Emerging Snapchat Paid, Owned & Earned Opportunities for Brands


Post by Christine Hickey, Media Manager Snapchat is giving brands new opportunity to create innovative advertising and grab the attention of 100 million monthly active users. Developed in 2011, Snapchat is a photo-messaging app that allows users to communicate through photos and videos, lasting a maximum of 10 seconds before being deleted from Snapchat’s servers. Since release, Snapchat has been rapidly adopted by Millennials. As of Fall 2014, Snapchat had 100 million monthly active users, 71% of which were under 25 years old. Following the social platform trend of becoming more advertising friendly, Snapchat has made several updates to its features:

  • October 2013: My Story – Allows users to create their own narrative by adding Snaps to the “My Story” section of Snapchat, which appear for 24 hours to other users before they disappear
  • June 2014: Our Story – Allows users to participate in a collaborative narrative by contributing individual Snaps about a particular event to the same Story
  • January 2015: Discover – Allows users to discover curated Stories from different editorial sites comprised of 12 large media companies, including CNN, Cosmopolitan, and Food Network

Snapchat Discover screenshot blog WHAT MAKES SNAPCHAT UNIQUE? The new Discover feature differentiates Snapchat from existing social media platforms: Instead of making content with the most likes or shares more visible to users, the app relies on editors and artists to deem what’s most important to viewers. This is unique to Snapchat as social platforms historically allow users to choose the content and brands they interact with (e.g. following, liking and user preferences). Snapchat’s distinctive approach to content helps position the mobile app as an authority and content leader in its space. Although Discover is currently limited to only 12 channels, it is truly a one-of-a-kind mobile-native advertising platform with potential opportunities for brands to showcase unique mobile content. Brands can now weave visually appealing ads seamlessly into channels, and users have the option to swipe past ads like any other content the channels support. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN for ADVERTISERS? PAID, OWNED, EARNED BEST PRACTICES Brand Opportunities: Owned & Earned In 2014, brands started to join in on the Snapchat conversation. HBO Girls, Taco Bell and Rebecca Minkoff were early adopters of Snapchat, using its My Story feature to tell brand stories, feature content from live events and introduce new products. For brands first starting out on the channel, there are several best practices when building out a Snapchat organic strategy:

  • Create a simple username: Create a Snapchat username that is recognizable and easy for users to find
  • Cross-promote across social channels: Promote your Snapchat username on websites, TV, in-store signage and on social channels to drive awareness and increase followers
  • Tell a story: Use Stories to excite users and give them a reason to follow your brand on the platform
  • Use celebrities: Leverage celebrity partnerships to have a celebrity Snap from your brand username and either tell a live story or encourage users to follow your brand

Brand Opportunities: Paid There are two ways for brands to advertise on Snapchat: through Brand Stories and through the Discover feature.

  • Brand Stories
    • A single or multi-Snap content sequence from a brand that is delivered to Snapchat users at once
      • Can be up to 20 seconds long through 5 or fewer Snap photos or videos
      • Located with all other stories at the top of “My Friends” and lasts 24 hours or until the user views the Story
      • Limited metrics and reporting
      • Pricing TBD
    • Click to view Snapchat’s first ad with Ouija
  • Discover
    • Pre-roll, sponsored content or long-form commercials
    • Pricing TBD

WISHLIST As Discover gains traction among users, we’d love more insight into each channels’ audience, so brands can ensure their ads are serving on the right channel. This means Snapchat needs to share more data with brands. Currently, the number of mobile app downloads from Snapchat is unknown, so the potential “reach” of ads is estimated based off of monthly active users. We would also like to see advanced tracking capabilities, to allow advertisers to follow mobile users through the purchase funnel to see if they make a purchase after seeing an ad in Discover. Ideally, advertisers will be able to connect in-store purchases with ads served to mobile users on Snapchat. PREDICTIONS Brands can expect to see more channel options on Discover in the near future. As Snapchat creates more content, advertisers will have more choices when placing their ads. Brands should look at their existing consumer data to see what interests, news stations and shows their customers interact with to create hyper-targeted ad experiences, even without Snapchat audience data. Because Snapchat is unique in being a strictly mobile advertising platform, customers can expect optimal user experience on mobile, such as landing on pages that are mobile-optimized or instant click-to-download mobile apps. Soon, users will be able to easily share the content they engage with on Discover and have less frustrating ad experiences from brands that haven’t yet focused efforts around creating engaging mobile experiences. Ads will be targeted around driving mobile actions such as mobile app downloads or driving users to landing pages that are optimized specifically around exploring, searching or purchasing products on mobile. HOW to ACTIVATE: WHERE SNAPSHOT MAKES SENSE for BRANDS Brands should now consider Snapchat in their marketing strategies. Brands need to determine how Snapchat fits into their overall strategy and develop a unique content approach to outperform competition. This will require brands to allocate resources to Snapchat, e.g., if a brand is supporting an awards show, they should consider using Snapchat with their broadcast strategy for real-time content integration. In order to thrive on Snapchat and resonate with users, brands need to develop custom content that is native to the advertising platform’s look-and-feel. Once a brand has developed an organic Snapchat presence, Performics will be able to help brands optimize paid media opportunities on the platform. For more information on Snapchat paid, owned and earned opportunities, please contact your Performics Account Team today.  


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