Snapchat Deep Linking + Lead Gen Ads Copy Facebook’s Ad Tech

by Sean Ogino |

Snapchat Deep Linking + Lead Gen Ads Copy Facebook’s Ad Tech

snapchat deep linking

Snapchat is testing two new ad tech features that take a page from Facebook’s playbook. Given the history of competition between the two social media juggernauts, which has heated up over the past year or so, this move isn’t surprising. However, marketers and advertisers should take note of how Snapchat deep linking and lead gen ads-the two new capabilities–will work and possibly help them.

If we examine Snapchat’s moves over the past few years, its efforts to make itself ad-friendly and shoppable are easily noticeable. In 2015, it teamed up with shopping search engine ShopStyle, which allowed bloggers to create styles for their followers to shop. In 2016, it offered third-party verification from companies like Oracle Data Cloud,Nielsen mobile Digital Ad Ratings and Google DoubleClick to add more measurement capabilities to the ads. But it seems that the multimedia mobile application is far away from putting its efforts in that direction in cold storage. At least, the recent tests made by it reflects that.

With the unofficial launch of Snapchat deep linking and lead gen ads, the company is implementing capabilities that Facebook started using in 2015.

Snapchat deep linking enables users to swipe up and tap a link, which will bring them to a specific place within another application, such as a playlist in a music app or a product page in an e-commerce app. Now, this means that advertisers will be enabled to run ads for a product they want to sell and users can “swipe up” to view and learn more about it. After tapping the screen, they will be directed to that product page.

For those who are not familiar with the concept of deep linking, the following example will illuminate it: A streaming music service may buy a Snap Ad where, after viewing a 10-second video, users are directed to swipe up. From the web-view page, they have the option to tap through to another app. If they don’t have the necessary app downloaded, they could be directed to a page where the app can be downloaded. Clearly, Snapchat deep linking going to be instrumental in giving marketers superior control over the messaging and communication of the ad once they get that initial conversion by enabling users to easily click to their own digital property.

The second new feature is lead gen ads, also known as web auto-fill. These enable viewers to fill out lead-generation forms with one tap on the screen after seeing an ad, and, to protect their privacy, they are asked if want to use the feature every single time it’s utilized. The ad can extract any user information, like name, phone number, email address and birthday. In short, it’s a way of sparing them from repeatedly entering their details on smartphones. This is very significant move considering how agonizing it is to put all your details by typing through the small keypad of the small screen. It will undoubtedly speed up the overall purchase process.

These lead gen ads are a very interesting move in that it could very well be used by a significant portion of B2B companies–provided, of course, that their prospects are on Snapchat. While plenty of B2C marketers use lead gen tactics and forms for a variety of reasons, this shows how Snapchat is trying to branch out to new types of advertisers.

Why are Snapchat deep linking and lead gen ads being tested?

Monetization: Of course, a huge reason for the implementation of new ad technologies is the aim to stand shoulder to shoulder with Facebook and Instagram, who are the current hot favorites of advertisers. The much more evolved functionality and gigantic user base of Facebook and Instagram are the prime reasons for that.

The move appears even more logical when we look at the scenario where about 30% of all online sales in Southeast Asia in 2016 occurred via social networks. And some 80% of shoppers in Southeast Asia used social media to research items and contact sellers. Data from Sumo Heavy puts that that figure in America is at 18.2%, an increase of 8.3% in the past six months. Snapchat is wise enough to understand the growing potential of social commerce…and rightly so, it wants a sizable chunk of a share of it.

Snapchat’s Own Ad Related Miseries: Apart from the monetization, this move also has to do a lot with the Snapchat’s fight with its own demons. Though it has a huge user base of millennials and Gen Z, along with its meteoric rise over the last couple of years, its interface has always been a point of concern for marketers. They have always found it a platform that is hard to sell from.

To begin with, the first issue that markers have with Snapchat is that it’s very difficult to get rapt and undiluted attention on ephemeral brand stories, which vanish after 24 hours. And that’s why to keep up the content feed up, marketers have to use their own resources all the time…and that’s like involving the inventory!

Another issue is that Snapchat’s way of advertising is better suited for brand promotion and creating a buzz about products. For big brands with larger ad budgets, this might work. But relatively smaller companies view ads as a tool that directly lead to sales.

