By Rebecca Koch, social media executive, 1000heads Dubai
With nearly 12 million daily Snapchat users in the GCC and 42 percent of the region’s population on Instagram, there’s no mistaking that your audience likely lives online. Recent updates to Snapchat and Instagram have added even more opportunities to diversify your content offerings and interaction points between your brand and your customers. If your content objectives currently include Snapchat and Instagram, or even if you haven’t taken the dive yet, we’ll give you some highlights of why these platforms are definitely worth a second look.
After a few years of uncertainty, Snapchat’s user base has stabilized, and the company looks to achieve their goal of a full year or profitability in 2019. But stabilization doesn’t mean growth, right? It may seem like that at first, but from a brand perspective, there are now even more opportunities to optimize Snapchat, and the numbers look promising for businesses.
The Middle East is notably a very engaged content market. This has only increased with the added push towards both short and long form content through commercials, Discover pages, and shows.
Between September and April of 2018, there was a 54 percent increase in time spent on the Discover pages. This is in part due to the use of Snapchat shows or specifically edited and produced content for users to watch and engage with on the app. Time spent watching shows this way, globally has more than tripled since the beginning of 2018. Users are now flocking to Snapchat for their fix of various reality-style shows, sportscasts, and entertaining brand content from food, movies, make-up, and beyond.
Outside of long-form content, the recent addition of bumper spots, or 6-second un-skippable commercials can be a simple addition to paid media strategy. And if it’s applicable to your audience, AR filters can quickly convert. Whether it’s a new product release, or themed event, using Snapchat to enhance consumers experience and even lead them to purchase something is emerging as an extremely viable option. Brands like Nike have used specific Snapcodes leading customers to an in-app store to purchase shoes to have them delivered within the same day.
There are 63 million Instagram users in the MENA region. And if your demographic is a little older than the average Snapchatter, consider spending some time on Instagram. In addition to the daily timeline of videos and photo, Instagram’s content offerings are quickly growing. Their daily stories and option to keep ‘highlights’ available on homepages are a great way to keep evergreen content available to your customers.
Similar to Snapchat shows, Instagram has also ventured into long-form video called IGTV. The initial criticism for this was that it was too ‘cluttered’ and was difficult to reach from the main Instagram feed. But now, the app has been seamlessly integrated into Instagram’s main feed, now offering the ability to begin watching a video in the app and continue on the IGTV station.
While the concept is still in its infancy, there is major incentive to get into IGTV before it explodes. Adapting early can pay dividends once IGTV gets to the point of monetizing with ads and is more “pay to play.”
Bringing it all together
Utilizing different styles of short and long form social is now easier than ever with Snapchat and Instagram. Think of your channels as a continuation in a mini-series on TV instead of one-off videos. This will create more continuity between videos and help with the overall understanding of your Snapchat shows or IGTV series.
The bottom line here is that video is here to stay. It is up to you and the understanding of your audience as to where you spend the most time. But there are a couple of great options to explore in order to see what lands best with your audience.
Use Snapchat for testing formats to sell and also exploring the potential for e-commerce elements. IGTV is worth exploring while it is still new. Utilize the free platform while you can, continuing to add value to your overall strategy on Instagram. The goal is always to continue connecting with your audience, we hope that these new opportunities help you get closer to your crowd.