Did you notice it? Go check your Snapchat. I’ll wait.
Seemingly overnight, Snapchat added in advertising. The best part is that no one is complaining about it. It’s unintrusive. It’s, dare I say it, genius.
It was only a matter of time before marketers got their hands on the app; the only question was how would they advertise on it? It seems like they did the right thing. Snapchat, the photo/video sending app that sends 9 snaps per second, was the next big thing in the digital marketing world. It was unseen territory and widely unused. A report found that in 2014 only 1% of marketers used the app, but 58% of millennials that received a coupon from a company through Snapchat would likely purchase a product with that coupon. [¹] We first got a taste of things to come with the app’s addition of the “discover” feature in January 2015, and I’d say the feature was less than stellar. From conversations in my digital and social media marketing class (shout out to Mrs. Kemp) and my use of the app, I can only assume it wasn’t used widely. Most of the problem was the layout and the content. The marketers weren’t sure what their audience wanted to see and the discover page wasn’t the best to look at. The new addition not only adds pictures in an easy to look at layout, it also puts the ads above your friends’ stories. It’s definitely a more attention-grabbing, eye-catching style and a bold move. It’s paying off.
Re/code reported that ads are viewed almost 1 million times a day. [²] Brands like DailyMail, ESPN, and BuzzFeed are eating this up.
Companies are being forced to be more creative in their advertisements and engage with customers more and more. Some are doing fantastic in this aspect. Taco Bell uses Snapchat to give away coupons and make announcements for new menu items; Wet Seal gave its account to a 16-year-old girl for 2 days which resulted in an uptick of 9,000 new followers. We should be seeing more and more companies embracing these new techniques of marketing. Snapchat is a great tool to engage with customers, create a brand culture, and appear more human.
In the end, the new advertising is exciting. Social media is forcing companies to react to and engage with customers, and some interactions are gold. Brands are creating online personas and drawing in more business because of it. The future is here, and it’s only about 10 seconds long.