Snapchat’s ad-tech pipes are getting a little deeper.
For advertisers that run ads that promote app installs (by prompting users to swipe on the screen to download an app), brands can now deep link their campaigns that prompt consumers to re-engage with specific features of the app.
Used by various app marketers on platforms like Facebook and Google, deep linking is a sophisticated tactic to drive traffic to a specific section by targeting users who have already downloaded and opened an app. For example, a mobile game developer might want to target players once they hit a specific level in the game, or a retailer could spotlight a product page that a user added to a shopping cart but didn’t buy. In other words, marketers are finding new ways to target you based on the apps that you open and play with the most.
App installs have been a big selling point for Snapchat in recent months as the company looks to bring on smaller, mid-size businesses that can purchase ads programmatically through the company’s self-service platform.
“There’s an appetite for app discovery on Snapchat, and our team has doubled down on building tools for those advertisers,” Peter Sellis, director of revenue product at Snapchat, said in a statement. “With this launch, we now offer more granular metrics and new ways to reach the right audience, and we’ll continue to do more.”
However, while these moves indicate Snapchat is positioning itself as a media and advertising company, Snapchat is less of a “nascent social platform” and “much more of a chat app,” according to a report in the Daily Beast that analyzed five months’ worth of the app’s data.
How it works
Advertisers were previously able to include deep links in their campaigns but needed to create the assets—including creating landing pages and buttons on ads—on their own. Now, Snapchat has built out a new part of its ad-tech stack to connect app installs with links automatically, which theoretically will make running campaigns easier for brands.
A GIF using Snapchat’s Bitmoji app shows how the deep link experience works:
Snapchat ads platform partner 4C has been testing deep links for advertisers over the last several weeks, especially within mobile games.
“A lot of times, we will look to establish and know who the launch clients will be before we write the first line of code—gaming was big for us,” said Seif Hamid, svp of product innovation at 4C. “Honestly, from our perspective, integration was pretty smooth. It’s a great example of how Snap continues to build out their ad stack and basically fill out the [sales] funnel.”
Snapchat is also forking over more data and stats to app marketers. The stats measure attribution, which marketers use to track which pieces of media were most effective at driving downloads.
Specifically, marketers can see how many people viewed and then swiped up on the ad within three time windows: one day, one week or 28 days. An additional stat tracks how many saw the ad without swiping up, but then either downloaded or opened the app within a few hours to one week later.
Another set of metrics show marketers what users do with the app post-download. For example, advertisers can see how many people went on to visit a specific section of the app or completed a level in a game after downloading.
Zeroing in on smaller brands
The developments are part of Snap’s bigger goal to prove to advertisers that its ads are effective for more than brand building, which is particularly important for app developers that constantly tweak budgets and test platforms to find loyal users.
Etermax, the company which makes high-profile games like Trivia Crack, claims that its tests with Snapchat app-install ads garnered users who are 25 percent more likely to play the game after a week compared to other platforms. Users who clicked on Snap ads also played twice as long as users acquired from other platforms. Cost per install and cost per signup for new users were 20 percent lower than other platforms like Facebook and Google.
According to 4C, advertisers increased their spend on Snapchat 73 percent between Q2 and Q3 of 2017. The cost per thousand impressions (or CPM) for all Snapchat ads during the third quarter was $3.49, up 8 percent from the second quarter.
“On Snapchat, we found a vibrant community [of people] who wanted to be entertained and compete against each other,” said Etermax CMO Eric Tornquist in a statement.
Zaful, an app that sells women clothing, and mobile game developer Playdemic claim similar success with Snapchat. Zaful said that the cost per install with Snapchat ads was 20 percent lower than other channels across all global media spend.
Snap will report its fourth-quarter earnings in three weeks, and the narrative around the growth of Facebook-owned Instagram (and its stealing products and advertisers) continues to grow. However, 4C’s Hamid said that over the past few months, his company has seen an uptick in smaller and direct response-focused brands interested in advertising on Snapchat.
“If I think back to the initial days, most—if not all—of the focus was on brand advertisers,” he said. “Then Snap very quickly introduced mobile app installs and some of their more direct response-specific features—from day one, all of direct response or app-install advertisers were interested and waiting on the right feature sets so that they could jump on Snap.”