Self-serve advertising tools are coming to Snapchat. Hallelujah!
When Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc., filed its initial public offering earlier this year, it was expected that the company would begin adding more business features to its Snapchat platform to entice small and medium sized businesses into spending money with the growing social media platform. Until now, companies that wanted to promote their products and services on Snapchat had to be willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on Snapchat’s premium ad products or purchase media through one of their preferred advertising partners, causing angst among those of us that wanted to test campaigns on small budgets before ramping up digital spend. However, in a recent announcement, it appears that Snapchat will finally give us media buying wizards our wish by releasing a whole set of fancy new tools geared at onboarding more businesses into the advertising platform….and in the end, making more money to appease Snap Inc. investors.
Snapchat’s new business suite comes in the form of a shiny new ad manager, which will let businesses purchase media, optimize campaigns, build reports, and analyze data on the go. The initial ad formats that will be available include app installs, sponsored geofilters, and full-screen video ads, giving new advertisers the ability to launch a myriad of campaigns depending on their core objectives. Existing targeting settings will complement goal-based bidding, allowing advertisers to optimize campaigns based on specific actions such as cost-per-install for mobile app campaigns. Are there any hidden fees or minimum required spends? Nope. The ads manager will be completely free to use, allowing the company to broaden its customer base and appeal to a wide range of advertisers. Welcome to 2015, Snapchat (better late than never).
The new mobile dashboard will have a suite of cool features, ranging from the ability to preview ads as a normal user, to viewing analytics and receiving campaign notifications directly from the app. Additionally, Snapchat will integrate a Business Manger feature, something Facebook advertisers have become accustomed to using over the past couple of years. The Business Manager will allow users to configure specific user roles, manage team members, update billing profiles, and most importantly, manage multiple accounts. At the moment there are 20 brands currently testing the new ads managers as part of a closed beta.
Bringing more affordable advertising solutions will enable Snapchat to further monetize its platform with a new assortment of advertisers. While the current advertising solutions available are sufficient for major brands, having to commit significant budgets or work through a dedicated partner are beyond the scope of small businesses. Introducing a self-serving advertising platform removes the barriers to entry for most companies and allows them to get a taste of how Snapchat ads perform for their marketing objectives. However, onboarding new clients will be the easy part. In order to sustain long-term growth, Snapchat will need to continuously integrate new features and develop innovative ad formats to keep up with other social media platforms. This is an interesting time for the rather young social media app. While it’s meteoric rise to the top was fueled by Stories, Facebook and Instagram have gone head first into replicating the feature on their apps. To remain competitive and avoid having a stagnating member base like Twitter, it will need to continue to innovate and bring new things to the table for businesses and users alike.