June 6, 2016

Targeting teens and Millennials? Get to know Snapchat.

Nate Hook

When Facebook offered the creators of Snapchat $3 billion and they turned the offer down, we knew something was up. The latest stats and the ability to run ads now on Snapchat means it is time to pay attention if you are an advertiser who wants to target teens.

More than 60% of 13-34 year olds who own a smartphone are Snapchatters, with the heaviest users 18-24 years old. The ability to send 10-second videos and photos shot from their phones that disappear later, plus instant messaging, is the draw for a demographic that is focused on self-expression.

According to Ad Age, Snapchat is now more popular than Twitter, with as many as 150 million daily users. And a new Piper Jaffray report on teens indicates that teen usage has propelled the chat app past Instagram and Twitter in usage, yet a survey of digital marketers found that while 61% of them were running ads on Facebook and 30% on Instagram, only 4% had actually invested in Snapchat advertising. Why?

Only recently has Snapchat accepted advertising. Unlike most social networks, video ads must be vertically (instead of horizontally) oriented requiring fresh creative that is contextually tied to broad topics such as food, comedy, news, music, etc. within the app’s Discover feed. Snapchat claims that video view completions of vertical ads are nine times greater than horizontal ads, thus, the effort may be worth it. A quick check of the food interest feed found Dunkin’ Donuts celebrating donut day with both video and text insights into how to make your own donuts and 10 donut flavors offered overseas but not in the U.S. National Geographic offered a deep dive into boa constrictors.

While fewer ad campaigns target teens rather than older demographics, the demo is vitally important in a country rapidly becoming more diverse in ethnicity and interests. Millennials are a vital target demo, and their usage of Snapchat makes the app one that should definitely be considered in 2016 and beyond.

Nate Hook


Digital Media Director

Nate launched his career at Pearl Drums in Nashville, Tenn., where he spent nearly 10 years working in the music industry, winning numerous industry awards for both print and digital projects. After leaving the music industry, Nate moved on to work for such companies as HCA, Kroll, C.R. Gibson, and Trakref, serving in various creative, digital and UX leadership roles over the last nine years.