Snapchat Advertising in 2016 and What It Means for Online Marketers

Snapchat might be new to the advertising world, but it’s definitely not a force to be reckoned with.  2016 means big changes for the social media app favored by teens and young adults.  Just last week the application rolled out its long anticipated advertising API, Snapchat Partners, which will hook up more than 20 tech-minded companies.  Snapchat advertising is soon to be bigger and better than ever imagined, and should be on every marketer’s radars.

Until only recently, it was believed that Snapchat wouldn’t be able to take full advantage of their millennial audience.  After hiring their first chief strategy officer, Imran Khan, the company took a different turn in the world of marketing.  Regarding advertisers, Khan states, “Different marketers have different objectives, and we just want to make it easier for them to buy ads on the platform.  We want brands to have a place where they can tell their stories, you know, in a better way.”   From the sounds of Khan, Snapchat marketing is going to be a lot more than just a scroll through ad as seen on Facebook or Instagram.

For the first time, Snapchat ads are going to be sold by third parties.  This new approach will be divided into two parts: Ad Partners and Creative Partners.  Ad partners will be focused on developing the software for snapchat advertising. They will enable the buying, optimizing, and analyzing of campaigns. Creative partners will be working with Snapchat’s vertical-video format.  There will be a mix of partners that are experienced in the social content and formatting of these videos.

The upcoming availability to advertise on Snapchat is big news for Snapchat marketing.  Until very recently, only massive companies with lots of push in the industry could really do much with the media sharing app.  This was due to the extreme demand and little availability to advertise with Snapchat.  A prime example of a very successful previous ad campaign run on Snapchat was Taco Bell’s Cinco De Mayo filter.  The user’s heads were turned into a taco shell by a lens.  This resulted in 224 million views in a single day, one extremely successful ad campaign.  For smaller, more local brands, something like this could be incredibly successful, but until recently was either extremely out of budget or not taken seriously by Snapchat.

Geofilters are one of Snapchat’s most popular features, and have big marketing potential.  With Snapchat’s new updates, anyone will be able to create and publish their own filters for a fee.  The process of submitting a geofilter involves creating the PNG, selecting a geographic area on the website, and then purchasing the filter.  The largest geographic area allowed is 5 million square feet with the maximum exposure time being 30 days.  A small restaurant can purchase a filter for one day around $5-$10. A larger shopping mall might end up costing around $5,000 for a weekend.  This is all very early on in the world of Snapchat marketing, and we are excited to see what the future holds for the business.

Currently, the focus for the start of Snapchat advertising is around video ads.  This doesn’t mean that potentially branded Geofilters and Lenses are out of the question, though, just an idea for the near future.

Just advertising via Snapchat may not be enough, though.  Having your brand’s actual presence in the application is proving to be more crucial over time as well.  A study from L2 revealed that brands on average post 26 times per week on Snapchat.  This number is significantly larger than that of Instagram, with only the fashion industry in the double digit weekly posts.

As Snapchat marketing continues to grow and embrace advertising via the application, businesses have much to look forward to.  With the social application growing rapidly each day, getting your brand onto the platform sooner rather than later is definitely a smart business move.