Snapchat added some key new features to its app. The features are already rolled out globally. The new features are titled “Paperclip”, “Backdrops”, and “Voice Filters”. Below is a video tutorial from TechCrunch on how to use them. Here’s an explanation of the new creative tools:
Paperclip: Paperclip lets you attach a website to a Snap that friends can swipe up to open in Snapchat’s internal browser. Previously only ad campaigns and Discover content could include links. Just tap the Paperclip button in the Vertical Toolkit and enter your link. Snap will use its own automated trust and safety tools, as well as information from Google’s Safe Browsing service, to warn users about potential phishing scams, malware or other dangerous sites.
Backdrops: Backdrops allow you to cut out an object from your Snap and put a colorful or artsy pattern behind it to make it stick out. First tap the Scissors in the Vertical Toolkit and then the Backdrop icon. Trace around the object, select one of the Backdrop designs that rotate daily, and you’ll be able give a certain part of your snap the spotlight.
Voice Filters: Voice Filters let you remix the sound of voices in your Snaps. Previously, voice filters were only part of visual augmented reality lenses. Now you can tap the speaker icon at the bottom of the screen and select from a range of character voices to give your Snaps some extra humor or style.
We’re really excited for these new features. The enhanced ability to storytell on the platform will be fun for users and brands alike.
How long before Instagram copies these new Snapchat features? We give it a month :).
In other news, Snapchat just said that every minute, geofilters are viewed over 1.5 million times by message and Story viewers. That equals 2.16 billion views per day. Crazy numbers!
Snapchat just introduced “Snap Maps”, and the new feature looks pretty cool. Here is the intro video:
According to Snap’s blog, they said “We’ve built a whole new way to explore the world! See what’s happening, find your friends, and get inspired to go on an adventure!”
Snap Maps let you share your current location with your friends. Your friends can then see what you’re doing in real time and, if they’re near you, join in on the fun.
Snap PR said that there will not be ads running in Stories seen through Snap Maps.
Refinery29 got early access to the feature. “In a lot of ways, we’re taking what a map is and turning it upside down,” Jack Brody, a product designer at Snap, told Refinery29. “This map isn’t about where am I, it’s about where are my friends and what are they up to? It’s not about figuring out how to get to your destination, but about discovering where you want to go.”
New Data Shows Instagram Stories’ Incredible Growth
Delmondo, a social media analytics firm, released new data around Instagram and Snapchat Stories. Instagram Stories now has 250 million daily active users, up from 200 million in April.
During the month of June, Snapchat Stories (according to Delmondo) saw a decline of 50 percent in average unique views per story from the same period in 2016. Delmondo analyzed 50,000 Snapchat Stories from brands, influencers, and publishers to acquire this data.
Image courtesy of TechCrunch
Things are still looking up for Snapchat, though. They are playing the long game, and pushing original content. Just this week they announced a $100 Million deal with Time Warner for a 2 year partnership centered around HBO and Turner content. Time Warner is committing to creating around 10 original shows for Snap.
All that being said, Instagram Stories is obviously growing incredibly fast and should be a focus for all social media marketers. Instagram also just added a new feature to Stories. Now, when creating Live video on Instagram Stories, you’ll have the option to share it on your story for 24 hours, instead of just letting it disappear immediately.
Snapchat just announced it is offering advertisers a viewability score that’s designed to offer transparency into whether or not video advertisements on the platform warrant chargeable impressions. The viewability score will be validated by a third party firmed named Moat. It will become available to everyone on June 5th.
The official guidelines state that greater than 50% of an ad’s pixels and at least 2 seconds should be viewable by the users.
Snap Ads Max Reach
Snapchat also has been pitching advertisers on ways to reach everyone in the United States who views a Story on a given day. This new Snap Ads format is called “Max Reach”. It’s an ad-buying option that is the equivalent to a homepage takeover on a traditional website. Snapchat’s version guarantees that the Max Reach Snap Ad will be served to everyone in the United States who is shown an ad on a given day. So basically, every single person in the U.S. that uses Snapchat that day would see your advertisement.
The new Max Reach advertising offering is currently only available in the United States. With this addition, Snapchat now offers three different ‘takeover-style’ ad units that can be served nationwide: the Max Reach ad, a nationwide Sponsored Geofilter, and nationwide Sponsored Lenses.
Discover Partners & Audience Growth
Snapchat has also recently touted its ability to help publishers and large brands increase and accelerate their audience growth. Here’s some data they just released:
This data shows publishers/brands that were also Snapchat Discover partners saw a large increase on other platforms as well.
Discover partners have reported fantastic results. Mashable’s CEO Pete Cashmore recently said: “Snapchat is our biggest revenue source on distributed platforms…It’s very profitable for us because it’s a huge audience and it’s an audience that we can’t reach elsewhere.”
The last part of that statement is HUGE – “…an audience that we can’t reach elsewhere.” That is the beauty of Snapchat that brands and advertisers need to better understand if they’re going to truly succeed on the platform.
