Snap: ‘Cut through the noise and stand out’

The platform's MENA Vice President gives his tips on making a great brand campaign

Campaign Middle East spoke to Hussein Freijeh, Vice President of Snap Inc. for MENA, as part of our Know Your Platforms series.

Know Your Platforms is a guide for marketers when it comes to social media, music streaming and gaming platforms.

 What’s the one thing you wish more marketers knew about your platform?

 Snapchat was really created to be different to traditional social media. Our founders didn’t like the way that people were being pressured to post a perfect version of themselves. They created Snapchat to be an alternative, through features like ephemeral messaging, privacy controls and a focus on genuine connections with close friends, family and people with influence. Snapchat is the place where GCC nationals connect with their friends and family, and share their day-to-day experiences.

It is a natural digital extension for GCC locals – mimicking their life interactions. They love the fact that it gives them a way to maintain their connections, in a private place where they can be themselves with no pressure, and share everything from the highlights to the mundane with the people who matter to them most.

How has the platform’s user demographics shifted over time?

 Snapchat is a natural fit in the GCC culture because it is fundamentally different. In KSA alone we have over 22 million monthly active users and the platform currently reaches 90% of 13-34 year olds. When we look at the UAE, Snapchat reaches 1 in 3 of 18-34 year-olds.

This strong relevance to GCC culture makes Snapchat a unique place that is visited over 45 times a day, making it the most frequently used app throughout the day, a place where people come to chat with friends and family, catch highlights from their favourite show or share moments from their lives.

What makes a topic ‘trending’ on your platform, and what have been top trends recently?

 Creators and partners who optimise their posts with Snap Tools, tags and captions are much more likely to see them trending. Trends on Snapchat are very diverse and we see them evolving from time to time. For example, this month, Ramadan’s on our list of top trends, especially with the Snap Ramadan AR Mall, we’re noticing that Snapchatters are also looking into shopping, cooking, fitness and shows relating to the Holy Month.

What makes a successful brand campaign?

 I always stress the importance of truly resonating with your audience, ensuring your message cuts through the noise and stands out. A great example of a campaign that showed the possibilities of AR as a powerful engagement tool is The Chefz Founding Day campaign. During last year’s Saudi Founding Day, The Chefz, an online platform for food discovery and ordering, opted for a multi-product approach, collaborating with Snapchat to create Video Ads, Snap Ads, and an AR Lens for their campaign to generate remarkable engagement and virality.

The campaign achieved an impressive average Lens playtime of 23.82 seconds, achieving more-than 3x the industry standard in terms of shares, and the AR Lens garnered over 3x more saves than industry averages. The Chefz saw clearly how their brand creative resonated with Snapchat’s audience and the return on ad spend exceeded 20x, underscoring the exceptional return on investment.

What strategies do successful content creators on your platform use to grow their audience and engagement?

Programmes like the Snapchat’s Stories revenue share program have transformed the creator landscape by seamlessly integrating ads within creators’ Stories. We also help connect creators with brands through our Snap Star Collab Studio which also makes it simpler to measure branded creator-led campaigns.

On Snapchat, creators share their true authentic selves, taking followers behind the scenes and sharing their day-to-day. They tell us they love Snapchat because it’s less pressure, they feel closer to their community and much more connected on a daily basis.

How does the platform stay relatable?

 Our number one use case has always been messaging with friends, not scrolling through a public feed. Our app mimics real-life interactions and conversation, including privacy. Conversations delete by default because that’s how conversations work in real life and that is how GCC locals love their privacy. We’ve never had social validation metrics when you share your story with your friends – there’s no need to be perfect.