Snapchat is a bit like the Mesut Özil of social media apps. It arrived on the scene surrounded by some serious hype. It offers incredible potential. And yet somehow it’s found itself languishing on the sidelines.
Just like Özil fell out of favour at Arsenal, Snapchat hasn’t been advertised on by 76% of ad execs, according to a study by the Canadian bank RBC.
That seems like a waste. We’d almost go as far to say it feels like our duty to outline why Snapchat has an important role to play. While we’re at it, we’ll discuss some of its exciting features and the audiences sports brands can reach through a smart approach.
Here’s why getting creative on Snapchat can have your brand playing in the Premier League, rather than sitting sullenly on the bench.
Snapchat has almost 200 million active users. It’s the most popular app among Gen Z consumers in the US. It’s also the second most popular among this group in the UK, according to new research from AppAnnie.
That means it offers a powerful combination of scale and targeting. Snap CEO Evan Spiegel has speculated that the platform’s young audience is one of the reasons it’s not more popular with older ad execs. This audience is also one of the reasons why it should be.
Snapchat offers one of the simplest ways to communicate your brand’s youth-focused messaging and campaigns to a large yet well-targeted audience.
It’s also worth noting that this large youth audience isn’t easy to reach on other platforms. Previous AppAnnie research found that 77% of Snapchat’s daily users in the UK cannot be reached on Twitter on a given day, while 44% of these users aren’t active on Facebook.
Overlooking Snapchat means missing out on the opportunity to deliver targeted campaigns to a large, distinct and valuable youth audience.
Amplifying the brand experience with AR
Snapchat also offers the chance to provide engaging brand experiences, with augmented reality (AR) its key differentiator. Around 250 million AR snaps are shared on the platform daily. This means the opportunity to allow young consumers to overlay sports clothing or footwear on to their own pictures – and to swipe up on these AR posts to buy items if they like what they see.
Alongside quirky graphics and shoppable interactive products, brands are using AR on Snapchat to allow consumers to place 3D items into photo footage of the real world, as well as play games with gestures and facial movements.
Sports brands are finding smart ways to invite their target audiences to share their photos with friends mocked up in their team’s colours. For the NBA, this has involved allowing fans to walk the official NBA floor or create content wearing their favourite team’s gear.
Other brands might want to allow fans to test how well they work the cricket helmet or gum shield look. These features aren’t just more engaging than most brand interactions, but also innately shareable, helping brands reach larger audiences.
Tapping existing appetite for sport
Snapchat has already recognised that its audience engages with sports, both from a creative tools and content perspective.
This has resulted in partnerships with the NBA and NFL in the US. Some of Europe’s top football clubs, including Manchester City and Real Madrid, are also producing content on its Highlight Shows feature.
That’s clearly significant for sports brands, offering the opportunity to reach audiences when they’re already engaging with relevant content and at their most receptive.
A sound investment
We’ve already warned you that only psychopaths scroll through Facebook with their sound on. Fortunately, with Snapchat, sound is more likely to be on. Around 60% of users watch Snapchat video ads with volume up. It makes sense to create ads that still work with sound off. But, for those campaigns that really come into their own with sound, Snapchat should take priority over Facebook.
Native stores offer permanent presence
Snapchat has also become more brand-friendly through its creation of native stores. These allow brands to create a permanent home on the app and sell products directly to consumers.
Brands should enjoy a greater return on their interactive content campaigns when these can live on within dedicated storefronts on the app.
Snapchat rolled out dynamic ads globally last year, allowing advertisers to create ads and reach people in real-time.
These ads adjust according to the product catalogue, pricing and availability of the brand and are shown to Snapchat users based on their interests.
Adidas was among the first brands to take advantage of the new format and boosted its return on ad spend by 52% as a result.
Meanwhile, research from MediaScience has found that a Snap ad offers more than twice the lift in purchase intent offered by other social platforms.
In short, Snapchat can be a way to reach a huge, valuable and distinct audience, through more engaging campaigns that make use of quality animation and AR technology.
That sounds less like the Özil being shipped out on a free transfer, and more like the Özil who chips the goalkeeper and leaves two defenders splayed out on the pitch before calmly slotting home.