There was a time when the impermanence of ‘snaps’ meant photo-messaging app, Snapchat, was a mecca for teenage deviants looking to send one another explicit images, in the comfort of knowing they would be permanently erased in under 10 seconds.
Digital marketers ignored Snapchat for the best part of half a decade, instead opting to focus all their efforts and resources on the Big Three: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Their logic was simple: the social media networks that matter are the ones that provide revenue.
In 2015, aged 4, Snapchat was yet to post a single $ of revenue, let alone profit. By the same age Facebook had made $272,000,000; Twitter $45,000,000 and Instagram $1BILLION – the digital marketers had been proved right: there was no money to be made from vanishing photo messages.
One small issue. While the user figures of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook began to stagnate, Snapchat has been growing. Fast.
Latest figures predict Snapchat now has 150,000,000 active daily users, who tend to be younger than on the other channels and are far more engaged. E-Marketer predicts a 150% growth in Snapchat-ad sales in 2017, causing revenues for those 12 months alone to surpass $1BILLION.
This spike in financial returns is no coincidence, across 2016 and into the beginning of 2017 SNAP (the parent company of Snapchat) implemented a number of measures to monetise the app, ranging from heightened visibility for ads and greater flexibility of ad purchase options, through to enhanced quality controls on ad submissions and more practical back-office ad metrics.
So the question now is not whether companies should be utilising Snapchat, but HOW companies should utilise snapchat:
Programmed to appear the same as a user’s ‘snap’, these ads begin with an up to 10-second vertical, full screen video. Companies can then give Snapchat users the choice to swipe up and see more, just like they do elsewhere on Snapchat.
Swiping up reveals extended content e.g. a long-form video, article, app install ad, or mobile website.
This is an excellent way for companies to drive traffic through to their other channels – Snapchat claim ads on their platform deliver 5 times more engagements than equivalent ads on the Big Three social media channels.
Exactly as they sound from their name, geofilters are bespoke filters companies can design in conjunction with Snapchat, to target users in a pre-defined geographic location.
This could be a town, a city, a stadium (e.g. for an event), or even a type of location (e.g. every shopping centre in the UK, or every library in France).
Geofilters uniquely allow companies to take part in the hundreds of millions of Snaps sent between users each day on Snapchat. In the US, a single National Sponsored Geofilter typically reaches 40% to 60% of daily Snapchat users (according to Snapchat).
3. Sponsoring a Lense
To activate Lenses, users press and hold on their faces. Some Lenses include prompts e.g ‘open your mouth’; ‘close one eye’ – to trigger an animation, adding a fun twist to the experience.
When users have used a Lense to create a ‘snap’ they are particularly pleased with, they can be shared in the same way as any other ‘snap’ – to individual users or posted onto their ‘Story’.
On average, Snapchatters play with a Sponsored Lens for 20 seconds.
Snapchat can be dismissed no longer, throughout 2016 the team at Snap worked hard to develop effective ways of monetising their primary product, Snapchat, now it is up to digital marketers and PRs to utilise these tools in order to reach one of the fastest growing cyber communities on the planet.