Snapchat, the impermanent photo messaging app created by friends Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, is a favorite among millennials. It presently garners eight billion video views every day from its 100 million active users. The app has come a long way from its origins as a Stanford class project and initial launch in 2011 under the name Picaboo. It is now valued at $16 billion.
In the beginning, Snapchat did not generate any revenue. But later on, it moved into monetization by charging for extra features and sponsored ad content. This recently leaked Snapchat pitch deck from the company is dated July 2014, which is around that time when it started rolling out new features and services that targeted businesses. It is not an investor deck. Rather, it is a presentation for other companies to learn more about the many ways they can build their brands through the app. This deck offers insights into Snapchat's current strategy as well as how it is marketing itself to businesses. What follows is the exact pitch deck it used and a teardown of every slide.
The most effective elevator pitch decks contain around 10 to 20 slides. With only 14 slides, the Snapchat deck is within this limit. However, the number of slides is not the only indication of a presentation's conciseness. The content and design of each slide should also be efficient in clearly communicating a message to the audience.
Brevity is definitely something that Snapchat knows well. Its minimalist app is fairly straightforward and simple—ironically, that could be why it might come across as confusing for traditional marketers to understand. They might require some convincing in the same way it took a while for businesses to incorporate Instagram, Twitter and Facebook into their marketing plans. This likely gave rise to the need for this pitch deck, specifically for businesses, that emphasizes the branding potential of the app.
The deck’s cover mimics the app’s initial log-in page with its trademark yellow background and the company’s Ghost logo. Notice that the app’s name does not appear on the cover. This is a branding convention that can be seen in many Snapchat materials. Instead, the title “FOR BUSINESS” in bold, sans-serif capital letters can be seen underneath the logo.
Nonetheless, a cover slide should at the very least indicate the company name. Excluding “Snapchat” from the cover assumes that the intended audience is already familiar with the brand’s image. This might work for established brand icons like the Nike swoosh or McDonald’s golden arches, but Snapchat is still a fairly new company. Also, business leaders who need more convincing to market through Snapchat are most likely unfamiliar with the brand. The content of the succeeding slides also suggests that Snapchat recognizes the need for businesses to be better informed about the app. So, seeing the Snapchat name at the start of the presentation would drive brand awareness.
The deck begins with a history of the company in five short paragraphs. Though brief, the text is still too long for a pitch deck. The first paragraph is already enough background on the company and app. Furthermore, the first paragraph could be deconstructed into bullet points and graphics that are easier to read and digest for the audience.
At the bottom are pie charts summarizing the profile of Snapchat's users. This is a good, simplified presentation of a large amount of data. In one look, the audience is able to understand the app's consumer demographics.
The topic of this slide is the app’s unique selling point: deletion or ephemeralconversations. However, this was already explained in the previous slide making this slide redundant. The deck’s creator chose to reiterate a point that does not need to be repeated. This slide can be taken out without losing any information vital to the audience.
This is a good slide that captures the different features of the app at a glance. The "swiping finger" graphic also makes it easy to imagine how the interface looks like. Although, the paragraph under the title is not necessary since captions under the images already say the same thing. When making presentation slides, let pictures instead of words do the talking. There is rarely time for the audience or reader to go through all the text on a slide, so try to not make them work hard to get the gist of the presentation. Think of every slide as like a Snap—fleeting. So, make a quick but strong impact in those few seconds.
“When making presentation slides, let pictures instead of words do the talking.
This slide provides a helpful collection of images that show what users can send to one another. Snap is Snapchat's most basic feature and understanding it is crucial to deciphering the app. As in the other slides, this slide also contains superfluous text. The images and a very short caption should be enough to explain exactly what a Snap is.
This slide explains in detail how the Story feature or 24-hour flipbook works. The concept is simple and does not require a long discussion in the body text. This feature is something that users can quickly figure out when they use the app.
Two product features are discussed on this slide. The first one is Chat, which is direct messaging. The second is Here, which is video chat. At this point, the deck looks like an instruction manual. The user interface is quite intuitive, so there is no need to explain how to use Snapchat through detailed screenshots. Doing so might even make it look more complicated than it actually is. Moreover, Chat and Here are features that businesses are least likely to use. This entire slide can be taken out or merged with another slide dedicated to the features.
Unlike the features on the previous slide, Our Story should be of more interest to businesses seeking to take advantage of the app. Unfortunately, the presentation does not emphasize the benefits of the feature to companies who are holding events or want to sponsor an Our Story. However, giving two examples of events that took advantage of the feature is helpful.
The text under the Philosophy heading, though well-written, is too long and does not add more information to what is already found in the slide. It seems that most of the deck was written and created for personal users. More emphasis on branding opportunities would have made it more effective.
This is another slide meant for a user instruction manual and not a business deck. Learning how to use the Our Story feature should be secondary to understanding how it can benefit a brand. This slide can be removed especially since the previous slide already discusses the product feature.
Of all the instructional slides contained in this deck, this slide is perhaps the one that would most interest companies who have been convinced by the presentation to sign up for a business account. The use of simple icons and very short texts would further improve this slide.
This slide is good for educating businesses on the different ways to promote their products on Snapchat. Placing six different options on one slide suggests variety in terms of aesthetics and purpose, which different companies might appreciate. It also serves as a "success stories" slide that features the many techniques that other brands have employed in the past. This legitimizes the use of Snapchat as a marketing tool and could eventually persuade businesses to join.
This slide is simple and effective. It features the many ways businesses can promote their Snapchat through various channels. The images are easy to understand, and there are no long texts. Although, it would still work even without the captions.
This slide about tactics used by early adopters is quite compelling. The examples are concrete, and the samples of Snaps further explain how Snapchat can be used by businesses. However, this slide can be incorporated in the What Do I Snap? slide or appear right after it. It is not logical for it to appear after the Get the Word Out slide. The organization of slides in a deck is also important in building a story and making a clear point.
This is another slide that is split into two topics. The first is instruction on how to view stats for an account. It would have been better to show what sort of statistics and other analytical tools are available to businesses. The slide also features a list of Accounts to Check Out, which is great for doing additional research on how other brands use Snapchat. However, this is not an ideal call-to-action or final takeaway for the audience. The purpose of the deck is to convince businesses to sign up for an account, so ending with success stories, statistics and figures would be better.
Snapchat's pitch deck has a clean design and uses a lot of images, which makes it easy to read. However, it does have issues regarding wordy texts, superfluous information and lack of consideration for the business audience. Another way to improve it is by changing the arrangement of the slides in order to tell a better story.
The three act structure in storytelling can be used as a guideline in organizing a deck in a logical manner. This involves presenting a (1) problem, (2) a solution, and (3) strong closure and call-to-action.
This new outline for the Snapchat pitch deck follows best practices for fundraising pitch slides but adapted to suit a B2B marketing deck.
The deck is now shorter but presents additional information on why a business should consider using Snapchat for advertising, increasing sales and overall brand strengthening. Thus, it makes for a more compelling pitch that would both inform and intrigue a company about the marketing capabilities of the app.
Related Read: Airbnb pitch deck: teardown and redesign
Hopefully, this article gave insights on how to write, design and organize effective business decks. Please leave thoughts in the comments below.
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