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How to create content for Snapchat stories

Are you struggling to create engaging Snapchat content? You can relax because a strategic approach to Snapchat is a snap (I’ll be here all week).

Here’s the primary reason why Snapchat is so popular. The content is ephemeral, captures attention, and is easy to understand - all of which greatly appeals to millennial demographics. Marketers can also create a whole library of content specifically designed for Snapchat, and provide an ongoing entertaining experience for Snapchat followers.

Source: comScore

Source: comScore

Did you know the attention span of an average human being is now less than that of a goldfish? According to scientific research, a person’s attention span in the year 2000 was approximately 12 seconds. Fifteen years later and that attentiveness has shrunk to 8.25 seconds. As attention spans decline, short-lived content that lives on Snapchat becomes more critical for social marketers to build relationships with their audiences.

Snapchat released the first iteration of Stories in the fall of 2013, allowing people to share full series of content in quick succession. In the first 8 months, there were 1 billion Stories viewed per day, which is a higher activity rate than daily engagement with Snaps.

But how do you create the right types of content for those Stories, and what kind of impact can you expect within a 24 hour period? We’ll present 3 distinct ways to create content that stands out in cluttered mobile news feeds, and even a few tips to extend the longevity of your Stories.

Customize Your Creatives

There’s a real premium placed upon custom content, especially in such competitive landscapes like social media. The brands that promote unique and eye-catching content are more likely to stand out from the competition and forge deep connections with the people most likely to become customers.

To create these unique, attention-grabbing pieces of content, marketers use technology to establish the right creative processes that allow them to scale production for Snapchat.

There are a number of preferred tools you can use to take your Snapchat Stories to the next level. Tools that are programmed into the Snapchat app, such as emoji stickers, doodles, captions, and other creatives may also provide all the creativity you need.

Sometimes the right creativity means more than selecting the right customization tools. The most engaging pieces of content could even be promotions repurposed for a Snapchat Stories experience.

Source: Fast Company

Source: Fast Company

For example, GrubHub created a Story encouraging viewers to interact with the content and participate in a promotion. This was a strategy that worked for GrubHub and gave them brand recognition as one of the top brands using Snapchat Stories.

Everything viewers need to know about the content is in the narrative of the Story. By embedding links to coupons, contest descriptions, and submission forms, GrubHub built a community of active Snapchat followers who regularly engaged with their Stories.

They managed to customize not only the content but the experience provided to people who see the Stories.

GrubHub’s strategy is both educational and entertaining, which are two of the core values required to win over millennials on Snapchat. Clearly, based on market data, the types of content millennials find most interesting are brief, entertaining, informative, and unique.

Source: Contently

Source: Contently

Tap Into Your Memories

Snapchat released Memories in the summer of 2016, and there are plenty of creative ways you can use this feature to create custom Stories.

Once you’ve created your content, and customized it with as many creative assets as you choose, tap the save icon on your screen. Rather than download the content to your phone’s camera gallery, select Memories and save your content there.

This extends the life of your content beyond the 24 hour limit in Snapchat Stories.

As you compile a library of Memories, you can analyze the performance of each piece of content. Creatives that generated strong engagement can be repurposed for a new batch of promotions. Content that was less successful the first time around can be resubmitted to your creative team, and transformed into an asset that's more on-brand. This way you can test the effectiveness of your optimization efforts by measuring:

  • Open rates

  • Screenshots

  • Story completions

  • Follower growth

You can compare how these metrics changed in your second go-around compared to your first batch of promotions. Use the data you collect from these tests to further optimize your creative process as you scale production of new Snapchat content.

Create Searchable Snapchat Stories

Effective March 31, 2017, Snapchat Stories are now searchable within the app. The company released a video showcasing how this new feature will work.

You’ll notice there’s a search bar located at the top of the screen within Stories. Snapchat programmed this search bar so that anyone can find the Stories they find interesting using related keywords.

This feature essentially makes Snapchat its own search engine.

According to statements issued by Snapchat, over 1 million publicly shared Stories are now searchable through the app. Your job as a social marketer is to make your Stories and your content appear when people input relevant keywords into the Snapchat search engine.

Your ability to feature Stories in the search results will largely depend on how much content is created for certain keywords. If there's a query you've determined aligns strongly to your brand identity, use all of your resources to scale production of content related to that theme. This will ensure your Stories present a consistent narrative to help audiences recognize your brand identity, and actively look for more of your content through Snapchat Search. The more you can create, the more you can appear in those results.
 

Snapchat remains one of the most crucial social channels for digital marketing campaigns. Download the “Marketer’s Guide to Snapchat” for advice on the types of content to create for Snapchat, the types of ad products you can use on the channel, and best practices to increase the value of your branded content.