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Snapchat isn’t the new kid on the block anymore, and brands are taking notice. Companies across industries are using Snapchat organically, but many are also investing in the platform’s slew of ad products, including video ads, lenses and geofilters. In this roundtable, six brand marketers and agency executives share their experiences using Snapchat with eMarketer.
How has your brand used Snapchat so far?
“Whether it be Snap Ads, Filters or Lenses, we’ve used the totality of Snapchat’s ad products. We’ve even used Snapcodes, which we currently have on millions of Gatorade bottles as a part of our summer promotion. We’ve used their ad products with decent success thus far.”
—Kenny Mitchell, Head of Consumer Engagement, Gatorade
“We held a Snap contest to find an opening act for our Destination: Red Rocks music event. Six bands competed, and the performances were cut into six ads that encouraged users to swipe up, visit Southwest.fm, watch the full performance and vote for an opener. There’s this perception that people won’t swipe up on Snapchat, but we saw that this wasn’t the case. We actually had high swipe-up rates.”
—Bethany Evans, Marketing Communications Manager, Southwest Airlines
“Snapchat is a key platform that plays a role in what we call the trial part of our media mix, where we run shorter experimental activations. So far, the ads are delivering against the benchmarks we have set—otherwise it would no longer be part of our mix.”
—Antonio Sciuto, CMO, Nestlé Waters North America
How effective is Snapchat advertising compared with other platforms, such as Facebook or Twitter?
“There’s a degree of flexibility across Snapchat’s full ad product suite that advertisers don’t get on other platforms. From augmented reality to mobile web links, to what brands can do with Filters and Snapcodes, their products are infinitely flexible. It drives brands to get creative about determining what they can execute with them.”
“We’ve seen good swipe-up rates for our ads on Snapchat, but people are not as used to swiping up as they are to other types of ad engagements. There’s a great deal of familiarity with Facebook video ads, for example, so if a brand’s objective is to get people to click through, they’ll do it because they’re comfortable. Plus, Facebook gives advertisers the capability to target consumers in different ways. Snapchat is not as sophisticated yet.”
“Facebook and Instagram have repeatedly mimicked Snapchat’s creative functionalities, which has created an interesting dynamic in the space. Until recently, Snapchat’s advertising tools were centered on reach and engagement, but with the expansion of Snap Ad video inventory, improved targeting capabilities and the introduction of new ad formats, there’s now a real opportunity to use fun, snappy branded Stories to drive lift in intent, consideration, foot traffic and sales.”
—Jessica Fini, Social Media Manager, American Honda Motor Co.
“The biggest difference is the way these platforms are integrating ads into their video programming. Facebook’s nonskippable mid-roll ads reaffirm its attempt to capture users’ attention when they are already in a video watching mindset. Snapchat’s video programming emphasizes the platform’s differentiating factors—short, engaging and visually appealing ads that are mixed in with similar videos from users’ friends. Twitter’s video programming most mirrors that of TV, allowing advertisers to buy a guaranteed volume or percentage of impressions during live events aired on Twitter.”
—Todd Silverstein, US Head of Performance Marketing, Edelman
What obstacles does Snapchat still face? What does the platform need to do to attract advertisers?
“Reporting within Snapchat leaves a lot to be desired. We’re able to get particular metrics if we ask for them, but they’re not readily available and benchmarks are not broken out by industry or vertical, which is really important to a lot of our clients.
“Views are also defined differently on Snapchat than on other platforms. On Snapchat, a view requires an interaction with the ad like a swipe-up or a tap, whereas on other platforms, a 3-second completion counts as a view. This becomes an issue when dealing with a large media budget.”
—Liz Cole, Vice President and Director of Social Strategy, DigitasLBi
“One of the major challenges Snapchat faces now is maintaining some semblance of unique functionality that keeps people—both users and advertisers—from opting for Instagram instead. Snap is still a platform we are working on, but we are also looking at ways to expand our presence on Instagram Stories.”
Interviews conducted by Maria Minsker and Tricia Carr between May 23, 2017, and July 12, 2017.
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