Commentary

Snapchat Refines Targeting With Engagement Audiences Feature

Under pressure from anxious investors, Snap is courting Madison Ave. with ever fancier ad offerings.

Take Snapchat’s new “Engagement Audiences” initiative, which invites brands to target those users who previously interacted with their ads on the app.

For example, a brand can now can hit audiences who’ve already interacted with their Lens or Geofilter with a fresh Snap Ad campaign.

The point is to help advertisers reach consumers more likely to be in the “consideration stage” -- or “mid-funnel” -- because they have already shown an interest in their brand.

According to Snap, this sort of offering is not “retargeting” as it is commonly known. Rather, it’s engagement targeting all within Snapchat -- rather than involving outside Web sites or data.

Since its debut at the end of 2016, Snap also continues to roll out “goal-based bidding” for installs. Per the program, advertisers can “bid for installs,” which means that buyers can optimize for the lowest cost per install by showing ads to users most likely to install the app.

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This form of targeting is done via Snap’s auction, while brand are still billed on impressions.

Over the past year, Snapchat has secured its spot as a top app. According to comScore, the popular service officially joined the ranks of the Top 10 most popular apps in late 2016.

“Snapchat … went from being a very popular app among the younger demographics to  being one of the most popular apps among the general population,” Adam Lella, senior analyst at comScore, recently told me.

Critically, Snapchat’s general popularity has yet to undercut its status among Millennials, according to comScore’s 2017 Cross-Platform Future in Focus report.

At the end of 2016, a whopping 78% of U.S. consumers ages 18-to-24 -- and 48% of those 25-to-34 -- were using Snapchat.

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