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Pro Tips: Snapchat Shares Insights into Key Platform Marketing Approaches, and Trends Generating Results

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While TikTok may have taken its mantle as the cool kid on the social media block, Snapchat has established itself as a key connection platform for many users, with the app’s privacy focus and content nous helping it carve a niche in the social media landscape, and succeed where many others have fallen short.

Snapchat’s achieving particularly significant success in driving audience engagement, and building a platform that aligns with modern community-building approaches. Users looking for smaller, more private groups, where content won’t necessarily stick around to haunt them, have formed solid bonds in the app, while younger audiences continue to download the app in big numbers, as they seek a space to share more intimate engagement, or catch up on the platform’s growing library of Discover shows.

Indeed, according to Snap, it now reaches 75% of Millennial and Gen Z users, while Snapchat users also spend over 30 minutes per day in the app, on average.

These are impressive figures, and while it may not have the reach of Facebook, it arguably has more resonance, and influence over those engaging via Snap.

Which also presents opportunity, and if you’re looking to tap into Snapchat for your marketing efforts, and boost your brand among younger audiences, then these tips will help. We recently spoke to Luke Kallis, Snap’s VP of US Advertiser Solutions, to get his insights on the latest trends that he’s seeing, as well as examples of how marketers are generating results with the Snapchat audience.

Q: What ad/promotional elements are seeing the best response on Snapchat right now?

LK: Ads on Snapchat perform well across the entire marketing funnel, and Snap offers a broad range of goals, bidding options, and end-results for ad optimization – from awareness and shares to clicks, visits, purchases, and more.

Snap’s advanced measurement, reporting, and optimization capabilities have been a cornerstone of the ads platform, helping marketers optimize campaigns to deliver the best possible results. From Brand marketers looking to raise awareness at the top of the funnel, to performance marketers seeking conversions, advertising on Snapchat is a compelling way to meet any objective.

We also believe that for advertisers of any size, seeking any objective, there is deep, long-term value in reaching our audience of 13-34 year-olds. This audience is passionate and engaged, and many are at the ages when they’re beginning to build brand loyalties as they go through major life milestones.

Our community opens the Snapchat app 30 times a day on average and globally, the Snapchat generation carries over $4.4 trillion in purchasing power. As a whole, these considerations are driving the best results in the app at present.

Snapchat Q2 performance data

Q: What’s the key to an effective marketing strategy on Snapchat?

LK: We find that marketing on Snapchat is most effective when brands leverage multiple ad products tied to a defined advertising goal.

For example, for brands looking to raise brand awareness, a great way to achieve that goal is by combining an AR Lens with Snap Ads, and/or Commercials (video ads). This type of multi-product execution tends to achieve stronger overall results than any individual ad format in isolation.

Q: What’s the most common mistake you see brands make with their Snapchat approach?

LK: While AR Lenses are often seen as a great short-term activation to boost brand awareness, some overlook the longer term brand value of AR tools.

Many brands are actually finding success running what we refer to as ‘always-on AR’,  where they keep AR Lens campaigns running beyond a single moment, and these campaigns are seeing really positive results.

We all know that AR stands for ‘Augmented Reality’, but at Snap, we believe it also stands for ‘Additional Reach’ and ‘Accelerated Results’. When added to a Snap Ad campaign, AR reaches an incremental 31% of our audience who are using the camera.

Similar to a Super Bowl commercial, Lenses work well for both splashy, one-off moments, and for driving high-impact lower funnel results when run continuously as part of a brand’s broader Snapchat multi-product advertising strategy.

Snapchat AR ads examples

Q: What’s a good example of a brand that’s achieving strong results with Snapchat marketing?

LK: Driving efficient, impactful results for our brand partners is a key part of Snapchat’s value proposition and we’ve seen many great examples of brands that are driving success on the platform.

A few of those include:

  • Smile Direct Club leveraged our Goal-Based Bidding (GBB) Click optimization for AR, which drove 49% of Snap customer leads in Q2, and was the most effective ad unit at driving traffic for their business compared to other social channels. The success of the Lens ultimately encouraged Smile Direct Club to include AR Lenses as part of their long-term business strategy.
  • DAZN launched a multi-product campaign that utilized AR Lenses, Snap Ads, Story Ads and Commercials, in order to drive awareness for its live sports channels, installs for its app, and subscriptions for its streaming service. DAZN leveraged our new GBB App Install optimization for AR, which not only drove incremental installs, but also reached millions of unique Snapchatters. The overall campaign resulted in lifts in both installs and subscriptions, and drove more Snapchatters to its platform.
  • Booking.com employed a strategy that used Dynamic Ads to reach new customers on Snapchat. By utilizing our Dynamic Ad solution for travel, they were able to pull images directly from their product catalog that displayed relevant and visually appealing destination photos and features. This helped Booking.com unlock an incremental audience within the United States, which resulted in a positive lift in bookings across both their website and their app, and delivered a cost per incremental booking (CPIB) of approximately 36% lower than their goal.

