How to Market Organically on Snapchat

April 11, 2019

Potted plants line a long white windowsill
Photo credit: Ken Treloar

There are two key ways brands can market on Snapchat—via sponsored campaigns or organic sharing. But which one is best for your business? Should you consider both?

Sponsored ads refer to either long form video or static image ad campaigns that appear within Snapchat’s Stories feature or sponsored lens campaigns that place a transformative lens experience into users’ main carousel on their homepage. Sponsored geo-filters also fall within this category.

Today, we’ll focus on organic marketing. On Snapchat, this can be achieved by using Snap Stories in a variety of ways to help spread awareness about your brand. When used creatively, Snapchat’s strength lies in its ability to engage users in a very powerful and more personal way than other social media platforms. Certain brands and products are naturally more congruent with the key demographics on this platform (find out more here!) but companies across verticals  can benefit from this platform.

Mindset for Snap Stories: How to Maximize Growth

Who Are You: It’s important to have a theme or story about your brand that you want to express. This will help guide the content you create and how your audience  responds to your message . If you’re a surf brand,  you’ll want lots of sunny, beachside videos that showcase your latest equipment. If you are a charity, show your volunteers in action to demonstrate how donations are being used to help those in need.

Post Often: Snap Stories disappear  after 24 hours, so it’s important to keep your followers engaged by posting often, but don’t worry about making your content picture perfect—which brings us to our next point.

On-the-fly: Given the ephemeral nature of Snapchat, this platform is known for being best suited to fast, fun content—and lots of it! Sure, you want to be professional, but Snapchat’s largest demographic consists of 13-24 year olds. Save the details for the boardroom.

The Tactics: Tools That Can Help You Grow

Screenshots of the Snapchat Aer Lingus campaign


Let someone in your organization takeover your company account for the day to show what they do on Snapchat. Aer Lingus, the second largest airline in Ireland, took their  followers into the cockpit, created stories with the crew and shared content from live events—including inaugural flights. You can also integrate a Q&A portion to answer questions from fans about what it’s like to be a pilot or where the best seats are!


Have an influencer take over your Snapchat account to entertain viewers and get to see what they do everyday. Pick someone with a reputation for being creative and able to have a good time. Redbull worked with Mark McMorris, a professional Canadian snowboarder, to show what he does in his spare time when he’s not shredding slopes or perfecting his tricks. In line with  Redbull’s ongoing support of  high adrenaline stunts and sports, fans are always  excited to see a personal side of a favourite athlete.


Create a challenge where fans have to submit videos to enter the contest winning tickets, gear, money or other tempting prizes. Mondelez offered a $10,000 prize to whoever took the most creative Snap of their Cadbury TimeOut candy bar, incorporating their Snapchat drawing skills. Thousands of entries came in and gave Mondelez a plethora of user-generated content they could share. Creating a challenge of this magnitude will take some planning and promotion, so smaller brands might want to start with a more affordable prize.


Run promotions just for your fans, or let them be the first ones to know when a sale is going on. People love feeling like an insider, knowing what’s going on with their favourite brands before their friends do. Grubhub—a food-delivery company best known on Snapchat for their powerful community-building capabilities—runs promos that offer viewers 15% off their orders of $10 or more through their Stories.


Provide in-store exclusives to your customers, making them feel special and giving them a little something extra to take home. Burberry shoppers were able to use a Snapcode to unlock content for their Mr. Burberry fragrance line—including fragrance information as well as style and grooming tips.


Give them an AR lens to play with. A big part of Snapchat are the interactive face and world lenses that  augment the user experience and enhance the Snaps they send to friends. Build something creative and integrate it into one of the above campaigns, integrate a  lens into a contest for have the most creative Snap, post Snaps of an influencer using it, or even turn it into a game!


Bring your experiences to life by telling a story through Snapchat. In 2015, UNICEF and Snapchat collected and recreated drawings from children in Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger who had suffered from conflicts between Boko Haram, the military and civilian groups. By following the @Unicef handle on Snapchat, users can view the recreated drawings. Part of the initiative also asks the public to use the platform to illustrate what they would miss most, were they forced to leave their home, and share those images on social media using the hashtag #BringBackOurChildhood.

These are just some of the ways you can use Snapchat for brand marketing. Be sure to take advantage of one of social media's most powerful platforms!

Interested in seeing how we can take your Snap game to the next level? Reach out to our team to learn how we can create your custom lens for Snapchat!

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