9 Creative Snapchat Ideas to Take Your Brand‘s Snaps to the Next Level

Looking for fresh ways to engage your audience on Snapchat? With over 306 million daily active users and a highly engaged Gen Z user base, Snapchat offers massive potential for brands to connect with fans in creative ways.

But in a sea of snaps, how do you make your content stand out? Here are 9 unique ideas to elevate your Snapchat game, complete with real brand examples, tips, and best practices. Let‘s dive in!

1. Create Custom Filters and Lenses

One of the most powerful ways to boost your brand‘s visibility on Snapchat is through custom filters and lenses. These interactive overlays let users play with your brand and share the results with friends.

Why it Works

  • Filters and lenses are highly shareable, extending your reach through user content
  • They encourage users to spend more time engaging with your brand
  • They make your brand more memorable through play and interaction

Brand Examples

  • Taco Bell: The fast food chain creates new themed lenses for every major holiday and campaign, like a Cinco de Mayo taco head lens that was viewed 224 million times.
  • L‘Oreal: The beauty brand launched a custom makeup lens that let users virtually try on different looks, driving a 28 point lift in purchase intent.

How to Do It

  1. Design your filter or lens, keeping your brand colors and visual style in mind
  2. Make it interactive and fun! Think face filters, games, or hidden surprises
  3. Submit your design to Snapchat for approval
  4. Promote your filter or lens across channels to drive usage
  5. Monitor metrics like views, shares, and screenshots to gauge impact

Expert Tip

"The best lenses drive real engagement by adding genuine value, whether that‘s entertainment, utility, or a unique experience. Ask what your audience would find worth sharing and build around that."

  • Rachel Helfand, Senior Director of Digital & Social at Taco Bell

2. Partner with Snapchat Influencers

Snapchat influencers, or "Snap Stars," can help you tap into new audiences and lend credibility and cool factor to your brand. In fact, 60% of users say they‘re more likely to buy a product recommended by a Snapchat creator.

Why it Works

  • Influencers have built-in, engaged audiences that trust their recommendations
  • They can create authentic content that resonates with users
  • Influencer posts drive significant traffic and conversions

Brand Examples

  • HiSmile: The teeth whitening brand partners with top Snapchat influencers like David Dobrik, who incorporates the product into his wacky stories and vlogs.
  • Calvin Klein: The apparel brand ran a successful Snapchat takeover campaign with influencer Kendall Jenner, driving an 18.5% engagement rate.

How to Do It

  1. Identify Snapchat influencers that align with your brand and target demo
  2. Reach out to them directly or through an influencer platform
  3. Collaborate with them on creative, on-brand content ideas
  4. Let them put their own spin on things for authenticity
  5. Run the campaign and track metrics like story views, engagement rate, and swipe ups

Expert Tip

"Look for influencers who already embody your brand ethos in their own content. The partnership should feel organic and make sense for their audience. And give them creative control – they know what works on Snapchat."

  • Mike Metzler, Snapchat Influencer & Founder of Metz Ventures

3. Go Behind the Scenes

Snapchat users crave authentic, unfiltered content that makes them feel personally connected to brands. Going "behind the scenes" humanizes your brand and offers exclusive value.

Why it Works

  • BTS content feels intimate and exclusive, forging deeper audience bonds
  • It satisfies curiosity and makes users feel "in the know"
  • It can showcase your brand‘s personality and values

Brand Examples

  • Everlane: The fashion retailer regularly snaps from inside its factories and HQ to highlight its transparent business model and company culture.
  • Paramount Pictures: The movie studio gives Snapchat users exclusive peeks at film sets, premieres, and star interviews leading up to new releases.

How to Do It

  1. Identify areas of your brand users would love to see BTS (productions, events, employee takeovers, etc.)
  2. Capture footage in the moment for a raw, unedited vibe
  3. Show faces and personalities when possible to humanize the content
  4. Keep individual snaps short but stories somewhat meaty
  5. Tease BTS content on other channels to drive Snapchat follows

Expert Tip

"Think about what would excite you as a fan of the brand. What would make you feel special to see? Aim to offer surprising access and insight."

