Snapchat is making moves.
Major moves from Snapchat ensure that while its content might disappear, the platform is far from vanishing. Last week, the company rolled out its much anticipated Snapchat Partners program for advertisers.
Snapchat Partners is an API (application programming interface) that connects 20 large tech companies in a way that makes it easier for brands to buy ads and tell stories on the platform.
The new program is broken into two categories: Creative Partners, who help advertisers produce campaigns, and Ads Partners, who help advertisers optimize their ads and spend more effectively through targeting.
With Twitter recently announcing emoji-based targeting and Facebook selling off-site ads to target non-users… it only makes sense for Snapchat to claim their share of the market too. So why is Snapchat Partners notable for marketers in a time when almost every social channel is making updates to their ad offerings?
The Snapchat partners program is so much more than a move to secure revenue. It’s yet another sign that brands can’t ignore the role the app plays in marketing. Here are three reasons why:
1) Snapchat Is Rising To The Top
This release comes shortly after App Annie, an app analytics company, shared that Snapchat has officially outranked Instagram in total time spent on the platform by users.
Back in March, we talked about how this is the year Snapchat is going mainstream. Well, this is it. More than half (60%) of Snapchat users upload personal content each day, which is triple that of Instagram’s 20% participation rate. And 60% of U.S. smartphone owners between ages 13 – 34 now use Snapchat. eMarketer forecasts that Snapchat will grow 27% this year, with almost one in every five Americans using the app.
Brands and individuals are starting to leverage Snapchat for uses well beyond what we all anticipated a few years ago when disappearing photos first came on the scene:
– Earlier this summer, ecommerce company Everlane started accepting job applications through Snapchat.
– A few weeks ago, actress and influencer Andrea Russett released the first ever real-time Snapchat horror movie, “Sickhouse”, on her Snapchat account. Shot with iPhones over the course of five days, the horror film is downright scary “because it feels real.”
– Just yesterday, Michelle Obama joined Snapchat to share her work for the Let Girls Learn initiative, where she will be meeting with teen girls and learning how to improve their education.
As the app expands into vertical and horizontal markets, Snapchat marketing will become an increasingly powerful tool for marketers to connect with new audiences.
“Reaching users organically through Snapchat is a time consuming process, and it’s hard to prove ROI. Fortunately, Snapchat’s new On-Demand Geofilters allow businesses of all sizes to try Snapchat advertising for as little as five dollars. Now anyone can use geofilters to target local colleges, the food court at the mall, or even a competitor’s store.”
– Roy Harmon, Director of Marketing, Such Ads!
2) Expanding The Mobile Video Ad Space
Snapchat’s new API makes creating responsive mobile video ads really easy and highly accessible for marketers.
Aside from the Snapchat Partner program, Snapchat also announced a few additional ad updates:
Snap Ads Between Stories:
Ads are coming soon to a Live Stories feed near you. Snapchat will start playing ads between the end of one friend’s Story and the next.
Expandable “Snap Ads”:
Users can now swipe up on an ad to read more in an Instant Articles format or take action, like download an app or visit a landing page.
Advertisers can now use the API to programmatically buy new campaigns. Advertisers will be able to go through this interface directly, whereas in the past, they had to manually negotiate a deal with Snapchat.
Snapchat’s new ads are full screen and default to playing audio. This might be why advertisers like Taco Bell see up to 80% of users watch their ads in its entirety, as opposed to Facebook’s muted autoplay videos, of which only 15% are watched with sound.
Snapchat is also conscious of how the ad expansion can impact organic interactions on the platform, so they’ve made a promise to review every single ad to maintain quality.
3) Snapchat Partners Can Use Ad Types That Are Friendlier On The Wallet
Rumor says that Snapchat’s new API videos and Snap Ads Between Stories offerings will be less expensive than ads previously offered through the company.
This can help marketers newer to the Snapchat warm up to the platform’s ad offerings. The previously speculated price tag on Snapchat ads, is a CPM (cost-per-thousand-impression) rate between $40-60. Some brands even reported paying $750,000 a day.
“”We’ve been told that new buckets are actually being opened up for Snapchat specifically,” says Lance Neuhauser, CEO of 4C, an API partner with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and now Snapchat. “We’ve been told that there are new budgets raring to go,”
With Snapchat getting more serious about building a sustainable business model, these new updates will offer marketers more dynamic storytelling formats and access to a platform that’s popular among younger, more tech savvy audiences.
Ads won’t go live for another few weeks, so now’s the time to revisit the type of content that best engages your audience and consider whether it makes sense for you to experiment with the new ads. If not, you might still want to consider how you’ll adjust your Snapchat strategy around the new ad content on the platform. And at the very least, now’s your chance to test out filters, stickers and face swapping for the sake of “research.”
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