How to Get Your Business App on Snapchat: The Small Business Guide

As a fellow small business owner, I know how challenging it can be to market your company on new, emerging platforms. Snapchat is one of those platforms that offers immense potential to engage young audiences, with over 229 million daily active users.

In fact, 90% of 13-24 year olds and 75% of 13-34 year olds use Snapchat, making it a prime channel to reach these demographics.

One way to establish your brand‘s presence on Snapchat is by getting your business app to appear in the Snapchat app marketplace.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll share the steps and strategies I‘ve learned through my own experience of getting app appearances on Snapchat as a small ecommerce business.

Why Get Your App on Snapchat?

Here are some key advantages of getting your business app on Snapchat:

  • Reach new demographics: Snapchat‘s users are predominantly under 25 years old, an elusive group for most businesses.
  • Increase brand awareness: An app gives you a permanent presence on the platform for users to discover.
  • Drive conversions: Add ecommerce features like shoppable stickers to turn views into sales.
  • Stand out from competitors: Most small businesses aren‘t on Snapchat yet, so you can get a head start.
  • Enhanced analytics: Snapchat provides data and insights on your content performance.
  • Low barrier to entry: Registration is free and open to all types of apps and services.

While larger brands like ESPN, NBC, and Louis Vuitton have created apps, there‘s still an opportunity for small businesses to also capitalize on this channel early on.

Step 1: Create a Snapchat for Business Account

If you don‘t already have one, create a free Snapchat for Business account. This will unlock additional features not available on regular consumer accounts.

You can convert an existing individual account to a business one from your profile settings.

Step 2: Develop Your App

Next, you‘ll need to actually build your Snapchat app. You have a few options:

Use Snap‘s Templates

Snapchat provides app templates that let you create an app in just a few clicks by plugging in content.

There are over a dozen templates to choose from for different industries, like retail, media, gaming, lifestyle and more.

Work with a Development Partner

If you want more customization, Snapchat recommends working with one of their verified development partners like Flight School or Official Black Parade.

These agencies can build a fully customized app tailored to your brand. Costs vary based on complexity.

Build Your Own App

You can also build your own app natively using Snap Kit, their set of developer tools and APIs. This option requires more technical expertise.

I‘d recommend starting with Snap‘s templates if you‘re new to app development. They provide a simple way to get your business on Snapchat without advanced coding skills.

Step 3: Submit Your App for Approval

Once your Snapchat app is ready, it‘s time to get it on the platform.

First, you‘ll need to submit it for review in the Snapchat App Dashboard. Here are some tips for approval:

  • Optimize visuals: Provide high-quality screenshots and videos that showcase your app.
  • Highlight value: Explain in your description how your app will benefit Snapchat users.
  • Link other touchpoints: Input your website and other social media handles.

The review process can take 1-2 weeks. Snapchat will evaluate factors like content quality, account history, privacy protections and compliance with platform policies.

Step 4: Market Your Approved Snapchat App

Congratulations, your app is now discoverable in the Snapchat marketplace!

Now it‘s time to spread the word so users can find it. Some promotional tactics include:

  • Snapchat Ads: Run ads pointing users to your app‘s listing.
  • Influencer Marketing: Work with Snapchat influencers or micro-influencers to showcase your app.
  • Social Promotion: Share your Snapchat username and app across other social networks.
  • Snapcodes: Print out unique Snapcodes that users can scan to instantly open your app.
  • Snapchat Lenses: Create branded lenses that mention your app to drive curiosity.

You want to drive as many visits to your app‘s Snapchat profile as possible. This will increase its ranking in search results and recommendations.

Step 5: Analyze Performance

Finally, be sure to study the analytics available within Snapchat‘s App Dashboard. You can view metrics like:

  • Daily/monthly active users
  • Total snaps created
  • Screen time per user
  • Usage by age and geography

These insights will help you refine your app and promotional strategy for maximum impact.

Final Tips for Snapchat App Success

As a small business owner who has been through this process myself, here are my top tips:

  • Post daily content – Keep users engaged by updating frequently.
  • Incorporate ecommerce – Add shoppable stickers or links to your online store.
  • Reward power users – Send exclusive deals or perks to your most loyal app fans.
  • Stand out visually – Invest in professional graphics, videos, and lenses.
  • Collaborate with others – Team up with complementary brands on co-marketing campaigns.
  • Stay on brand – Let your style and tone of voice shine through.

Snapchat is still a relatively new platform for small business marketing. By getting on early and committing to a thoughtful presence, you can build meaningful mindshare with the coveted Gen Z demographic.

I hope this guide gives you the confidence and strategies to submit your own business app and achieve success on Snapchat. Let me know if you have any other questions!