Sometimes it seems like as marketers we are fighting a constant uphill battle to stay current with all of the technologies and platforms being utilized in modern advertising. When trying to stay abreast of the trends, it is invaluable to have resources that collect and break down the relevant information so that you know what you are getting yourself into ahead of time.
If you’ve been contemplating the ephemeral possibilities associated with running a Snapchat campaign, here’s a brief rundown of some basics that you can build on.
Snapchat’s Massive Reach With Young People
First, let’s go over why Snapchat is worthy of the significant attention it enjoys. For starters, Snapchat is absolutely massive. Snapchat has 229 million daily active users and these aren’t generally once-per-day, disengaged users, either. With 63% of Snapchat users saying they use the app every day and almost half saying they use it multiple times per day, chances are if you’ve visited once in a day you are going to be back. Users go to Snapchat to talk with friends, goof around with filters, or share media – a typical daily active user of Snapchat opens the Snapchat camera more than 20 times per day and 95% of users say that using the app makes them happy. Not only is the Snapchat audience gigantic and engaged, a sizable proportion is fairly exclusive to the platform – over a third of Snapchat users do not visit Facebook or Instagram on a given day.
So what makes Snapchat unique compared to other platforms? The most notable difference is how young the Snapchat user base is. In 2019, over half of all internet users in the U.S. aged 15-25 used Snapchat, which outstripped Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for the most popular social media platform among teenagers. One word of caution is that Snapchat’s popularity drops dramatically for older age groups, so it may not be the best choice if your product targets primarily middle-aged or older consumers.
Additionally, the platform skews heavily female, with female users accounting for 61% of all users. Another key difference is that a user’s list of Snapchat friends tends to be far more intimate and close-knit, which means that once your brand gets looped in you automatically seem more trustworthy, with a closer connection to your consumer. Snapchat ads also slot in seamlessly with non-sponsored content and are time-limited, streamlining the consumer experience and bringing them excellent value.
Taking Advantage of Ephemeral Content and Context
Obviously Snapchat is a no-brainer if you are attempting to target young consumers, particularly young women, but there are other signs as well that may indicate it is time to start up a Snapchat campaign. The visual, time-limited nature of Snapchat ads can work to your advantage if your product is easy to demonstrate. Lifestyle and highly branded ads can also do well since they slot nicely into the existing flow of organic lifestyle-focused content people are consuming from their friends on the platform.
Location-based features like Our Story can also be effective if your product is highly regional. Additionally, users can be easily navigated to external resources, like a highly polished and effective website for your brand or other high-value, professional content. Finally, while Snapchat’s influencer presence is not as notable as, say, Instagram, 40% of Snapchat users say they discover new brands through celebrity and influencer endorsements on the platform, making it a good complement for influencer initiatives.
Familiar Self-Serve Ad Platform
If reality-checking the top-level intel does not deter you from the Snapchat path, the question becomes how exactly advertising on Snapchat works. Snapchat advertising is highly flexible, with a variety of formats in which to serve your ads.
Snap Ads are swipeable advertisements that appear in a user’s Stories queue and with a single swipe can take the user to your website, app, video, app store page, or even an AR lens inside Snapchat. There are also Collection ads featuring a series of tappable tiles that can take users to purchase pages for a collection of different products. Story Ads live on the Discover screen and display your ad across a series of Snaps.
You can also serve videos in the middle of premium content or add custom filters and AR lenses that users can enjoy before sharing the results with friends. Snapchat also has sophisticated targeting and can serve ads based on interests, behaviors, geolocation, retargeting audiences, demographics like age and gender, and the similarity of users to your existing cohort of customers. All of this is accomplished through Snapchat’s Ads Manager, a platform that works to create ads quickly and easily as well as provide real-time reporting for your Snapchat campaign.
Cover Your Advertising Basics
Campaigns may be easy to make in Snapchat, but don’t kick back and relax just yet. As with any other platform, there are three evergreen guidelines for running an effective campaign – serve creative that matches the target demo, video is king, and targeting is your friend.
Starting with these principles in mind, you can move forward to optimize your campaign. Run campaigns in short bursts of 2 weeks, set up A/B tests for different creatives, iterate and retarget like crazy, and don’t be afraid to adopt an aggressive policy of ‘out with the old, in with the new’ when it comes to trying new ideas and cutting what isn’t working.
If you find a strategy that works, hit it hard and milk it for all it is worth, then dump it as soon as it stops producing results. Most importantly, don’t give up. Digital campaigns can take a long time to settle into a groove, and even if they do, the work is not really ever done. When things are going well is the perfect time to cook up new ideas, tactics, audiences, and creative. It is likely that your campaign will always need adjustments and innovations, so don’t linger in the moment for long.
If you are interested in Snapchat Advertising, contact us to get started on creating your next campaign.