Thursday, May 23, 2019

How mastering Snapchat can help your e-commerce clients thrive | Advertising Age

There are multiple social platforms that have changed the world of marketing. Among these, Snapchat may have the strongest potential. A few years ago, Snapchat, originally branded as Picaboo in 2011, became one of the hottest apps among millennials. Snapchat was simply a way to keep your friends entertained with a questionable selfie and a fun filter. Simple and unique in its short-lived content, Snapchat was loved by everyone.

It’s been four years since this app hit the media craze, and things have changed. A whopping 186 million people are using Snapchat every day, making it bigger than Twitter, which averages 126 million users per day. Although the majority of these users are females ranging from ages 13 to 34, the demographic is evolving. Why? Because Snapchat offers more today than it ever did in terms of entertainment, news and new features. 

Not only has there been a rapid growth in audience, but Snapchat is advancing and beginning to look a lot like its competitors in a few ways:

• The ability to implement pixels so marketers can track a customer's journey from start to finish.

• The power to bid toward your goals (e.g., views) and optimize for that goal at a lower cost by showing your ad to relevant Snapchatters.

• The availability of third-party data to target the appropriate customers.

As a Certified Snap Ads Partner and early adopter of the ad platform, we have helped pioneer profitable and scalable campaigns for a variety of e-commerce companies that were new to Snap as an ad platform and channel to acquire customers. In this article, I will share with you some of the key insights we’ve learned to leverage your clients' viewing potential and drive success on the platform.

1. Use strong creatives that resonate well with your audience.

For starters, it’s important to recognize the most important thing in marketing: the offer. In order to decide whether Snapchat is the right platform for your client, you have to understand what you’re selling. Is it the right fit for Snapchat? If so, who is going to buy the product? A strong creative targeted to that audience can get amazing performance.

Snapchat, for obvious reasons, has an audience of people who are looking to be entertained. Because you want these people to convert within a short window of time, the stronger the creative, the better. With that being said, creatives should also resonate with a younger audience. Three main formats that should be used are story ads, snap ads and collection ads. Once you determine your goals for your ad campaign, just choose one of these formats, and you’re set.

• Snap ads are a basic form of advertisement that simply showcases a video and encourages the user to swipe up and learn more. These ads then drive users to a website, app, video or even an app store.

• Story ads are a branded content experience where users can dive in and engage quickly. Similar to a newsfeed-style experience on other social media platforms, advertisers can place a feed ad in the "Discover" section inside of Snapchat, which will show as the user scrolls through their feed and is in the mindset of consuming organic content. When users tap on the ad, it opens up into a series of ads in one collection. This is an opportunity to use different filters and lenses to keep things interesting.

• Collection ads are a newer feature that allows advertisers to showcase a series of products in one go. If you haven’t seen one before, it’s basically a video ad with a series of smaller square ads featuring specific products at the bottom. This allows users to view a video and more in just one glance, making it a fun and flawless way to shop.

2. Create a mobile-focused landing page.

What differentiates Snapchat from other platforms? For one, Snapchat is a mobile-only platform. There are a few things to consider with this. First, people are in a discovery mindset, scrolling and tapping through content solely on their phones.

Once a user has viewed an ad with the option to scroll up and visit a website, the game has changed. The landing page needs to be mobile-optimized for the viewer. This means the load time should only take a few seconds, the user flow should be very direct, the call-to-action buttons should be front and center and, most importantly, the optimized checkout flow must be quick and efficient.

3. Optimize bids based on leading indicators.

To remain competitive, it's important to increase bids based on Snapchat’s predetermined days of increased traffic. I recommend increasing spend (and traffic volume) at least seven days prior to key dates and time frames where volume will matter to feed the algorithm with enough data points to ensure consistent delivery. Depending on what you’re willing to pay for, holidays such as Christmas, New Years and the all-important Black Friday can help significantly with your business.

Aside from using these practices, there are a few reasons why brands may want to consider using Snapchat:

• Less Competition: Pretty much every single brand out there has a social media presence on every platform. Although Snapchat is growing increasingly popular among brands, there is less competition than there is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

• New Audiences: If your brand is targeting younger generations, Snapchat is your golden ticket. Not only are millennials using Snapchat, but they are incredibly loyal. There are 191 million global users all over the world, and Snapchat ads have the potential to reach 75 percent of U.S. consumers aged 18 through 34.

As you can see, Snapchat offers a unique ability to build your brand in an authentic, entertaining and visually impactful way. Snapchat provides an opportunity you don’t want to pass on as a marketer and business owner. So, take that step, and discover Snapchat. 


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