Snapchat Unveils Three New Location Tools For Marketers With Hopper And Nordstrom Rack

”This perfect match of radius targeting and relevant creative has cut our CPIs in half, and bumped our booking rate on Snapchat to four times what it is on other paid social platforms,” says Qasim Mian, User Acquisition Manager, Hopper.

Snap is rolling out three new location analytics offerings for brands on Snapchat, noting that “just like the camera, location is central to how Snapchatters use our app.”

The three new tools — Radius Targeting, Location Categories, and Snap Foot Traffic Insights (the latter is in U.S. beta) — join other advertiser and user-facing features Geofilters, Context Cards, and Snap Map to connect brands and consumers, Snap said in a blog post.

Snap’s promise to advertisers is that these tools all go towards finding the right portion of the 187 million daily active Snapchatters who open the app an average of 25 times a day at the right time and place.

In making its case to marketers, Snap says 80 percent have used Snapchat at a restaurant, 67 percent at a shopping mall, and 50 percent at a gym. The new features below are intended to better capture those place-based actions.

Radius Targeting will allow Snap advertising partners to target Snap Ads and Filters around a specific point such as a particular retail store, college, restaurant, airport, city center, concert venue, etc. Think of it as Snapchat’s own geofencing program.

This tool is intended for pretty much any businesses, including brick-and-mortar brands like Nordstrom Rack to airfare price tracking app Hopper. The radius can be .63 – 62 miles — or 1 km – 100 km. And for those worried about social networks’ invasiveness, Snap has limited Radius Targeting only to groups larger than 1,000 users.

Snap’s Radius Targeting is the social messaging and image sharing platform’s geofencing program. Here’s an example of what a marketer targeting users around UCLA’s campus might see.

In a case study on Snap’s blog, Hopper combined geographically tailored messages with Radius Targeting at airports to reach Snapchat users likely to fly from a hub with a location-specific flight deal. The app saw 37 percent “greater likelihood” of Snapchat users to keep track of a flight compared to users on other platforms. Bookings on Hopper were also 4 times higher on Snapchat than on its rivals, as cost-per-impression was cut in half thank to this tool.

“This perfect match of radius targeting and relevant creative has cut our CPIs in half, and bumped our booking rate on Snapchat to four times what it is on other paid social platforms,” says Qasim Mian, User Acquisition Manager, Hopper. “With this consistently strong performance, we’ve confidently scaled our investment in Snapchat to make it one of our primary acquisition channels.”

Nordstrom Rack also pointed to similar successes with Radius Targeting on Snapchat.

“Radius Targeting has been a fantastic new tool for us to promote store openings,” says Nicole Luna, Social Media Specialist for Nordstrom Rack. “By setting a radius of 20 miles around our newest location we’ve been able to get in front of the most relevant Snapchatters who are within range to walk through our doors and start shopping with us.”

Two of the three new location analytics tools rolled out by Snap for Snapchat advertisers.

Location Categories segments audiences for marketers based on the type of place they’re at. Designed for brands that want to reach high-intent Snapchatters at scale, the promise to users is that it will show them more relevant ads in a moment when it’s easy can take an action.

At launch, this tool offers a choice of 150 categories in the U.S. Examples include movie theaters, colleges & universities, sports stadiums & arenas, restaurants, hair salons and more. Unlike geofencing, which is widely available, this capability is more unique to Snapchat and not typically available within other platforms, though location intelligence providers like Foursquare and GroundTruth (both of which partner with Snap) and Placed (which was acquired by Snap last summer) can offer clients.

Instead, this tool is aimed at rivals like Facebook, which despite an array of location analytics features, doesn’t present general targeting of places.

 Both offerings above are accessed in self-serve Ads Manager through a new location search bar. The promise of the search bar is meant to centralize location targeting and to better capture spontaneous searches (“I wonder if they list Fire Island so I can quickly target it” or “I wonder if I can find a big college campus to quickly target” are two ideas that marketers can apply).

Lastly, Foot Traffic Insights, is considered one of Snap’s major ad launches for the entire year.

While Snap didn’t say, since it has kept attribution specialist Placed as a separate unit since making the purchase this summer, this would seem to be the first likely use of the Seattle-based company’s capabilities. Foot Traffic Insights offers brick-and-mortar brands detailed insights on Snapchat users who visit their location — such as total visits, visit frequency, age and gender, most popular interests etc.

No word on specific brands using it yet, since the program is in beta. But it is apparently available to “hundreds” of physical store marketers with Ads Manager access. It’s expected to be released to all advertisers soon.

Foot Traffic Insights is being launched as a free service, independent of advertising spend. Among the abilities being offered to brands are

  • Visitation: See how many Snapchatters visited your locations, as well as how often they come through
  • Demographics: Break down your Snapchat customers by age and gender
  • Interests: Learn about your customers’ interests, and see how they index against the Snapchat average.

Mindful of Facebook’s travails this past week regarding how its user data has been accessed by third parties, Snapchat has sought to make clear that it doesn’t share any user-identifiable location information with advertisers and that users can opt-out from targeting based on third-party data in the app, and choose whether to allow use of location services.

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.