According to recent reporting from eMarketer, people aren’t exactly loving advertisers’ efforts on Snapchat and Instagram. Users may see plenty of ads on the platforms, but that doesn’t mean they’re engaging. Even where more engagement is happening, analyzing the ads’ impact isn’t all that easy for advertisers.
Today we’ll look at users’ general feelings toward ads on the two photo-sharing app giants, and talk about how advertisers can use each platform more effectively.
Response to Snapchat and Instagram Ads is Tepid at Best
More than one source has highlighted the lack of resonance Snapchat’s ads have with users. According to a survey conducted by Fluent, 69 percent of more than 3,000 participating Snapchat users reported skipping ads either “always” or “often.” Among those aged 18 to 24, that rate jumps to 80 percent.
In general, Snapchat users don’t spend a lot of time with branded content, with 61 percent not following news organizations, 50 percent not following sports and 57 percent not following entertainment outlets.
Similar findings on ad resonance came from a financial analyst’s survey of 1,000 Snapchat users. Business Insider reports that 64 percent of participants to hardly ever click on Snapchat ads, and only 5 percent click on ads once a week.
While sponsored filters and lenses may get better engagement, eMarketer principal analyst Cathy Boyle isn’t sure that’s great news for advertisers (see link in intro):
“Sponsored geofilters and sponsored lenses are harder to scale, and the measurement metrics used to gauge performance are different than standard display or video ad measurement metrics. That makes it tricky to gauge their effectiveness compared with other ad formats.”
In a conversation with an anonymous advertiser, AdAge learned that average views of video ads on Snapchat are less than three seconds long.
However, in the same article, AdAge brings up the idea that it’s in Snapchat users’ nature to move on quickly, so creatives have to work harder to capture longer video ad views (more on this in the next section).
Snapchat’s rival, Instagram, doesn’t fare much better when it comes to ads. In a survey commissioned by AdWeek, Survata found that more than 50 percent of Instagram users either rarely notice or outright “hate” Instagram ads (with Snapchat catching similar levels of distaste and apathy).
Further, the majority of users (as many as 74 percent) don’t even remember any specific ads on either platform.
How Advertisers Can Increase Ad Resonance
Despite users’ general dislike for Snapchat and Instagram ads, we know the two apps are significant contributors to the digital ad market, and forecasted to grow their revenues in the coming year.
How can advertisers get in on this growth with ads that users will actually view and click on? We’ve gathered a few ideas to get you started.
According to an L2 report, advertisers using Snapchat should keep three major points in mind:
- Reach consumers by promoting your Snapchat account across other social platforms while maintaining a consistent posting strategy.
- Combat its young audience’s ad blocking abilities by creating ads specifically for Snapchat, rather than simply repurposing ads made for TV and other platforms.
- Focus on driving awareness rather than sales with Snapchat, as advertising ROI measurements are uncertain and experimentation is the best you can do.
Hootsuite’s AdEspresso created a side-by-side comparison of Instagram and Snapchat, and included tips for marketing with each. Let’s explore them a little further.
Advertising on Instagram
Because it’s so closely linked to Facebook, Instagram provides a way to create seamless advertising integration and experiences for consumers. The hashtags are great for targeting, and the filters make it simple to showcase a beautiful image. Finally, Instagram’s public engagement is good for momentum on social media in general.
Now that Instagram has an ad platform and third-party analytics, advertisers can get more focused with their creative efforts.
Advertising on Snapchat
Snapchat is fast-moving and informal, and ads only need to be seconds long to suit the pace of its young users. This makes Snapchat an ideal place to create a sense of urgency, such as for limited-time sales and anything else you might want to target at users in their teens and early 20s.
Snapchat Filters and Lenses
Earlier we mentioned the potential of Snapchat’s filters and lenses. Geofilters are overlays that reflect the geographic locations of users without specifying exact location. Advertisers can use them for events, locations and promotions.
Sponsored lenses take selfies to a new level. Users can play with advertisers’ lenses to make themselves look like a character or as if they’re wearing a costume, then share it in a Snap or story on their personal feed.
Snapchat and Instagram ads might not carry anything close to the weight of Facebook or Google ads, but they definitely have a place in digital advertising. Work to make your efforts with the apps resonate with their younger audiences, and stay in the game during 2017 and beyond.