For a minute pretend it’s 1970. Richard Nixon is president, the Beatles have just broken up, Apollo 13 splashed down safely in the ocean and television is all the rage. If you didn’t like what was on TV, or an advertisement came on that didn’t apply to you, there was a good chance you just sat through it instead of getting up, walking to the TV and changing the channel.
This is not the world we live in today. Today we have more choices of entertainment than ever before.
And when we have more choice, we have shorter attention spans because we know there’s always another option.
With that in mind, time is the most important asset we have.
Bad content and bad advertising steals that time.
With all its comparisons to TV lately, you have to think of Snapchat in the same way.
There has never been a video platform that has given users as much control over what they watch as Snapchat. It’s mobile, gesture based controls (swipe up, tap to watch, etc.) allows you to stop watching someone and start watching someone else in less than a second.
This means as brand on Snapchat, no matter where you put your message (paid ads, Discover, influencers, or your own channel) if you bore your viewers for even two seconds with bad content, it takes them less time to stop watching you and start watching your competitor.
Bore the viewer multiple times and you can expect that they will stop watching you altogether.
Here’s my theory: I think because the process of adding someone on Snapchat is so cumbersome, if you waste someone’s time with bad content, they will take personal offense to it.
This is crazy, right? Personal offense?
Take a second to think about the main demographics of Snapchat:
Now imagine, you’re a brand that has found themselves on an 18 year old’s Snapchat account. The fact that this 18 year old took the time to add you, should be proof enough that they want to like you. You have a genuine opportunity to use Snapchat to create a personal connection with this person and turn them into a brand advocate. All YOU have to do is create GOOD content. Instead, you take this opportunity to post pictures and videos that don’t have a beginning or an end that aren’t relevant to anyone with the exception of the person filming. How would you feel?
When brands say, “I don’t think we are ready to jump into Snapchat”, the first thing we say is “You’ll wish you had started building your following 6 months ago, 6 months from now, but you are right, PLEASE do not do it without a strategy.” And I mean this.
If you really aren’t ready, reach out to Snapchat influencers and start conversations now. Using influencers to create consistent quality content on your Snapchat takes away so many of the fears and anxiety you might have of jumping into a new platform with sub-par content. Like so many other trades, Snapchat is a skill and when doing something for the first time, it’s never a bad idea to consult a professional.
Mike Metzler is a Snapchat influencer and artist and consultant for brands at Delmondo. You can follow him on Snapchat at Metz044 or on Twitter at MTZLER.