With Snapchat's announcement earlier this month that it is launching a self-service ad-buying system in June, small businesses now will have another digital option to reach their key audiences.
Called Snapchat Ad Manager, the initiative is Snapchat's first effort to allow companies of all sizes to run campaigns and will be widely available in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia and other countries. Now, smaller businesses can buy the app's vertical video ads to drive app installs, obtain branded long-form video views, and prompt ecommerce click-throughs.
Adweek reports that Snapchat is rolling out Snapchat Ad Manager with 20 brands, including smaller players like online sneaker seller Goat, social app Mammoth Media, movie ticket app Atom Tickets and gift retailer Hollar.
It's no wonder that Snapchat is trying to garner a share of the growing digital ad market for smaller businesses. More than 3 million companies advertise their business story on Facebook, many of which are not large brands. Millions more advertise on Google, which is also known for its substantive results for small businesses. However, the market share of those two digital giants might be challenged soon as companies like Snapchat move into their territory.
Hot trends in digital advertising for smaller companies over the next few years include:
- Mobile - According to data collected by Biznessapps, a mobile platform for small businesses, nearly half of small businesses are expected to adopt a mobile app by 2017 or later. In fact, within 2017, it is predicted that mobile advertising will finally surpass desktop advertising due to the explosive growth of mobile device users.
- Video – This trend is closely related to mobile. Video viewership on mobile has surpassed desktop viewership since Q1 of 2015, according to Invodo. Considered an excellent way to reach the highly sought after millennial audience, sharing video on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube is a particularly effective way to tell a brand's story.
- Live Video – This trend is considered largely responsible for Snapchat's skyrocket rise. Facebook has reported that users watched live videos three times longer than those that weren't live.
- Native – Spending on native advertising hit the $7.9 billion mark in 2016 and is expected to grow to $21 billion in 2018, according to Business Insider. It's also expected to spread even further across digital platforms. This is a result of consumers' increasing distaste for overt advertising. It is estimated that more than 400 million mobile web users and 200 million desktop web users are using ad-blocking technology to restrict banner ads displayed on their devices.
- Interactive Content – As consumers are bombarded by an estimated average of 5,000 advertisements per day, one way to break through the noise and capture the attention of a distracted audience is to personalize the ad experience by making it interactive. This is considered especially effective when targeting very specific types of users.
- Data Use – Major platforms like Facebook and Google provide key metrics and data to all of their advertisers. This is vital to determine the success or failure of a campaign as well as key in providing important insight into the minds of consumers. Ultimately, leveraging data to perfect and correct the content being pushed out is the way to get the most out of an advertising spend.
Smart business owners will pay close attention to new opportunities in digital advertising, like Snapchat's Ad Manager, as well as to the industry trends in play that can help them grow their companies.