A new brand of eyewear hit the red carpet at this year’s Golden Globe Awards: Snapchat Spectacles. Makeup artists and brand ambassadors at the event wore the glasses to give followers as-it-happens coverage of the evening, a development that bodes well for Snapchat’s potential as a marketing platform.
Since the advent of Instagram, apparel brands have reaped the rewards of influencer posts and user-generated content (can you say “#MyCalvins”?). Now, having a strong Snapchat strategy offers fashion companies an opportunity to breathe new life into their social media content.
While Snapchat may seem like the ideal way to reach the coveted Millennial market, fashion brands targeted at an older demographic have reason to get snapping, too. A recent report shows that much of Snapchat’s growth is being driven by users between the ages of 45 and 54. Instagram Stories, Facebook, and other platforms are entering the instant content fray, but for now, ownership of fashion’s live video content remains up for grabs. Until the dust has settled on the industry’s platform of choice, here are five tips for fashion brands to capitalize on Snapchat’s capabilities and reach.
- Channel brand energy
The most direct way fashion brands and retailers can communicate with consumers on Snapchat is through their own channels. Online retailer Everlane utilizes its channel to give followers a sneak peek into what goes on at its headquarters once a week, sharing candid insights, product releases, and factory tours. These so-called #TransparencyTuesdays tie into the brand’s “Radical Transparency” tagline, the brand’s commitment to inform consumers exactly how much it costs to make Everlane products.
Menswear brand Chubbies has a totally different take on the platform—one that announces to an audience of college-age men that the brand doesn’t take itself too seriously. The apparel company, which is known for its line of men’s retro-inspired short-shorts, hosts a weekly video miniseries revolving around the ongoing battle between the evil Pants Co. and the Short Guys who fight to save the world and the weekends. Right on, bros.
- Keep it short and sweet
Snapchat stories also have the potential to turn viewers into buyers—brands like Revolve and Loft have overlaid product codes on Snaps that feature products, allowing viewers to easily locate the items online. As Snapchat photos and videos are often cluttered with text, drawings, and stickers, such tags are a creative way to lure consumers into a transaction without feeling out of place on the app. Fast-fashion retailer ASOS is known for Snapchatting exclusive 24-hour discount codes that end when the Snap disappears, a smart utilization of the time-sensitive nature of the platform.
- Create a one-Snap shop
Snapchat also boasts a suite of ad offerings. In fact, the app is expected to overtake Twitter, Yahoo, and AOL as a top advertising revenue generator within the next three years. Snap ads appear between Stories and Discover content and allow fashion brands to link directly to product pages that users can access by swiping up.
Sponsored Geofilters and Lenses also enable brand-boosting user-generated content. British retailer River Lane’s “Snap & Share” campaign, allowed shoppers to overlay images and videos with their logo and taglines such as “Every Week is Fashion Week” and “Work Hard, Shop Harder” while visiting a physical store.
Even luxury fashion houses such as Burberry are making it snappy. The British brand sought to drive consumer engagement in August 2016 through a sponsored lens. It has users appear under an umbrella and when a user blows a kiss, it projects a gold filter, all to promote the launch of the My Burberry Black fragrance.
- Remember: Everything old is new again
While influencers may have established their value on Instagram, they’re working hard on Snapchat, too. When Italian luxury brand Fendi launched its international “Snapchat Tour,” it enlisted influencers from around the world, such as Kendall Jenner, Zara Martin, and Irene Kim, to take over the brand’s account. Hugely popular fashion bloggers such as Man Repeller, Bryanboy, and The Blonde Salad have already proven themselves on Instagram and could easily translate their content to Snapchat.
- Open up the conversation
Despite all the recent activity, high fashion and retail have been slower to adopt Snapchat than other social media platforms. As they pick up the pace, it will be important to understand Snapchat’s unique feel and uses. While fashion-forward Instagram posts are highly curated to convey a particular aesthetic, spontaneity is the whole point of the ephemeral, “as-it-happens” nature of Snapchat content.
Snapchat also lends itself to inclusivity. The app is breaking down the barriers of entry to Fashion Week, granting all audiences front-row access and behind-the-scenes glimpses through A-list attendees who livestream the entire runway experience.
The platform encourages sharing candid, intimate moments because content is usually absorbed and forgotten very quickly. Images and videos disappear within 24 hours of posting, a window so brief that users are not expected to attain a certain image standard, use a trademark filter, or create the perfect lighting aesthetic the way Instagram influencers are. With Snapchat, the key is “quantity over quality.” The platform’s more casual reputation affords high-end names, such as Valentino, the opportunity to be playful. Snapchat is the casual, dynamic answer to Instagram’s stylized beauty.
By respecting and cleverly engaging with the Snapchat ethos, fashion brands have at their fingertips a powerful new way to engage with consumers.