Snapchat may be known for its disappearing acts, but it’s definitely here to stay.
Its appeal, in particular to brands, is twofold. Snapchat has dynamic photo and video filters that can fully immerse users with a brand. Secondly, Snapchat has quite the fan base among younger people.
For those unfamiliar with the media sharing app, here’s a quick rundown on how it works:
At its core, Snapchat allows users to interact with one another with temporary messages comprised of photos, videos, text and those wildly popular filters (one, for example, will transform you into Disney-like princess or, a Taco Bell taco, which we will discuss later). The snaps self destruct soon after being viewed. But it also offers a messaging application and a story function, perhaps most relevant to a marketing apparatus because this setting allows for broader viewership, media consumption and interaction.
Even Instagram has taken notice as this week it rolled out its own version of the story feature.
“With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about over-posting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want. You can bring your story to life in new ways with text and drawing tools. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed,” Instagram wrote on its blog.
How does this make money?
Let’s preface this portion by saying that the Snapchat ad model is relatively new.
Unlike Google or Facebook, companies that collect data based on internet search or social media behavior to output targeting advertising, Snapchat embarks on a different trail.
In 2016, Snapchat is expected to earn $350 million, according to The New York Times. The haul is dependent upon ad campaigns with user interaction as its mission. In other words, Snapchat is betting that users will want to interact with brands rather than other traditional modes of online advertising. Anyone who has played around with Snapchat knows full well of its visual allure.
One such way for users to interact with a company or brand is through Snapchat stickers. Snapchat stickers let users adorn their own pictures and videos with the products’ branding. The theory is that action is far more interactive than watching a handpicked video ad on YouTube or Facebook. Most agree.
How did we get here?
Companies gravitated toward Snapchat because the social media app was trendy, fresh and had stratospherically risen as the fastest-growing social media platform in the world.
Advertisers were unconvinced, however, when Snapchat opened its doors to them because the ad platform was mostly untested, raising questions about its ability to reach potential clients. You know, how do we even target clients? How will an ad that vanishes into thin air even work? Snapchat has addressed those concerns.
Then there’s its numeric force: Snapchat has 150 million daily users, including close to half of the country’s population from ages 18 to 34. In addition, big companies, including media powerhouses, already have a strong presence on the site.
What does the future hold?
As we mentioned, the Snapchat ad business is new.
Taco Bell was an early adopter. For Cinco de Mayo, Taco Bell created a Snapchat lens that graphically allowed people to transform their heads into tacos. The campaign cost $750,000 and the ad pulled in a whopping 224,000,000 views in one day, the highest viewed add ever on Snapchat.
Last week, Tiffany & Co., launched a Snapchat ad campaign with a lens featuring its logo and flying hearts. Users can utilize these stamps to decorate their snaps. They, of course, can then share their creation on their story for the masses to see.
With Snapchat’s rise and Instagram now on board with this type of digital advertising, what the future holds depends on how rosy of a lens brands have.