Snapchat recently announced the launch of Snap Map, a new feature that could become very useful for brands looking for new ways to benefit from location marketing.
Snapchat has decided to introduce a “new way to explore the world” with the launch of Snap Map, a feature that allows users to share their location with their friends within the app.
But what makes it really interesting is that users are now also able to access public Snaps from people all over the world.
About Snap Map
Snapchat describes the new feature as quick and easy and all you have to do is to pinch to zoom out and view the map.
You can check all your friends who decided to share their location by seeing their “Actionmojis” (a type of Bitmoji) on the map. If you don’t want to share your location, however, you can enable something called Ghost Mode.
The latter is important for users concerned about the fact that their location is being made visible to anyone using the app. The security concerns for this issue make it critical for all users to understand that they are not only sharing their location with their friends but also with all Snapchat users.
What this means for marketers
When Snapchat announced the launch of Snap Map, a number of us in the industry saw its potential for new location marketing and advertising opportunities.
Snapchat has clarified that they are not planning to run ads in Snap Map’s Stories, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t change their stance once the adoption is more widespread and the feature sees the successful uptake.
Even without ads, Snap Map brings several opportunities for marketers:
Snapchat added a search function for Stories, which was the first step towards easier discovery. This can be helpful both for users, but also brands setting out to understand their audience and find new ways of reaching them creatively.
Live updates from across the world
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter already have features that take advantage of live events and the stories that unfold all over the world in real time. Now it’s Snapchat’s turn to facilitate this option with the use of Snap Map.
Brands can benefit from this feature by joining the conversation, promoting their own events and adding relevant branded messages – while being sure to bear context in mind.
The biggest possibility for Snapchat through the introduction of Snap Map is to embrace the power of location marketing. Marketers already realize the potential of marketing a product in the context of location and Snapchat can turn out to be a useful ally to this strategy.
Since the app already has an engaged mobile audience, it becomes easier to reach them once their location is set. It is important to encourage organic engagement and interest and not to intrude into users’ Stories without relevance, but there is still an opportunity to be explored.
Stories that are location-relevant could be the first step for brands, as this could make them more personalized to the target audience. For example, imagine a retail brand using Snap Map to promote a store in a specific area, offering an exclusive offer to the users who happen to be nearby. This grabs their attention and increases the chances for the brand to boost sales in that area.
Moreover, if or when formal paid advertising is introduced, it would also bring more opportunities for brands trying to capitalize on location-based marketing.
It is still quite early to predict how Snapchat plans to use Snap Map to appeal to more marketers, but this is unquestionably a feature that we need to keep an eye on.
It might be an interesting addition that could bring Snapchat closer to the dream of monetization, combining an engaging mobile platform with advertisers who seem to be hungry for innovative ideas to reach a target audience. Location marketing is certainly opening new doors for marketers, and we feel that this will lead to an interesting path for Snapchat.