SnapChat Advertising for Canadian Businesses

Dane Interviews Mike about the Who, Why, Where, What & Sometimes How to make SnapChat a viable marketing channel.

I got very excited about Snap Inc’s new releases today. As a business owner, and an advertiser, I have been struggling to leverage my brand on Snapchat. Advertising on Snapchat has always been something I wished for, and for once my wishes came true!

Today I chat with Mike Blackmore, a Certified Google Expert, Facebook Automotive Advertising guru, and beta-tester of all things digital advertising. I am really excited about Snapchat’s new publisher and advertising tools, and I wanted to reach out to Mike to see what his first impressions are.

Snap advertising for business is an all new resource for advertisers. We kind of saw this coming, as soon as snap began allowing links to be attached to regular posts. How is Snapchat advertising different from other social media platforms, and why are you excited about it?

Mike: I am really excited about the clean UI. The targeting options are like a combination of Facebook & Twitter rolled into one except Snap has taken it to another level with DataLogix integrated directly into the dashboard for pin-point accuracy. The main difference so far is that you can collaborate with your creative team before launching a new campaign.

Advanced Layer Mode: Snap Publisher’s standard default mode consists of the tools you need to create a Snap Ad. It allows you to enhance or create a Top Snap by uploading and editing images, audio, and text. If you toggle to Advanced Layer Mode, you’ll be given more advanced editing tools to experiment with. Advanced Layer Mode allows you to view all of your Top Snap layers in timeline form and incorporate different keyframes and transitions!

Snapchat, as a social network, has received criticism for its user interface. Being nonlinear and gesture based has certainly turned some people off of the platform — especially considering a lot of Snapchat’s features are hidden. Do you find that the Ad manager and Publisher are familiar enough that regular Facebook and Instagram advertisers will quickly be able to grasp it?

Mike: I think you raise a great point, but I feel that most people will find it easier than Facebook Ads manager. The layout and dashboard are much more intuitive and not as clunky as Facebook. I think it was designed for the average user to be able to jump in and get a campaign going very quickly and efficiently.

Great, so the interface is super easy to use, but you stated that Snapchat has some very very specific targeting. This can tend to be a stumbling block for many new advertisers. If you don’t exactly know your audience or how to interpret correlative interests and lookalike audiences, are you kind of left on your own without a paddle? Also, what is DataLogix?

Mike: No they have provided a paddle for you by means of preset audiences that are industry specific, Datalogix is a consumer data collection company based in Denver, Colorado. Datalogix was purchased by Oracle back in Dec 2014. They also support lookalike audiences but not custom match as of the date this article was written.

Awesome! So, Snap has already collected information advertisers and businesses would spend months collecting, and give it to you (the advertiser) on a silver platter?

Mike: Precisely, and if you know your target audience there are a plethora of targeting options with their “DLX Advanced Demographics” and/or “Custom Audiences”.

So business owners familiar with standard targeting practices on other platforms will feel right at home! I understand that (in Canada at least) there is a minimum daily spend threshold. What are your thoughts on this?

Mike: My thoughts on the threshold is that it will make marketers put more thought into producing a quality campaign rather than other platforms where they just boost or sponsor less than stellar or engaging campaigns. It will also weed out smaller SMB’s in my opinion that cannot afford the $100/daily minimum spend. This may change in the near future as the platform is still so new.

Personally, I doubt they want to block revenue with a minimum spend threshold. I think that they know how much spend works for business to achieve a positive ROI. If that’s the case, and Snap is positioning themselves as business (Snap Consumer) first, will businesses begin jumping ship and spending more on the platform, or is there still a place for $5 facebook ads?

Mike: There will always be a place for the $5 Facebook ads in my opinion but Snap is certainly making this a lucrative platform for advertisers by protecting the customer experience (for now at least) this is how most digital ad platforms start out so it will be interesting to see once it gains the usage how it evolves.

Currently, it seems that bids-per-1000-impressions are remarkably low, with Snapchat recommending my agency bid $2.62 CDN. That is much cheaper per 1000-impressions than most other social platforms. Could Snapchats cost threshold contribute to this? Or is it because it’s so new, there are very few brands competing on bids? I don’t think it’s unlikely for brands — even tiny ones — to dominate Snapchat in their industry, whereas Facebook and Instagram are so popular that they have become victims of AdWords style bidding wars. What are your thoughts on this? Should business jump on while the gettin’ is good?

Mike: Early adopters always benefit from being on the platform early and are able to adapt easily with changes. The CPM will only increase from this day on, once the genie is out of the bottle there is no putting it back in. Supply — Demand! As more brands migrate budgets to SnapChat it will obviously drive the prices of inventory up with it. For now enjoy it while it lasts.

You mentioned earlier that creative departments can now work with the campaign managers in the new Snap ad manager. How exactly does that work? How does it differ from Facebook Instagram and Twitter?

