Snapchat: the next biggest advertising platform.

July 14, 2015

With a whopping 100 million users daily, Snapchat continues to make a prominent mark in the digital world of social media. Established in 2011, the app continually dominates app stores, and earned the title, “Fastest Growing Social App’ in 2014. What started as disappearing messages, stripped of any advertisement or promotional matter, is now a leader in market reach that’s causing Fortune 500 advertisers to bend over backwards. While innovation and access to a network of youth may sound appealing, is ten seconds of promotional fame worth the hefty $750K price tag?

It all comes down to brand. Brand image, brand identity, and how brave you are to test your consumers’ brand loyalty. Snapchat’s core user demographic consists of individuals between the ages of 17 and 24. For companies catering to this age range, Snapchat could be a worthwhile option, although the app does have a few shortcomings.

Most marketing campaigns are designed for consumers to view at very specific points in time, and Snapchat holds no control of when users decide to press down their finger. If your ad can be opened at odd hours of the night and spark the same consumer response, this form of advertising may be for you. Take GrubHub for example. As an early adopter of Snapchat’s advertising, the specific time that their ad is viewed has no effect on consumers’ responses. Using the story feature to post sequences of appetizing and tasty photos leads users to access promo codes for online food delivery. It doesn’t matter if GrubHub’s ad is seen at 3 in the morning, or at 3 in the afternoon. Discounted food always sounds good to an 18 year old, no matter the time.

Their advertisements are there, but GrubHub and an endless list of other companies have learned to dodge the immense $750K-per-day price tag. They simply created their own account, and began gaining their own followers. Yes, there’s a loophole to Snapchat advertising, and it’s free. Although market reach must be gained through efforts made on your own, it’s a much better alternative than pulling out your depleted wallet. Personal account advertising has upsides that may even outweigh the market reach gained from paid advertisements. Snapchat implements limits on paid ad lengths as well as content, yet these guidelines/limits are not enforced with personal accounts. Although, like GrubHub, you may have an immense amount of friends on the app, it is still considered a personal account; therefore, Snapchat cannot put limitations on your displayed content.

So your company’s consumer demographic mirrors Snapchat’s, and your advertisement delivery has no specific time frame. What’s next? To pay or not to pay, you decide.

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