Snapchat’s Resurgence in the Advertiser Landscape

Photo Credit: Thought Catalog

Gen Z sparks renewed interest in alternative social channels.

Facebook and Google have dominated the online advertising space for over a decade, offering unparalleled targeting capabilities and extensive audience reach that companies actively seek. However, amidst escalating regulatory pressures, frequent algorithm changes, and political tensions, advertisers are exploring avenues to diversify their media mix. This strategic shift aims to mitigate risks in an increasingly unpredictable and volatile advertising landscape. Simultaneously, advertisers are responding to evolving consumer preferences and behaviours that are rooted in a desire for a more enjoyable and engaging advertising experience.

Acknowledging the challenges of the past few years, individuals are seeking avenues to rekindle hope and joy. Consequently, there has been a notable shift among younger audiences, towards platforms such as Snapchat, and TikTok. These platforms present intriguing alternatives to conventional digital ad formats. Generation Z, influenced by a heightened appreciation for relationships following a time marked by numerous lockdowns and restrictions, is a driving force behind this change. Notably, highly visual social media channels and camera apps have become key to maintaining those connections in a virtual world.

What first started as an ephemeral messaging app that offered teenagers a new way to take pictures (complete with highly interactive filters), Snapchat has grown into a $3.245 billion social platform in 2024, featuring content partnerships with giants like Disney, NBC Universal, Viacom CBS and the NBA. It’s currently home to 406 million daily active users and continues to push boundaries and drive interest with its in-app augmented reality (AR) features, a growing audience base, and increasingly efficient CPMs, making it a legitimate alternative advertising channel for businesses looking to capitalize on the growing spending power of Gen Z.

In 2021, Snapchat launched an Augmented Reality Lens, which allows brands to equip their snaps with animations and interactive triggers, making the ads more engaging and ultimately more likely to recall. They also launched Story Ads – ephemeral advertisements designed to show up in the app’s Discover feed. These ads are designed to play on consumers’ fear of missing out (or FOMO for short). And with audience targeting, the Discover feed is curated to target a specific audience in a way that resonates with them. Snapchat has also forged larger partnerships with brands like Ralph Lauren, the New York Times and NYC Professional Makeup to launch advertising that is targeted for their markets.

What advertising formats exist on Snapchat?

 

Single Image or Video Ads

Image or video ads appear in Stories or Spotlight as placements. This format works best for boosting awareness. Brands can add music, voiceovers, and text to make their ad stand out. On these ads, brands can integrate a CTA and link their website so when users swipe up, they’re directed to a specific landing page, encouraging them to take action. These ads also provide the opportunity to promote an app using a CTA while the ad plays. Users don’t have to leave Snapchat to install your app, so their experience isn’t disrupted.

 

Collection Ads

These ads feature four tiles that viewers can tap to see a selection of products. These ads work best to establish a seamless shopping journey that simplifies both browsing and purchasing.

 

Article
Businesses can promote an article or blog from the website using this ad format. This ad feature provides the opportunity to include text, auto-play videos and GIF’s directly within the ad. These ads appear within the Snapchat discover section of the app.

 

Commercial Ad
With long-form video on the rise, this ad format is the perfect solution for telling a compelling story. Standard commercial ads are 3 to 6 seconds while extended play commercial ads can be up to 180 seconds long, with the first 6 seconds being unskippable.

 

Dynamic Ads

This format uses catalogs, Snap Pixel or your mobile measurement partner to automate ad creation. Using data collected from the actions taken on your site or app, Snapchat creates personalized ads to show users based on your product catalogue.

 

Sponsored AR Lenses
This ad is one of the most commonly used formats on the app.  These interactive lenses can alter a user’s face and be personalized to promote a brand or campaign. Snapchat allows businesses to promote their brands using some of the most interactive and engaging ad formats on digital channels.  Because Snapchat’s ads are seamlessly integrated into its organic content, businesses can interact with users in a way that feels just like a regular Snapchat experience.

How do brands do it right? Here are some best practices for advertisers on Snapchat.

 

Make sure the ad format makes sense for your goals.
As outlined above, Snapchat offers many ad formats to help you achieve your business’ goals. Ensure you’re clear on what you’re looking to achieve and select the ad format that best matches that goal.

 

Capture attention quickly.
Remember that the Snapchat platform is designed to move quickly. Ensure that your product is front and centre and is included with the opening frame of the image or video within your ad.

 

Make your ads feel like they belong.
Snapchat has a unique look and feel. Content is bite-sized and linear, and your ads should be the same. Ads should not be longer than 5 or 6 seconds.  By mimicking the platform’s organic feel, you’re less likely to make users feel like they’re viewing intrusive content. It’s also important to note that UGC content typically gets viewed for a longer duration than longer, more polished ads.

 

Keep your messaging simple.
With only 5 or 6 seconds to deliver a message, it’s important to make it simple and easy to understand. The message should appear within the first 2 seconds of the ad.

 

Utilize sound whenever possible.
Unlike other social platforms, 64% of Snapchat content is viewed with the noise on.  Layer sound into your ad to make it more immersive and feel more like a typical piece of Snapchat content. With a large audience, a diverse mix of ad formats and the opportunity for advertisers to organically integrate into the platform, Snapchat is a fantastic option for advertisers looking to diversify and reach a younger audience.

Interested in getting reacquainted with Snapchat and the new generation using it? Get in touch today.

 

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