Snapchat launches self-serve ad manager

Category: Social Media Date: Thursday, 15 June 2017 23:17

First it was sponsored geofilters, and now Snapchat is working on launching a new self-serve Ad platform for its Snap ads product. There’s also a new Snapchat Mobile Dashboard and the Business Manager site for configuring the roles and permissions of team members. Snapchat was aware that lack of metrics was a major reason why many brands were hesitant to advertise on the platform, so this is a welcomed change. But first, let’s breakdown the capabilities of the three new Snap business tools:

  • Ad Manager Buy, manage, optimize and view reporting on campaigns for all Snap Ad types, including video, app install, long-form video and web view. Organise targeting capabilities, goal-based bidding for swipes or installs and assets like video creative, audience lists like emails and mobile IDs.
  • Snapchat Mobile Dashboard View and share ad creative as it will be seen by Snapchat users, review live campaign performance, edit, pause campaigns and receive notifications about key metrics from within the Snapchat app.
  • Business Manager Configure roles and permissions for ad team members, change billing contacts and manage different ad accounts.

According to several sources the new platform is expected to be timed to release to everyone in the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Australia and more, alongside the IAB’s Newfronts conference, in New York on May 1. Agencies have been pushing for a self-service tool for a long time and The self-serve ad manager will be free, which is a much needed improvement because until now, you could only buy Snap Ads through Snap’s sales team or third-party ad tools built on the Ads API that often charge a fee.

Snapchat recently went public and with a valuation of $20 billion-plus which it will seek to justify, so these changes come at a particularly important time. Snapchat wants the ad dollars of smaller businesses, not just giant brands and will focus on attracting a growing roster of advertisers and advertising dollars to fend off Instagram who are more aggressively than ever encroaching on its territory.  Broadening the range of advertisers it accepts could help Snapchat boost its revenue at this critical time. The question will be whether smaller businesses can create compelling video ads for Snapchat’s unique vertical video format and its low attention span teenage audience. Creating polished video ads will be much harder for small-to-medium businesses on a short budget, unlike running Google AdWords, AdSense or Facebook’s image and link-based ads.

There are a few things Snapchat haven’t added. For instance, right now you can’t buy Sponsored Geofilters through Ad Manager, only though a separate self-serve tool, it’s not simple to do advanced A/B test campaigns, and both Ads Manager and Business Manager don’t currently plug into other business software. Some say Snapchat may even decide to launch a business education app to teach merchants how to make Snap Ads as some might need help learning how to shoot eye-catching video that users won’t just skip.

Bottom line is any business, big or small, that wants to reach teens, will need to get up to speed. App Annie says that 35 percent of Snapchat’s daily users can’t be reached on Facebook on a given day. That percentage rises to 46 percent on Instagram and 61 percent on YouTube confirming Snap’s distinct and coveted audience will mean businesses have no choice but to get with the times.

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Social commerce – Why buy buttons are not enough

Category: E-commerce Date: Sunday, 11 June 2017 19:32

In 2016 nearly 52% of marketers predicted that social commerce would be the biggest trend of the year. It turned out that social commerce didn’t quite take off in the way it was predicted to. Leaving live video and influencer marketing stealing its thunder!

 Although 1 in 4 users are using mobile commerce to purchase products – many brands have struggled to find the right balance between social media and ecommerce.

In fact, it’s been recently suggested that up to 45% of adults have no current interest in clicking on a 'buy now' button, while a further quarter don’t even know the technology exists. As a result, many brands are scaling back on chatbots too (programs designed to simulate conversation with human users) after Facebook reported a failure rate of 70%.

So the question is, how can brands make social commerce appealing to users, as well as ensure the process is seamless across channels?

At a recent “We Are Social” event a number of brands spoke about their previous experience and what they think will be the key to success.  The key takeaways are listed below:

Most buy buttons do not mirror the mind-set of a user
Although users are increasingly turning to social media for shopping inspiration, many brands are failing to realise it’s a big leap for customers to actually buy on social. Currently, the reality of social commerce is often very different to the user’s expectations. Most experiences involve clicking on a link in a social bio, then being taken to an interim landing page, before finally onto the main ecommerce site itself.

“That’s a lot of disruption when you think about it, which could naturally lead to users abandoning the journey, or worse – being put off the brand as a result”  States Caroline Lucas-Garner, strategy director at We Are Social.

Caroline also suggested that buy button are very much seen the same as a pushy sales rep, which when you’re simply having a leisurely browse (or scroll), can feel frustratingly intrusive.

Brands in your DM’s (Direct Message Inbox) feel intrusive
We’ve seen the examples of branded Chatbots being created for customer service or to drive conversions. But do users really feel that comfortable allowing them into this space? Do users want to see messages from a brand alongside their family and friend? Probably not!

Dominos is one brand that has tried to get around this by creating a character specifically to front its chatbot. Dom the Pizza Bot has his own unique set of characteristics, designed to urge people to speak to it like they would a friend.

However Skyscanner, made the decision to include a ‘talk to a human’ option in its chatbot to point users towards an alternative or next step, hoping that would prevent people from abandoning their journey, by giving users an option to talk to a real employee instead.

Focus on the brand messaging – not just they’re buy button.
For brands like ASOS, who have seen an 84% growth on mobile orders year-on-year – social commerce will be a natural evolution. It is obvious that its target customer is highly engaged on social, with those aged 16-24 particularly bypassing search for social platforms like Instagram and Facebook. 

Morgan Fitzsimons, ASOS’s acting head of content and broadcast, explains how ASOS going forward is taking a three-tiered approach to targeting these kinds of customers – focusing on the top of the conversion funnel to ensure the bottom doesn’t have to work so hard. Meaning they’ll focus on the brand messaging – not just they’re buy button.

As a prime example ASOS’s recent campaign for jeans used a combination of organic and paid promotion as well as dynamic product ads. The initial video told the story of the brand but didn’t include any links, instead it hinted of the shopping experience in retargeted ads, before delivering buying options in the final push.

Morgan also admitted that it’s taken a while for ASOS to get to this stage, with previous campaigns on Snapchat failing to follow up with those who first engaged. 

Ultimately, only continued testing will determine social commerce’s success, and only then will brands understand how customers will best respond in this new and unique platform.

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