These are your Snapchat mobile advertising options – and here are the brand dominating them

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Research from L2 Inc has taken a closer look at how brands are using Snapchat to drive purchases. The image messaging app has now overtaken Instagram as the ‘most important’ platform among US teens. It attracts an average 10bn views a day and expects to earn $300m in revenue this year.

Snapchat offers three options for advertisers: Discover, Live Stores and Geofilters & Lenses.

With Discover, brands purchase video ads that are played between content from publishers such as VICE or ESPN. It’s a pretty straightforward solution for those who aren’t creating much of their own content. However, it’s a solution for brands with deep pockets at an estimated cost of $50,000 to $100,000 per day. Having said that, it is still one of the cheapest options on Snapchat, which means that right now the app is largely dominated by large brand advertising having priced out smaller competitors.

Snapchat ad options



Live Stories have more a content-feel. These can include behind-the-scences photos as well as exclusive images and sometimes feature user-generated content. It’s a way to advertise more subtly. Packaged as a story, users may not be aware that they’re looking at an ad.

For marketers with even larger budgets and the desire to reach over 220m unique views a day, Geofilters & Lenses are the best option. Brands get to create filters and animations which are being shown on top of consumer snaps. When used in-store, make-up brand CoverGirl noted that sales for its Star Wars make-up line were much higher among those users who had seen the branded geofilter.

Taking a closer look at specific examples across product sectors, Activewear, CPG and Consumer Electronics combined accounted for 57% of all ads on Snapchat Discover. Big brands are leading these sectors. For example, Nike (20%) led Activewear whilst Little Debbie (7%) ranks top in CPG and GE Appliances (14%) in Consumer Electronics.

Snapchat top ad sectors



Just how dominating a single campaign can be on Snapchat shows the PepsiCo and Doritos Gameday Grub Match effort, which accounted for 18% of all ads on the social media platform during the 30 days leading up to the Super Bowl.

Garett Levy, Research Analyst, L2, explains:

garett levy

“Regarding PepsiCo’s significant advertising, I don’t think it should be surprising. Currently, Snapchat still has a high barrier to entry with expensive upfront costs, allowing the platform to remain relatively uncrowded and reward brands with deeper pockets.”

Despite limiting itself to bigger brands, Snapchat seems on a good path to generate some serious mobile revenue this year. In addition, a Digiday source said that the company was working on a new algorithm that would allow it to curate content from publishers and advertisers.

A source close to the matter said:

“It’s going to be the same model Facebook has: It’s free for everybody to share content, but an algorithm will penalize some people and boost others. That’s why you don’t want to be beholden to any one of these platforms or you’re suddenly stuck when the game changes.”

Snapchat chose not to comment.