  • Cyrene Quiamco, Top Snapchat Influencer & Author of "11 Seconds to Success"

4. Drive Foot Traffic with Geofilters

If your brand has physical locations, Snapchat geofilters are a fun way to drive local engagement and foot traffic. Create branded overlays that users can apply when snapping from your store or event.

Why it Works

  • Geofilters make your brand part of your customers‘ stories and memories
  • They organically expose your brand to users‘ friends and networks
  • They create a sense of community and FOMO

Brand Examples

  • Nordstrom: The department store created geofilters for its stores and special events that were viewed over 5.9 million times and drove a 13 point lift in brand awareness.
  • Coachella: The music festival designs new geofilters each year that become a much-anticipated part of the attendee experience, driving over 40 million views.

How to Do It

  1. Create an on-brand design showcasing your location name or event
  2. Submit the filter to Snapchat, specifying the geographic area and timeframe
  3. Promote the geofilter on venue signage, flyers, and staff shirts
  4. Encourage visitors to use it and share to unlock prizes or perks
  5. Measure usage rates and total views in Snapchat Analytics

Expert Tip

"Keep geofilters designs bold and simple so they‘re easy to spot when scrolling. Incorporate bright brand colors and clear CTAs. The goal is getting as many users to proudly snap with it as possible."

  • Nick Cicero, CEO of Delmondo

5. Tease New Products

Build buzz and demand for new products by teasing them first on Snapchat. The platform‘s ephemeral, insider vibe is perfect for exclusive previews and sneak peeks.

Why it Works

  • Snapchat‘s limited time spans create a sense of urgency and FOMO
  • Previewing products makes followers feel valued and special
  • Teasing products on Snapchat can gauge demand and encourage preorders

Brand Examples

  • Air Jordan: The sneaker brand teased the launch of its Air Jordan III Tinker shoes on Snapchat, driving mass awareness and sell-out status in under an hour.
  • Sephora: The makeup retailer often previews new product lines on Snapchat before they hit stores, complete with swatches, demos, and preorder links.

How to Do It

  1. Choose buzzworthy products and plan a sequence of reveal content
  2. Post cryptic teasers hinting at the product to drum up speculation
  3. Use creative storytelling techniques to maintain suspense
  4. Give an early access code or link to drive preorder traffic
  5. Transition into demos, reviews, and UGC post-launch

Expert Tip

"The key is offering just enough info to pique interest, without giving away the full monty. Think of it like a movie trailer that gets people talking and guessing. Tie it into your brand narrative to build affinity."

  • Abi Mandelbaum, CEO of YouVisit

6. Offer Exclusive Snapchat Discounts

Reward your Snapchat following with exclusive promo codes and flash sales. Limited-time offers create urgency and make fans feel valued.

Why it Works

  • Exclusivity makes users feel like VIP insiders
  • Flash sales compress purchase intent into a short window
  • Promos drive immediate traffic and conversions

Brand Examples

  • GrubHub: The food delivery app sent a snap to followers with a promo code for free delivery, resulting in their most downloaded day ever.
  • NARS Cosmetics: The beauty brand released a Snapchat-exclusive eyeshadow palette for a limited 24-hour window, selling out inventory.

How to Do It

  1. Determine an enticing and feasible offer based on your margins
  2. Create a sense of urgency with a countdown clock or limited quantity
  3. Make the promo code short, memorable, and on-brand
  4. Tease the offer on snap and other channels before the drop
  5. Make redemption easy with a memorable bitly or in-app flow

Expert Tip

"Flash promos are exciting, but use them sparingly to preserve their power. Align them with key dates, product drops, or events for max impact. And personalize codes when possible to make users feel known."

