With so much focus on Instagram and Facebook marketing, Snapchat is not on most marketers’ radars. Many underestimate the size and power of this simple platform. While it’s not as popular as Instagram, for instance, it still has a massive reach. With over 210 million users and an average of 10 billion daily video views, there’s plenty of scope there to promote your business efficiently and find new customers.
How it works
The Snapchat app is a slightly different take on the multimedia messaging application. Users take pictures or videos, apply optional filters and enhancements, and share the content with their friends. In the case of most personal (private) messages, the image or video is supposed to disappear once it’s been viewed. They can’t be commented on directly, but the app also has text chat functionality.
The user profiles are very basic and don’t include all the information that a Facebook or Instagram page would. Individual photos and videos can also be added by the user to their ‘Story’ – a collection of media cut together into a slideshow-like presentation – to be viewed by their friends (and followers, in the case of influencers).
There are several ways to advertise on Snapchat, with the most basic option being single-image or video ads that appear automatically in-between Stories. Collection Ads involve multiple images that the user can tap through, for instance showcasing different products or features of a single item or service. Traditional commercials are also an option, and take the form of unskippable 6 second videos appearing in Snapchat’s Curated Content.
Alongside these, advertisers can also get creative and design a filter ad. When a user takes a photo or video, they can apply a filter – such as the standard colour enhancement, an amusing animation, or image distortion. Branded content can be added to custom filters to spread brand awareness.
In all of these cases, advertisements are effectively integrated seamlessly into the content that the users are viewing anyway. Rather than taking the form of a banner or sidebar that might get ignored, they’re displayed in full size directly to users. This can be an invaluable tool for driving traffic to your business’ website as well as increasing brand and product awareness.
With Snapchat ads, your business is able to target a specific audience relevant to the objectives of your campaign. Snapchat ad targeting is based on a wide range of factors to help you narrow down your target, ensuring that the ad will only be displayed to relevant groups – thus maximizing the efficiency of the campaign and the potential return.
You can target users based on factors such as location, demographics, and interests and behaviours. Location can even be narrowed down to areas surrounding a particular address – which is especially useful if you’re running a physical store. Snapchat also offers a Lookalike Audiences feature, enabling you to reach users with similar interests and behaviours to your existing audience or customer base.
Your business can benefit from Snapchat Ads particularly if you’re looking to target younger audiences with your content. The platform’s key demographics are 13- to 29-year-olds, and studies have shown that 69% of 13 to 17-year-olds and 62% of 18 to 29-year-olds use the app regularly. It’s also worth knowing that over 60% of Snapchat users are female to tailor your ads accordingly if this is your target audience.
Engagement, measurement, and follow-up features
The efficiency and potential for customer conversion on Snapchat ads is aided by measurement tools that are integrated into the platform’s advertising system. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of designing and optimising your campaign.
There are tools that enable you to measure conversion events in response to specific ads, as well as the option to re-engage with Snapchat users whose actions indicate they’ve taken an interest in your product or service (i.e. clicked on the ad and viewed your website without making a purchase).
One of the most interesting benefits of using Snapchat Ads for business marketing is the Auto-Fill feature, used for collecting leads. The Auto-Fill setting essentially means that when a user taps on your ad to express interest, you’re sent the email address connected to their account.
Snapchat Ads have a bad reputation of being ridiculously expensive, and to this day there are bits of information circling the internet about the thousands of dollars it costs to run an ad on the platform. In fact, this hasn’t been true for a long time – Snapchat has moved to a more affordable advertising system in 2018, making it one of the cheapest social media advertising options available. The exact pricing will vary between niches, industries, and target audiences – just like on other social media platforms.