With more people spending time online in an era of social distancing, the competition amongst platforms is fiercer than ever. Each is eager to capitalize on opportunities to be more accessible, more open, and more appealing to a broader range of users and brands.
Snapchat is no exception and of late is making a big push to onboard more brands. Dubbed “Brand Profiles,” 30 companies, including Ben & Jerry’s, Universal Pictures, and Headspace, are supporting a test of a new update that brings all of Snapchat’s core technology and features into one consolidated space. In turn, marketers can expect a more seamless experience for interacting and dishing promotional tie-ins.
Main components of a Brand Profile
Through new AR lenses, brands have the ability to save and showcase Lenses on their profile allowing them to get the most out of their AR experiences. These will be discoverable through Snapchat Search and Lens Explorer. While Snapchat has prioritized ephemeral content since its inception, over the years it’s come to recognize why some permanence can be helpful especially for marketers. In this vein, Highlights will enable businesses to reuse posts uploaded to their Public Snaps including Stories, photos, and videos. As the platform explained, “this is the best way for Snapchatters who aren’t familiar with a brand to get to know who they are.”
Image courtesy of Snapchat
On brand profiles themselves, a Public Story can drive the relationship-building to a new level but offering a new vantage point from which to understand the day-to-day of a brand. In short, a behind-the-scenes look that more and more users find relatable, unique, and exciting. Lastly, profiles will include an optional Native Store experience allowing companies to showcase products directly in the app powered by Shopify.
“With 229 million Snapchatters using the app daily, this real estate for our partners is especially important in a world where our millennial and Gen Z audiences can be hard to reach and build deep, authentic relationships with on many platforms,” the company stated in the official announcement.
Supporting brand growth and audience development
In the backend, Brand Profiles will also come equipped with a helpful suite of tools to foster internal collaboration and analytics reports including audience demographics and interest to better inform their strategies and content development.
“Brand Profiles bring brands a permanent home on Snapchat, unlocking new avenues for customer discovery and engagement,” said Carolina Arguelles, Snapchat’s global product marketing manager, in a statement to AdAge. “We’re also offering brands insights into their subscribers through our online Business Manager, which will help partners learn about their customers and forge evermore meaningful connections with the Snapchat community.”
For their typical organic social efforts, the majority of today’s brands leverage the same type of account as the average user. With the option to create a designated Brand Profile, there is a new opportunity to learn more about consumer behaviors and trends — this is especially crucial when navigating a predominantly younger audience of millennials and Gen Z. As many experts reflecting on the update commented, this slight shift away from ephemerality could be the key helping brands kickstart a powerful learning journey whereby they allow users to opt-in to the ads and content they want to see and engage in a way that respects their time and attention.
Brand Profiles isn’t the only push Snapchat has made lately in terms of opening its platform to be more business-friendly. Earlier this Summer the company introduced “Snap Focus” geared towards Snapless brands who before committing to something like a Brand Profile, for instance, will want a more general understanding of ad management best practices.
Akin to Twitter’s “Flight School” and Facebook’s “Blueprint” courses, Snap Focus is set up to provide a tactical understanding of how to navigate the app. This includes broader overviews into The Snapchat Generation and the platform’s Ad Manager in addition to specifics around how to measure and optimize campaigns and elements to successful creative. For more on Snap Focus and other ad tools to incorporate into your approach, you can check out the Snap Focus platform here.
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