The early verdict is in: people don’t mind Snapchat ads. In fact, they actually kind of like them. And brands? They like ’em quite a bit too.
After launching advertising options in October 2014, Snapchat partnered with Millward Brown Digital to provide analysis around the first six ad campaigns featured on the platform. The analysis looked at overall effectiveness of the ads. In one case, Universal found that its sponsored Brand Stories led to a 13% increase in ticket sales for the movies it was promoting.
Among Snapchat users, 44% of Brand Story viewers and 60% of Our Stories viewers said they enjoyed the ads. (We’ll get into the difference in a bit.) These numbers are particularly high considering only 17% of consumers have said they’re okay with ads on their smartphones.
Why is this? Well, it’s pretty simple: Snapchat ads are well received because they are minimally intrusive. They’re opt-in. They aren’t forced down your throat. They live within a user’s Recent Updates feed and blend in casually with updates from friends. If a user wants to view the ad, they can click on it. If not, that’s okay too; it’ll be gone within 24 hours like any other Story. There is a choice involved, and that alone is a lot easier to deal with than a pop-up ad or something interrupting regular usage of the app.
So now that Snapchat didn’t crash and burn after introducing ads, should your brand be participating? It’s important to first be sure it’s a platform your audience uses. I bring up ‘research’ all the time, but it’s that important. Snapchat tends to cater to a younger demographic and will often lend itself more to consumer-focused brands, like retail, sports, food, etc. People use it to share fun, impermanent experiences. If it turns out Snapchat would be the perfect fit for your company, there are two current ad options:
- Brand Story Ads: Brand Story ads mirror regular Snapchat Stories. These ads can be up to 20 seconds long and feature both video and photos. They appear alongside regular user Stories and are marked as sponsored.
- Our Stories Ads: these ads are made up of user-submitted photo and video that together form an over-arching look at particular events. For example, the Super Bowl could run this type of ad that featured content from NFL fans at the game. Advertisers are also able to contribute their own content within the Story. Overall, it’s a cool way to get your fans involved. These ads appear underneath standard Stories in its own section.
If advertising simply isn’t in the budget for your brand at the moment (and rumor has it you need a big budget to advertise on Snapchat), don’t let that stop you from using the platform. There are numerous ways you can use Snapchat to promote for free. (Get introduced to it all here.) However, you’ll have to build your audience on your own versus having Snapchat insert it into users’ updated feeds.
Will Snapchat ads always be opt-in? Who knows. At the end of the day, every company needs to make money, and Snapchat could adjust its model in ways that generate more revenue. But for now, it’s a serious place to consider promoting your brand if the shoe fits.
Senior Marketing Analyst