Snapchat Makes Play for SMBs with First-Ever Self-Serve Offering


Social Media Week

Snapchat wants to woo brands of all sizes, but are small businesses up to the challenge of creating short-form video content?

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Since launching its first ad product in 2014, Snapchat has been a platform that’s been mostly out of reach for small- to medium-sized brands lacking the big budgets needed to either pay for premium ad products (such as Discover ads and branded filters) or pay influencers to tout products on their behalf.

This is all changing with the announcement of Snapchat’s first-ever self-serve ad platform. The new offering democratizes the platform for brands of all sizes, opening up the gates to greater potential revenue through not just big budgets, but scale.

For context, the estimated cost of a sponsored filter is roughly or more than $500,000 per day, depending on the day. For holidays and special events, that number ticks closer to $1 million, or about the cost of a 20-second TV spot during the Grammy Awards. While these products have attracted ad dollars from some of the biggest brands in the world, the ability to open the platform up to all brands holds a great deal of promise.

The self-serve ads manager will allow all businesses to purchase ads and target them based on demographic data captured within Snapchat. TechCrunch’s Josh Constine points out that the update comes at a critical time for the newly-IPO’ed Snap, Inc. It hosts its first earnings call next week ahead of reports that user growth slowed 82 percent following the launch of Instagram Stories. As of April, Instagram Stories has more daily users than Snapchat.

As evidenced by Google’s bread-and-butter ad product, AdWords, and later, Facebook’s own self-serve product, opening up the flood gates to SMBs can prove to be a lucrative move for social platforms. That said, video presents a new and different challenge for the lion’s share of businesses that oftentimes do not have the talent or resources needed to create compelling video content. Put another way, it’s a heck of a lot easier to create a text-based Google ad or templatized Facebook ad than it is to deliver a piece of polished short-form video content.

Ad manager tools will roll out for everyone in the U.S., U.K, Canada, and in several European countries, among others, next month. Until then, Snapchat is testing with 20 beta businesses. Moreover, as SMBs gear up to give it a go, larger brands and their agencies are no doubt following the news closely as well, with some agency execs already saying that the platform makes Snapchat more competitive with Google and Facebook.

More insight on Snapchat from #SMWNYC

If you want to hear what marketing experts are predicting for Snapchat, you can read our article “20 Marketing Experts Predict the Future of Snapchat in 2017” on SMW News.

We also heard from Big Spaceship’s SVP of Social Media, Victor Pineiro, at #SMWNYC explore how teens’ relationships with top social platforms have shifted in recent years, and why Snapchat is so popular among teens. And if you want to learn more about Snapchat Discover, the GM of Sweet took the #SMWNYC stage to discuss his team’s process and thoughts on Snapchat and the Discover content experience.

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Katie Perry

Contributor, Social Media Week

Katie Perry is a marketing & content strategist and contributor to SMW News, a leading news platform covering startups, tech, brands and the future of work. You can follow Katie on Twitter at @katieeperry.



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