Native advertising on Snapchat? Here’s how

Are you not sure whether to do native advertising on Snapchat? Or how to get started? Eric Fulwiler, executive director at VaynerMedia shares his thoughts on the topic.

The Native Advertising Institute interviewed Eric when he was a speaker at Native Advertising Days.

Below are highlights from the interview which have been slightly edited for clarity.

Best practices for native advertising on Snapchat 

The headline on Snapchat is that it is a dominant app, still, for especially sub 30. Basically, the way that we think about it is any brand or publisher that’s trying to reach an audience of sub 30 needs to be seriously considering what their Snapchat strategy is.


1. Play around with Snapchat

We always start out with a practitionership approach to it. Meaning, don’t try to just read the headlines, don’t try to think that you know Snapchat just by listening to what I say or by listening to anything you’re reading in an email newsletter, or at a conference. I think that’s a good place to start.

RELATED: Why Snapchat should play a bigger role in your native advertising strategy

Instead, you really need to understand whether or not any tool or any channel is relevant to your audience. You need to be using it first person. So you need to be playing around with it.

You don’t need to become a Snapchat influencer or put your whole life on there, but you do need to spend 5-10-15 hours playing around with it to really understand what it means. So I think that’s the first thing.


2. Make native advertising feel user-generated

Another big tip or takeaway for us is that brands and publishers need to be focused on how to create content on Snapchat that feels more user-generated.

Even if you’re creating a 3v-add on Snapchat, from what we’ve seen by the clients that we work with and all the media that we spend on the platform is, the content that feels more native — not surprisingly — but the content that feels more native tends to outperform.


3. Test and learn

The third one would be the stage that we’re at with Snapchat. I would argue mobile advertising and native advertising overall. It’s still very very early, compared to something like TV or even just general broader digital advertising that has had ten years in the case of the mainstream web — or fifty years in the case of television to establish norms.

We haven’t done that yet with mobile advertising and native advertising so those are still being defined. What that means, on a more practical note, is that people should not necessarily assume that there’s one right way to do it. Instead, they should take the philosophy and approach that we take which is we need to figure it out.

RELATED: Seven mobile native advertising trends to watch for in 2018

You need to go in there with a test and learn approach, try out a bunch of different things. See what works and consistently kind of be building and iterating on top of that.


Using data to create native advertising on Snapchat

There’s less and less reason in 2018 for us to try to guess what a piece of content or piece of creative should be. Even if we do have better creative intuition, or even if we do think that we know what a brand should stand for better than anybody else. It is still a guess. It’s a subjective call make that guess.

Instead, we should be looking at the data. And we should be taking advantage of platforms like Snapchat and many others to put out a bunch of different ideas.

RELATED: Four tips for using data creatively to produce original branded content

We should look at the data of how people are engaging with it, or how it’s actually driving business results, or affecting the perception of your brand. And then combine that data-driven approach in that objectivity with some type of creative vision.


Invest in the right people

I think a way for brands and publishers to create more native content on Snapchat is building on what I said before.

First of all, understanding how people are using Snapchat. Because if the goal is to create content that feels ‘native’, you need to understand what ‘native content’ actually means.

And again on a practitionership level. Spending time on a platform, following people, viewing stories, going on discover, actually seeing what type of content is working and not working. I think that’s the first thing. And then they need to invest in someone who actually understands how these platforms work. Whether it’s someone on their team or themselves or they hire somebody or they can agency to do it.

RELATED: How to YouTube: Three ground rules for native and paid advertising

I think there are too many people who have an expertise in a different space that because Snapchat isn’t that important, or because it’s not big enough yet, people aren’t actually doing it the right way.

You need to find someone that actually understands the platform because, at the end of the day, it’s all about the people that you have on your team. And you need to get that person into your group to actually have a chance at doing Snapchat right.


The future of Snapchat?

I think the future of advertising on Snapchat is so massive and can go in so many different directions. We as an agency — and I would give this advice to any business — don’t try to predict the future, just try to react much more quickly to what happens in the present.

Because there’s a lot of companies that don’t move that quickly, there’s a lot of opportunities to be had in just being a first mover on the present as opposed to the future.

Want to know more about native advertising and how to build better, more effective native advertising campaigns? Join the Native Advertising Institute in Berlin for Native Advertising DAYS 2018! Buy your ticket for the conference now.

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