Snapchat and Advertising: Should You Take the Plunge?

In the world of social media, Facebook is still king. However, the jockeying for position beneath Mark Zuckerberg’s behemoth is in serious flux. The biggest agent of change these days is Snapchat, the app that thrives on viral content and informal communication. It’s enjoyed exponential growth in recent years; so much so, it’s surpassed the once mighty Twitter in user numbers. But do these slick metrics mean they’re worth consideration for the online or direct marketing agency?

The Secret Behind Snapchat’s Boost

Snapchat has a lot of things going for it. Specifically, they got things that appeal directly to millennials. That’s probably why it’s the most popular social platform for ages 18-24. As mentioned earlier, Snapchat’s bread and butter are daily videos, which put forth viral, informal content that engages the millennial set with ease. While other apps have tried to catch up (see: Facebook live), Snapchat currently has the competitors covered in their dust.

From a direct marketing standpoint, this engagement makes the app prime real estate for ad space. Unlike other social apps, Snapchat offers giofilters, branded filters, and ads in full screen. These elements mean that, if used right, your ads can get unmatched attention from the millennial market.

What’s more, it can engage them at a pretty basic level. What may look like an important form of ad-based outreach to you, it may just look like something cool for the end user.

How to Use Snapchat for Advertising

Putting your ads in front of the Snapchat millennial brigade is a three-step process:

  1. Snapping the ad – Because Snapchat’s lifeblood is video, you’re not going to mess with a still photo. A 10-second long vertical video will do the trick, especially if you add an interactive element to things.
  2. Snap Geofilters – This filter is a small, just-intrusive-enough overlay that you can apply to snaps. It’s an effective strategy; research indicates that a sole Nationally Sponsored Geofilter reaches as many as 3 in 5 Snapchatters.
  3. Sponsored lenses – These components won’t last over a day in Snapchat land. However, their temporary nature isn’t a problem, because these interactive ads are designed to play on the millennial’s selfie obsessions. The interactive ads will stick around on these selfies for about 20 seconds – long enough to make a proper impression.

Add these up, and it becomes pretty clear that Snapchat can be a great vehicle for direct marketing agencies to go after the millennial market.

A Few Surprising Snapchat Stats

Before you consider using Snapchat to drive ads, you should be aware of a few key metrics tied to the app. To wit:

  • 70% of all Snapchat users are female. This may have a heavy influence on the way you want to present your product or service.
  • Snapchat has a bit of a frustrating audience. Yes, the app has 100 million daily users, but a healthy chunk of that audience is between 13 and 25.
  • It’s even more popular than the other white-hot millennial-driven property, Instagram.

When you do put together targeted ads for Snapchat, you’ll want to make sure the ads are designed to reach Millennials at their level. So don’t be afraid to use Snapchat as a means to put forth contests, offer “sneak peaks” of a product, or even offer coupons. It may seem a bit silly – that is, until it works.

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