Snapchat Has Grown Up: What You Need to Know as a Marketer

Business.com / Social Media / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Snapchat is changing, which is making it a great place for marketers. This article provides some guidance on getting started.

Snapchat is a social media app you’ve likely dismissed as a marketing and SEO tool in the past.

Messages are extremely temporary and it caters to an extremely niche audience.

But the news that Snapchat had turned down a multi-billion dollar acquisition offer from Facebook turned some heads. If Facebook was so interested in it, then surely there is more to this than meets the eye?

Snapchat has become a viable marketing platform. Ads have been rolled out to Snapchat and it’s not an ideal way to reach new audiences.

This guide is going to show you what you need to know about Snapchat as a marketer.

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The Only Way to Hit a Young Audience

The 13 to 34-year-old age demographic is notoriously difficult to target. And with 60 percent of U.S. citizens in this demographic using Snapchat, this is the undisputed champion when it comes to advertising to a younger market. It’s no surprise to see that Facebook wanted it.

The problem businesses have with this demographic is that they are more likely to be using ad blockers, and even if you can get an ad through to them the concept of ad blindness usually means they completely overlook what you’re saying.

Unique and Trendy Content

The concept of ad blindness mentioned in the previous section is a serious issue for companies. They can have a perfectly optimized ad and people will keep scrolling because their brains aren’t registering it.

Years of intrusive advertising has taught people to ignore ads entirely.

Snapchat realizes this is a problem, and so they have come up with unique and trendy content. For example, the fact that vertical videos have been introduced, or the fact that they disappear after 24 hours creates a sense of urgency.

What seems like a drawback to the traditional marketer is actually of great benefit.

Snapchat is Against Intrusive Ads

Evan Spiegel, the 25-year-old leader of Snapchat, is opposed to most forms of online advertising. Only now has he decided to invest in Snapchat advertising because his investors have demanded that he find a way to monetize the platform.

At first, the online marketer may see Spiegel as an opponent of their goals. In reality, he is the type of person who is relevant to their goals.

By opting for non-intrusive forms of advertising, he is making sure that you are not going to inadvertently drive your young audience away, as has happened with Facebook over the years.

Related Article: Keeping Up: The Craziest Social Media Stats from 2015

Advertising Just Got Affordable

To start with, Snapchat used to ask big brands to pay upwards of $750,000 to appear in live feeds, and this form of advertising didn’t come with any form of analytics. It was a pretty raw deal for anyone interested in Snapchat advertising.

The social media network has responded to this feedback and while advertising continues to be expensive, it’s now more in line with other social media networks.

Improved Targeting

Snapchat used to adhere to the idea that it was wrong to target users specifically. But it’s grown up and pulled back because of the need to monetize.

The latest information coming out of Business Insider is that enhanced targeting on Snapchat is now a reality.

Marketers can target users based on location, age, gender, and device, among other things. This certainly isn’t what marketers would call advanced, but it’s a step in the right direction and it makes it viable.

What the 2016 Presidential Election Showed

Snapchat has become a fixture in the 2016 presidential election. Just recently candidates have been live chatting on Republican debates.

With figures like Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders using the platform in their campaigns, it’s suddenly become a platform to get young users interested.

For marketers, it’s a chance to use real-time marketing on a young demographic.

It’s an example of the platform’s desire to associate itself with real-time and mainstream events.

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Conclusion

Snapchat used to be entirely opposed to all forms of online marketing. It used to be the case where it wanted to keep its platform free of ads.

But marketing forces and the will of investors have intervened to make it a necessity that marketing options are offered to brands.

Snapchat has grown up and it’s now time to get interested in what they have to offer. It may be less effective at this stage, but all the signs point toward Snapchat stepping in line with the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

Marketers that get involved with the network now are going to have a major start on their competitors.

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