  • Vivian Rosenthal, Founder of Snaps

7. Run Snapchat Takeovers

Snapchat takeovers put your account in someone else‘s hands for a set period, injecting fresh energy and cross-promotion. Partners could include influencers, celebrities, or even superfans.

Why it Works

  • Takeovers boost account engagement and reach by tapping another‘s audience
  • They offer new perspectives and content formats to keep things lively
  • Participants promote across their channels, netting new followers

Brand Examples

  • Target: The retail brand enlists top Snapchat influencers to take over its account each month, sharing their favorite Target finds and deals.
  • General Electric: The B2B brand handed Snapchat over to Buzz Aldrin and other astronauts for a day to showcase the science of space travel.

How to Do It

  1. Choose a partner with a complementary audience and brand alignment
  2. Set clear content parameters and goals (follower growth, engagement, traffic)
  3. Promote the takeover heavily on both accounts leading up to it
  4. Let the partner put their authentic spin on your brand during the takeover
  5. Retain top snaps in your story and measure key account metrics after

Expert Tip

"Look for partners who can bring a new yet relevant angle to your brand story. Align the takeover with a timely hook, like a product launch or event. The best takeovers feel fresh but still on-brand."

  • Jeff Hasen, Mobile Strategist and Author

8. Create Recurring Snapchat Series

Keep fans coming back for more with episodic Snapchat content series. Focus on a consistent theme, format, and release schedule to build a loyal viewership.

Why it Works

  • Series establish your brand as a reliable content destination
  • They encourage appointment viewing and consistent engagement
  • They can be cross-promoted for discovery

Brand Examples

  • General Electric: GE‘s "Deadliest Catch" Snapchat series gave an inside look at the science and characters behind the hit TV fishing show.
  • National Basketball Association: The NBA posts weekly "NBA Top Plays" and "Throwback Thursday" series showcasing amazing athlete footage.

How to Do It

  1. Choose an overarching theme that resonates with your audience
  2. Break it into recurring segments (e.g. Wednesday Wisdom, Friday Fun Facts)
  3. Plan and batch produce content in advance when possible
  4. Tease upcoming episodes at the end of each snap story
  5. Evaluate which series installments perform best to optimize

Expert Tip

"Poll your audience on what themes they‘d like to see more of. Pay attention to what content is saved and shared most in your analytics. A good series fills a content gap for your audience."

  • Nick Sheingold, Associate Director of Strategy at Laundry Service

9. Maximize Your Snap Ads Strategy

In addition to organic content, Snapchat‘s diverse paid ad options can boost your reach and drive measurable ROI. Mix and match formats for a full-funnel strategy.

Why It Works

  • Snap Ads allow you to reach targeted audiences with your top content
  • Formats like Collection Ads can drive direct response
  • Unique ad units like AR Lenses merge brand and performance

Brand Examples

  • Adidas: The shoe brand used Snap Ads to drive a 4.5x return on ad spend and 52% decrease in cost per purchase for a new product launch.
  • The New York Times: The news pub‘s Snap Ad campaign with Attachments drove a 13 point lift in brand awareness and 8 point lift in message association.

How to Do It

  1. Set clear goals for your campaign (awareness, consideration, conversion)
  2. Use Snapchat‘s targeting tools to hone in on your ideal audience
  3. Create eye-catching creative customized for Snapchat‘s vertical format
  4. Launch with an always-on, full-funnel approach
  5. A/B test ad creative and placements to optimize performance

Expert Tip

"Repurpose your best organic content for Snap Ads. Keep the vibe authentic and avoid overly polished ads. Snap Ads are also a great testing ground for content before organic posting."

  • Asher Chester, Senior Director of Social at VaynerMedia

There you have it – 9 creative ideas to spice up your Snapchat presence and keep your audience engaged. The key is trying different tactics, listening to your analytics, and committing to a steady cadence of quality content.

With over 210 million snaps created each day, Snapchat offers an unparalleled opportunity to delight your audience and build real brand affinity. So get snapping and have fun!