For this title I was inspired by Gary Vaynerchuk with the headline of this article, but he put it in other words:
Instagram and Snapchat are the King and Queen of Attention.
And when I first heard from it, I already knew that visual marketing has a lot to do with attention today. So I used it in the visual marketing context.
Last few weeks I had 2 major social media platforms that are fighting for my attention: Instagram and Snapchat.
Instagram is the social media platform that I love the most. Because it’s designed for that kind of users who love to be captivated by the content that portrays a message in a short time and because “it’s a direct and powerful way to express myself visually” as one of my followers commented on one of my pictures.
Instagram is a visual journal that you need to have in your pocket.
Also, Snapchat is creating a huge buzz in the last few days among marketers and I see lots of brands and social media managers that are trying to understand why they should use it and how they should connect with their community.
Snapchat is having all the features that a millennial wants to have on a platform: privacy (Chat), emotional connection (My story), visual features (Layers, Drawing palette, Emoji) and also targeted publishers (Discover)
But why are Instagram and Snapchat the King and Queen of Visual Marketing?
Let’s start with taking a look at the numbers and try to understand the power of these 2 social media channels:
more than 400 million monthly active users
more than 80 million average photo per day
more than 75% of the users are outside the U.S.
more than 60% of U.S. 13 to 34 year-old smartphone users are Snapchatters
more than 7 billion video views per day
over 100 million daily active snapchatters
And now that we know these numbers, let’s think about the context: Who are those consumers? Why are they using these platforms? How are they creating the content? What marketers should see through all of these new growing platforms?
When Time and Quality Collide in the same context
I know that you often heard that your brand needs to be transparent and try to communicate as real as they can. Other specialists are talking about the perfection of a content. How perfection, in a piece of content, gains much attention and drives enormous traffic/users.
Today, the biggest enemy of a content marketer are time and quality.
We don’t have enough time to create content, to communicate with our audience, to understand their needs and to deliver the solution to their problem. We don’t have enough time to see what is the trend, where are our customers and how to get into the party with our brand.
To research, create, deliver and measure the quality content, you need time.
Things are moving too fast, and sometimes too furious for the content marketer of 2016.
And guess what, our audience doesn’t have time either. People are always in a rush, they need it now and perfect. If you screwed something up, there is a new open door for your competition. So you must be very careful.
We need to grab the attention of the potential customers at the right time with the right type of content.
When we talk about context on Instagram and Snapchat, I see 2 important topics that we need to focus on:
target the community
the not-so-perfect content
1. Target the Community
As I told you before, Instagram has a 400 million active users and Snapchat is having a 100 million active users. These users are constantly using the 2 platforms because it’s easy, it’s connecting a real world to a digital one, and because you can create and share your content with your smartphone.
The Instagram community is different by the Facebook community, Twitter community or Pinterest community. Also, the Snapchat community is different by the Vine community, Youtube community or even the Instagram community.
Some people are using Instagram because they want to see their friends photo from vacation and others are using it because they want to get inspired by beautiful pictures.
Some of the Snapchat users are using this platform because they want to connect more privately with their friends and other just want to watch the news put it in different way.
Every community is different from one platform to another.
Brands need to understand this!
When you create a piece of content for a channel, think before you target and deliver it in the most authentic way.
2. The Not-So-Perfect Content
Think about this: with this object in your pocket you can snap a photo, record a video, draw a scenario or create other piece of visual content that your community will love.
That photo you want to upload on Instagram, it doesn’t have to be the most stylish one. It doesn’t have to be without wrinkles or have the perfect make up. It has to be real as your customers and your employees are.
That video you want to create on Snapchat, it doesn’t have to be as perfect as a Cannes movie or an ad directed by the best director that ever lived. It has to be real and transparent, just like your product is when you hold it in your hand.
It doesn’t have to be perfect, it has to be real!
Being more transparent and authentic with the community, will create an emotional connection that will help your brand get closer to the users. Why? Because users know the difference between a self-focused brand that needs more attention with those pixel perfect visuals and a brand that only wants to connect with their community in that context.
Quality on Instagram and Snapchat means transparency and authenticity.
I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I don’t think that there is an universal road to success on Instagram and Snapchat. Why? Because every industry is different, every brand is different and every context is different.
There is no universal road to success
I can’t give you 4 or 5 or 10 ways to gain more followers on Instagram or to attract more views on Snapchat. There are thousands of articles that are trying to make you think like a robot and don’t let you test the platform and see for your own.
This is why my only advice I can give you today: Experiment and Test.