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How Snapchat’s User Research Impacts Video Trends

3/31/21 9:00 AM

Creative marketing director testing how Snapchat impacts video marketing trends

When it comes to app developers and user data reports, marketers usually look to the go-to giants of the social realm: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The findings these platforms share with the world are incredibly helpful when formulating strategies and gaining insights into what’s trending among users. But some incredibly interesting findings emerged from what may be an unexpected source: Snapchat.        

A lot of marketers have written off Snapchat, as it's not widely part of the social media conversation, or used by most adults. But believe it or not, this is the app that Gen Z spends most of their time on. While the app reached an impressive 100 million active users around 2015, it’s been seeing steady overall decline since, but only among certain demographics. The truth is, Snapchat is still used frequently by a large portion of Gen Z and Millennial users. 48% of the app’s demo is 13-25.

So if anyone in that age group is in your audience, you may be interested in a recent report on video viewing behavior conducted by Snapchat. The results are illuminating, and if you’re a video marketer—revelatory. The study examines certain neurological responses that users experience while watching video ads on the app, giving some insight to positive reactions and emotional connection.

Out of all the apps surveyed, Gen Z uses Snapchat the most for creating media, sharing media, communicating with friends, and sharing their daily lives. Snapchat, unlike other apps tested, managed to maintain higher levels of engagement and positive feelings, even during paid advertisements. Beyond just high VCR, viewer’s brain chemistry is responding positively to ads. And considering the average VCR for a video ad today is an impressive 89%, this data seems too good to be true.

Snapchat’s videos were 8% more immersive than other apps and 38% more immersive than the advertisement standard. In a neurological context, high immersion is linked to content retention and a likelihood to seek out more info.

So what’s Snapchat’s secret to that level of engagement, and what can we learn?

Shorter clips, higher engagement

Since the app’s users are mostly under 25, they’re not necessarily looking to watch a feature length video. The shorter, the better says Snapchat’s report. They noted that 60% of viewers were watching several videos a day, up to a minute in length. As the videos increased in length, the likelihood of VCR dropped steadily, with only 50% of users watching 2-5 minute clips, and only 42% completing 6-10 minute videos.

Creating content that’s optimized and intended for platforms like Snapchat, not just in specs but in length, will give you a leg up among those resharing generalized content. Attention-grabbing social ads can accomplish more in 30 seconds than you’d think. With Snapchat’s findings, marketers must examine not just typical app analytics, but in-depth studies that connect marketing to what connects with users on a human level.

Unique strategies see results

The other lesson here is style. When many marketers had written off Snapchat, the app continued to draw young audiences with its punchy style and dynamic content. Known for cartoonish animation, bright colors, and fast-paced clips, Snapchat is leading the way on engaging with Gen Z, something that many brands are struggling with. Nailing that style is key. There’s a delicate balance between communicating your authentic brand voice and adapting to the platform you’re working with. This goes back to building unique strategies for each platform. Lean into animation for apps like this. Not only are animated promos engaging, they offer another opportunity to showcase your unique brand style and look. 

Creativity reigns supreme

In Snapchat’s report, one of the user's most valued features was the creative ability and interactivity offered by the app’s tools. They felt they were able to express themselves more creatively and uniquely on Snapchat than any other platform, including more advanced tools like Photoshop. Instead of working against the homemade feel of Snapchat videos, lean into it. Using the feel of user-generated content, influencer features can capture the creativity of the platform and run with it. When crafting your strategy, insights like these can direct your efforts more effectively, so you can create the perfect video for every platform. 

In a post-2020 digital world, marketers have to consider a constantly shifting emotional landscape, among all the other usual factors. Consumers emotions are at an all time high, and content is resonating differently these days. Studies like these, that give us a peek into the science behind user behavior, are the new cornerstone of marketing research, that should inform content strategies from here on out. If content isn’t connecting with users on an emotional and neurological level, it might not cut it anymore.

To build a video marketing strategy that will delight your audience and get their neurons firing, give Trifactor a call

Creative Team
Written by Creative Team

Trifactor is a multifaceted team of creatives with diverse experience in the marketing industry. Together, we use our background and knowledge to write informed content related to video marketing and video production, where we can really flex our expertise.

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