The Best Ways to Market on Snapchat in the Middle East

Snapchat is not a domain that many businesses consider as a marketing tool, and fair enough, it seems more like a game or the place to use a filter to finally find out how you would look as a rabbit. In the Middle East, however, Snapchat is one of the most popular social media trends. There are roughly 33 million Snapchat users in the Middle East, and that is a lot of people you could be marketing to.

People in Riyadh and Jeddah spend approximately 35 minutes a day viewing snaps with the platform recently opening an office in Dubai with discussions about another opening in Riyadh.

Now it is important to note that Snapchat paid advertising is only available in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and UAE, but that doesn’t stop you as a business building an organic consumer base that you can market to. To help, Perpetual has put together this handy guide of ways you can use Snapchat to your marketing advantage.

Understanding Snapchat

The first thing to understand is how different Snapchat is to other social networks. The content that is sent via the platform is only available for a number of seconds then it is gone. The stories feature is around for a little bit longer, 24 hours.

Arab millennials are fans of the app as the content is less permanent therefore more relaxed. The interface does change quite frequently; however, but there are some key elements that make up the platform.

  • The camera: The initial screen is a camera screen which lets you take photos or access Memories, Chat, and Stories. Just like the normal camera you hit the button at the bottom and take a picture, or hold it down to shoot a video. You can then save it to Memories, add it to your story, or send it to a specific friend. You can also add Middle Eastern geotags, drawings, filters, and emojis.
  • Stories: Here you can post videos which are available for 24-hours before they disappear. Aim for 1-2 minute long stories when posting as people will get bored if they run for longer.
  • MapSnap: Here you can view stories from around the world with a heat map that tell you which users are active in the area.
  • Messaging: Just like a regular messaging platform; however, you can also send snaps in the message. The chat history will delete when the parties have left the conversation.
  • Bitmoji: Customizable avatars in a variety of languages, including Arabic. Soon there will be commercial bitmojis with which you will be able to advertise products.

Snapchat strategies

Organic growth is the main idea for businesses on Snapchat. As snaps are temporary, you can be creative, have fun and work with the notion of creating hype and anticipation for your products. Your content still needs to deliver value or elicit emotion, but you can be a little more relaxed than on other platforms where the information is more permanent.

Arabic social media is particularly welcoming of branded content meaning Snapchat can be a great place to get loyal brand followers and launch various actions like product demos, tips, discounts and flash sales, etc. The main goal should be to use the platform as a way to humanize your brand. To help achieve this, consider the following:

  • Be consistent and informal and stick to your unique brand voice
  • Use features such as filters, lenses, doodles, and emojis
  • Reference Arabic pop culture
  • Consider yourself a peer to your customers
  • Showcase your employees
  • Use social media influencers
  • Demonstrating human qualities and offer plenty of brand transparency

Your Snapchat story is a great place to send customers for updates on products and happenings when appropriate. This will increase your follower base while also establishing the channel as a point of authority.

Paid advertising

While organic growth is certainly the way to go on Snapchat, there are four paid options that can be considered if they suit your brand. These can be great methods of gaining interest from a new market when first starting out on the app but should be considered as part of your overall marketing strategy before you allocate your budget to them.

  1. You can create custom geofilters offering a branded filter to your followers within a geo-targeted area best for stores and events
  2. Sponsored Lenses and filters can be used to generate hype for new products
  3. Brands and publishers can broadcast news stories and blog posts via the discover service
  4. Snap Ads pop up in between features on the Discover and Subscriptions tabs consisting of a 10-second video/ad which allows the user to swipe up for more content

Snapchat claims their ads have a five-times higher click-through rate compared to other social platforms.

From content to marketing, Perpetual can help

While it can seem daunting to add another network to your marketing responsibilities, you cannot ignore Snapchat’s appeal to millennials, or the sheer number of users. The potential of this app in the Middle East as far as viewership and engagement go could be the turning point for your business and a fantastic entry point to a new market.

If your business is unfamiliar with the world of Snapchat, or your marketing strategy across a range of platforms or online in general needs help, contact Perpetual today.

We are a digital marketing company based in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Bahrain, and Kuwait and can ensure that your online marketing is effective, and working efficiently for your budget. Our expert marketing team can help customers find you when they need you the most.

We can assist in your strategies as well as content creation, such as video production, to ensure that everything you put online, even if it is a Snap that will disappear in 24 hours, is of high-quality so that your business looks its absolute best. Speak to us now about making sure you are best positioned for visibility in the digital world and let Perpetual help your business grow today!

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