Q: What would be your top tip for someone starting out with Snapchat marketing?

LK: Our self-serve ad platform makes it incredibly fast and easy to get started advertising on Snapchat. We offer a wide variety of tools to help any size business build compelling, creative ads – even for augmented reality Lenses that all deliver proven business results.

You can learn more about Snapchat’s various ad tools and options here.

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Reports Show that Facebook Usage is Up, as Meta Continues to Develop its AI Targeting Models

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Reports Show that Facebook Usage is Up, as Meta Continues to Develop its AI Targeting Models

While Facebook is no longer the cool app, especially among younger audiences, it remains a key platform for many users, and its capacity to keep people updated on important updates from friends and family is likely to ensure that many continue to return to the app every day for some time yet.

But more than that, Facebook usage is actually increasing, according to internal insights viewed by The Wall Street Journal, which also include some interesting notes on overall Facebook and Instagram usage trends.

As per WSJ:

Data gathered in the middle of the fourth quarter showed that time spent on [Facebook] was up worldwide, including in developed markets, over the course of a year.”

Which seems unusual, given the subsequent rise of TikTok, and short form video more generally. But actually, Facebook has been able to successfully use the short-form video trend to drive more usage – despite much criticism of the platform’s copycat Reels feature.

Indeed, Reels consumption is up 20%, and has become a key element in Meta’s resurgence.  

How is it finding success? Increased investment in AI, which has driven big improvements in the relevance models that fuel both Reels and its ads, which are also now driving better response.

On Reels, Meta’s systems are getting much better at showing users the Reels content that they’re most likely to be interested in. You’ve likely noticed this yourself – what was initially a mess of random clips inserted into your Facebook feed has now become more focused, and you’re probably finding yourself expanding a Reels clip every now and then, just to see what it’s about.

Reels has actually been too successful:

“Because ads in Reels videos don’t currently sell for as much as those sold against regular posts and stories, Reels’ growing share of content consumption was denting ad revenue. To protect the company’s earnings, the company cut back on promoting Reels, which lowered watch time by 12%.

So again, while Meta has been criticized for stealing TikTok’s format, it’s once again shown, just as it did with Stories, that this is a viable and beneficial pathway to keeping users engaged in its apps.

You might not like it, but replication works in this respect.

But for marketers, it’s likely the development of Meta’s AI targeting tools for ads that’s of most interest.

Over time, many performance advertisers have been increasingly recommending that marketers trust Meta’s AI targeting, with newer offerings like Advantage+ driving strong results, with far less manual targeting effort.

Advantage+ puts almost total trust in Meta’s AI targeting systems. You can choose a couple of targeting options for your campaigns, but for the most part, the process is designed to limit manual impact, in order to let Meta’s systems determine the right audience for your ads.

Which may feel like you’re ceding too much control, but according to Meta, its continued AI investment is now driving better results.

Heavy investment in artificial intelligence tools has enabled the company to improve ad-targeting systems to make better predictions based on less data, according to the interviews and documents […] That, along with shifting to forms of advertising less dependent on harvesting user data from off its platforms, are key to the company’s plans to overcome an Apple privacy change that restricted Meta’s capacity to gather information about what its users do outside its platforms’ walls, the documents show.”

That’s likely worth considering in your process, putting more trust in Meta’s targeting systems to drive better results. At the least, it may be worth experimenting with Meta’s evolving AI for ad targeting. 

It’s not all good news. Meta also notes that while time spent in its apps is on the rise, creation and engagement is declining, with fewer people posting to both Facebook and Instagram than they have in the past.

That’s particularly true among younger audiences, while notably, usage of Instagram Stories is also in decline, down 10% on previous levels.

So while Meta is driving more engagement from Reels, which draws on content from across the app, as opposed to the people and Pages you follow, that’s also led to a decline in user posting.

Is that a bad thing? I mean, logically, engagement is important in keeping people interested in the app, and Meta also relies on those signals to help refine its ad targeting. So it does need users to be sharing their own content too, but if it can get more people spending more time in its apps, that will help it maintain advertiser interest.

In essence, despite all of the reports of Facebook’s demise, it remains a key connective platform, in various ways, while Meta’s improving ad targeting systems are also helping to drive better results, which will keep it as a staple for brands moving forward.

If you were thinking of diversifying your social media marketing spend this year, maybe don’t reduce Facebook investment just yet.

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Effective Ways To Personalize Your Customer Touch Points Even More In 2023

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Effective Ways To Personalize Your Customer Touch Points Even More In 2023

Will 2023 be the year of personalization? Consumers hope so. For the past two years, shoppers have been craving the personal touch: In 2021, McKinsey & Company noted that 71% of customers expected companies to deliver personalization. In 2022, a Salesforce survey found that 73% of people expected brands to understand their needs and expectations. So, this year is looking like one where personalization can no longer be seen as a “nice to have.”

The problem, of course, is how to get more personalized. Many companies have already started to dabble in this. They greet shoppers by name on landing pages. They rely on CRMs and other tools to use historical information to send shoppers customized recommendations. They offer personalized, real-time discounts to help buyers convert their abandoned shopping cart items to actual purchases.

