In marketing today, storytelling is king. Marketers are always looking for new and innovative ways to reach their audience, and they've found it in Snapchat. It is quickly becoming a go-to storytelling app for marketers everywhere. Snapchat started as an obscure messaging app for young people but has now exploded into a highly engaged community that generates six billion daily views on videos, which is more than Facebook! With 150 million daily active users on the site, it surpasses Twitter.

With this type of market penetration, B2C brands like Taco Bell and Nike have invested in the platform and are producing campaigns with impressive results.

However, B2B has been slower to adopt Snapchat. That changed last year as B2B brands began to see the impressive results B2Cs were having. Snapchat allows B2B companies that may have boring products to market them in a fun and dynamic way.

Here are four B2B companies that are out ahead of the pack on Snapchat and using it in innovative ways to tell their story and build their community.

Cisco

Cisco realizes that a company's best stories come from their top thought leaders. Carmen Collins, Social Media Lead, thought the best way to have high engagement levels on Snapchat would be to let the employees run the account, giving it a more personal and authentic feel. They created an internal group of Snapchat ambassadors who take turns creating the content for the company account.

The campaigns are kept on track and organized by using a content calendar. Snaps are planned well in advance, enabling them to have a fresh stream of content from the company's thought leaders coming out regularly.

Dun & Bradstreet

Dun & Bradstreet is piloting Snapchat, banking on it becoming its newest modern storytelling app of choice for events. D&B's Social Team is creatively using the app to go behind the scenes to give their community an inside look at thought leaders, sessions, products, and even an after-hours MSQD Ball experience that features a unique Dun & Bradstreet Snap-Bar. To further drive engagement, they set-up Geofilters, which are location-specific overlays that attendees can use for creating visually appealing selfies and sending pics live from their booth.

Using company-branded Geofilters creates excitement at the booth and encourages attendees to be a part of the company's storytelling live from the event. Terry Starr, VP, Global Events Marketing, shared, "While B2B Marketers have been slower to adopt Snapchat we knew it was important for us to utilize the most modern channels to engage our customers; especially at Marketing & Sales Acceleration events. We jumped in."

BMC Software

Carlos Gil, Global Head of Social Media at BMC Software, believes that Snapchat helps humanize his company's brand. Snapchat is about having fun, and it allows B2Bs to let their hair down a bit. Snapchat enables people to connect to a brand in a way that is real and down to earth because the content is created directly from a cell phone in real time and often on the spot with little preparation. Carlos will tell you that Snapchat's 24-hour expiration on all content keeps followers checking in more frequently because they want to come back and get the latest.

Carlos reminds us that decisions in B2Bs are still made by humans. Snapchat allows a B2B's sales team to connect one on one with prospects. And while the ultimate decision maker may not be on Snapchat yet, many of the younger influencers who are actually using the tech that the company buys and report to the decision makers are quite active on the platform, thus making it possible for salespeople to discover, connect, and influence those who will be giving their opinions and recommendations on products to the actual decision makers within the companies they are targeting.

IBM

IBM has used Snapchat as a way that people can take an inside look at the new technologies they are developing. "On Snapchat, its critical right from the start to establish why people should continue watching your story," says Katie Keating, Global Social Brand Strategy Lead, IBM. Her advice when it comes to Snapchat's stories is to treat them like any traditional story, featuring a start, beginning, and an ending. Complete and interesting stories are an excellent way to keep users coming back daily to continually view your company's branded content.

As more B2B brands begin using Snapchat, I recommend getting on board now before your company falls behind and has to spend extra resources to catch up to the competition's penetration levels on the platform.

Published on: Feb 23, 2017