Snapchat’s Loyal & Exclusive Users
A new report released by App Annie, based on app usage in Q4 of 2016, found that 35% of Snapchat’s daily users in the United States don’t use Facebook on a given day. The report also said that 46% of Snapchat’s daily users aren’t on Instagram on a given day, and 58% can’t be reached by Facebook Messenger. Here are the statistics broken down:
The statistics are also similar in the United Kingdom, according to the report. We would have to assume that the data is similar in other countries as well.
What does all this mean? In this economy, time is money. Advertisers and marketers need to put their money where users spend their time, and Snapchat is the most important app for many, many people.
Similar Audiences for Search Gives Advertisers Powerful New Targeting Capabilities
Google just rolled out Similar Audiences for Search and Customer Match for Shopping Adwords campaigns. This new feature can be extremely powerful for advertisers and produce greater ROIs for campaigns across the board.
The Similar Audiences feature can be built from past website visitors. Similar Audiences looks at data about your existing website audiences and seeks out new and qualified customers whose interests/habits match your audience. By utilizing this new feature, you can reach much larger audiences and drive cheaper clicks and conversions.
Google released internal data from beta tests of this program, and said that by using Similar Audiences, advertisers typically see:
60% more impressions
48% more clicks
41% more conversions
The Similar Audiences feature can be set up to be automated and based off remarketing tags and visitors to your product categories.
There is also an update to the Customer Match targeting for Shopping campaigns. Google allows you to, if you so choose, increase the bids by 25% for people who visited your site in the last month, or show different ads to visitors who have added items to your shopping cart but not purchased.
Two years ago, Extra Gum released a new commercial on television. It was a 30-second spot titled “Extra Gum: The Story of Sarah and Juan”. If you haven’t seen it by now, watch it below. It was and is amazing and beautiful.
That is the 30-second TV version. They did a great job with it. They used American Idol star Haley Reinhart for the song. They promoted it heavily. But it didn’t catch. Extra Gum’s sales were decreasing leading up to the commercial’s release. The decline continued throughout the fall. This happened for seven months. The company was scrambling to figure out the issue. So what did they decide to do? They released the full version of the commercial on social media. The full version is two minutes long. Watch it below, then read what happened next…
So they released the full commercial on social media, and it absolutely blew up. The YouTube video has been viewed almost 20 million times. On Facebook? A few hundred million!!!
When Extra Gum released the full version of the commercial on social media, it allowed the company to tell the whole story. The 2-minute spot is a lot more compelling and emotional than the 30-second spot. Social media is inherently shareable. We all know this. You can’t do anything with a TV commercial. On social, you can share it with everyone, tag your friends, Snap it, and more. And you can take action and buy the product right away too, since you’ve already got your device in hand. In terms of the actual video, it’s no surprise to me that the 2 minute version did better than the 30 second version. It shows what happens when you try to cram 2 minutes of story into 30 seconds–it doesn’t resonate! They had the footage. They had extra scenes they had to cut out. Why couldn’t they release a longer version right off the bat?
I recently wrote how TV advertising dollars are shifting towards Snapchat Ads. This is a trend that’s not going to stop. It makes more sense to advertise on social media. It’s more trackable. It’s more effective. It’s more targeted. Better ROI. On and on and on.
Advertising on Snapchat is more effective, and a better long (and short) term strategy, than advertising on TV. I will convincingly make the case in this article.
TV Advertising – A Dying Breed
Television commercials have long been the holy grail for advertisers. Largest reach, highest engagement, cheapest cost per view, etc. But that has changed. The majority of TV viewers now record/DVR their shows for later use. Research by YouGov and Deloitte pegs the number at 86%. 86% of viewers always fast-forward through adverts! The exception? Live sporting events (and occasionally local newscasts).
Advertisers are clamoring to be a part of live sporting events in any way possible. That’s the best ROI for TV advertising now, and it’s only going to get more expensive as more brands realize this. The bids are increasing every year. For example, a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl in 2010? $3 million. A 30-second spot during Super Bowl 2015? $5 million. That’s a 66% cost increase in just five years, and that’s excluding the costs of video production.
Here’s the thing, though: When the commercials come on during live sporting events (or any other live TV programming for that matter), what do viewers do? Sit back and enjoy the steady stream of commercials? No. They pull out their phones. They check Snapchat. They browse Instagram. They wish their friend a happy birthday on Facebook and browse click-bait articles. They tweet reactions to the game. They check Snapchat and send filtered doggy faces to all their friends. That’s what people do. That’s where they spend their time. Their eyes are focused on the little screen in their hands instead of the big one where your advertisement plays. That small screen is where you need to be as a brand. Still need to be convinced? Here is some data…
Data to Support Why Snapchat is Better Than TV
Here’s a few points on how Snapchat sets itself apart from its competitors as a social media platform, why it’s greater than TV for ads, and why it’s an advertiser’s dream:
Two-thirds of video snaps are watched with the audio on. That’s a HUGE difference from Facebook. It was recently reported that 85% of Facebook video ads are watched with the audio off.
Snapchat has a unique daily reach of 41% of 18-34 year olds in the U.S., compared with only 6% on TV (according to a Nielsen study in February).