These are all great ideas. The only problem is that they’ve become widespread. They don’t move the needle on the customer experience anymore. Instead, they’re standard, expected, and kind of forgettable. That doesn’t mean you can afford to stop doing them. It just means you must devise other ways to pepper personalization throughout your consumer interactions.

If you are scratching your head on how to outdo 2022’s personalization in 2023, try implementing the following strategies:

1. Go for full-blown engagement on social media.

One easy way to give the personal touch is through your social media business pages. Social media use just keeps growing. In 2022, there were about 266 million monthly active users (or MUAs) on Facebook, one billion on Instagram, and 755 million on TikTok. Not all these active users will fall into your target audiences, but plenty of them will.

Make engaging with your social followers one of this year’s goals. People spend a lot of time on social media. It’s where many of them “live,” so it only makes sense that it should be a place to drive personalization.

One quick way to ratchet up your company’s personal touch on social media is to personalize all your retargeted ads. Quizzes can also offer a chance for personalization. Simply set up an engaging quiz and allow people to share their results. It’s a fun way to build brand recognition and bond with consumers. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with going very personal and answering all comments. Depending on your team’s size and the number of comments you receive, this might be a viable option.

2. Leverage AI to go beyond basic demographics.

Most companies rely on customer demographic information to bolster personalization efforts. The only trouble with this tactic is that demographics can’t tell the whole story. It’s impossible to get a lot of context about individual users (such as their lifestyles, personal preferences, and motivators) just from knowing their age, gender, or location. Though demographic data is beneficial, it can cause some significant misses.

Michael Scharff, CEO and cofounder of Evolv AI, explains the workaround for this problem: “The most natural, and therefore productive, personalization efforts use demographics as a foundation and then layer in user likes, dislikes, behaviors, and values.”

You can leverage AI’s predictive and insightful capabilities to uncover real-time user insights. Scharff recommends this technique because it allows you to stay in sync with the fast-moving pace of consumer behavior changes. He adds that AI can be particularly beneficial with the coming limits to third-party cookie access because it can be a first-party data source, allowing you to maintain customer knowledge and connection.

To flesh out your organization’s strategy, look to other companies that have gone beyond demographics. Take Netflix, for example, which constantly tweaks its AI algorithm to help improve personalized content recommendations. Bottom line? Going deeper than surface information makes all the sense in the world if you want to show customers you know them well.

3. Keep your data spotless.

The better your data, the better your personalization efforts. Period. Unfortunately, you are probably sitting on a lot of unstructured or otherwise tricky-to-use (or impossible-to-use) data. One recent Great Expectations survey revealed that 77% of data practitioners have data quality problems, and 91% say that this is wreaking havoc on their companies’ performance.

You can’t personalize anything with corrupt or questionable data. So, do your best to find ways to clean your data promptly and routinely. For example, you might want to invest in a more centralized data system, particularly if the personalization data you rely on is scattered in various places. Having one repository of data truth makes it easier to know if the information on hand is ready to use.

Another way to tame your data is to automate as many data processes as possible. Reducing manual manipulation of data lessens the chance of human error. And you’ll feel more confident with all your personalization efforts if you can trust the reliability and health of your data.

4. Go for nontechnical personalization.

It’s the digital age, but that doesn’t mean every touchpoint has to be digitized. Consumers often react with delight and positivity when they receive personalization in decidedly nontech forms. (Yes, you can use tech to keep track of everything. Just don’t make it part of the actual personalized exchange!)

Consider writing handwritten thank-you notes to customers after they’ve called in for support or emailed your team, for instance. Or send an extra personalized gift to buyers who make a specific number of purchases. These interactions aren’t technical but can differentiate your customer experience from your competitors’ experiences.

A groundbreaking Deloitte snapshot taken right before the pandemic showed that people were hungry for connection. By folding nondigital experiences into your personalization with customers, you’re showing them that you see them first as valued humans. That’s compelling and appealing, making them more apt to give you their loyalty in return.

Putting a personal spin on all your consumer interactions takes a little time. It’s worth your energy, though. You’ll wind up with stronger brand-buyer connections, helping you edge ahead of your competitors even more.

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Planning for 2023: What Social Media Marketers Need to Win in 2023

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Planning for 2023: What Social Media Marketers Need to Win in 2023

January is, for many, a month of reflection, goal-setting, strategizing and planning for the year ahead. 

In line with this, we’ve kicked off the new year with a series of articles covering the latest stats, tips and strategies to help social media marketers build an effective game plan for 2023.

Below, you’ll find links to our 2023 social media planning series, which includes:

  • Content strategy guidelines to help you define your brand’s content mission and set SMART goals
  • Organic posting tips for Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Pinterest 
  • Explainers on how to research key topics of interest in your niche, understand the competitive landscape, and help you find your audience and connect with them where they’re active
  • A holiday calendar and notes on the best days and times to post to each of the major platforms

 

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