Snapchat is becoming a more powerful platform by the day, even with the recent rise of Instagram Stories.

Recently, we introduced you to some entrepreneurs and brands who are mastering Snapchat marketing. They’re creating highly entertaining and educational Snapchat stories, and finding new ways to engage their audience.

But what exactly do these brands and entrepreneurs put in their stories? And more specifically, how can you create powerful Snapchat stories of your own, so you can get the most out of the platform and connect with your audience?

Today, we’ll give you the inside track on how to do it.

Here are 7 Elements of a Powerful Snapchat Story

  1. Set a Theme or a Subject
    All great stories have a theme, and your Snapchat story is no different. And sure, while you can create your theme on the fly, it’s usually better to plan it out beforehand. Otherwise, your Snap story may just be a collection of random moments throughout your day – and this won’t be much fun for your followers to watch.

With this in mind, you should also aim to set the scene from the beginning. Let your followers know what they’re about to watch.

Here are some potential themes you can use:
Morning commute
Business/life tips
A night out
Nature adventures
Rants/recurring Snapchat series

  1. Beginning and End of the Day Snaps
    You should always start your day by checking in with your audience – this bumps your Snap story to the top of everybody’s feed. That way, your Snap is the first thing they see when they scroll through their Snapchat stories in the morning.

Plus, this gets you into the habit of snapping everyday, which is also important. Consistency is key!

Then, at the end of the day, you should post again. Once again, this re-bumps your story to the top of everyone’s feed, gets you more views, and keeps you consistent. Plus, it’s a good way to end your story clearly, so it doesn’t go into the next day in a confusing way.

  1. Behind-the-Scenes Footage
    The key is to make your fans feel like insiders. Authentic, behind-the-scenes content does just that. This is the type of content your audience can’t get on other platforms.

For example, recently Justin Kan (justinkan) was part of a startup panel in Silicon Valley. Afterwards, he broke down the panel and explained exactly how he stands out on these types of panels, and how you can do the same. It was some very interesting insight from someone who has had a ton of success in the startup world – and the type of content you just can’t get on blogs or other platforms.

Other Snapchatters, like DJ Khaled (djkhaled305) have behind-the-scenes footage of making soundtracks, or performing their craft in general.

Think about how you can start adding some behind-the-scenes footage to your Snaps!

  1. Title Cards
    Title cards are powerful for ending stories, introducing new stories, and breaking apart stories into easy-to-understand chunks.

For title cards, all you really have to do is snap a plain background (or just a black background with no light) and overlay it with text.

Keep in mind, all your videos are on a 24 hour timer. So, depending on when your followers watch your story, they may not see the whole thing. So, title cards can help you signal that one story is over, and another one is beginning.

Or, as we mentioned, you can use title cards to break your stories into chunks. For example, let’s say you’re about to give three tips for starting a business. Before you dive into the three tips, you could use a title card to say, “3 Tips for Starting a Small Business.”

Keep title cards to around 3-5 seconds long, so that they flow with the rest of your Snap story.

  1. Q&A With Your Audience
    When it comes to Snapchat – like all other platforms – the more engagement you have with your audience, the better. By hosting Q&As, you give your community an easy way to engage with you.

You shouldn’t be doing these every day – but a couple times a month is a good benchmark. It makes your audience feel like you care what they have to say, and that they’re a part of a your Snap story too.

Here’s one way you can host a Snapchat Q&A:
Post on Snapchat and other platforms that you’ll be hosting a Snapchat Q&A
Ask your followers to submit questions through Snapchat
Tell them you’ll be answering their questions at a specific time
Answer their questions at that time!
It’s as simple as that!

  1. Calls to Action
    Sure it’s nice when people watch your Snap story – but the underlying goal is to get them to take some sort of action. Hence the importance of a strong call to action.

You can use calls to action throughout your Snap stories.

Here are some examples of good calls to action:
Asking followers to screenshot a Snap
Asking followers to reply to a Snap
Posting a shortened link (like a bit.ly link) for followers to go to
Asking followers to follow you on other social media, like Instagram or Twitter (Tai Lopez (tailopez1) does this in interesting ways by creating contests for those who like certain pictures or follow him on Instagram or Twitter)

  1. Exclusive Promotional Content
    Again, you want to give your Snapchat audience content that they can’t consume elsewhere. A great way to do that is to offer promotions specifically through your Snapchat stories.

You can use your stories to offer instant access to exclusive content, promo codes, and discounts. That way, when your followers watch your story, they know they may be in store for something special every time.

Start implementing these elements into your Snapchat stories, and be sure to track your views. As your stories get better, you should see more engagement, views, and followers.