Snapchat has over 100 million daily active users (while Bloomberg estimates that number to be 150 million).
Snapchatters watch over 10 billion videos per day, which is an increase of over 350% in the last year alone.
Snap Ads have an engagement rate 5X higher than the average click-through rate of other social platforms.
A National, Sponsored Geofilter on Snapchat reaches 40% to 60% of daily Snapchatters (Taco Bell’s recent Cinco de Mayo Snapchat filter had 224 million views in one day! Gatorade also had a sponsored lens that got 165 million views).
Advertising is a battle for eyeballs, and Snapchat has our attention. Average monthly minutes per user spent on the platform is second only to Facebook among social networks. On TV, or on any other social platform, users hate ads. On Snapchat, users play with the ads. Think about that for a second! Users not only tolerate ads on Snapchat, but they enjoy, engage, and play with them!
What Makes Snapchat Unique for an Advertiser?
Snapchat is a unique platform, and it can be tricky to navigate as an advertiser if you’re unfamiliar with how it works and what types of posts, filters, and lenses work best. Snapchat, by the nature of its disappearing content, creates a sense of urgency that encourages users to take action quickly. This is a crucial aspect of the platform. Some brands view this as a detriment. I view it as a benefit. The 10-second max duration allows the ad spot (or the marketing campaign) to be direct and cuts to the chase. As a result, it allows for more testing to find the best ad creation and targeting combinations.
An important note: there is little competition from other brands and advertisers right now (only ~1% of advertisers are using Snapchat). But that is changing quickly. According to recent research from eMarketer, 22% of media buyers plan to spend on Snapchat this year, compared to only 4% on Facebook and Twitter.
How to Advertise on Snapchat
Learning how to effectively advertise on Snapchat needs to be its own post (I’ll tackle that next week). There are various options (in order of cost):
Snapchat Discover (the most expensive – starts at $50,000)
Sponsored Nationwide Geofilters
Sponsored Local Geofilters (the least expensive – starts at $5)
Another way to advertise on Snapchat is by teaming up with influencers. There are thousands of influencers on Snapchat that you can hire to create and distribute content for your brand. Some of these influencers get millions of views on every snap they send! I would recommend calculating the cost per average engagement before hiring an influencer, as well as verifying that their following fits your demographic. We would recommend using Microfluencers, who oftentimes can get you a better ROI on your money.
The space here is heating up. Just last week the head of marketing at Wendy’s said “I have taken TV dollars and put them into Snapchat”. Stay tuned :).
In January 2017, Snapchat announced that one of their proprietary “shows” on their platform, Sweet, gets 16 million monthly viewers. Keep an eye on this space and Snapchat’s continued focus on their content creation and distribution.
Update on March 16, 2017: Adidas announced it will no longer be advertising on TV, and that it’s going all digital now. It has begun!
The Line Between Paid & Organic Search Disappears…
Just a couple weeks ago Google made another change to their “Ad” label for paid results in the SERPs. The new label has a thin green border on a white background. To the naked eye, many people will miss this label. It’s almost transparent. These labels are pervasive across mobile and desktop, iOS and Android.
This is yet another expansion in Google’s never-ending quest to own the search engine results pages. In some results, you will not see an organic listing above the fold. Take a look at the image below from Search Engine Land. The image shows the same results across different devices. As you can see, no organic results.
How Long Has This Been Happening?
Well, I’m glad you asked :). This evolution started in 2005. But take a look at the image below. The ads now look almost identical to organic results.
What Does This Mean For You?
Now more than ever, your paid and organic strategies need to be buttoned up. Ongoing Adwords testing (along with landing page design and CRO) is crucial. And, of course, you need to do SEO the right way.
Speaking of SEO, take a look at the image below from @chrisgreen87 on Twitter. The image shows how much the rankings fluctuate after page one. HINT: It’s a lot.
Pinterest Introduces Search Ads for Keywords and Shopping Campaigns
Great news for social advertisers: Pinterest officially debuts search ads for keyword targeting and shopping campaigns. The advertising option is currently available to Pinterest ad partners and with any company that advertises through the Kenshoo marketing platform.
Pinterest has been looking to beef up its ad offerings for a while now, and this is a HUGE step in that direction. The social media platform has been building more products to capture every aspect of a consumer’s buying behavior. Pinterest has always done well pitching marketers on their ads, since their users often come to discover new products to buy anyway. But with this introduction of search ads, it has potential to become the go-to ad platform for ecommerce-related social ads.
Adding search ads gives Pinterest the ability to tap into another part of that buying behavior — searching with the intent of a purchase (whether the consumer realizes it or not). This also opens the door for search volume. If Pinterest releases search volume data to advertisers, it would be absolutely fantastic.
Google obviously currently dominates the search landscape. But Pinterest sees around 2 billion searches a month from its 150 million active users. Search ads are ripe for disruption, and it’ll be very interesting to see how this evolves over time. When Pinterest is compared to Google Images, Pinterest outperforms it handily.
As our society continues to evolve from a technological standpoint, and our interaction with images/video/augmented reality continues to increase, Pinterest is becoming a greater threat to Google.