Snapchat's Smart New Video Updates
Snapchat’s strong 2019 continues apace, with a flurry of video marketing updates just announced at Advertising Week New York.
After a troubled 2018, bogged down with product redesign issues, the ephemeral messaging app has bounced back well in 2019, with both growing usage and marketing revenue.
At Ad Week Snapchat announced several updates for marketers, including extending the length of all Snap Video Ads, more interactive features for campaigns and Goal-Based Bidding.
While TikTok has dominated marketing chatter over the past six months, for those wanting to reach younger demographics, Snapchat is currently a much better bet.
Locally Snapchat has around 5.8 million users in Australia and 1.1 million in New Zealand, with the lion’s share being under 35. According to the Snapchat ad planner.
Earlier this year, Snap CEO, Ev Spiegel claimed Snapchat was the best way to reach Gen Z:
‘We each more 13 to 24-year-olds than Facebook or Instagram in the United States, the U.K., France, Canada and Australia.’
Snapchat Gaining Traction On Social Video Campaigns
With Facebook and Instagram marketing costs continuing to escalate rapidly, Snapchat represents an appealing alternative for many organisations. Especially those skewing towards younger demographics.
David Shaw, head of international product marketing at Snapchat
“A big reason we’re growing budgets is down to the performance advertisers are seeing off the back of low cost per views and efficient cost per thousand for impressions.
It’s allowed us to play for budgets where we may not have been able to do in the past.
Social advertising has been a big pool we’ve pulled ad revenue from, but we’re also starting to see online video buyers become more willing to test Snapchat outside of the paid social space.”
While marketers locally have been sluggish in their uptake, brands in the UK are leaping on board to take advantage of good value opportunities, reports Digiday.
Increased Video Watch Time
Much like with social ads elsewhere, Snapchat Video Ads fit around existing content on the platform, within:
- User Stories
- Discover Screen (a bit like Instagram Explore for the unfamiliar)
- Commercials within premium Snapchat Shows (think TV advertising)
Previously, the maximum duration for Snapchat video ads was ten-seconds.
As of last week, Snap has significantly increased the maximum duration for all of its ads to 180-seconds. Keeping with the broader industry and also growing online video watch times. This increased video length will no doubt give the platform a shot in the arm.
Snapchat is a very different environment from other channels. Therefore, Snapchat video content requires quite a bit of editing to be channel appropriate. Rehashing Facebook or YouTube video doesn’t work well.
For many, the idea of putting lots of effort into such a short piece of content was off-putting; hence, the new extended video length will aid standardisation and help reduce production time.
On top of this, the jury is still very much out on the effectiveness of such short form mobile video.
According to Touchpoints ROI Tracker, mobile ads are least effective at driving recall among potential customers. Potential customers are 41% as likely to recall mobile ads as existing customers, whereas for TV ads this rises to 53%.
Also announced at Ad Week was a new bidding option to optimise for longer, 15-second Snapchat video views. Similar to Facebook ThruPlay and YouTube TrueView.
New Engagement Opportunities On Premium Video
In 2018 Snapchat began testing a new six-second unskippable video ad format called “Commercials” that run during a select number of the platform’s Shows.
Shows are the TV-like videos it rolled out in 2017 featuring premium content produced by networks and entertainment studios.
To help drive uptake of Commercials, which are similar to Facebook Watch ads in principle, Snapchat has added a direct response layer to what were just six-second ads.
Advertisers can now add swipe actions to their Commercial campaigns, just like users can do with standard ads on the app. Actions can range from letting users swipe up to access a web page, long-form video or camera attachment.
All in all, with a healthy user-base, cheap marketing opportunities and richer campaign features, Snapchat just keeps getting better and better.