snapchat: why your audience isn’t converting into business

We’re going to cut right to the chase in this blog with a simple message to advertisers. Please, stop wasting your money and time with Snapchat!

Sound brash? Well, it might be the wake-up call we all need in an ever-evolving world of fast technology, blended user demographics, and most importantly increasingly elusive hard-to-reach audiences.

But why the boldness or the negativity, you ask?

Let’s take a look at the stats. Since its launch in 2011, Snapchat has reached an astronomical 100 million daily active users, sharing 8,796 photos per second. PER SECOND! And that’s not including video – video has surpassed 6 billion daily video views.
And with 71% of daily Snapchat users under 25 years old, you’re probably asking yourself “Why wouldn’t I use Snapchat as a vehicle to reach this demographic?” The good news is that you’re not alone.

The truth is that with such large engagement numbers, brands and businesses alike are flooding to the social platform hoping to build brand loyalty and awareness. And companies such as Dunkin Donuts, Samsung and Universal are receiving mixed results.
So, does big business advertising work on a platform which was designed for users to share user-generated content? And by such a young audience? If your gut instinct says no, then you’re probably right. There’s no proof that Snapchat users flocked to the platform to engage with mass-media and advertising-driven content.

And at a whopping $16 Billion evaluation yet hardly turning over a profit in 2015, Snapchat will need to start monetizing the app quickly in order to become a viable business model.
One of the big complaints from advertisers has been that Snapchat doesn’t offer ad targeting – due to Snapchat’s user “privacy conditions”. That’s the whole point of advertising, isn’t – to target specific users? So without generating content for a specific audience, Return on Investment becomes a reasonable issue for many businesses.

advertiise - fail snapchat 2

And Snapchat will have you believe that its app is a viable business model; that sexting isn’t Snapchat’s main appeal for teenagers. Really, Snapchat? Why don’t you ask your users, or better yet all the concerned parents around the world?

A Snapchat investor quotes: “The main appeal (and thus the importance) of Snapchat is about ephemeral messaging, and the desire to leave less digital tracks, with teenagers having watched the social over-sharing of the generation that came before them…”

Ephemeral messaging? What? How many teens or tweens even know what this word means, let alone use it in their vocabulary?

If this image makes you uncomfortable, then this is probably the reality check that businesses need when considering advertising on Snapchat. This is your Snapchat audience – is this who you are really trying to engage?

With Snapchat needing to validate its model and monetize it quickly, investors will continue to foam at the mouth, demanding more from its users and even more from potential advertisers willing to part ways with their cash. Advertisements may very well start flooding Snapchat, but it will also wash away their users with it.

Here’s my final thought: If your brand doesn’t speak directly to the teen or tween audience, then please don’t adopt Snapchat for the sake of it. Consider other advertising mediums or channels which reach your target audience, offer much higher engagement, and deliver better returns on investment.

Just because Snapchat is there, it doesn’t mean that you have to jump on the bandwagon. Because just as quickly as those photos and videos ‘disappear’, so too will your advertising dollars…

Mark Vella –


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