A recent study done by RBC Capital Markets surveyed 1,600 marketers, and the results show troubling news for Snapchat. The company that just went public isn’t exactly receiving high grades from marketing professionals.
We’ve been shouting this sentiment for some time. Last year, Jordan Scheltgen and I discussed ways to stay practical with your digital marketing dollars on In The Cave, and we took Snapchat head on (see the video below). It was our opinion that too many marketers and businesses were putting all of their eggs into the Snapchat basket, simply because it was the new shiny platform.
Our results with their product offering, however, provided us with some insight. Snapchat just wasn’t (and still isn’t) as profitable for Cave and the brands we represent, as the vast majority of other digital advertising platforms.
This was echoed loud and clear in the RBC survey, where between Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Yahoo, AOL and YouTube, Snapchat only outperformed AOL in terms of ROI, scoring a 3.43 out of a possible 8 points, according to the survey (AOL scored a 2.88). Not surprisingly, Google (6.98) and Facebook (6.72) came out on top, performing twice as well as Snapchat, RBC said.
There’s a lot of reasons why the sentiment has swung this way, as we discussed in the video above. But there are three main issues that need to be addressed immediately.
1. Increased Competition
Instagram has duplicated most of Snapchat’s features, and they’ve done a good job of it. Now with the introduction of Messenger Day and Stories on more and more social networks, it’s becoming clear that Snapchat will need to reinvent itself, at least somewhat.
2. Difficult Entry
Facebook ads are straightforward and profitable. Snapchat ads are not. The advertising suite is not robust, and there is a much higher barrier to entry on Snapchat than their is on competing digital platforms.
3. Poor Analytics
If you’re a marketing manager or small business owner, you need to know your numbers. Snapchat just isn’t good at providing KPIs that every advertiser needs to have.
With all this being said, Snapchat still reaches a huge, young audience and can be useful to marketers. They aren’t going anywhere, but including their name in the same sentence as Facebook or Google just isn’t fair. Snapchat has a long way to go to show marketers that they should be included in the conversation.
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