Bloomberg recently reported that Snapchat is experiencing a steady decline in daily users, and its situation isn’t expected to improve any time soon. While Snapchat is certainly far from “dead” – there are still 186 million active daily users, according to Statista — many brands may opt to wait and see if engagement stabilizes before spending precious advertising dollars on the platform.
Snapchat’s downward trend may well prompt second thoughts for many brands that were considering marketing on a digital mediaplatform, including whether to move forward and, if they do, what the best strategy will be. Below, 13 members of Forbes Agency Council share their thoughts on investing in a digital media platform.
1. Positive Return On Investment (ROI) Should Happen Within Two Weeks
Determine your reach and frequency first. How many consumers are you really reaching via Snapchat? Then calculate your ROI on your ad spend. If you are not seeing a positive ROI within one to two weeks, remove the media and allocate the past spend to a testing budget, but do not continue on the medium. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, HAWTHORNE LLC
2. Timing Is Critical
The unsuccessful Facebook purchase of Snapchat was the pivot point. The acquisition was the preferred but not the only means for Facebook to provide the same or better offer, and it has the user data to edge out the competition with better personalization options. Snapchat made some investors money who saw that writing on the wall and got out quickly, so it is as much a matter of when to invest as in what. – Elizabeth Jean Poston, Helios Interactive, A Freeman Company
3. Consider The Platform’s Unique Audience
Snapchat offers a very addressable audience and, in some cases, an audience that is relatively tough to find in other places. What is most important for you to consider is if your target audience has sufficient scale and delivers performance above a point of diminishing returns. – Kieley Taylor, GroupM
4. Take A Holistic View Of Customer Trends
Just because the overall Snapchat user base is changing does not mean that their core users have migrated to another channel. As a brand, it is crucial to have an always-on understanding of customers, including their device and social preferences. When brands invest in a customer data platform, it gives them a holistic view of their customers’ actions, which can enable data-driven investment. – Preethy Vaidyanathan, Tapad
5. What Matters Is Where Your Brand’s Audience Is
Before worrying about a platform that feels like a media “ought to,” brands should first step back and determine if their target is even engaging there. Snapchat may have been a trend darling, but if a brand’s consumers aren’t interacting there, there’s no point in chasing it in the first place. If they are spending time on the platform, the dip in numbers doesn’t matter anyway. – Mimi Lettunich, Twenty Four 7
6. Think Long-Term, Not Short-Term, Viability
When there is a decrease in revenue in a tool and an application like Snapchat, it is very important to make sure that all of the long-term viability assessments of the tool have been looked at. What that means is that before you are putting your money into an application, you want to know that it is going to make a recovery. – Jon James, Ignited Results
7. If It’s Working For You, Stick With It
An “investment” really has nothing to do with the number of daily users, it has to do with the change in key performance indicators for your brand. While growing and massive social media platforms provide a wide audience, they also add the challenge of competition and cost. If Snapchat continues to build awareness, engagement, growth and a return on investment, by all means, continue to use it! – Douglas Karr, DK New Media
8. The Audience Is Waiting — Build A Smart Package
Snap reported 191 million users earlier this year. Instagram has hit 1 billion. There’s no need to wait on either platform. The eyeballs are there. You just have to get a pulse on the best way to engage on each, then develop smart creative and negotiate the best package. There’s a certain amount of parity between both, but one group is way more ad-friendly. – Sean Looney, Looney Advertising & Branding
9. Ignore Industry Panic
Snapchat has gone through waves of popularity and waves of decline. Although ROI should be your chief metric, be sure that you’re not jumping too fast in the natural cycles of popular social media platforms. If Snapchat comes out with a new feature or method of organization that brings users back in droves relatively quickly, you might feel silly for panicking too early. – Brandon Stapper, Nonstop Signs
10. There Is No Silver Bullet
Many people believe that marketers know the silver bullet. In actuality, the best marketers seek to understand their audience well and fire 10 arrows all in the same direction, knowing only a couple will hit the target. Channels come and go. Facebook is already losing its golden-child status. Don’t be surprised, do what good marketers do: Seek to understand your audience and be flexible. – Jesse Marble, Magneti
11. It Might Be A Great Opportunity To Reach Young Consumers
There is still a strong user base on Snapchat that is desirable (Gen Z and younger millennials). You might be able to get a better deal and reach your ideal, hard-to-reach young consumers. – Tom LaVecchia, MBA, X Factor Media
12. Move Around Media Dollars To Find What’s Effective
It’s not about whether a platform is in growth or decline, but whether it provides the best opportunities for your brand to reach your audience. You may leverage that platform while it’s trending, but decide if it’s the most effective medium. Because you can easily move your strategy with media dollars, brands aren’t committed to platforms long term and have the freedom to move to new channels. – Danny Fritz, SBX Group
13. Favor Steady Engagement Over Swift Monetary Return
As long as you’re seeing engagement and a strong following that’s not disassembling your budget, then it’s always worth it to keep investing in a platform. It’s important to remember that with digital media platforms, your monetary return takes time to establish. – Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC
To learn more about mobile development and marketing, make sure to reach out to our Appetizer Mobile NYC team today!
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