Snapchat launched video ads this year in an effort to stay competitive in the digital world, where its app is among the most popular messaging services among youths, in particular. Now that we're past the trial period, how are these video ads doing? In leaked findings reported to Digiday, an agency found that the majority of 10 second video ads placed on Snapchat are not watched beyond the 3-second mark.
Snapchat has kept all ads skippable because it believes it "leads to a better user experience, and brands benefit from being less intrusive." Somewhat controversially, the app charges for every view even if a video is not watched, even for zero-second views. Comparably, on YouTube, for example, advertisers are charged only for ads that are played for 30 seconds or more.
According to VisibleMeasures, this is pretty much par for the course when it comes to video marketing. As explained here, 20 percent of viewers will click away from a video before the 10 second mark. Half or more are gone after a minute.
But, when it comes to Snapchat ads, 3 seconds or less seems a bit brutal. The question, then, is whether ads appearing on an app that serves a primarily young, ad-averse community is doomed to fail.
According to Digiday:
"It is a very steep, rapid decline for the brand here, and when marketers think they are buying a 10-second ad, they really have to get their message out in two seconds, or else most won't see it," said a top executive at the agency, who shared the chart on the condition of anonymity."
So, what should advertisers who are interested in tapping this market do? The answer is likely great creative. Again, from Digiday:
"Completion rates for Snapchat vary depending on the creativity of the ad," said Jeff Lucas, head of sales and marketing at Viacom Media Networks, a close Snapchat partner. "Most brands that try to be native, organic to the platform, have higher completion rates."
Therefore, think like a Snapchatter. We have some tips for that here. Offer users sneak peeks or special offers. Reward them with perks they can't get anywhere else.
Meanwhile, some brands are asking Snapchat for more favorable viewability standards as they work out the kinks of the app's new marketing platform.