Snapchat stands out in the crowded social space.


Why, you ask?


Due to its ephemeral content and unique engagement policies. 


Since its advent in 2011, Snapchat has allowed mainly blink-and-vanish images and videos (except “Memories,” Snapchat’s version of Instagram “Highlights”). 


The platform’s follower onboarding policy is also different from other networks. 


Users need to type in Snapchat handles they want to follow. The process might seem arduous, but it produces high-quality followers. Only people who are genuinely interested in your content would take the time to search for you manually. 


Over the years, Snapchat has evolved tremendously. Today, it reaches 70% of 13 to 34-year-olds, a demographic coveted by brands owing to its impressionable mindset and social savvy. 


Considering that the U.S. is Snapchat’s largest marketplace, it’s imperative that local brands make a mark on the platform. That’s where influencers can be a gamechanger. 


With their genuine follower relationships and authentic content, influencers can boost their partner brands’ credibility and engagement. ROI from influencer campaigns is comparable, if not better, than traditional marketing methods like display ads.


However, influencer marketing methods that are effective on most social platforms don’t work as well on Snapchat. The platform’s unique demographics, policies, and features require innovative strategies from marketers.


Sound daunting?


Fret not. I’m going to share my secret Snapchat influencer marketing strategies with you. They are super effective, affordable, and straightforward.


Let’s dive in.


How to Nail Snapchat Influencer Marketing: 5 Tactics

Influencer marketing is a proven strategy to boost engagement on social media. But, as I said, influencers on Snapchat work differently. Take a look at the top four methods Snapchat influencers leverage.


1. Use Vanity URLs

If you’ve ever built an Instagram account, you will know that clickable links are allowed in bios. Often, influencers capitalize on this feature by sharing links to landing pages of their partner brands. Or, they share affiliate links to redeemable discount coupons. 


However, Snapchat does not allow the sharing external URLs. This means your influencer can’t promote your offers on their page or cross-promote their Snapchat content on other platforms.


To overcome this hurdle, you can create vanity or profile URLs deep-linked to your influencer’s account. Then, simply share the link anywhere on the web. People who click on the URL get added to your Snapchat account instantly. No QR codes required. 


The best part?


You don’t need third-party apps to generate vanity URLs. Snapchat does it for you in just three steps. Here is how you can create and share a profile URL on Twitter:



Smart brands like Birchbox use vanity URLs to direct people to their seasonal sales. 


9n 2018, the cosmetics giant created a vanity URL (, exclusively for Snapchat users. Even non-followers could access the deal by using the URL.



Interestingly, Birchbox received more traffic from Snapchat than its more popular counterpart, Instagram Stories.


2. Orchestrate Influencer Takeovers

To leverage influencers the right way, hand over your brand’s channel to them for a day or two. 


During takeovers, influencers create stellar content for you. Plus, their fans follow them to your channel and start engaging with your content. If you have the right influencer onboard, takeovers can help you reach new, qualified leads.  


Need an example?


Cinnabon collaborated with influencer duo, Evan Garber and Danny Berk, to take over their account for a day. The Snapchatters created a two-minute Story for Cinnabon that earned the brand 2,000 new followers.



Just like everything else, takeover best practices for Snapchat are also unique. Follow the steps below to host successful Snapchat takeovers:


  • Define your takeover goals: You can either plan to increase follower counts or build brand awareness. 
  • Find the right influencer: Either manually search for influencers with similar audience demographics, values, and niche as you, or use tools for influencer discovery.
  • Brief your influencer: Once you onboard influencers, discuss the strategy with them in detail. Let them take the lead in content creation. You can handle takeover promotion. 
  • Announce the takeover: Timely announce the takeover on your website and social feeds so that your influencer’s audience can tune in on Snapchat when the takeover commences. 
  • Track the returns: Closely watch your influencer during the takeover. Keep a tab on the engagement they contribute to your campaign. Map it against your campaign goals.
  • Document the takeover: On Snapchat, most content disappears after 24 hours. So, screenshot relevant pictures and download the takeover Story.


3. Promote Cross-Platform

As you might have gathered, Snapchat’s follower-onboarding process is kind of tedious. How much traffic or engagement can you hope to drive with your restricted reach? 


Not much.


The solution?


Leverage your influencers’ reach on other platforms. Your influencers can cross-post their Snapchat campaigns on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter. If that’s too complicated, they can simply redirect fans to Snapchat and bolster their following here. 


Influencers can host sponsored giveaways or sweepstakes that start on platforms where they have clout, and subsequently move to Snapchat. 


As part of contest rules, influencers can instruct participants to screenshot your Snapchat QR code and follow you. Audiences who engage with your Snapchat content should be eligible for the rewards.


As explained in the above example, omnichannel marketing produces high-intent customers with a 250% higher engagement rate than single-channel users. 



Since influencer-led campaigns are already high on engagement, promoting cross-platform gives you an unbeatable edge.


4. Leverage On-Demand Geofilters

In 2016, Snapchat took another leap forward by introducing on-demand geofilters


Geofilters are Snap overlays that are available in pre-set locations. For example, if your friends are in Los Angeles, they can access a particular set of geofilters and decorate their Snaps. 


How can influencers leverage them? By creating branded one-of-a-kind geofilters that embellish their partner brands with their distinctive touch. 


Snapchat’s quirky audience tends to appreciate this kind of fun, frolicky feature. Not only are geo-filters delightful, but they can also be sold for prices as high as $45 a set per day. Yes, Snapchatters actually buy filters to reframe their Snaps.


Awesome, right?


I know. 


To create a geofilter, use one of the free photo-editing tools out there. Then, set a geofence (location, date, and time when the filter will be available), and submit the filter to the Snapchat team for approval. 


Branded geofilters are fast becoming the best form of advertising on Snapchat. 


General Electric (GE) is one brand that understands how to leverage social media effectively. 


When GE wanted to highlight how much of the travel industry depends on them for power supply, they didn’t brag about it through traditional ads. Instead, they created a branded geofilter available to users in the vicinity of 50 U.S. airports and 25 train stations.



The filter looks like a boarding pass and carries a snippet about GE’s significance in aviation and transportation. The prominently-displayed information screams for attention. Users are bound to grasp the GE-travel connection.


Is that all?


No way. 


Most modern travelers post check-ins on social media. Tapping into the trend, GE made its geofilters interactive. Users can scribble their destination on the filters. That’s one stylish check-in!  


Ready to Rock Snapchat Influencer Marketing?

From an Instagram Story doppelganger to a full-fledged platform, Snapchat has come a long way. If done well, influencer marketing on Snapchat can help you attract and convert hard-to-please millennials. 


I have many more influencer marketing tricks in my bag, but I’ve found the above four tactics to be the most effective. 


How has your Snapchat marketing experience been? Share it in the comments below. I love to read different perspectives.


Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant for 15 years with an emphasis on Influencer Marketing in the last 5 years. He is specialized in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, Influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.


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