Snapchat users on the Refinery29 channel saw an Uber ad recently that allowed them to swipe up to see ride times. If they saw a time that worked for them, they could request that a driver pick them up at that time, letting them take action from directly within Snapchat. This served as an early example of the future of Snapchat's Shoppable ads, which increase conversions by encouraging action directly within the app.

Uber's ad was a good example of how brands can use Snapchat to reach one of the most desirable demographics on social media. Snapchat attracts younger consumers who are still forming their opinions on various brands. But it's important to learn as much as possible about the platform to find a way to create ads that connect with customers. Here are a few things your business should know about using Snapchat to win new customers.

Finding the Right Channel

Brands are launching their ads through applicable channels on the app, which gets the content in front of the very customers who are most likely to take action on it. For instance, Lancome and Target chose Cosmopolitan's Discover channel for its shoppable ads, squeezing their marketing messages into articles that attract the very type of customers their own stores generally get.

The best thing about shoppable ads is that customers can shop without leaving Snapchat. This is a plus for the service's loyal users who may not want to visit an external site and miss new snaps coming in. Ads have a ten-second limit, which makes it important that brands get the message across quickly and turn casual viewers into buyers. However, in recent months, Snapchat has been experimenting with longer ads that have attracted a variety of businesses.

Providing Revenue

Shoppable ads could bring income to the social media site, which has been challenged to monetize its platform over the past few years. Advertising is a new venture for Snapchat, which initially merely served as a way to allow its users to swap photos that disappeared after being viewed. To create marketing space for businesses, the company had to first come up with its Discover channels, which let users read interesting content from a variety of publishers.

The shoppable feature will also allow brands to watch customer interaction with their ads. This helps businesses adjust their campaigns based on the approach that worked best in their last round, possibly preventing wasted money. For Snapchat, it means that businesses may begin to turn to their platform, with its desirable demographics, than other social media sites.

Using Branded Content

One of the most interesting developments in Snapchat ads is its sponsored content, which allows brands to add branded articles to the site's regular ad format. When customers swipe up on an ad, they're redirected to a listicle or informative article that provides information that subtly promotes a particular product or service. To be successful on the image-driven site, businesses should use a combination of text and photos or GIFs.

The end result is advertorials that remind me of Buzzfeed's format, merging informative text with fun visuals. When done correctly, a brand can get the message out about what it's selling without blatantly advertising. For a generation that has been bombarded with online marketing messages from a young age, the more innovative approach a business can take, the better.

Snapchat remains a popular social media sites for teens and millennials. Even older generations are starting to use it more. Now that brands can tap into these markets, the site has a revenue earner that will allow it to continue to grow. As Snapchat's ad model evolves, businesses should watch it carefully and note how other businesses are using it to win business.

Published on: Sep 15, 2016