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How retailers can organically monetize their Snapchat channels

Snapchat is nearly every mobile-savvy consumer’s go-to channel nowadays, whether it is for keeping up with friends’ live Stories, watching behind-the-scenes footage of brands’ photoshoots, or catching sneak peeks at soon-to-be-launched retail items.

With many major marketers having already established a presence on Snapchat – though the frequency of posts varies from brand to brand – they are now faced with the next challenge to tackle: monetization. Social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have made it easy for brands to reach followers and target users with promoted ad units. Instagram and Snapchat have notoriously been trickier to wrangle in this respect. However, Snapchat monetization is getting increasingly easier – if brands figure out the right steps to follow.

ShopStyle, every brand’s newest friend: The rise of affiliate marketing platforms has generally been a win-win for brands as well as social influencers, such as fashion and beauty bloggers. PopSugar’s ShopStyle ecommerce platform rolled out a new mobile app, called Emoticode, several months ago in a bid to bring affiliate marketing to Snapchat.

Several marketers, including Sephora, have already hopped on the bandwagon of shoppable Snapchats. Sephora recently invited its Snapchat followers to screenshot an image of several popular products shown in succession, such as NARS concealer, and download the Emoticode app onto their smartphones. Then they were asked to upload the screenshot into Emoticode, which would recognize the item and enable users to purchase it directly within the app.

ShopStyle integrations make it easier for consumers to complete impulse purchases by eliminating the need to exit out of Snapchat, pull up a mobile browser, and search for the desired item before stumbling upon its product page. Although Emoticode is one of the only apps offering this capability as of now, other ecommerce platforms will likely enter the social space this year.

Banking on bit.ly: Brands wanting to steer clear of third-party ecommerce apps can drive traffic from their Snapchat channels the old-fashioned way instead – with URLs. For instance, eyeglasses marketer Warby Parker recently enticed its fans with a Snapchat-exclusive product that sold out within 24 hours. The company posted a photo of the exclusive glasses on its channel alongside a URL to the corresponding product page, where consumers could complete checkout. Snapchat users could either screenshot the image containing the URL or memorize it before typing it into their mobile browsers.

While this process does contain an extra step, mobile-savvy consumers are unlikely to be deterred, especially since the URL will bring them directly to the product page. To minimize the URL’s length, brands can use URL shortener, bit.ly. Therefore, more individuals will be able to memorize the few numbers and letters following the bit.ly address.

The fact that Snapchat is still relatively untapped in terms of monetization affords brands the luxury to offer exclusive products and capitalize on the novelty of shopping their Snaps. However, marketers must ensure not to overdo it when it comes to pushing out products on the photo-sharing app. Part of Snapchat’s charm is the ability to connect with companies or friends in real-time and without advertising-heavy features. The recipe for shoppable Snapchat success stems from the ability to reward followers with sneak peeks at newly released or best-selling items and offering them the option to purchase those products if they feel so inclined.

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Kristin Schepici, Director, Marketing

Kristin is a senior marketing professional with a strong focus in multimedia and experience developing and executing integrated marketing communication plans. With a strong focus on inbound marketing, she oversees the development and implementation of online marketing strategies.

Topics: snapchat channels

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