Memories will change content marketing on Snapchat

Snapchat is arguably one of the most important social channels for marketers today, and it could even pose a long-term threat to Facebook’s social dominance.

But Snapchat is still an evolving service, and marketers looking to capitalize on its popularity will need to adapt as Snapchat adds new features and experiments with new ad offerings.

Last week, the company announced a new feature, Snapchat Memories, that could have major implications for marketers.

Until now, Snapchat has thrived as a real-time service. Users capture and post content as it is created; there has been no way to create content and post it later. Memories changes that.

As Snapchat explained on its blog, “You can use Memories to create new Stories from Snaps you’ve taken, or even combine different Stories into a longer narrative!” It added, “We’ve also created a new way to send Snaps from Memories to your friends, or even post them to your Story. If you post a Snap you took more than a day ago to your Story, it will appear with a frame around it so that everyone knows it’s from the past.”

Memories, which Snapchat is rolling out over the next month, will create new opportunities for marketers. They will now be able to create content for later publication, allowing for potentially more polished content that has been edited using external applications. Memories will also enable marketers to create more carefully crafted Stories that even contain content originally created for other platforms.

As Marketing Land’s Tim Peterson notes, “Brands will be able to take photos and videos that they had created for use elsewhere — be it print magazines, billboards, YouTube or TV — and syndicate them on Snapchat. And it’s not just brands. Publishers will be able to cut down their Facebook videos into 10-second clips repackaged as a serialized Story. Celebrities will be able to take their airbrushed selfies from Instagram and re-run them on Snapchat.”

But these new capabilities could also create challenges for marketers. If marketers begin posting more polished content using Memories, it could raise the bar for content quality on Snapchat and encourage marketers to engage less authentically with the service.

Additionally, if  marketers come to rely more heavily on content they have produced for other platforms, their Snapchat presences could become less effective.

So will Memories be a good or bad thing for marketers? That remains to be seen. Much will depend on just how warmly users embrace Memories, and marketers should keep a close eye to ensure that their Snapchat strategies take into account how users react to the changes.

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