Snapchat’s Hidden Power Play: The Data Story

Snap showcases its ability to drive direct business goals for brands

This week we released a data report of Snapchat's earning's call, which told an interesting story about the app's ability to drive audience behavior for brands (if you're into that sort of thing).


Anyway, the numbers talked, and this is what they said: 

Snapchat’s ability to drive direct audience behavior outstrips that of any other social network - both paid and organic. The findings indicate a key bench strength that Snap is only just beginning to tap into: direct response campaigns.

Data since October 1, 2017 showed Snapchat’s ability to drive audience behavior outstripping that of competitor social giant Facebook by as much as 4 to 1 in equivalent industries.

When placing paid ads on Snapchat, clients experienced an average CPA (Cost Per Action) up to 5 times lower than Instagram Stories, while organic activity saw an average CTR (Click Through Rate) of 2.2%. This outstripped Facebook’s paid CTR average of 0.9% - a figure which jumps to between 3-4 times higher when benchmarked against equivalent industries.

“What a lot of people don’t realize is that Snap has made a really significant revenue shift from brand advertising to cost-per-action ads. They’ve built out an offering that is directly attributable to tangible business results for their clients, which we believe will result in a much more consistent path to revenue growth” said Mish Guru CEO Tom Harding.

“Snapchat’s walled garden means that users still feel like it’s their personal space, and that feeling results in higher attention and engagement with the content they enjoy. All that equates to higher click-through rates and user participation.”

Client campaigns such as McDonald’s Snaplications and influencer Anna Russett’s Muslim Ban Story reinforce Snapchat users’ willingness to participate in brand campaigns - showing that when it comes to driving action, Snapchat is where behavior is created.

“The app has a creator’s bias because it opens to the camera first”, said Harding. “So while the barrier for user participation on other apps remains high, users are regularly engaging with and contributing content to brand campaigns on Snap. The banks of received content our clients are seeing is still huge.”

The findings are concurrent with DigiDay’s recent article about Snapchat’s renewed focus on courting direct response budgets from brands - including adding direct response ads to their camera.

Barclays has also talked to advertisers who have meaningfully ramped spending on Snap after seeing positive results with their direct measurement pixel.

While Snapchat has been in and out of favor with brands, users, and Wall Street alike in recent months, the data landscape shows one thing: user behavior on the app is unique. If Snapchat continues to build their revenue model around this behavior, it could give them a unique power play that other social networks will struggle to replicate.