Snapchat, a mainstay for teenagers, college students, and young adults, presents limitless opportunities and massive untapped potential for businesses to introduce the latest products and offerings through native-looking content.
Launched back in 2011, Snapchat managed to make its way to the top with a simple idea of connecting families and friends. Today, most of the company’s revenue is generated through advertising and, while the main product is still focused on connecting people just like FB, the app has more to it than exchanging pictures and videos.
Even though Snapchat still needs to advance its technology edge, it manages to pose intense competition to other industry giants like Facebook (along with its IG and WhatsApp), TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter. However, successful businesses experience downturns at some point, and so did Snapchat. In 2018, rumors about the death of the app were greatly exaggerated. According to Snap Inc. annual report, the company managed to grow its annual revenue by almost 50% by the end of 2018, and further accelerate growth in the following years.
Since the app has so much commercial potential and allows to reach diverse audiences, it got the undivided attention of affiliate marketers. Therefore, the main question is, can affiliates make money on Snapchat?
The Camera App and Affiliate Marketing
To begin with, Snapchat is not yet as competitive as Facebook and Instagram. Even though FB made advertising more complicated for internet marketers, the process is more or less familiar. With Snapchat, it is a whole different story.
Videos and pictures, also known as snaps, are the core features of the app. Snapchatters are there for four main reasons: keeping in touch with family and friends, entertainment, news, and following brands or influencers. According to Statista, the app showcases higher user engagement than Twitter or Tumblr. Besides, the app reported having 218 million daily users globally by the end of 2019. Therefore, the size and interests of the Snapchat audience make it one of the hottest traffic sources for affiliate marketers.
App Users and Active Geos
Snapchat audiences are mostly young and diverse. Since the marketing efforts of the app have been focused on the interests of Millenials, the majority of users are less than 25 years old. Naturally, the biggest Snapchat user base is located in the US. Statista reports that the US audience expanded up to 101.25 million users by the end of January 2020. The US audience is followed by India with 22.95 million users, France with 21.25 million users, the UK with 18.7 million users, and Saudi Arabia with 16.1 million users.
The growth of the app is obvious and inevitable, with even bigger monetization potential than the affiliate marketing community could imagine at the moment.
Contrary to popular belief, monetizing Snapchat can only be complicated on rare occasions. The most popular ways to monetize Snapchat are Snap Ads, Collection Ads, Discover, AR Lenses, Geofilters, and Partnerships. However, not all of them are relevant to affiliates.
For instance, Snap Ads, Collection Ads, and Discover section might work for both affiliates and brands. As for Geofilters and AR Lenses, these options work better for brand campaigns focused on creating awareness rather than on driving traffic to the website, registrations, or app installs.
In a nutshell, Snap Ads and Collection Ads are both paid advertising options officially available within the app in a story section.
Snap Ads are often used for driving traffic to the websites and lead generation purposes. Since these ads usually have a swipe up option, the ad simply redirects Snapchatters to an app, a website or a landing page with a short form. Therefore, it is one of the most commonly used ad types.
Collection Ads, on the other hand, are focused more on e-commerce products. Collection Ads allow showcasing different colors and shapes of advertised products within one story. Another advantage of this ad type is that each picture within the ad can have a unique link.
When it comes to Snapchat advertising, it is also important to mention that the app supports direct and third-party tracking. However, there are no dynamic tokens should you choose a direct tracking option. In other words, you will not be able to receive detailed information about unique visits. Moreover, conversion tracking is only possible with the Snapchat conversion pixel. Before launching any Snap Ads campaigns, we recommend reading through the main information.
Even though these options are legit and available within the app, it seems like there should be alternatives. While it is possible to attract the target audience with the help of paid advertising, the level of engagement and ad types depend considerably on the verticals.
Popular Offers and Verticals
First, offers convert better than products on Snapchat. Therefore, affiliate marketers can use the untapped potential of the app to make money fast. However, the app advanced along with alternative methods of monetization.
Today, Snapchat has strict advertising policies and a very thorough approval process. Naturally, it is safer to launch high paying white hat campaigns, but it is not always possible to apply white hat practices with such verticals as mainstream and adult dating. As a matter of fact, you can run multiple offers on Snapchat. The most popular are dating, live cams, health & beauty, insurance, sweepstakes, e-commerce, and education.
One of the main tips is to avoid focusing on one offer and run several instead. On Snapchat, it is never a good choice to pull all your resources to promote one offer. The audience tends to dry out fast on the app. Therefore, it is better to mix and match. Another tip is to keep the content as native-looking as possible. In some cases, it is better to decrease the quality of the video to make it look more natural.
When it comes to running dating offers, it is better to use alternative methods of promotion. One of the methods is creating an offer-dedicated account and generate content regularly. In this case, engagement comes first. Cams and teaser snaps are the best way to grow engagement. Moreover, there are such options as s4s (shoutout for shoutout), using SC forums, subreddits, and so on. However, affiliates should be careful with using unauthorized tools like Snapchat bots for growing their accounts. According to The Verge, the Discover section of the app has been strongly criticized for the clickbait and sexually explicit content. Therefore, Snapchat is currently focused on approving only whitelisted publishers. While some rules are meant to be broken, the app has community guidelines we recommend following.
To successfully monetize Snapchat, you need to start with growing your followers base and creating engaging content. Apart from paid advertising options, you can leverage offer-oriented SC accounts and use several tips mentioned in this article. Growing your account organically is safe, but a time-consuming option. However, such alternatives as SC bots might bring followers faster and automate your content sharing process. Do not forget that engagement is crucial when running offers on Snapchat. May the high conversion rates be with you!