Marketing on Snapchat- is it worth it?

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Jess Staines's picture
Jess Staines
Digital Communications Executive
Our fabulous Digital Communications Executive Jess is full of hidden talents and skills. From revitalising our marketing materials to analysing our client’s websites, she certainly has hit the ground running.

Marketing on Snapchat- is it worth it?

Snapchat opened its doors to advertisers in 2016, with sponsored geo filters and shop-able augmented reality posts as a couple of examples. Prices for these advertising methods range from a humble $7 to an extravagant $500,000. However, with 191 million daily active users around the world, and 12 million of those users in the UK, you can start to understand why they can charge so much.

Having grown at such a fast rate, marketers have not fully utilised or understood Snapchat’s huge audience. In the first quarter of 2018, only 8% of marketers used Snapchat, and 72% said they have no plans to use the platform at all in the next twelve months. Compared to other social media platforms these numbers are staggeringly low, with 94% of marketers using Facebook, 66% using Instagram and 62% using Twitter. Despite this low uptake from marketers, Snapchat’s global revenue grew by more than 50% to $230.7 million in the first quarter of 2018.

What Are They Doing Right?

Snapchat has differentiated itself from everyone else with augmented reality. It claims that more than 250 million AR snaps are shared every day, with 70% of users playing with AR each month, and 30% for more than three minutes a day. UK creative director David Norris explains how “the shift in talking with pictures is incredibly compelling for brands on a platform. The majority of users have sound on, and are used to engaging and playing through the camera. It creates a totally different opportunity for a brand to communicate.” For brands and businesses that want to interact with their market by using AR, Snapchat is the way in. Users spend an average of 25 to 30 minutes on the app every day, interacting with their friends, celebrities and now brands. The new ‘Discover’ tab allows users to scroll through endless amounts of content curated for them based on who they follow and content they have watched in the past.  

One of the biggest collaborations and endorsements of Snapchat, came in April from mobile network provider Three. This campaign saw the creation of the ‘Puggerfly’, a character that is half pug, half butterfly and who happens to love Snapchat filters. This latest offering comes as part of Three’s ‘Go Binge’ campaign, which allows customers to watch and listen to services such as Netflix and Apple Music without running down their mobile data allowance. Jolene Sicklemore, head of marketing communications and execution for Three explains that “Snapchat is a growing platform for us. We are constantly looking at how we can engage people on it, as we do across all channels and we will be continuing to work with the platform throughout the year.”

Source: Three

The Challenges That Come With Snapchat

Snapchat has had its issues to contend with recently, with Facebook and Instagram installing their own versions of ‘stories’ and using AR filters. In addition to this, over 1.2 million users signed a petition calling for Snapchat’s latest redesign to be reversed, something that it has since agreed to address. In addition to this, reporting is limited, particularly around providing proof of ROI to commercial partners. Snapchat has designed an ads manager platform similar to Facebook’s, with a dashboard showing real time results. Creating ads also follows a similar path to Facebook, creating ad sets, building your ads and measuring your results.

Source: Snapchat

Where Are The Opportunities?

Most businesses cannot afford to spend half a million dollars on a single piece of marketing material. So where are the opportunities for everyone else? Snapchat offers geo filters from just $7, which are a great way of creating some buzz around a new product launch, store opening or momentous achievement. Another more realistic option is a Snap Ad, which consists of a video up to 10 seconds long in the discover tab, which costs around $1000.

In terms of daily active users, Snapchat is leading the way for the social generation. It’s the hottest social media platform of the moment and has set itself apart from the others with its AR filters as the focal point (despite now having some rivals in the forms of Facebook and Instagram). As a business it is making efforts to encourage brands to advertise on its platform by creating an ad dashboard so that marketers can track clicks, conversions and views. It is constantly adapting to what its customers are feeding back to them, which means ads are relevant and engaging to consumers.

Advertising on Snapchat is still relatively new to marketers and consumers, but by creating content specifically for the app, businesses can stay relevant. Snapchat has been brushed under the carpet by businesses because they think it’s a fad that won’t last. The growth and sheer volume of daily active users proves that is not the case. It’s an opportunity that may be more of a risk than other social media advertising but if done correctly, could see a large return on investment and growth of a business.

Does Snapchat have a place in your business strategy? Or are you tempted to use it? Get in touch and let’s see if we can put together a strategy for your business to capitalise on the growing power of Snapchat. We also offer high quality design for branding, campaigns, print, web development, social media and digital marketing. To get in touch to see how we can help, contact us today. Why not subscribe to the blog for more hints and tips for your business and latest industry news. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter too!