New Location-Based Features Are In Store for Snapchat Advertisers With Physical Locations

Brands can now retarget previous visitors to their stores

Snapchat advertisers can also create lookalike audiences. Photo Illustration, Amber McAden, Source: Snap Inc, iStock
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Snapchat has a holiday present for retailers in the form of new location advertising features on its platform.

“We have seen good performance with location targeting and filters, and the new releases are an added bonus for our retail clients as we always push publishers for more precise targeting based upon user behaviors,” said Jenny Lang, senior vice president and managing partner, integrated investment at UM Worldwide.

The messaging application’s new visitor re-engagement audiences option enables advertisers to retarget previous visitors to their stores and create lookalike audiences based on those visitors.

Advertisers can choose the frequency of visitors they wish to target and build dynamic custom audiences for future campaigns.

For example, a retailer can target anonymized Snapchat users who visited one of its stores twice over the past month, or a restaurant could do so with anonymized Snapchat users who ate in its location during the middle of the day over the past two weeks.

“The new offering can uncover audiences by reverse-engineering through lookalike audiences based off of location visits that might not have otherwise been identified through interest and behavior targeting,” said Steve Carbone, chief digital and investment officer at MediaCom. “I foresee this being a helpful functionality to expand reach for brands.”

And advertisers with multiple locations can now mass-target them easily with Snapchat’s new chain locations targeting feature.

A radius around each location for brands such as retailers and quick-service restaurants can be targeted without the need for those brands to create individual pins, allowing for quick scaling of campaigns with goals including raising awareness or boosting visits.

A Snap Inc. spokesperson stressed that user-identifiable location information is not shared with advertisers, and that users must opt in to share their locations and can opt out of targeting. Advertisers only see ad measurement and visitation results in aggregate.

M&C Saatchi Performance senior biddable manager Jonathan Yantz sees the new options as a great move for Snapchat.

“Within our industry, ‘brick-and-mobile’ advertising is increasingly being discussed—a term that highlights the importance of combining the two experiences for optimal results,” Yantz explained. “Consumers are certainly still going into stores, but they are spending more and more time on their devices, even while in physical store locations.”

Lucas Anjos, senior product marketing manager for Match Group, said, “Snapchat’s location categories helped Tinder immensely during the launch of our college-oriented product feature. It made the setup of the campaigns less laborious and much more precise, which had a direct impact on the overall performance, as we were able to rapidly increase delivery.”

Snapchat introduced several location-based advertising products in March, including foot traffic insights, which gave brands access to information on the demographics, interests and locations of visitors to their stores; point radius targeting, enabling brands to target a point radius around a central point; and location categories, which provided the ability to mass-target specific location categories across the country, such as beaches and fast-food restaurants.

And this summer, Snapchat unveiled location insights series Footprints, with information from studies on foot traffic.

Regal used Snapchat’s point radius targeting for its first app install campaign, and digital marketing manager Derrick Tarver was more than happy with the results.

Tarver said Regal ran the campaign from May 28 through July 1 to tie in with four big movie titles that were released during the summer and draw the attention of the “significant amount of traffic to our theaters from those titles,” adding, “We wanted to get our app on as many phones as possible. We felt that people would be online trying to get information. The titles connected with younger-skewing audience, which made Snapchat the perfect advertising partner.”

The theater chain saw a return on ad spend of six times on its Snapchat campaign, with Tarver noting that it drove 70 percent of Regal’s total mobile app installs, at the lowest cost per install of the three platforms it used in its campaign, and more than one-half of the Snapchat users who installed the Regal Mobile App returned to the app within 30 days. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.