Snapchat Ads Are Underpriced

Most advertising professionals (headline readers) will tell you, “Snapchat is struggling, user growth is slowing and demographics are too young. For those reasons, it is not a good advertising play.”

They’re not practitioners. For EXACTLY those reasons, Snapchat is incentivizing advertisers by pricing impressions cheaper than many other platforms. Savvy marketers should be jumping all over this underpriced attention.

snapchat ads manager screenshot 2017-10-18
Screenshot from Snapchat Ads Manager 11/08/17

For just about any combination of targeting parameters (geography, demographics, audiences, placements, devices), the CPM is in the $2.50 – $3.00 range. Take that Facebook! On top of pricing, we see fantastic engagement rates with clients – proving to be a very cost-efficient and effective awareness tactic.

Before running Snapchat Ad campaigns with clients, we discuss the following strategies and KPI’s:

  1. Authentic wins – the more we can make videos not look like ads, the better they will do. We include branding and messaging, but strategically utilizing video that looks like it was shot on a cell phone and not produced by a creative team will pay off in our swipe ups and total watch time.
  2. Total Watch Time – I mentioned CPM as a price comparison metric with other digital platforms, but we also measure the Total Watch Time of our ad. This includes the users time on the snap and the time after a user has swiped up. We measure so that we can calculate how engaging a video is (cost/attention). The experience on Snapchat is unique to other platforms, seeing how long people engage with the ad tells us a lot about how well it’s resonating with the audience. It’s essential to develop a baseline for this to measure creative iterations. Total Watch Time is a necessary metric for Ad Optimization (tweaks that create the most positive impact by expanding the audience and content that are working).
  3. Ads are skippable, but they’re also looping – This is an important feature for Snapchat ads and the Total Watch Time metric. One user can be watching our ad over and over. It’s important to consider this if ever we compare watch time to other video tactics view through rates.
  4. The objective is attention – quite often we look at various advertising platforms and place direct-response expectations in the KPI’s. While you can run website traffic and app install campaigns on Snapchat, it’s best as an awareness vehicle. We should set our expectations toward objectives on the Awareness and Engagement levels of the Customer Acquisition Funnel.

There are a couple of catches to Snapchat Ads that may affect small business owners:

  • Minimum spend per day is $50 (compared to Facebook and Twitter $1/day).
  • The audience is primarily under the age of 3o.

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.