Mobile-only Social Platform, Snapchat is rapidly-growing, and it will surely only be a matter of time until it is monetised and used as a marketing tool… surely?!
In that whimsical moment when one has the penchant to send a 10 second image to someone you haven’t spoken to in 6 months of a lamb tagine and couscous dinner… Then, as if a ray of sunshine on a mildly cloudy day, Snapchat came along and our lifelong ambitions have been filled.
Sharing momentary imagery such as this has always been the purpose of the messaging app, yet it has been the cause of an outrageous amount of attention, to the extent it is becoming one of the largest and fastest-growing social networks on mobile devices. Its reach has now amassed to an estimated 100 million users every month, when given it was established in 2011 is incredibly impressive statistics.
Perhaps this is why the App has become increasingly pressurised into facilitating a marketing space for businesses.
“Never be used as an Advertising stream”
CEO and co-founder of Snapchat, Evan Spiegel, has previously spoken out against such a scenario, boldly claiming the platform will never be used as an advertising stream, as it is designed solely around the user. Yet since such comments were made, the social network has begun to feature marketing campaigns on their App. DOH!
To begin with, Snapchat designed a video function known as “live stories”, allowing users at the same event to share images and videos from their viewpoint, thus collating a large montage for others to view. The story itself could be based on a plethora of things, from a sporting event to a music concert; or even more importantly, around a brand event. This has encouraged further speculation, with the idea of live streaming being another advertising stream accessible through the App.
As well as this as a form of advertisement, the App has developed a “Discover Page”, a page purely dedicated to brands (exceptionally wealthy brands as shall be discussed shortly). Here companies can pay for 1 days’ worth of advertisement, where it is in the hands of the user as to whether or not to view it. These brands are carefully picked, as Snapchat’s audience is of key concern for all decisions made by Spiegel and co.
The company has claimed that 60% of the users (which equates to around 60 million people) are between the age demographic 13-34. For this reason, the companies blessed with the chance of marketing on the Discover Page must reflect the target audience’s desires. Thus, such early adopters included Comedy Central, Peoples Magazine and others of similar demographic.
They do, however, have to pay a phenomenal fee. For one day worth of advertising, ending promptly at midnight, the firms would have had to pay either $100 per 1000 views, or in excess of $750,000, extensively more expensive than Snapchat’s competitors YouTube and Hulu. The price has since been reduced to $20 per 1000 views, a change announced this very month (May 2015).
Given that this age demographic is one of the most elusive, often moving throughout the internet like a ninja in a library, Snapchat is an ideal platform to regularly reach them. Possibly this is a reason for the willingness by large companies to pay such extortionate fees, even though viewing figures for Discover Page ads significantly fell once the novelty wore off.
For smaller firms, such as ourselves, the option is far from removed. We at clockworkTalent, and most others within the Digital Marketing industry, would relish in the opportunity to access this 13-34 age demographic, with the Digital Age bringing in fresh young talent at a fantastic rate.
Advertising through Snapchat is almost an impossibility, with the only real chance presented in creating an account like any other user and adding as many contact as one can. The likeliness of this working is slim, and it would be extremely time consuming.
So then, Snapchat only attract the big fish, and they are really big fish. Thankfully the other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are challenging the App, presenting their own ways to adequately access images and videos (Instagram, Periscope, Vine, etc.) For now, Snapchat can remain exclusive, although a future change would be very much welcome. It may see businesses saturate the App with advertising, but the potential ROI could be extraordinary.