Plus, a Snapchat ad is a costly affair. As per one agency source, campaigns run between six and seven figures, and another said a sponsored lens can run between $350,000 to $700,000 a day. (Nevertheless, there are some kinds of ads you can purchase for under $50,000.) Besides, Snapchat ads need specific filters due to their vertical video or platform nature. It forces agencies to make ads specifically for those filters- and that costs extra money.

Mike Dossett, manager of digital strategy at agency RPA, has accurately put the finger on this pain point when he said, “Their standard video inventory requires new production because it’s vertical, and there’s a 10-second limitation. That makes it challenging to plug and play.”

Naturally, with such a wounded revenue leg, Snapchat cannot run in the race of its planned $25 billion initial public offering. It has to shore up its monetization strategy and position it as a potential growth generator if it has to attract investors to purchase its stock. And through updates like Snapchat deep linking and web auto-fill, the business is trying to keep no stone unturned in the pursuit of profitability.

Note: We always keep a close watch on each and every happening in the social media world. In this blog also we have discussed Facebook’s product tags and Messenger Stories. Here, you will know everything about Facebook’s launch of Marketplace. To know which new targeting tools Snapchat has added in its arsenal, have a glance at this blog. Similarly, to get acquainted with the recent Instagram updates, this blog is a must read.

Facebook Dynamic Ads for Retailers: Tips From a Pro

facebook dynamic ads for retailers

While Annex Cloud and our experienced Customer Success Team specialize in customer loyalty and advocate marketing solutions, we’re tapped into all facets of digital and omni-channel marketing. We chatted recently with Leanna Kelly, a Retail Content Marketing Specialist at CPC Strategy.

CPC Strategy implements performance growth for paid search, Google Shopping, Amazon sales, and other vital shopping channels. Given this background, Kelly is the perfect person to share some tips and tricks about Facebook Dynamic Ads for retailers!

1. For those of us who might not be familiar, what are Facebook Dynamic Ads, and why are they beneficial?

Kelly describes Facebook Dynamic Ads for retailers as “a way to promote relevant items from your entire product catalog across any device.” They work off of a template and your product feed. From that feed, working in conjunction with the Facebook Pixel, the ads are “targeted towards people who’ve taken actions on your website.” In this way, they pick up very valuable potential customers.

Compared to ads that don’t get updated automatically based on your product feed, Facebook Dynamic Ads for retailers are a piece of cake. Kelly tells us that “once you set up dynamic ads, it’s pretty simple. You just need to check them regularly, but they basically  run themselves.”

Other than reduced maintenance, Facebook Dynamic Ads for retailers are also more effective. In a CPC Strategy client study, they found that dynamic retargeting ads have a 250% higher return on ad spending (ROAS) compared to static retargeting ads.

2. So clients can get product descriptions, product IDs, PDP URLs, and so on automatically pulled into these ads? Do they have to set up multiple templates for these or is it just one?

All product information is “feed-driven” and automatically pulled in. Due to this, Kelly goes on, “It’s one standard template, but you can add other information in if you want and customize how the ad appears.”

3. With some of the basics out of the way, let’s talk about your advice. What are some of the best practices for Facebook Dynamic Ads for retailers that you find to be crucial?

Right off the bat, Kelly tells us that advertisers and their clients must thoroughly QA their Facebook Pixel. “Make sure it’s firing correctly on the relevant pages on your site. If you want it to track cart abandoners, it’d better be set up on your checkout page. If you want to track certain product page visits, make sure it’s set up on those.

Kelly’s second piece of advice concerns retailers’ product feeds. “When you’re pulling a product in from the feed, make sure to take a look at how it appears in terms of text, headline, and so on. You can customize the names of products so they don’t get cut off on mobile. Facebook is very mobile-driven, so it’s extra important to make sure you’re not just looking at how ads appear on desktop.

“Another huge potential problem for the product feed is image size. People can have really weird sizes for their product images and sometimes when they’re pulled in they won’t show up. Make sure that you optimize them before they’re pulled in.”

Lastly, she clarifies a common misunderstanding: “Some people have asked about the differences between Facebook’s Power Editor and its Ad Manager, and which one you should use to manage your ads. Basically, you use both–you create ads in Power Editor, and manage them in Ad Manager.”

4. Do you have any examples? Any stories of surprise issues that clients wouldn’t initially think about?

One word of warning that Kelly has is that “the implementation of the Facebook Pixel is always harder than you expect, especially if you don’t have an in-house developer.”

In terms of examples, she points to an athletic apparel client called Alp-n-Rock. The CPC Strategy team cleverly decided to use Facebook Dynamic Ads to target past purchasers for upsells and/or cross-sells. Combined with a few other best practices, their orders grew by 29% within 4 months.

Another story comes from a home goods client that CPC Strategy works with called Designer Living. Introducing Facebook Dynamic Ads to them–along with a slew of best practices–helped them target the right audiences and gave them another way to directly promote products. Within 6 months, their Facebook revenue grew by 574% and their Facebook ROAS increased by 220%.

designer living

5. Even though Facebook Dynamic Ads for retailers are constantly updated with any changes in a seller’s product feed, are there any additional steps they should take to make these ads engaging?

Kelly tells us that dynamic ads “are essentially evergreen. The way we do it, they’re constantly running. They’re engaging because they’re for people who’ve visited your site, have interacted with you, and are interested in your brand. Furthermore, the audience is constantly being refreshed by the Pixel.

“That said, when you add new product, make sure that they’re included in the feed and look great. Also, you can splice up the time frames for your audiences. Find the window that works for you, like people who visited in the past 3 days or week or so on.”

6. What are the best ways to measure success with Facebook Dynamic Ads for retailers?

Conversion–clicks through to the ads to purchases–is a crucial metric. Kelly says, though, that “the biggest thing is that your ROI should always be higher for dynamic ads than for anything else you’re doing on Facebook. If it’s not, you’re doing something wrong.”

7. What should retailers expect to see from Facebook Dynamic Ads? Do certain types of sellers generally do better than others?

Kelly notes that the results from Facebook Dynamic Ads for retailers will vary quite a bit depending on a company’s industry, size, budget, and goals.

That said, she clarifies, “A lot of people might not think that dynamic ads can work for their brand. Even if you don’t think your brand is clickable enough for Facebook, these ads are showing up to people who have already been to your site and have shown they’re  interested in your business, so you have an advantage.”

CPC Strategy’s blog is a great place to learn more about the world of paid ads. If you’re interested in acquiring customers through organic means, you should look into how a proper sharing and referral program can increase orders by 38% in less than a year. Check out our Refer a Friend best practices guide to learn how to do it the right way!

Snapchat’s New Ad Tools Copy Facebook’s Playbook

snapchat's new ad tools

Not long ago Evan Spiegel, co-founder and CEO of Snapchat, famously said that he doesn’t want for the network to “creepily” target users. But it looks like reality has dawned upon him. And that reality is to monetize any social media or digital platform, targeting audiences on the basis of behavior is a necessity. Of course, he was right in the sense that random and unwanted ads play a huge role in repelling user bases, but there are always ways to it in a better way. And a social sharing platform like Snapchat, which has an immense user base of 100 million active daily users with a 10 billion daily video views, shouldn’t make the mistake of missing out on such a huge opportunity of revenue generation. That’s why Snapchat’s new ad tools are exciting for both marketers and the Los Angeles-based company. Here’s a look at its three new targeted formats.

A) Snapchat’s New Ad Tools: Snap Audience Match

This product of Snapchat will enable marketers to take existing lists of email addresses and mobile device IDs and anonymously match that data with Snapchat’s own set of consumer data to enhance ad targeting. But care will be taken that while executing these ad campaigns, it will not disclose any personal data beyond what marketers already have. Besides, consumers will have the option to opt out of the Audience Match product, but until then will have to tolerate any unwanted ad attention.

snapchat's new ad tools

But the truth is that Snapchat is not rolling out anything new here. The company is following the ad-targeting playbook popularized by, if not written by, Facebook and already adopted by other major ad-supported digital platforms like Google, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. It’s a clear cut attempt to compete with the Facebook’s dominance on the social web.

B) Snapchat’s New Ad Tools: Snapchat Lifestyle Categories

It’s just not enough to target customers based on their age, gender or geographical location, if only because people who belong to the same age or gender group may have different interests. The core of targeted advertisement is to target the interest and that’s what Snapchat Lifestyle Categories will do. With this tool, advertisers will be able to target people based on the types of videos they watch, like gaming or beauty.

C) Snapchat’s New Ad Tools: Snapchat Lookalike

Using the same process as Snap Audience Match, once you’ve uploaded your audience data, Snapchat will be able to use those matched users as templates and create a similar audience based on related characteristics and behaviors. This should prove an easy entry point for first-time Snapchat marketers to see how Snapchat users act and, ideally, compare that to the behavior of audiences on other targeted channels.

Again, it’s no different than the Facebook namesake. It works as per the lookalike algorithm that differentiates and picks the consumers based on certain similarities and characteristics of existing audience

To Conclude…

It’s quite clear that Snapchat is sharpening the sword of their targeted ad efforts. Snapchat’s new ad tools will make the focus as narrow as possible to make sure that the right advertising is reaching out to the right customers. Regardless of how good an ad’s content is, if it’s irrelevant to the customers it’s essentially useless. It will be interesting to see if this new shift, at least for Snapchat, will answer the growing pain points of platform monetization.

Tip: Social media login for websites reduces cart abandonment by up to 26%

For more ideas on how to boost sales, recognition, and engagement with visual social content, take a look at our guides, “Sell Experiences, Not Clothes: Visual Commerce and the Fashion Industry,” “The New Wave of User Generated Content: 7 Concepts for 2017 and Beyond,” “A Picture’s Worth 1,000 Words: A Visual Commerce Best Practices eBook,” and “Visual Commerce Permissions: Vital Best Practices for Using User Generated Content!

Snapchat Patent: Serving Ads Based on Object Recognition

snapchat patent

Details have emerged about a Snapchat patent that would serve users sponsored filters, advertisements, and coupons based on the photos and videos they take.

While the patent was first filed in January of 2015, the United States Patent and Trademark office released the documentation last week.

The Snapchat patent application offers the example of a user taking a picture of the Empire State Building:

“For example, if the user takes a photograph and an object in the photograph is recognized as the Empire State Building, photo filters associated with the Empire State Building may be provided to the user for use with the photograph. In this example, a picture of the Empire State Building may use a King Kong filter that would place the giant ape on the Empire State Building in the photograph at different perspectives. Therefore, a picture of the south face of the Empire State Building might see King Kong’s back, while a picture from the north face might see King Kong’s face looking at you.

In this example, provision of the King Kong filter may also be constrained by a geo-fence (e.g., geographic boundary) around the area in New York including the Empire State Building. Of course, further Empire State Building-themed photo filters may also be presented to the user. The presentation of the photo filters to the user may be in response to the user performing a gesture (e.g. a swipe operation) on a screen of the mobile device.”

The patent contains illustrations of the proposed technology.
The patent contains illustrations of the proposed technology.

The filing goes on to note that the same technology could be applied to videos. It envisions a bidding system in which different advertisers would pay to have certain objects associated with their content.

Aside from the sponsored filter angle, the Snapchat patent also notes that the same technology could be used to offer coupons, restaurant menus, and more.

An example coupon offering.
An example coupon offering.

Business Insider has an easy-to-read version of the Snapchat patent application in full. The Verge reminds us that this is, as far as we know, only a patent application, but it’s still amazing to consider all the possibilities that image recognition technology offers.

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Here at Annex Cloud we don’t like to waste things. Whether it’s a water bottle, a paper bag, or precious user generated content (UGC), we’re all for reusing and recycling. When you have hundreds of inspiring pictures up in your Visual Commerce galleries or thousands of rave reviews, it seems like a shame to not use … Read more

Push Your eCommerce Company Into Rapid Growth

Whether you’re a mid size retailer or manufacturer just starting out in the world of eCommerce, your goal is to grow your business rapidly and get new customers before your competitors do.  Traditional marketing is no longer effective with today’s social and mobile customer base. Augmenting your eCommerce business with Social Commerce is the surefire way to acquire new customers, engage and convert them quickly, and keep them coming back. Online commerce empowers owners of mids

ecommerceize and startup companies in ways that simply wasn’t possible in the foot traffic days of brick-n-mortar business. As Internet virtually eliminated the constraints of location, the physical foot traffic gave way to the digital foot traffic. One such powerful source of digital foot traffic is Social Media.

Following are some ways Social Commerce can push your eCommerce business into rapid growth.

Level the Competitive Playing Field

As your company grows you are competing with enterprise companies for customer’s attention and only half the advertising budget. Social Commerce helps level this playing field when it comes to traffic, engagement, compelling content, and loyalty. In the digital and social media space, midsize and new businesses can compete on a more equal basis with well-crafted Social Media campaigns, contests, and other social marketing programs. Creating a national television commercial is incredibly expensive, but creating a compelling, visually stunning social media campaign is well within the means of even a small ad budget. And should a social post go viral, your company gets the opportunity to experience the same level of attention their enterprise competitors receive at a much lower cost.

