Advertising on SnapChat for Non-Profits

Marketers wanting to reach teens and millennials have likely considered Snapchat. But with a minimum advertising spend of $100,000 and a sponsored lens starting at $450,000 per day, the steep price of entry keeps them away. Enter Amélie Company and the Colorado Department of Transportation.

CDOT wanted to promote safe driving to teens because motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among them. But there was no media budget and teens don’t want to listen to a government organization about seatbelt safety. To reach them on a platform they know, love and so frequently use, we found a way to tap into Snapchat’s impressive reach without actually purchasing media space.We distributed posters around high schools with only a mysterious Snapcode, tapping into teens’ curiosity and resulting in thousands of adds to CDOT’s account. From there, we distributed direct messages to teens for a full week, using Snapart, emojis and other native content they could share.

In true teen fashion, here’s the Cliffsnotes:

  • Know your target: Where can you find teens 5 days a week? School. Hopefully…
  • Speak their language: Teens don’t want to be preached at but will listen to each other.
  • Find your medium: Teens consume less traditional media channels but over-index on new social platforms like Snapchat.
  • Get sneaky: Get your target to add your profile without throwing money at it (think outside Snapchat – influencers, print materials, other social channels).
  • Have a plan (and time): Think about how you are going to engage and respond to your audience in advance.
  • Understand the technology: Use the medium as they would, with Snapart, emojis and other native content they can share. Be cool. ^_^

The campaign reached over 16,000 teens and got an overwhelmingly positive response including new friends of CDOT’s account posting their own creative content. A quick case study on the campaign can be viewed.