Snap Inc desperately needs ad revenue to redirect its sinking share price. So after a year of getting mercilessly copied by Facebook, Snapchat is returning the favor by launching its take on the Facebook ads Power Editor. This new “Advanced Mode” for its Snapchat Ads Manager lets big advertisers rapidly deploy complex ad campaigns with tons of creative variants.
By allowing big ad agencies and brands to efficiently target, test, and update their ad campaigns, they may be willing to spend more money on Snap. While the benefits won’t kick in in time for Snap’s pivotal Q2 earnings call next week, Advanced Mode could help the upstart put a dent in the Google / Facebook ad duopoly down the line.
Snap launched its self-serve Ads Manager in May, and added vertical video creation tool Snap Publisher in July. With the addition of Advanced Mode, advertisers will be able to
- Automate multiple ad campaigns with a permutation builder so they can quickly create 100s of ad creative and targeting variants
- Utilize Snap spreadsheets for bulk design and editing of campaigns
- Save targeting audiences to use on future campaigns
- Performance metrics that can be grouped and ordered by different metrics with data exportation
- Automate campaign naming
Snap also got an ads boost today that has perked up its share price when the world’s largest ad agency WPP’s CEO Martin Sorrell told CNBC that WPP was doubling its Snap ad buy from $100 million in 2016 to $200 million in 2017. Though he contextualized that, noting that WPP will spend $2 billion on Facebook ads this year, and had previously told online video news channel Cheddar about the increased buy.
Facebook debuted its Power Editor in 2011 (which I covered the launch of because I’ve been doing this forever). It was the last piece of its ads suite that started with direct ad sales, then self-serve ads, and then a self-serve API. Snap launched direct ad sales in 2014, then an Ads API in 2016, before testing its self-serve tool in May, and now launching Advanced Mode.
The similarities in strategy aren’t too surprising considering Snap’s first COO Emily White was recruited from Facebook-owned Instagram, and it later hired Facebook Audience Network head Sriram Krishnan to work on its ad tools.
These Advanced Mode tools could help Snapchat get to the ad load and scale necessary to monetize its slow growing audience. If it can’t add 10s of millions of new users per quarter, Wall Street will want it to prove it can earn a higher average revenue per user. That means squeezing as much money as it can from each user with these improved ad targeting options.
While Facebook might be running Snap’s product playbook, Snap is making progress by running Facebook’s monetization playbook.