On October 17, 2014 Snapchat made the announcement: advertising was coming to Snapchat. Snapchat has been rapidly growing and changing to keep the attention of its audience. It was only a day or two later that the first Snapchat ad was seen by Snapchat users.
And while it is not a regular thing as of yet, over the next few weeks we will begin to see it take off.
For businesses, this is another platform that allows for them to reach and engage customers. And it is definitely very different from your average social media page or visual content platform, like Pinterest or Instagram.
How Do "Snapvertisements" Work?
Similar to any snapchat one might send to a friend, a sponsored snapchat will appear in the stories section of the app. It will be marked as Sponsored, just as ads are marked on Facebook or Pinterest. This gives the user the ability to distinguish snapvertisements from a friend's snapchat. It also gives the user a choice: to watch or not to watch?
The snapvertisements, just like any regular snapchat, disappear forever after one viewing. This lends itself to a less obnoxious form of advertising. It simply blends in with any user's friend's Snapchats, without interrupting the conversations being held on this platform.
The unusual thing about these Snapvertisments is that they are not targeted, unlike just about any other social media promoted content out there. In fact, Snapchat specifically stated in their advertising announcement that they want to deliver a "fun and informative" ad experience, "the way ads used to be, before they got creepy and targeted." This implies that there will be no targeted advertising, which in some ways may be a loss for both users and companies attempting to advertise.
On the other hand, it is important to understand the demographics of Snapchat, which is dominated by older teenagers and millennials. This should then be considered the Snapvertisments target audience by any business who decides to take on Snapchat ads.
The Continued Rise of Visual Content
We've been watching visual content grow for over a year now. And its definitely not stopping anytime soon. Content marketing should already be an important part of your online marketing strategy, but this is not limited to just plain copy, but also to visual content. Visual content tends to have a higher engagement rate, and with Snapchat as a platform the content must be visual: either images or videos that will capture the attention of the user long enough to keep them from removing their finger from the screen.
Snapchat is a highly interactive form of visual content, because it requires engagement from the viewer. They must keep their finger on the screen to see the full Snapchat. Using Snapchat to build your brand requires a focus on keeping it short and snappy (no pun intended).
What Snapchat Advertising Means for Businesses
Snapchat advertising, while it may not be in your future as a company just yet, does put an added pressure on businesses to generate visual content that conveys a story or information about a product or service. Engagement is key as we continue to see shorter and shorter attention spans.
These older teenagers and millennials are masters at blocking out obnoxious ads, so perhaps Snapchat's less creepy and intrusive ad experience will open new ways to engage this tricky demographic.
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