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Why Your Company Needs To Be On Snapchat Right Now SnapChat rolled out new features to move the app into the forefront of marketing to millennials.

By Murray Newlands Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Snapchat has been a notoriously difficult platform on which to market a brand. Content on the app, while reaching over 100 million viewers, is deliberately temporary and marketing has been prohibitively expensive for all but the most lucrative brands. Many companies abstained from engaging early on due to misinformation, ignorance, or difficulty launching a campaign that had no in-depth analytics, and Chief Executive Officer Evan Speigel has been vocally against "creepy" targeted advertising -- until now. I have personally started to use it a lot and so have all the internet savvy CEO's I know.

Related: The Quick Guide to Using Snapchat for Business in 2016

Snapchat rolled out new features on Tuesday that move the app into the forefront of marketing possibilities that reach millennials: 60 percent of US citizens age 13-34 are using Snapchat, making it easily one of the best apps for reaching the young demographic. If you've been hesitant to engage with the app, let me break down for you just why your brand should be on Snapchat, right now:

New features

Snapchat's new features enable users to make voice calls, send audio messages, and send video messages. They've also created what amounts to a private livestream video call, where users can chat using their own recorded video or audio -- with the content disappearing after a set amount of time, as usual.

By expanding its set of features, Snapchat is ensuring that young people will want to stay in the app and use it instead of other, single-function platforms like WhatsApp or Google Hangouts. The company is staying relevant in the space, not just languishing in the features that already exist, and this will only broaden their audience.

Related: 5 Reasons Every Business Should be on Snapchat

Cheaper advertising

All the new features aren't just for consumers. Last month, they rolled out new Sponsored Lenses and Sponsored Geofilters, which allow users to add specific art and labels to their snaps -- art and labels that are designed by anyone, and connected to a particular location. A user could ostensibly walk through your business and snap a picture, then add your branded lens/filter to the snap, for example.

There is also a new "Discover" section that runs original branded snaps, where brands can also purchase 10-second, 2 cents-per-view video ads that run in between the snaps; a far-cry from the original, bloated price of 15 cents-per-view. Prices are much more accessible for smaller brands, with a huge reach.

But the most important new feature, in my opinion, is that Snapchat has enhanced targeting by location, age, gender, and device. While these metrics are still quite weak, there are other companies (such as Delmondo and Snaplytics) that have started rolling out metrics for companies that want clear data, and there are sure to be more in the works.

Huge millennial reach

There are over eight billion video views every day on Snapchat, and largely those views are from millennials. The app is designed for mobile users (vertical videos are standard) and for millennials whose first digital language is often mobile, this is appealing and natural. Millennials speak in the language of snaps: soundbites, chats, brief moments, and impermanent flashes of content. The app was created by millennials (Evan Speigel is just 25 years old) and has informed and shaped millennial culture. If you want to reach millennials, your brand needs to be on Snapchat.

Related: Snapchat Reaches 8 Billion Daily Video Views

Prohibitory pricing, an aversion to targeted advertising, and lack of metrics have kept brands from wanting to engage on the platform, and rightly so. But as more and more mobile apps fold due to inability to monetize, Snapchat has relaxed their hard stance on advertising in order to keep their doors open, which will benefit many brands that want to reach millennials at a fair cost. If you've waited this long to jump on the Snapchat bandwagon, you may be catching the train at just the right time.

Murray Newlands

Entrepreneur, business advisor and online-marketing professional

Murray Newlands is an entrepreneur, investor, business advisor and speaker. He is the founder of chatbot builder tool and Read his blog

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