Snapchat just announced today that their own Self-Service platform will be open to the public starting in July. This announcement comes a little over a month after Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc.’s IPO. In a strong move to dip into the market share of social media advertising, the company is now offering their self-service platform to every marketer, large and small.

What Does This Mean?

Prior to this announcement, marketers were only allowed to buy directly from the Snapchat sales team or through a designated partner. The process was relatively hands-off. Snapchat would handle all aspects of the campaigns, from pacing to optimizations, and provide reports to the marketer. The platform was available exclusively to a handful of advertisers and at egregiously expensive minimums ($400k/day for some Lenses). Now, like most digital advertising platforms, Snapchat will be available to anyone that wants to purchase ads on the platform by simply using a credit card.

How Will This Impact Advertisers?

The impact of advertisers is big, to say the least. Clients now have yet another relevant channel to reach their audience in a high impact way. It’s also a great way to extend your audience to the younger demographic. According to Snapchat, there are over 60 million daily active Snapchatters in the US and Canada alone. It is a great way for advertisers to really get creative with their messaging and their content. They also have a really interesting group of ad products in their arsenal.

Snap Ads

Snap ads are your basic :10 video ads that placed subtlety in between Snap Stories. The unique thing about these ads is that the user experience is very fluid. Most of the time, users don’t even realize it is an ad until the product logo appears in the video. The best part about this ad product is that it is full screen and sound on. If we compare it to Facebook, you notice that all ads on Facebook are within the newsfeed. On Snapchat the user gets a fullscreen ad display in full resolution and the sound on, unlike other similar ad products which can be noisy and distracting. No noise, no distractions. This is a big plus for Snapchat.

Sponsored Lenses

Everyone who has Snapchat has experienced their lenses and their sponsored lenses. This ad product allows advertisers the rare opportunity to not only allow users to engage with their product but engage with them in their own creative way. Users can share videos and pictures with their own followers and engage in this way. A great example of when to utilize sponsored lenses would be for an announcement of an exclusive or seasonal product. Whether it may be Starbucks Unicorn frappes or an upcoming movie.

Sponsored Geofilters

Last and certainly not least is Sponsored Geofilters. Geofilters provide a unique experience that can be used in many different ways. It could be used at the national, state, city, zip levels. It can also be used for special events. Similar to lenses, this is a great way to share social experiences with people that you don’t know. Twitter has hashtags, Snapchat has filters.

What Is The Impact On Advertisers, Agencies, And Other Social Platforms?

The impact of Snapchat is contingent on a lot of things. Advertisers will definitely want to explore the option of getting their brand on Snapchat. Advertisers are constantly looking for new avenues to reach new users in unique ways. Snapchat definitely provides that for them. The question will be whether their performance will meet expectations. It is still too early to tell, especially since they are going up against advertising juggernauts like Facebook and Google.

Another big question is whether they can steal market share. The initial effects might not be as drastic as one would think since most advertisers will want to test the waters with Snapchat. It has proven to do very well in verticals such as Fashion, Beauty, Entertainment and E-Commerce. They are also rolling out a bunch of different offerings which include Lead Generation, Mobile App Installs, and driving In-App engagement. If advertisers start to see efficiencies in Snapchat over Facebook or Google, the competition will have to adjust. Ads do look crisper on your nice shiny smartphone when the image takes up the entire screen.

For agencies, it just means we need to work a little bit harder. We need to be way more creative to meet the demand. Snapchat is a great channel for an advertiser to get creative and really engage with their audience, so this means that agencies need to be on the forefront. We need to test constantly and come up with ideas that will not only wow an advertiser, but a user as well.

How Will This Develop Over Time?

As stated earlier, it’s too early to tell. We can surely expect to see a big influx in advertisers spending money on Snapchat. I mean why not right? You reach a younger demographic (a demographic notoriously known for shopping and spending money) and you do it in a way that is unique from the other channels. If Snapchat does it right, I see them making a significant impact in the space and taking a nice chunk of market share. Remember, Twitter, in the beginning, was making a lot of money on their platform simply on the idea of “real-time communications.” Companies poured money onto the platform and the performance was there. Imagine what a channel like Snapchat can do with “real-time video communications.” So long as management keeps coming up with creative new ad products and a way for them to keep the momentum. No matter what, this news is a big deal and very exciting in the digital advertising space. Advertisers should already be thinking about how they can take advantage of this new channel.

Currently, Snapchat’s Self-Serve platform will be ready for public use sometime in July based on the announcement. The platform is closed to select advertisers in a limited beta. Agencies are granted access on a case to case basis and need to be given approval by Snapchat’s Account Management team. If interested, speak to you Paid Social team so they may speak to the Snapchat rep to request access when the time comes.

Other platforms like Facebook have already allowed marketers to take control over their ads. Learn how the San Antonio Spurs used Facebook Lead Ads to help fill their arena.

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