Marketing on Unfamiliar Platforms

More than ever before, brands are turning to newer or formerly “untraditional” platforms on which to test their advertising methods on younger or new demographics. While not every company is marketing to younger users, there is an argument for testing new platforms from an advertising standpoint.

But what happens when a platform is unfamiliar territory? For some users, even those in the millennial demographic, new platforms are emerging each day in an attempt to appeal to an increasingly younger audience. Gen Z users flock to options such as TikTok or Snapchat, which is new territory for many brands.

Many companies are beginning to experiment with these other platforms, but how does a company that’s wildly unfamiliar with a concept market properly to its users?

Research is the name of the game when striking out into unfamiliar territory. Think back to when Facebook first began offering advertising. Today, it probably seems nearly second nature to hop on and pull up page insights or view ad results for Facebook or Instagram ads. This type of coherent understanding of a platform simply stems from experience and usage.

With platforms such as Snapchat playing more key roles for advertisers, particularly in the explosive area of video advertising, it’s important to become familiar with the performance potential of a platform and the behaviors of the users who frequent it.

Using Snapchat as an example, what is the best way to dip a toe and test the waters of advertising? First, think of the demographic that most frequently uses Snapchat. Boasting 190 million daily active users, 73 percent of which are in the 18-24 age bracket, the platform is ripe with opportunity for advertisers, if they can just figure out the right formula to reach users and convert them.

For obvious reasons, video advertising is the medium for Snapchat, but crafting the right content message and the right delivery method will take some experimentation. When a team is unfamiliar with a platform, lean into it and learn how to use it! Spend some time on Snapchat, TikTok, or any other new platform that a brand wants to expand its options to.

Of course, not every experiment will be a success, and that’s just a part of working in the marketing and advertising industry. Testing content and finding case studies from other brands or agencies that have branched out can be instrumental in crafting the right message for a new audience. Learn from the mistakes (and successes) of other brands, and factor in the message that the company wants to be associated with its product or service.

Every brand does not need to be on every platform, that much is true. However, stepping out and trying something new can often be an injection of fresh energy that a brand may need to kick start its creativity once again.

Marketing to new audiences on new platforms presents a creative and executional challenge, but often this experimentation is useful and a great education opportunity for a marketing team who may be mostly unfamiliar with the newer social media or online options.

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