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Getting direct response marketing right with Snapchat’s Lead DR Creative Strategist

Snapchat’s Lead DR Creative Strategist, Tom Bates, joined the stage at Adjust’s latest Mobile Spree, a conference devoted to all things mobile marketing. During his talk, he provided key insight into creative strategies and direct response marketing on Snapchat.

As platforms continue to innovate, it can be difficult to stay on top of all the new tools that are on offer. That said, understanding an app’s advertising options helps ensure that your campaigns can be tailored for that audience - and without all the info, you’re missing out.

This year, Snapchat has continued to expand its marketing possibilities, including developments in augmented reality. However, it was Snapchat’s popular Story Ads - a series of 3-20 snaps displayed in the Discover feed - that were the center of attention throughout the Mobile Spree discussion.

Watch the video below for the full discussion, or scroll on to read the highlights of Tom’s talk.

Snapchat talks creative strategies for direct response marketing

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In particular, we’ll focus on three of Tom’s insights for direct response marketing:

  • The importance of audio on Snapchat
  • The need for advertisers to be native to the platform
  • Videos front-loaded with your key message

Let’s take a closer look at these tips, how they can help your Snapchat campaigns, and in what way Tom’s advice can be applied to various platforms.

Listen up! The importance of audio on Snapchat

Tom reminds us that as video continues to grow, it’s important to use the app’s audio-visual experience. More than 65% of users are using Snapchat with audio, which gives marketers a big opportunity to connect with users.

This also serves as a great example of why you should avoid ‘one size fits all’ strategies. For instance, on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, only 15% of users use audio. This doesn’t mean you should neglect audio on these platforms, but you should certainly consider adding captions to ensure your message is clear.

These vastly different behaviors highlight the importance of being adaptable to an app’s unique experience. And while these differences can be spotted with market research, Tom emphasized the value of being native to a platform. But what does that mean?

Be adaptable: Becoming native to a platform

Understanding how users intuitively interact with an app could be vital to your campaign’s success. Tom went on to explain the unrivaled value of understanding user behavior from first-hand experience:

“If you’ve used Snapchat before, you’ll realize that most of our content - if not all of it - is user choice. This means you can skip or tap through content from a publisher, from an influencer, from your best friend, and from advertisers. To actually see success, you need to change your approach for Snapchat and be native to the platform. If you just took creative from a news feed or video ad and put it into Snap and didn’t respect the audience and their consumer behavior, your ad wouldn’t perform that well.”

This golden rule applies to any app that offers unique advertising options. Spotify, the popular music streaming platform, proved this earlier in the year when they partnered with Lionsgate UK to promote an upcoming horror movie, Ghost Stories.

Rather than simply sharing the film’s original trailer, the creative team adapted their content for the app’s audio-centric audience. The trailer was repurposed with a 3D audio effect, pushing the limits of mobile audio, and the results were a clear success: By understanding Spotify’s audience behavior, the trailer achieved a click-through rate 50% higher than the average Spotify ad.

But if you’re adapting content for a number of platforms, the workload can be overwhelming for smaller businesses. In response, Snapchat introduced Snap Publisher in late 2017.

The tool was designed to easily adapt content for the platform, allowing you to automatically cut videos to Snapchat’s spec. You can also add graphics, text, and branding to your ad - something Tom was keen to discuss.

Frontload your message

Tom went on to tell Mobile Spree attendees that on Snapchat, 65% of all brand impact happens in the first two seconds. In fact, if there’s one thing you should do to help your ad perform, Tom suggests focusing on the immediate clarity of your message.

“If you have a creative that’s up to 10 seconds, I would get it into a video file and cut it to the first two seconds. Play it for someone and see if they know who it’s for and what they should do with the ad. If they can’t tell you, that creative isn’t going to perform … [users] see content and they decide whether it’s something they want to engage with or skip through very quickly.”

This is especially important on Snapchat because users actively decide whether to explore or ignore your content. Making your brand, call to action and unique value immediately visible will make a huge difference to your performance.

Providing his own example of high quality, front-loaded content, Tom explained how Poshmark - a social marketplace where users can buy and sell clothes - creates ads that are perfectly tailored to Snapchat’s audiences.

“The creative they do on our platform is really exceptional. They always have their logo, a really strong offer and messaging that relates to what you’ll get when you enter the app. They rotate in all the great products available, hyper-relevant to location and demographic, whether it’s sneakers, handbags or dresses. The template of their key message doesn’t change, but the relevancy of the product does. That means they’ve been able to scale creative across multiple audiences.”

This is where your research and native understanding of direct response marketing on any particular app will start to pay off. Really knowing audience behavior that’s specific to a platform will give your creative campaigns the best opportunity to succeed.

For more expert tips from Adjust’s Mobile Spree, take a look at our resource hub. The hub has everything from this year’s San Francisco-based event, from building trusted partnerships to the power of data integration. And, if you’d like to know when the next Mobile Spree is happening, sign up to our mailing list below to get the latest news from Adjust as soon as it happens.

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