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Advertisement on Snapchat

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Snapchat is one of the most used and popular apps for Millennials: The platform registers about 178 million unique user daily and lies ahead of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with 10 billion video views. The US market delivers most of the Snapchat users worldwide, nevertheless, the number of German users increases constantly and reached a number of five million by now. To establish Snapchat as a relevant platform for advertisers, it has to compete with the top dog Facebook (incl. Instagram). But Snapchat is catching up: Due to numerous developments within the last months, the platform was able to score, in terms of advertising possibilities within the German market. Even though, that is what advertisers have been waiting for, their reactions are restrained.

The social media environment offers advertisers a high reach of their target groups with a low waste coverage in branding and performance campaigns. Since the beginning of this year one can find Snapchat amongst the platforms, that are usable for advertising, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and tumblr. Though the bigger platforms developed their portfolio within the last years intensely, Snapchat – a visual oriented platform – can keep up with them in matters of branding and full video formats. Despite the fact, that available formats on social platforms serve similar objectives, each platform objective and target group vary and has a different importance within online media planning.

Snapchat – a short portrait

Snapchat is an instant messaging service for audiovisual snapshots, which gained popularity within a rather young audience, of under 24-year-olds. The young users share their own snapshots and videos and consume curated publisher content, as well as snaps from friends, acquaintances and VIPs.

Simultaneously, Snapchat offers interesting supplies for advertisers. For example, German publishers such as SPIEGEL Online, Sky Sport, BILD and Vice can use the Discover category to publish editorial content. Publishers can reach audiences, which are difficult to reach through traditional channels, by using Snapchat Discover.

For brands and companies, Snapchat is an attractive platform for advertisement, which is prior usable for awareness and engagement objectives. Due to only a few experiences within this environment, the utilization of this platform is, so far, rather restrained.

Advertisement possibilities: What can Snapchat do?

Snapchat is a special platform: fast moving, personal and most of all live. To run an appealing Snapchat profile, a company needs to post authentic content daily and use the platform features such as lenses, filter, avatars and emojis the right way. 

Because snaps are displayed vertically, brands often can’t reuse their social media content, which is arranged horizontally. Furthermore, posts within the Snapchat story vanish within 24 hours, so that companies can’t count on repeated impressions. That is why whoever wants to use Snapchat wisely, needs to develop specialized content for this app.

By booking Snapchat formats, advertisers can avoid this challenge: campaigns on Snapchat can be implemented without having to deal with a high-maintenance company profile. Besides, creatives must only be created once, because ads are repeated within the life span of the particular campaign. The following Snapchat ad formats are available for German advertisers and can be embedded within the Discover area or within the different stories of the user generated content.

Snap Ads and diverse extensions

Snap Ads are vertical full screen videos, which can be up to 10 seconds long and appear between the stories in the Discover area. Snap Ads can be complemented by interactive elements such as “swipe-up”, which enables the user to learn more about a brand or a product. Snapchat’s swipe-up-rate is five times as high as the average CTR of other social media platforms. This way Snap Ads can be expanded by articles, a demand for downloading an app, longer videos (up to 10 minutes) or a landing page. This way they call high attention for a product or brand and deepen the users' engagement. Furthermore, Snap Ads are suitable to lead user to an external website (trough link-out function).

Sponsored Lense

Sponsored Lenses offer companies the possibility to implement exclusive branding into users’ snaps thanks to Augmented Reality. Through an interactive filter inside of the camera, creative lenses including the advertisers’ branding can be used. This way the product calls the most attention, because potential users tend to link the joyful experience to the brand or product. The average Snapchat user "plays" with the interactive ad for about 20 seconds and increases the reach by sharing those snaps with friends, acquaintances and followers.

Sponsored Geofilter

Sponsored Geofilter are individually designed frames and graphics, which users can put on their snaps, whenever they are at a certain location. This way advertisers can direct attention to big events such as the Berlin Fashion Week or the Coachella festival. Geofilters (almost) have no limits and can even be booked for locations like airports or chain stores.  

Targeting within Snapchat

Beyond standardized user information and extended client data, targeting within Snapchat is also possible. Users can be addressed with ads on base of diverse targeting possibilities, such as location, age, gender, device, carrier, content and discover channels. However, very specific targeting can be hindering, because branding campaigns need a high reach, which can be lost by targeting too narrow.

Promotional advantages of using Snapchat

The advantage of advertisement on Snapchat is obvious: the 100 percent vertical full screen layout calls major attention. In addition, the interactive Sponsored Lenses and Sponsored Geofilter generate a high engagement rate and increase the dwell time. That way, users indirectly engage with a brand for a significant amount of time. A company profile with constant (and extensive) content placement is not needed, to realize effective paid advertising on Snapchat. But whoever wants to grow their Snapchat community and expand their paid advertising content by placing native advertising, will not be able to avoid a company profile on Snapchat.

Through the Discover area, Snapchat is launching editorial content, which can also be booked as advertisement. Ads within the Discover area are shown “brand-safe” and in a German speaking environment. The advertiser books an environment that he knows and therefor can be sure, that his ad won’t be shown within insinuating, political incorrect or otherwise unfitting snaps. Bookings for the Discover area of Vice and SPIEGEL Online can be directly placed via the relevant Discover publisher or via a partner like esome advertising.

Quo vadis - the future of Snapchat in advertising

Snap Ads, Sponsored Lenses and Sponsored Geofilters offer the possibility to select a diversity of advertising formats, through which a young audience can be reached. Formats are constantly developing and the US is currently testing new formats like Sponsored World and Audience Lenses. Other advertising formats, like e.g. Sponsored Live Stories are already on the starting blocks in Germany. Besides that, there might be advertising shows, which are particularly developed for Snapchat – Supposedly a deal between Snapchat and Time Warner already exists.

The numerous advertising possibilities illustrate that Snapchat is promotional relevant. The platform offers advertisers the chance to call attention to their brands and enthuse users through simple, playful filters and ads. The interactive formats boost the identification of users with the brand. These formats can also positively influence buying decisions and build or confirm a positive brand image.

Considering the promising future of Snapchat, it will be worth it, to look at this platform from the (prospective) customer’s point of view, to familiarize oneself with the features and to identify the additional benefit Snapchat provides within the digital media plan.  


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