Gannett's Partnership With Snap On Local Ad Sales Looks Promising

It's hard to understate the animosity that many publishers feel toward tech giants like Google and Facebook, which dominate the U.S. digital advertising market. Amid the rivalry between old and new media comes a sales partnership between newspaper publisher Gannett and Snap, maker of photo-messaging app Snapchat.

The partnership marks the first time Snap will work with another company to sell advertising to local businesses in the United States and Canada. It will train Gannett's salesforce on how to sell advertising on Snapchat and help manage Snap's marketing campaigns with local businesses.

For Gannett, which publishes USA Today and hundreds of other titles, the deal gives its digital sales team another product to market to its clientele of more than 100,000 small businesses nationwide. The publisher in 2018 created its LOCALiQ platform as it consolidated its digital marketing services for local advertisers.
Getting onto Snapchat is a way for those businesses to reach a younger audience whose media consumption is mostly through a smartphone. Snapchat has 92 million users in North America; it claims to reach more than 75% of people ages 13 to 34 in the U.S.
For Snap, the partnership can help to raise awareness about Snapchat among local business owners -- especially anyone over the age of 40 -- who may not use the app and are unaware of how it differs from social media apps like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Snap CEO Evan Spiegel has acknowledged the difficulty in demonstrating the value of Snapchat advertising to people outside of its younger demographic. In 2019, he told attendees at a Goldman Sachs investment conference that older brand executives who don't use the app were less likely to advertise, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Since then, U.S. advertisers have discovered Snapchat. Its revenue in North America last year surged 50% to $1.78 billion, outpacing the 6% growth in its user base to 92 million people in the region. With many people stuck at home during the pandemic, they relied more heavily on Snapchat to stay in touch. Snapchat users opened the app an average of 30 times a day, the company said.
Snap has made it easier for smaller advertisers with its self-service platform that charges as little as $5 to start a campaign. It also offers geo-targeted ads in its Snap Map feature for local businesses that seek to drive foot traffic from nearby Snapchat users. With Gannett's sales team helping to spread the word about Snapchat, adoption by local advertisers is likely to grow.



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