influencer marketing

Snapchat’s New Advertising Updates: Why Marketers Should Care

With the recent news that Snapchat will begin adding ads between stories, the web is abuzz about what it means for the platform. Is this the end for Snapchat? Or is it a new age of ads that people may actually be interested in?

Snapchat seems to attract a diverse audience with many interests, and its ‘snackable’ content is especially appealing for the younger demographic. According to Snapchat themselves, the app reaches more than 100 million active daily users and 41% of all 18 to 34 years olds in the United States. In terms of ROI, the good news continues, as Snapchat users are more likely to purchase products online compared to Facebook and Instagram users.

The Update

The latest ad-friendly update will include ads playing occasionally in between your friends’ snap stories. Another feature will direct you to the brand’s site or app store to purchase the product or download the app if you swipe up, or give you more information about the product (such as longer articles and videos).

The update is sure to bring Snapchat a step closer to going public. With the additional ad revenue, while (allegedly) not disrupting the Snapchat users’ regular experience of the app, it’s a no brainer. Yet surprisingly, some marketers are still unsure about how to best utilize this platform. Here’s a quick rundown of different snap approaches:

Recruiting influencers:

Snapchat advertising humourIn a savvy use of influencer marketing, Naritiv and Sphero, the maker’s of the popular and adorable Star Wars BB-8 robot, reached out to the big names on Snapchat to create buzz for the toy, resulting in over 10 million views in just 24 hours.

General Electric also shot for the geeky audience by featuring astronaut Buzz Aldrin and including fun facts and activities to do with science in their Snaps. Some of the biggest names in Snapchat include DJ Khaled, Cyrene Quiamco, Shaun McBrideKristina Bazan, and Arnold Schwarzennegger.

Providing exclusive content:

Bargaining on the appeal of exclusivity, NARS showed a special preview of their newest collection to their Snapchat followers. Other beauty and fashion brands like Rebecca Minkoff and Free People followed suit, frequently offering fans sneak peeks.

Using humour:

Taco Bell created silly food-themed valentine cards on Snapchat to appeal to their younger audience. Taco Bell were also one of the first brands to take advantage of Snap Stories with their launch for the Spicy Chicken Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos (ain’t that a mouthful?) by creating a mini-movie.

Taking advantage of large events

Doing a Snapchat campaign to coincide with a major event like the Super Bowl is what put companies like Audi ahead of the game with their fun collaboration with The Onion. The result? Over 5,000 new Snapchat followers,100,000+ views, and 37 million Twitter impressions.

How can marketers make use of this tech?

The new features are ideal for mobile apps with a simple call to action and quick direction to the app store. It will also encourage brands to stretch their creative muscles. Users are also less likely to skip these ads. A study by Media Science Labs found that Snapchat ads were more interesting to users than ads on other platforms, gaining double the visual attention of Facebook, 1.5x of Instagram, and 1.3x of YouTube.

Snapchat seamlessly integrates sponsored content with their regular features, including geofilters that pop up when users are Snapping in a location near a business and sponsored lenses (like the delicious Taco face) to enhance the selfie experience. The chat feature also allows instant communication with consumers.

As we have seen from some of the successful Snapchat campaigns, the possibilities are truly endless and, especially when combined with cross-promotion on other platforms, lead to particularly effective and unique campaigns.

What’s the big takeaway?

Snapchat taco bellSnapchat is the latest example of a new age of advertising that is interactive, fun, and non-intrusive. Why is this noteworthy? Last year, the use of adblocking software lead to an estimated $22 billion loss for brands, with the number of adblock users growing41% in one year.

Adblock on mobile is also starting to become more popular, with over 400 million users using some type of adblocking software on their smartphones, threatening what we have come to think of as traditional mobile advertising. With smartphone penetration expected to reach half the global population by 2018, this is significant news and heralds the need for a new approach.

Smart and creative integration of marketing content is paramount to the continued success of the idea of ads in general. The new bevy of tools offered at Snapchat also comes at a time when live video in general is being welcomed as the next big thing in marketing. This combination of factors makes it the perfect time for Snapchat to experiment and win big on advertiser revenue.

Don’t put all your eggs in the Snap basket yet – as the update is only now rolling out – but Snapchat seems to be at the forefront of the constantly evolving digital landscape. It might be time to embrace the new era.

This post was originally published on TFM Insights