Chris Nokes

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Chris Nokes

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Like all good marketers, in listening to and understanding your audience you probably already realise that attention spans are relatively short these days.

A study undertaken by the Nielsen Norman group emphasised the vital importance of first impressions, with the first ten seconds a user spends on a site deemed critical in how they proceed. It’s a stark figure for those affording big budgets on online advertising and expecting big returns.

On a more basic level, those numbers mean the design of your site has to be right. It has to be visually impressive, user-efficient and contain clear calls to action which makes the user’s task that much more easier. Although perhaps on a more complex level it also means you should concentrate on creating an impact with your advertisements, an idea which can seem more of a risk. This is where the rise of certain online tools will help.

Snapchat: More than a bit of fun

In a previous blog post , we talked of the importance of Vine and Instagram video but it is the emergence of Snapchat as a legitimate source of advertising which has taken some by surprise. Snapchat has been around for a little over two years now but has only recently seen a boom in popularity, taking its active daily users to over five million. The tool allows users to take photos, record videos and send doodles to friends before the image is destroyed after a maximum of ten seconds. A lot has been made of its less scrupulous uses , but brands have now caught on to the craze and used it to boost awareness.

In the US, Taco Bell have been a keen embracer of the tool and have used it to post exclusive ‘sneak preview’ images of their products. While here in the UK, the Co-op have used it to send out a promotional code before it then disappears, rewarding the quick minded with £30 off laptops.

In early October of this year, Snapchat also announced the launch of their ‘Stories’ feature. This allows users to piece together clips for viewing over a twenty four hour period, allowing you to create a narrative of the day. This brand new feature is sure to pique the interest of brands who’ve got a story to tell.

Find your social media market

The use of these tools allows marketers to do what they do best, to be creative. Although Snapchat, like any other form of social media, should only be used if appropriate to your brand. The tool has a huge teenage market and is best used when a brand has something impactful to say. It’s bold nature can seem intimidating but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be considered if you feel you have the right content.