For the latest marketing news and trends on top Snapchatters, Instagrammers, bloggers, & YouTubers, subscribe to our industry digest newsletter!
Snapchat, the disappearing video and photo messaging app valued at $16 billion, continues to enthral millennial audiences and confound other demographics. Bloomberg’s recent Snapchat feature “How Snapchat Built A Business By Confusing Olds” reports on both Snapchat’s runaway success (100 million people checked Snapchat each day over Super Bowl weekend), and it’s user-unfriendly nature (as compared to longer established messaging platforms, Facebook and Twitter).
While certain aspects of Snapchat remain puzzling and unknown to many (e.g. Snapcash), its timely success with both audiences and brands is evident. As one of the top 3 downloaded U.S. apps of 2015 for photo and video, Snapchat’s purported 200 million users create over 500 million Snapchat “stories” (at 10 seconds each, that’s equivalent to 158 years of video content daily). Currently, Snapchat’s native advertising option “Discover” provides brand Snapchat channels for 20 well-recognized names and publishers including BuzzFeed, Mashable, WSJ, and Tastemade.
For other brands and companies seeking to leverage Snapchat’s marked strengths, many are partnering with top Snapchat influencers to reach millions of engaged users who tune in multiple times each day to watch the latest news from their favorite social media star. Story views for top Snapchat influencers and channels like DJ Khaled can range up to 3 or 4 million. Here are 5 critical Snapchat takeaways CMOs and advertiser must note and understand in 2016:
At the start of 2016, Snapchat trailed Facebook with video views. Now, just a few short months later Snapchat has caught up with the social network giant in terms of daily video views (Fortune). With only 200 million active users (vs. Facebook’s 1 billion), Snapchat’s user base and audiences are voraciously on the platform and creating prodigious amounts of content. It’s important to note that Facebook and Snapchat both count video views differently. While Facebook auto-plays videos and counts views after 3 seconds (with differing screen size percentages for mobile vs. desktop), Snapchat’s videos are full-screen and counted instantaneously since the viewer must manually select each video to play (Recode).
At present, many traditional advertisers fault Snapchat for the lack of marketing metrics, API access, and marketing metrics commonly available on more longstanding social channels (e.g. Facebook, YouTube, and increasingly, Instagram) however just last week, Snapchat partnered with Neilsen to provide third-party verification for their video ads. Neilsen, the leading measurement standard for consumers and consumer behavior across TV and digital, lends substantial credibility to Snapchat’s advertising efforts and offerings. While Digiday reports on possible Snapchat API development, partnering with Neilsen is a momentous move that signals Snapchat’s seriousness in laying the infrastructure for further advertising offerings.
With Snapchat reaching 11% of the entire U.S. population, perhaps Snapchat’s single most impressive feat is its massive popularity with Millennials. According to comScore’s U.S. Census, “more than 60% of U.S. Millennial smartphone users are Snapchatters.” There are a variety of reasons why Millennials are adopting Snapchat as one of their favorite and most-used apps. According to Millennials surveyed by Business Insider, many of the video messaging app’s most engaged users keep in touch with close friends by sending fun captioned Snaps and “Snap art,” and the opportunity to rewatch Snaps on each user’s Story. Ultimately, Snapchat’s innate ephemeral nature (all content disappears after 24 hours unless it’s downloaded prior to expiration) may be a major factor in Snapchat’s Millennial popularity where vanishing/expiring pics, messages, and videos demand recurring attention and engagement.
As marketers struggle to capture the attention of Millennial audiences (many who spend more than 500% more on Millennials than all other demographics combined), marketing on Snapchat with top social media stars may hold the key to reaching scores of previously untapped and hard-to-reach demographics. Compared to high-polish TV advertisements or display ads, content created on Snapchat is raw with minimal opportunity for editing and deliberation. As such, users enjoy the authenticity of material created and shared on Snapchat.
In 2014, Adweek detailed how top Snapchat influencers make up to $100K each week for their brand-sponsored Snaps. While this figure may seem exorbitant, it is comparable to other top social media influencers on Instagram (Instagrammers) and Vine (Viners or Vine stars). For brands and companies seeking to be relevant, top of mind, and successful at messaging audiences online, marketing with Snapchat influencers creates advertising opportunities seldom found elsewhere and on other social platforms.
In a quantitative study by Newscred, the content marketing software company discovered that an overwhelmingly large percentage of Snapchat’s users (nearly 55%) use the app on a daily basis. Additionally, a large majority of Snapchat’s users (55%) rarely or never view its native advertising “branded” features. For brands, this is an important distinction to note — in order to effectively market to Snapchat’s audience, brands must partner with top Snapchat influencers (via Snapchat takeovers) in order leverage high views to each influencer’s Snap story. See how consumers are truly using Snapchat here from Newscred’s infographic: