Snap wants to make it easier for advertisers to go vertical.
Starting today, advertisers of all sizes will be able to create full screen video ads in less than two minutes using just a web browser, thanks to a slick new creative tool called Snapchat Publisher.
The tool comes on the heels of a particularly brutal week for Snapchat’s parent Snap, with its stock sliding and several banks cutting their price targets on its stock. The company faces intense pressure to grow its ad business as a newly-public company, with both investors and advertisers being worried about slowing user growth as Instagram ramps up its efforts to crush Snapchat.
Snapchat made it possible for brands of all stripes to buy ads via a self-serve buying option called Ad Manager just last month. Now, with Snap Publisher marketers have a new set of tools that they can use to quickly craft Snapchat-oriented ads.
Here’s how it works: Brands can open the Snap Publisher tool and click on the “Create a Snap” option. They can then choose their desired template, and easily upload their own photos, videos and logos to the templates, before saving and publishing their ads to Snapchat’s Ad Manager.
Brands — particularly small businesses — haven’t had it easy when it comes to advertising on Snapchat so far. Until now, they were forced to spend considerable time and resources to reformat and convert their existing assets into Snapchat’s vertical video format.
The Publisher tool theoretically levels the playing field, allowing brands to quickly and efficiently create Snap ads by importing their existing brand assets and trimming their horizontal videos for the vertical format. One feature, for example, even uses computer vision to detect when a video switches scenes, and allows brands to automatically cut videos along these scene changes or select just one scene for the ad.
“Not all creative agency partners are used to creating videos just for platform,” Sherwin Su, associate social director at digital agency Essence, had told Business Insider in an earlier interview.
Snapchat isn’t the first only digital media player to provide ad creation tools geared toward ad agencies and brands. Snap’s rival Facebook, for example, has the tools Ads Manager, Power Editor and Creative Hub.
But in Snapchat’s case, marketers can both build and buy ads in a single web-based interface.
“The user interface and user experience is fairly intuitive, and it was pretty easy to get ads up and running,” Adrienne Gaines, head of marketing at Function of Beauty, an up-and-coming beauty brand that participated in a beta test for the new tool, told Business Insider. “Snap Publisher removes the barriers to entry and makes it easy for smaller brands to advertise on the platform.”
Gaines added that the brand had pushed Snapchat aside as a part of its marketing mix until now, because it had a limited marketing budget and not a ton of video creative. But the tool allowed Function of Beauty to test out ads just by animating and enhancing its existing product images.
The brand targeted a female millennial audience using these ads, testing them out over a period of two days. The ads drove viewers to its website for a quiz, and the brand was able to pay 50% less than what it pays for ads on its other social media channels, said Gaines.
According to Gaines, Function of Beauty’s beta-test was successful. But she wondered what might happen to ad pricing on Snapchat as more marketers come on board.