Why Marketers Plan to Increase Ad Spending on Snapchat

Nick Cicero

February 3, 2016

This blog was originally posted on
Conviva Acquired Delmondo in November of 2018 and has become Conviva Social Insights.

This year is Snapchat’s year, and with the platform growing in popularity with people of all ages, brands are finally starting to publicly acknowledge the massive audiences and are ready to spend the money to reach them.

All this attention means that the dollars are starting to come in. Recent reports peg Snapchat’s 2015 earnings at somewhere between $50M-$100M, but despite Snapchat’s ad sales push last year, many marketers are still hesitant to spend more money on this platform.

But the attitudes are changing for sure, a recent Cowen and Company study reported by eMarketer polled US senior ad buyers and asked them where they plan to begin advertising in 2016; respondents picked social media sites where they did not advertise in 2015.


Some 22% of senior ad buyers said they plan to advertise on Snapchat this year for the first time. After Snapchat, 12% of respondents said they plan to begin advertising on Instagram and advertise on Pinterest.

We’re hearing it too, marketers big and small are increasingly looking to spend more money on Snapchat to reach young consumers in 2016.

Why? Here are a few reasons:

1. It’s where the young eyeballs are

“It’s how I communicate with most of my friends and it’s fun.” — a 15-year-old to Business Insider

Right now Snapchat is dominating the young demographics. Put simply, if you’re trying to reach someone on the go who is between the ages of 15-28, you want to get on Snapchat NOW.

Since nearly half of the entire internet population uses Facebook, you’re not going to want to post things that live forever. Your mom and even grandma are now on Facebook.  Facebook is like the White Pages of the internet now. If you’re there, it lets others know you’re real, not a creep, but as some have complained about the permanence of photos, once it’s on Facebook it’s forever.

Snapchat is rooted in messaging, a fact that most advertisers forget. It’s is already four years old, but it’s just starting to surface in the minds of advertisers and now mainstream media as a useful tool.

So it’s not only where the young eyes are going, Snapchat is aging up, similar to Facebook. In fact according to Wired, Comscore carried out research a number of years ago on the tipping point that Social networks become mainstream and from analyzing the rise of Facebook and MySpace, the magic number was 15/20% of the Adult population (US), at current rates Snapchat will achieve that in September 2016.

2. Mobile video is exploding, but questions remain about quality inventory.

Mobile users have become more comfortable than ever holding their phones vertically to check emails, play games, and scroll through feeds of social content, however, mobile video has been slow to evolve to this change. Vertical viewing now accounts for 29% of total time spend on screens according to Mary Meeker’s 2015 internet trends, and I’d predict that that number increases even higher this year in her report.

In addition, brands across the board are ramping up their video assets. In 2015, brands increased their media ad spend on various video platforms by 43%, signaling just the begging of a massive shift in dollars from broadcast TV to spreading their dollars around distributed video publishers.

Snapchat has been building up their own suite of ad products enabling the creation and distribution of video content in a number of different ways. Targeting capabilities have been increased and CEO Evan Spiegel even said recently that they’d be opening up features like swipe up to learn more about a product, so there’s a world of options that haven’t even been explored by the company yet.

We’re at the start of a massive shift of dollars from traditional TV budgets to mobile video, and there are a lot of people selling bad ad space. While a user might still sit down and watch Netflix or YouTube videos on a big screen (and their product developments certainly predict that), there’s a huge open lane for mobile video that Snapchat can fill.

3. Snapchat’s video content is intent-driven

Snapchat has a major advantage over Facebook and Twitter’s video capabilities: intent. In order for users to view a Story or direct message on Snapchat, a user must click into the message, or opt into experiencing the content that channel creates.

Each time a person opens a story on someone’s Snapchat account, you have no idea what you’re going to see. That’s a big difference from what basically every other social platform out there, where you connect with someone and then are served their content, often times filtered by some sort of algorithm.

On Snapchat there’s one story, one account, one day. It’s linear, always moving forward, and that helps to keep attentions focused.

To sum it up:

Advertisers are going to spend more on Snapchat in 2016 because advertisers are going to be spending more money on mobile video in 2016, and Snapchat is crushing mobile video.