Mike: You can easily add team members to your Snap Ads or Business Manager and they can pick up right where you left off. I am able to see what all team members are working on and I forgot to mention Snap Publisher is a great tool to get started creating ads in minutes by using ready to edit templates for each industry. The main difference is the UI, it is so much more visual when you login to the dashboard in comparison to Facebook and Twitter.

So far there are only 3 types of campaigns available (Raise Awareness, Increase consideration & Drive Traffic). I highly encourage you to use UTM tracking urls with your “Drive Traffic” campaigns so you can get a clear picture in Google Analytics.

What are the differences between these campaign variables? How are advertisers going to have to change their content to suit each campaign type?

Mike: These are similar to Facebook, Twitter & Google so I don’t think that it will be much of an adjustment for anyone that has used these platforms in the past. The main difference between the 3 campaign types are basically:

  1. Top of the funnel. (Raise Awareness)
  2. Middle of the funnel. (Increase Consideration)
  3. Bottom of the funnel. (Drive Traffic)

Snap also introduced a browser based video editor: Snap Publisher. Have you been able to spend anytime with it? How are you finding it to use?

Mike: I have used it and it is simply amazing for any in-house marketer or agency rep. You can get started in minutes by adding your logo, changing out some text and the background image. Ideal for getting your campaign up and running in minutes without having to worry about creative sizes etc. They are approved faster from what I am seeing early on.

Wow. It’s awesome to see that Snap is focusing on, and almost forcing businesses to create “Native Content.” Do you think that Snap advertising is going to be a breakout success, or is it going to heavily depend on the product / service being advertised? I noticed detailed age targeting only goes up to 35. Everyone older than that (Gen X and up) is lumped together.

Mike: I believe it will be a breakout success in the way that they have learned from predecessors such as Facebook, Google & LinkedIn to create what I believe to be a perfect balance of targeting and user experience. Like any other channel it will depend on the type of brands and creatives that are using Snap Ads.

I think the reason for them lumping the demographic into 35+ is simple in the sense of their platform usage, they have the data that backs up this type of audience. When dealing with “People” based targeting vs. “Cookie” based targeting the winner will always be “People” based.

So far, Canadian viewers have been viewing the likes of Wendy’s, McDonald’s and other Fortune 500 companies advertisements. You can be sure that these company’s have teams dedicated to creating well performing ads, for a platform that was designed to be skippable and the content intentionally fleeting. How are smaller marketers going to have to adjust their campaigns to work on a platform that encourages such short attention spans? Does the new business manager help them to do so?

Mike: You don’t need a dedicated team to work with Snap Ads or Business Manager, while it certainly helps for other reasons, it is not necessary. I could scale a full court press campaign and launch it easily all by myself in a single day.

I do think marketers have to look at this holistically and support other touch points they have working in their advertising strategy. Even more importantly I think you are going to have to produce high-level content to get engagement and ultimately conversions, but just because you are not running a 50 person marketing team doesn’t mean you can’t act like you are with the tools Snap provides. I would recommend crafting your ad ala Youtube Skippable ads where you front load your logo, message and CTA in the beginning of the ad.

What applications and/or industries (Small to Medium sized Businesses) do you see this being a real gamechanger for? My immediate thoughts were drawn to event planners, real estate, and tech oriented businesses like escape rooms and VR centers.

Mike: I can see a great synergy with anything VR related as the experience fully promotes that feature. I can see businesses (without the BIG budget for TV and Radio) being attracted to this for new product launches. Clothing & technology companies for sure would thrive here as well and of course anything food related.

What about analytics. All of this is well and good, but if I can’t track my ads it’s — quite frankly — worthless to me.

Mike: ROI is KING in any advertising and I think you can’t win what you can’t measure so that’s why it is critical to use UTM tracking parameters and ensure you are set up properly with Google Analytics. You also get full campaign analytics inside the Snap Ads Manager dashboard.

Does Snapchat Business Manager have its own analytics dashboard? UTM traffic parameters surely won’t work in-app for impression based goals.

Mike: You have to access this (see below) inside Ads Manager, you will see some KPI’s and Metrics for your current and past campaigns

Great I’m looking forward to exploring the content people begin developing. Do you have any examples to share with us, of work that inspired you or of your own?

Mike: We are currently working on a Jeep campaign for one of our clients and using the current 25% off MSRP creative to drive traffic to their landing page. I would recommend using a welcome message on the landing page like, “Glad you liked our Snap, we hope you like our Jeep Deals even more”. We are always looking at other ads on the platform to draw inspiration and I am excited to see how the industry embraces the new platform up here in Canada.

Yes I especially like the idea of custom landing pages. Do you have any other advice for advertisers on Snapchat?

As an early adopter get in there and play around with all the tools to get first to market with some of your campaign ideas, draw inspiration from the community and like any advertising make sure you are turning a positive ROI for your clients. This platform is not going to be a success for every brand and industry but neither was Facebook early on so make sure you don’t lose your shirt for a new shiny advertising object.

Remember if you suck offline, you will suck online, just faster!

Great! Thanks a lot Mike, as always it was great chatting with you!

To get started using Snap Ads today visit here: https://ads.snapchat.com/