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The Future of Content Marketing Is Here, and It Looks a Lot Like Snapchat

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One of the more interesting social campaigns honored at this week’s Shorty Awards was the one promoting Wet Seal on Snapchat–a campaign for which the brand’s agency ICED Media lent the “keys” to its account to a 16-year-old fashion vlogger.

Like many of our readers, we’ve only begun to dip our toes into the Snapchat pool (by drawing various hairstyles on our puppy). We’re still not sure what to make of the network as a promotional tool, yet Wet Seal’s campaign earned the brand more than 9,000 new followers.

Many top agency leaders will tell you that Snapchat and networks like it represent the future of creative content marketing.

We spoke to ICED president Leslie Hall to learn more.

To outsiders and even many within the industry, brands and Snapchat would seem to be an odd pairing. How have you made it work?

In general, brands and marketers are skeptical of platforms like Snapchat—but they don’t need to be.

From our experience, we truly see Snapchat as a platform that will one day be on par with Instagram, Twitter and Facebook in terms of use, branding, and overall engagement opportunities.

With WetSeal, we made the stride to move past traditional uses of Snapchat by directly positioning our brand-focused content at the center of our target demographic’s pre-existing conversation on their most relevant platform of the moment. It was an easy choice for seamless content integration.

Where did you take your inspiration for the Wet Seal campaign?

Since there was such a drought within their category, we had the opportunity to own the brand conversation on SnapChat with Wet Seal.

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What are some other brands that you’ve seen using the network?

HBO’s “GIRLS” has become an impressive profile to follow, specifically because of the way they use stories (a Snapchat feature that prolongs the viewing experience past 10 seconds at a time) to continue plot points; it’s both creative and impactful.

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Mashable has concentrated on original Snap Art, pushing the boundaries of the platform to an almost new genre of proprietary digital art- its simply beautiful. Taco Bell also keeps their Snaps fresh and appealing with their product illustrations and skillful crowd-sourced content.

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How did this collaboration with Miss Meghan Makeup come about, and how did you manage the campaign?

Before launching WetSeal’s Snapchat profile, we wanted to specifically define the tonality of the content we intended to create — no different from any crucial questions we we would need to answer before on-boarding clients to social networks.

With any roll-out or launch, we find partnering with like-minded individuals whose content resonates with our demographic to be an effective way of starting a conversation. Miss Meghan Makeup (Meghan Hughes) is at the top of her field with an incredibly large and engaged following to boot.

Part of the appeal in our activation is that no one had done this before, making our partnership with Meghan even more exciting.  She could not have been a more perfect fit — which was key to the decision of choosing her for the broadcasting. We knew she would deliver based on her current breadth of content, and the results were stellar.

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Does PR need to develop a new strategy for Snapchat?

I really can not overstate that every platform deserves its own strategy to effectively communicate a brand’s story.

Does Snapchat have the longevity of Facebook and Twitter?

Yes – but in a very different realm. Snapchat is a dual-use based platform. The user has a decision to make with every snap- are you purely sending a message to a peer or are you broadcasting content at scale?

Based on 400 million unique snaps that are consumed daily by their user base, it’s safe to say Snapchat allows users to define their own messaging while providing incredible traction for Snapchat the platform within the social space.

Any tips you’d like to offer readers on using the new networks?

Yes! The best tip, given our recent Shorty Award win for best Brand on Snapchat, would be….contact ICED Media.

Also: be cognizant of who you’re speaking to as a brand and what you’re trying to say.

Ha ha.

What do we think? Is Snapchat the new “must have” tool for clients? Or are its six seconds of fame almost up?

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