Instagram’s demise could be Snapchat’s gain

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PLEASE UNLOCK your smartphone and browse through all the applications you have on your home screen right now. Cluttered amongst your zombie apps, I’m guessing you have at least three social media apps that are currently active in your daily lifestyle; Fac

Organic reach will be as good as dead and the years of hard work put into building followership by influencers and brands alike will amount to almost nothing soon; unless you succumb to ‘boosting’ your posts and of course, make Facebook even richer.
Should ‘reach’ not be one of your marketing objectives, but rather, ‘innovation’ that focuses solely on inducing brand excitement and potentially eliciting higher engagement rates, Snapchat could be a solution to your problem. If you look at engagement on a spectrum, it could be high on the intimacy level as the app is very intimate by nature.

Snapchat
What is it? It’s a mobile-only, video-focused social network that terminates your feeds once delivered and viewed. I repeat, the videos disappear once they are distributed to the receiver and has been extremely popular in the US for some time now. The recordings are vertical in nature so it eliminates the need to tilt your phone horizontally every time you want to enjoy a video content in general.
I am certain Jeep was inspired by this initiative when it released its ‘Portraits’ ad at the Super Bowl early this year, with the 60-seconder executed on a vertical display, catered to meet the rising behaviour of multi-screening of viewers.
According to Snapchat, almost two-thirds of smartphone users, 18-34 year-olds, are active Snapchatters, with ComScore claiming that the smartphone-only social network has a higher engagement rate than Instagram. Truly a bold statement, considering IG’s popularity.
You may ask, how is it different from Facebook’s video features, whether live or pre-recorded? May I remind you that Mark Zuckerberg offered Evan Spiegel(Snapchat founder) $3 billion for the acquisition of Snapchat, which the latter coolly turned down?
Fashion brands in particular like Burberry and Sephora were early adopters of this technology and were the first ones to go live with their events and fashion shows, with the latter working extensively with beauty influencers like Hannah Bronfman to create ‘a day-in-a-life’ beauty story centered around Sephora products.
NBC, the official broadcasting network for the Rio 2016 Olympic games came to the realisation that young people are not watching content through television as much as before, have partnered with Snapchat, and will officially allow the app to feature videos on mobile phones. This makes it the first app ever to strike a deal with NBC for shared rights to the games. The deal with will see the two companies split revenues from ads running alongside Snapchat’s running videos.
According to IPG Mediabrands’ ad research and investment firm Magna Global, The Olympics are expected to boost overall spending on US television ads by $703 million in 2016, or about 10 per cent more than the games did in 2012.

Perceived Limitations
There are however, a few limitations that may potentially make Snapchat inferior, by way of perception, compared to its competitors. You cannot store any of the media generated by its users; but that’s exactly the proposition created to differentiate themselves from others.
Analysing Snapchat marketing metrics is still in its early days. There is no built-in analytics tool, with mainly Snaplytics and Delmondo leading the way for assessing campaign success; neither one currently available to be used here in Thailand.
It is expensive to advertise. According to Digiday, Snapchat now commands $40 per CPM for an interactive ad (the cost to reach a thousand people).

Implications to Brands
Snapchat is very, very new to Thailand, despite its establishment way back in 2011. Don’t expect to enjoy the same reach that Facebook or Instagram is returning to you, but to become a pioneer in marketing innovations, you have to try something new.
There’s obviously less, to no competition in this space, and like they say, ‘finders keepers, losers weepers’. Anyone first on the scene can really attain the sense of ownership on the platform in a less cluttered space.
Snapchat is very playful by nature, so when focusing on younger demographics, like millennials and Gen Zers, the level of intimacy that could be generated between audience and brands is potentially much higher than other platforms.
Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
I urge you to be bold and brave in an ever-changing world and media landscape.

Pradon Sirakovit is Associate Director, Corporate Communications, IPG Mediabrands Thailand