As brands shift to digital, Snapchat eyes more small businesses’ ad dollars

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 22 June 2020
Kathryn Carter

Snapchat has been embraced by brands rushing to more cost-effective digital platforms during the pandemic, says local boss Kathryn Carter, as the app is given a redesign to further boost advertising from small businesses. 

In June, Snapchat revealed it now reaches more than six million Australians, including 85% of all 13-24-year-olds, 90% of all 18-24-year-olds and 65% of 13-34-year-olds. Speaking to AdNews, Carter, general manager for Australia and New Zealand, says the figures show the “dominance” the short-form video sharing app has among Gen Z and Millennials in Australia.

“Whether it be the broader audience of 13-34-year-olds or a tighter audience of 18-24-year-olds, you can see the role of Snap in terms of being able to deliver an audience at scale,” Carter says.

“And really importantly, when we talk to that audience, we're talking about people who are engaged with the platform multiple times a day. They're spending a meaningful amount of time on the platform, and they're coming to the platform to not only have conversations with their close friends but also to have fun, to be informed, to experience new ways of communicating on the platform as well.”

Carter says advertisers have responded to the strong user numbers, which come a year after the app stopped bleeding users globally. The social media company has also recently enjoyed a shift to digital platforms by brands that have had marketing budgets squeezed during the pandemic.

Carter categorises advertisers during this period into two groups, the first being “digital-natives” - brands that have always invested on the platform.

“They have really increased and scaled their investment quite significantly,” she says.

“They've been able to take advantage of the auction efficiency which has come about through having higher engagement and a higher volume of our community accessing Snapchat on a daily basis and they've been able to build their brand both locally and globally and connect with the Snapchat community at scale across this period.”

Then there’s the more traditional brands, such as McDonald’s and the government, who have had to accelerate their digital transformation during the pandemic.

“They've really partnered with us in terms of what's best practice of engaging with 13-34-year-old Australians at scale,” she says. “And we've been really impressed by some of the creative and solutions that Australian advertisers have been able to launch across this period, which has led to some fantastic results for them.”

In time for this digital embrace from more brands, which helped the company report a better-than-expected first quarter, Snapchat recently revealed a redesign and new products at its virtual Snap Partner Summit in the US.

One of the new features is the roll out of Places on Maps which will allow businesses to promote themselves as communities exit lockdowns, a move Carter says will give the platform a bigger slice of advertising revenue from small businesses.

“I think what Places has been a really positive step in, is enabling us to have a relevant solution to support small to medium businesses across Australia,” she says.

“Especially at the moment when businesses are wanting to connect with consumers, and also to let them know that they're open. We are now proud to be able to have a solution which will be relevant, which will be acceptable, and which will be really easy for them to use and get behind.”

“My perspective is that the current situation has highlighted the importance of having a really sound ecommerce strategy across all retailers,” she says.

“Certainly from a Snapchat perspective we know that our ad solutions work, we know that they deliver return and spend at scale, and that's been proven time and time again with some of Australia's best ecommerce advertisers who utilise Snapchat meaningfully to be able to scale their businesses at a local and global level. Brands like HiSmile and Princess Polly, who are absolute ecommerce experts, are great examples of that.

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