Expand Your Business Faster

Sure, the people in your region love your clothing boutique. The people in other states and countries probably would too, if they knew about it and had a convenient way to shop. When you add eCommerce to your bricks and mortar business, you open the door to a potentially worldwide audience. Setting up an online storefront is remarkably easy these days, including setting up “shopping cart” technology and secure online checkout. You’ll need to invest in high quality images of the products you sell, but these can be used as part of your local traditional advertising strategy as well. Augmenting that with a solid set of social commerce tools opens the door to a vast wealth of User Generated Content including ratings and reviews, image galleries and social conversations. You can utilize this to improve your customer service, expand your marketing content, and reach a wider range of customers.

Mobility Empowers More Customers

In the last quarter of 2014, more traffic arrived at online stores from mobile devices than desktop computers. The lines between mobile and social started blurring when over 80% of off-line shopping experiences began on a mobile device.

eCommerce capitalizes on this mobile revolution, particularly when businesses make the mobile shopping experience  as simple, aesthetically pleasing, and frictionless as possible. If you are just starting your business’s eCommerce strategy, then “mobile first” should be your guiding principle. Website architecture needs to be suited to the mobile experience, and fortunately, more web developers than ever are cognizant of this and are making it a priority to create websites that are visually appealing, responsive, and functional for both desktops views and mobile use.

Another promising trend in mobile eCommerce is the convergence of people who use mobile to strictly browse and people who actually complete purchases on their mobile devices. People are  becoming more and more comfortable shopping from mobile devices, and technology is allowing businesses to make the mobile checkout process fast, seamless, and intuitive.

This quickly developing shift towards mobile shopping offers new companies an opportunity to disrupt the space and get ahead of their enterprise counterparts. As they are just beginning their eCommerce efforts they can build mobile functionality and friendliness into their strategy for seamless marketing and customer experience right from the get go.

Social Media Can Build Your Brand Faster and more Efficiently

Social media and eCommerce can work together terrifically, and the investment in social media is more of a time investment rather than a capital investment. The social media landscape includes giant corporations that use social platforms to burnish their reputations as well as smaller businesses that use the platforms to build their brand. The great thing about social media is that when it’s done well, a small or mid size company can appear just as impressive and dynamic as their larger enterprise competitors. One especially effective technique is to employ user-generated content, especially photos and videos. A picture taken by a real customer with the product in real life situation can be remarkably inspiring and helps consumers make better purchasing decisions.

Successful social media strategies revolve around engaging with customers and providing them with information that is entertaining, fresh, original, and relevant to their interests and preferences. Companies can run contests on social media websites, and can, on occasion, use these platforms to announce new products, offer promotions, and even collect feedback. You have to be careful, however, to avoid using social media simply to pitch products. People are quick to unfollow brands that they believe are constantly trying to sell to them. Social media should be mostly informative, entertaining, and engaging.

A huge range of businesses can add eCommerce to their operations at a relatively low cost, and expand to serve consumers in a much broader geographic territory – worldwide in some instances. Social Commerce gives businesses the ability to capture user profile information with a click of a button, take and fulfil online orders easily and boost revenues significantly without a huge capital investment.

Mobility is revolutionizing people’s browsing and shopping habits, and with a mobile first strategy, businesses can reach people around the world, around the clock. Social media platforms give new companies a worldwide stage on which they can educate, entertain, and inform their customers, and ultimately monetize their social media following.


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What does Facebook Want to Be When it Grows Up?


Facebook started back in 2004 as a way to connect, share updates and photos with friends and family. Zuckerberg’s current cash-cow originated from the failed concept of Facemash. A kind of “hot or not” idea that featured photos from unwilling Harvard students and encouraged other students to rate them based on levels of attractiveness. Thankfully, … Read more

Adobe® Social – Social Media no Longer an Experiment but a Marketing Must-Have

Social Media

With businesses now transitioning from early adopters to early majority, a lot of emphasis is now being placed on gaining valuable business insight into marketing efforts and their conversion ratios. The Marketing VP’s have been handed huge kitties of money to spend on efforts to drive traffic and increase conversions. A sizable portion of this budget … Read more

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