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Success tips from Snapchat

News, 21 March 2017

HOLLYWOOD, FL: Advertisers seeking to make an impact on Snapchat, the messaging app, should keep their content short, fast-paced and "hyper-visual", according to a leading executive from Snap Inc.

Imran Khan, the Chief Strategy Office at Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, discussed this topic at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB) 2017 Annual Leadership Meeting (ALM).

And based on insights from sources such as its "Discover" tool for publishers – which is used by leading media brands like CNN, BuzzFeed and ESPN – the messaging app has found that shorter audiovisual content is preferable.

"We learned what really works and what doesn't work. We learned that 55% of the mobile content is shorter than 30 seconds. The average snap is ten seconds," said Khan. (For more, read Warc's exclusive report: Tips and tricks of Snapchat audience engagement.)

"It's fast-paced, energetic, hyper-visual. It starts with [the] subject and then goes to the background. It's a successful model that works for advertisers as well as content providers, because advertising also is content."

One "common mistake" that is still frequently observable on the platform, he reported, is that "publishers and advertisers treat mobile like it's another television device. It's not," said Khan.

"If you want to reach the audience on mobile devices, you cannot take your television content and dump it on mobile. It just doesn't work."

One point of commonality with TV commercials, however, is that sound and motion have a powerful complementary role when it comes to securing attention.

"We found that an ad that plays with sound has higher recall," Khan revealed. "I like to call ad that plays without sound a 'moving banner'."

And sound is not a subtle add-on, the Snapchat strategist proposed: "It's something we feel very passionate about. We think it drives a higher return on investment for advertisers, and it's also good for the publishers."

For video, Snapchat has a further finding: namely, that a full-screen presentation is more engaging than partial screen. "Advertisers who use the full screen will bear higher a CPM," Khan said.

More tips for advertising on Snapchat are contained in Warc's free-to-access Guide to Advertising on Snapchat.

Data sourced from Warc