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Now, this is taking user engagement to the extreme.

Snapchat’s latest monetization ploy is to link the effects of its recent selfie Lens feature to sponsors’ websites. In essence, it’s counting on using you to sell you something that someone thinks you might want or need.

Ingenious. Which is why a mega-price tag is going to accompany the advertiser’s privilege.

Here’s how Lenses work:

Incidentally, those Lenses are gone already. The app’s dropping one and adding another one daily.

Snapchat is one of the go-to platforms for younger millennials right now, capable of drawing up to 100million users daily, and it’s estimated that around 60% of all smartphone users aged between 13 and 34 are Snapchat members. The issue, though, is most of them are media-savvy and numb to traditional avenues of advertising.

So, immersing users in the message itself could well be the ideal means to attract their attention. Film studios will no doubt consider this a natural vessel for their messages. For example:

  • The robot eye above — or something similar — could link to a new Iron Man or Star Wars movie;
  • A horror face could link to the next teenage screamer feature; and/or
  • An animal face could link to a Disney movie.

In essence, the ad’s hook will be the creativity, familiarity, and popularity of each user.

And for this, Snapchat plans on charging $750,000 for a peak day run — such as a holiday; it’s launching the service on Halloween — scaling down to an everyday charge of $450,000.

Advertising on Snapchat represents a classic case of reaching the customers where the customers are.

Snapchat for small business

Small business has gradually found effective ways of utilizing the platform in more conventional applications of content marketing via methods such as providing a series of how-to images and asking users to involve a their product in their selfies.

Of course, the impression had best be compelling, as Snapchat images disappear in ten seconds. The advantage this carries to advertisers, though, is users know that and focus on the message immediately.

As Snapchat’s platform matures and its user base spreads — now young moms are flocking to it — the challenge now is to convince more advertisers that it delivers results.

And as much as raking in big bucks from Lens linking is an end in itself, offering a high-end format like that serves to amplify Snapchat’s presence to businesses at all levels. For a company valued at $16billion and still trying to justify it, that’s crucial.

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