapchat isn’t a one trick pony,” said Bevan, citing the varied campaigns they have run with Adidas and Gymshark. 

3 The immersive experience 
There are more opportunities for interactivity and more opportunities for brands to do things in real time.

“Seventy-seven per cent of Snapchatters say that vertical video is more personal and more immersive,” he said. “How great is that for a brand? At the end of the day you want that deeper connection with your client.

“Gen Z have a much higher recall of skippable videos than previous generations. They're much more immersed in these experiences because the way they are exposed to ads has to be different.” 

4 UGC doesn’t have to compromise brand safety 
User-generated content is beneficial to a digital-only brand, like Starling Bank, because it “humanises” the brand, according to Milenkova. “User generated content builds trust, credibility and customer advocacy so there's a lot of advantages to using it,” she said. 

“You can put controls in place. For example, our branded lens could only function against the sky and not any other background which ensured that the brand safety element was in place.” 

5 Authenticity and diversity
“Snap encourages people to be their authentic selves and that’s at the heart of everything we do,” said Bevan. “And that ties in with Gen Z because if you ask what is their slogan, the majority will say ‘be yourself’.”

Milenkova said that Starling’s vision is to make money equal for everyone – they want everyone to have a great relationship with money regardless of their background. 

According to Bevan the freedom for users to be themselves is well in alignment with Snap’s position when it comes to diversity and inclusion.” They have always supported D&I initiatives and believe that an inclusive workplace and inclusive products are central to the mission and vision as a company. “But as with every business, we have more to do and we are committed to this work.”

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