Advertising is a lucrative venture for social media platforms, and for the brands that are able to utilise them effectively. With this in mind, channels are almost constantly thinking up new ways of making their site more attractive to advertisers and ensure companies can engage users on it. Snapchat advertising is starting to be at the front of this thinking. 

For businesses that are trying to keep on top of social media, it can seem daunting. The way that most platforms release new functions can be difficult to keep on top of and even more challenging to use effectively.

An evolving platform

Earlier this year, Snapchat gave advertisers the ability to collect data from its platform, a key first step for any website wanting to realise its marketing potential. Last year it released Snap Audience Match, allowing brands to upload their own data to help them better target users on the platform.

This activity shows that Snapchat wants to open itself up to advertising. It’s now a publicly trading company and with that comes a certain level of pressure to make much more money than it has been previously. Ads will be a massive part of this and it needs to be able to persuade businesses that it’s a valuable marketing platform. We are probably only seeing the surface of what Snapchat advertising is able to do.

Limitations

Snapchat still lacks the ability to be able to gather data itself. Instead, it relies on third-party companies to do this for them. With Facebook and Google being so incredibly dominant in the advertising sphere, it seems like this will be one of the steps Snapchat will need to take if it wants to compete.

There are also limitations when it comes to the outreach potential of Snapchat because of the way it’s designed. On Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, users can type in a name of a celebrity or someone they know and their username will come up in the results, regardless of what their actual username is and how close it may be to their name.

In contrast, Snapchat users need the know the person’s username, which isn’t always simple. This limits the potential of social influencer marketing for the platform and this could be a massive deterrent. One of the most valuable things about social media is that it allows people to get recommendations from people all over the world. If you limit the ease in which users can connect with each other, you are stunting their reach.

Should you invest?

There’s a lot of potential in Snapchat advertising and it’s very likely that it’ll become more sophisticated over the next 12 months. However, its limitations for advertising – including the short lifespan of its content – mean that it’s a risky investment for any brand. If you are a small business that is looking to invest more in social, look at the ways you can improve your offering on more mainstream platforms that have developed their marketing potential.

If you want to find out more about Snapchat and if it is something your business should be exploring, get in touch with Becky for a friendly chat!