Snapchat isn't the new kid on the block anymore, but it's still the youngest of the four major social players fighting for ad dollars. And while it might not attract the largest share of social spend, many of its advertisers are reaping the benefits of the less-crowded, low-cost platform. eMarketer's Tricia Carr spoke with Arielle Vogelstein, growth principal at ride-sharing app Via, about why Snapchat advertising is the right choice for the company, and why it plans to spend more on the platform.
As an advertiser, what draws you to Snapchat?
Snapchat is unique because it hasn't become as saturated as Facebook, so we see a significantly lower CPM as not every advertiser has adopted the platform.
We've experienced a high level of engagement on Snapchat, because—again—the platform is not as heavily saturated as Facebook, and our ad frequency there is much higher. For example, Snapchat users might see Via ads four times on the platform vs. only once on Facebook, so they begin to recognize, pay attention to and interact with the content that's being served.
What is your primary objective with Snapchat advertising?
Our first goal is to optimize toward mobile app installs and encourage users to download our app. Further down the funnel, we want to evaluate the performance of each campaign and unlock new riders.
Snapchat recently rolled out an in-app "Events" feature in Beta, and we'll be testing that to see how it supports our goal of driving mobile app purchases.
Snapchat users might see Via ads four times on the platform vs. only once on Facebook, so they begin to recognize, pay attention to and interact with the content that's being served.
How would you describe Snapchat's self-serve ad manager?
Snapchat did a great job of building off of the easy-to-use qualities that Facebook's ad manager feature is known for, so as a result, adoption is simple for digital marketers who want to make the shift or add it into their marketing mix.
But I'd like to see some improvements with launching new creative on the platform, as the process is still quite manual and does not support standard-size ad units.
Do you plan to increase your spend on Snapchat advertising in 2019?
Via continues to increase its spend on Snapchat because we believe in the channel, it's working well for us, and we are expanding to new markets globally that require an additional spend.
What else signals the platform's advertising potential?
Relevant to the size of its audience, Snapchat is underutilized, and they only added the ability to run self-serve ads about a year ago, so there is significant opportunity for that part of their business to expand.
Also, because of Facebook and Instagram's increasing advertising costs, as well as Instagram Stories' rising CPMs in 2018, we will likely see a shift to other platforms that can serve quality ads for a manageable price.