To snap or broadcast – that really is the question.

Just when you thought you had your company’s visual strategy all figured out, here come a couple of video apps to turn things around completely. You've probably heard of two little apps called Snapchat and Periscope?

The latest players to take the social landscape by storm, these story-focused networks offer big marketing rewards for the companies that understand how to effectively use them (and for those that don’t, well, we’ve got you covered).

What’s Snapchat?

Users snap pictures or video and share the content with specific people in their network, but unlike other channels, Snaps disappear 10 seconds after they’ve been viewed. To make it even more fun, users can add different filters, drawings, and even emojis to enhance their images/videos! Need more than a few seconds to make your point? Choose to piece together content to create a “Story." Lasting for up to 24 hours, Stories provide brands with more time to grab their viewers.

The true meaning behind Snapchat selfies?

The true meaning behind Snapchat selfies?

Should You Use It?

There are up to 100 million users on Snapchat. So yes, you absolutely should. And if targeting a millennial audience is of any importance to your brand, then it’s time to get Snapping NOW.

The Audience

The majority of the 400 million Snaps viewed per day come from users between the ages of 13-25, and 70% of them are female. Great news for brands looking to market products to a younger crowd, and even better news for those in the fashion/beauty industry!

Brands That Snap

Taco Bell: Giving users fun sneak peeks at new and returning favourite menu items, Taco Bell has figured out the perfect way to engage followers while also promoting their tasty products.

Wet Seal: Sorry social strategist, sometimes the kids just do it better! This American clothing retailer handed over its Snapchat to a 16-year-old fashion blogger (and gained 9,000 new followers in the process).

What’s Periscope?

Launched in March of this year, Periscope encourages users to share and view live video broadcasts directly from their smartphone. Instant feedback for a particular broadcast can be left through their chat function, as well as through heart symbols (that much like Instagram, signal a “like”).

The Audience

While teens have definitely started to adopt Periscope as a major social network, its main audience is made up of the 25 to 34-year-old crowd. Of the 10 million users, 29% are women.

Should You Use It?

Periscope allows brands to communicate with customers in a new way that’s interactive and quick (two things that our digital society LOVES). You can extend the life of an ad campaign, broadcast educational videos, tease special conferences or shows, and run contests in a cool way – all through the application. And because the channel is so new, brands can make a mark early on without much competition.

Brands To Watch

Target: By promoting their fashion collab with Lilly Pulitzer through a broadcast, Target saw a huge boost in sales – 90% of the Pulitzer line sold out immediately after its release.

Adobe: An early adopter of the network, Adobe uses the Periscope platform almost like a video press release, keeping their audience in the loop on the latest company projects and features.

So what's it gonna be – Snapchat, Periscope, both, or none at all?

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About the Author:

Taylor Marsden is a copywriter, blogger, and digital content manager based out of Toronto, Canada. She's worked with a variety of clients including Perez Hilton, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Toronto Fashion Week and The Home Depot! When not writing, you'll find her scouring the web for travel deals and/or pinning delicious looking recipes (that she has no intention of actually cooking).