Why Your Higher Ed Marketing Strategy Should Include Snapchat

Carnegie Higher Ed Dec 18, 2018 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

Where does Snapchat fit within Social Media’s Top Channels?

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and, more recently, YouTube, have typically seen the lion’s share of attention when higher education marketers are developing a comprehensive social media marketing strategy to reach prospective students. For many proven reasons, these platforms continue to perform well when developed and monitored properly, with historical trends, platform enhancements, user experience, and now familiarity among prospects and marketers alike.

There was a time when these platforms were in an experimental phase for higher education marketers. That time is now for Snapchat, which is a relatively new tactic for many institutions when it comes to digital advertising. The platform was not launched with a Gen X audience in mind, so it’s no wonder that so many marketers remain unfamiliar with the platform’s capabilities. If Snapchat is a foreign platform to you, these facts may grab your attention:

  • There are 187 million daily active users on Snapchat, the majority under the age of 34
  • 528,000 snaps are sent every minute.
  • Active users spend an average of 34.5 minutes per day on Snapchat.

These numbers provide some powerful insights when looking at reaching a target audience for your institution.

Snapchat and Higher Education: What you should Know

The power of video is becoming more and more proven, and Snapchat follows the requirements of video while also understanding the concept of brevity concerning the attention span of a prospective student (around 10 seconds).

Another bonus to Snapchat is that the multimedia creative you upload to this platform can be used for other marketing purposes, including Facebook Video Ads, Instagram Stories, and YouTube. Consistent messaging and branding are paramount when executing several parallel marketing tactics.

Creative refreshes are recommended much more regularly due to the high frequency and video impressions in Snapchat campaigns. This allows more room for testing creatives and showing off your school in an interactive video or slideshow format. Speaking of testing…

Finding your specific audience on Snapchat can range from using basic demographics to custom or list-based audiences and look-alike audiences. These options are familiar to those actively using other social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. Calls to action can range from general branding and awareness to lead generation. The flexibility of audience targeting means more room for testing!

What Makes Snapchat Different?

To understand the platform better, it’s always best to put yourself in the target user’s mindset. The user experience drives personal messages, tiles, and stories, much like Instagram. Snapchat ads will show up in between stories or in a natural user workflow. Snapchatters have the ability to skip the ads, but don’t worry…

From a marketer’s perspective, perhaps the best feature about Snapchat is that budgets are used only if users are engaging with the ads, or “swiping up.” This ensures a branding element as well as user engagement. With the recent introduction to the Snap Pixel, measurement of campaign goals are much more visible than previously. Having conversion data allows an opportunity to make data-driven marketing decisions.

When it comes to advertising on social media, complacency is a comfortable way to fall behind—quickly. Before you try to predict the newest social platform or continue your social media marketing on autopilot, now is the time to explore platforms to ensure your message is seen and heard from every possible outlet.

If you want to learn more about how to utilize Snapchat in your higher education marketing plan, we’re here to help.

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