snapchatApril 20, 2016: According to a new survey by investment bank Piper Jaffray, Snapchat has replaced Instagram as the app of choice for the teen demographic. 28 percent of the 6,350 U.S. teenagers asked to name “the most important social network” selected Snapchat. This is a jump from the 19% who voted for Snapchat in Piper’s Fall 2015 survey, showing that teens have embraced the “disappearing images” app that was once (incorrectly) labeled as purely a passing fad.

Teens aren’t the only ones embracing Snapchat: 60% of Americans aged 13-38 are using the platform, with over 100 million daily users. While we’ve written about Snapchat’s role as a branding vehicle before,  it’s becoming more apparent than ever that brands, influencers, and publishers that aren’t yet on the platform are missing out.

“Live” content — especially video — is rapidly becoming a necessary component of social marketing. Whether it’s traditional YouTube, Twitter’s Periscope, Facebook’s new Live Video tool, or standalone apps such as Snapchat, Blab, or Vine, there’s a video network for every business size and industry.  Even Instagram recently introduced a longer video option, which will now cap out at a full minute (I’d bet that it’ll be even longer soon).

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The flip side of the explosion in Snapchat’s popularity could be because it has the least-intrusive advertising of all of the other networks mentioned. The new crop of teens and millennials — raised on technology and fluent in the Internet — have historically rejected digital advertising in its more traditional forms.  With Facebook becoming an ad farm, Twitter following suit, and once-crowned Instagram adding new advertising options to its platform, teens are flocking to networks where they see fewer billboards and are exposed to more organic posts. It’s becoming more and more important for brands to approach consumers non-intrusively and through organic discovery.

Snapchat is a great network for these secretive teens because it allows opt-in follows (isn’t it a bit crazy that we generally can’t choose the content we see anymore?) and allows users to view sides of a brand/person that they wouldn’t normally see.

The unfortunate part of video marketing is that there isn’t really a recipe for success. All I can suggest is good timing, creativity, and some social promotion. I mean, did anyone really care what DJ Khaled was up to before Snapchat? If he’s an example of SnapSuccess, maybe the answer lies in live-streaming getting lost on your jet ski.

TLDR; Make cool content for your teens, such as video. They’re internet-savvy enough to know when they’re being served an ad, and video is engaging. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

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Teens choose Snapchat as video takes over the marketing world
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Teens choose Snapchat as video takes over the marketing world
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