Should you be advertising on Snapchat?

In a world where budgets are tight and every penny has to be accounted for, it’s no wonder many marketeers are wary of the promises made by the prophets of digital platforms that theirs is the only route to engagement and RoI.

For the uninitiated, Snapchat is the social media platform where users’ posts get deleted after 24 hours. It’s also the app that unleashed the dancing hotdog onto the world and gave us the ability to overlay the ears, nose and slobbery tongue of a puppy dog over our selfies. And it is immensely popular.

Snapchat says it has 180 million daily active users, with 57 million of those in Europe, and 7 million active daily users in the UK alone.

The company claims advertisers can reach 70% of 13-34 year olds on Snapchat in the US, UK, France and Australia.

And this is where marketers should sit up and take notice.

Snapchat’s core users are young digital natives; into fashion, music, travel, tech… you name it. They’re in and out of the app constantly. That puppy dog filter? Snapchat’s users have racked up 7000 years messing about with that. The company says it’s on a mission to ‘democratise AR’, meaning that its making the tools to create filters available on its platform so that brands can start making their own Augmented Reality features. Get creative.

Although advertising on Snapchat is ‘opt-in’ – ie, users are not forced to watch it, the way advertising is integrated into users’ feeds means that eye-catching, immediately engaging content stands a much greater chance of being noticed, interacted with, and shared than on other platforms.

So the short answer as to whether you should be advertising on Snapchat, is absolutely: particularly if you’re looking to target millenials. But before you go wading in, there are definitely some things to bear in mind.

Design creative specifically for Snapchat. In other words don’t just recycle your existing creative into Snapchat content. That YouTube ad you’ve been running? Just cropping it to vertical and cutting it down to 10 seconds won’t work.Video works really well on Snapchat. But so do still images, Cinegraphs and Gifs. There are a lot of toys in the toy box. Don’t be afraid to use them.Snapchat’s maximum video length is 10 seconds. But the company recommends you use it in a way that gets your message across in 5 seconds or under.

This means front loading your creative. Don’t wait until the final 2 seconds for your ad to pay-off. Put it front and centre.Stick to one clear message. Don’t try and cram in as much as you can; boil your offering down to one singular message and make your call to action (Download NOW! Shop Now! Play Now!) explicit.Use sound. Unlike Facebook, where 80% of videos are watched with the sound OFF, on Snapchat, 60% of users are watching with the sound ON. So whether it’s sound effects, music, or talking, think about how sound can enhance your creative and increase its engagement.

So how much does a campaign on Snapchat cost? The answer, as usual, is that it all depends. But the company has made some big changes recently that mean the platform is now affordable enough for even the most budget conscious start-ups.

When it first started rolling out advertising, the entry point for an ad campaign was $30,000. Well out of the range for all but the big brands, or companies with deep-pocketed investors.  But Snapchat realized this was closing off the potential it could offer smaller companies and it has now moved to a more ‘CPM’ type of model where campaign targets and limits can be set, and campaigns can be run for as little as £50 per day.

Snapchat says that success on its platform starts with great creative. So if you’re looking to get on Snapchat, give us here at Spiro Digital a call. We can help design and produce fun, quirky Snapchat content that’s designed to get noticed, to connect with your audience and ensure your Snapchat campaign is a success.