Snapchat is a popular social media platform, especially for young people. Statistics show that the third quarter of 2021 brought Snapchat 306 MILLION active users each day.
That’s a large, captive, and engaged audience waiting for you.
You have to learn how to use the platform well, though. Snapchat is very visual, and most people open it on their mobile phones, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Read the guide below to learn the intricacies and best practices of paid advertising on Snapchat.
Why Choose Snapchat?
Snapchat is extremely popular in the 15-25 age group. 48% of US people this age are on Snapchat, more than on the other platforms.
By contrast, the number of Facebook teen users is plummeting each year. Besides, some young Snapchatters aren’t using any other platforms. App Annie tells us that:
- 81% don’t have a Twitter account
- 46% aren’t on Instagram
- 35% aren’t on Facebook
- Snapchatters brought the platform $3.44/user in Q4 2020. Considering how many people use this social network, that’s quite a lot. The US alone had 108 million Snapchatters in 2021.
- These people spend an average of 30 minutes/day interacting with the app, so there’s plenty of time for them to see your ads.
- Snapchat reaches 75% of Millennials and Gen-Z-ers.
That brings us to the following point:
How to Advertise on Snapchat
This section will break down all the advertising steps on Snapchat.
Warning: No warning, just kidding. It’s all straightforward because the platform is intuitive and offers clear choices.
1. Create a Business Account
You can’t begin placing ads on Snapchat unless you have a business account. Fill in your company’s name, name, and e-mail to start.
You may also have to add details about your VAT/Tax ID and preferred currency.
2. Choose Your Audience
After creating your business account, you get to the Snapchat Ads dashboard. However, before concocting the perfect ad to hook your audience, you must set that audience.
Luckily, Snapchat is filled with filters to help you customize your target.
This section allows you to set factors such as:
Pro tip: In most cases, you shouldn’t add more languages than English unless you’re doing a hyper-targeted campaign specifically for one country/region.
Also, think long and hard about the gender you’re targeting. For example, if you’re selling haute-couture perfumes for men, you may consider targeting women. After all, chances are they will purchase these stylish fragrances for the men in their lives.
Conversely, if you’re selling streetwear men’s tracksuits, you can select a male-only audience.
This variable allows you to select the location(s) in which your target audience lives. Naturally, you may be tempted to choose as many places as possible.
Don’t fall into that trap.
Your products and services have to be available in all those places. Otherwise, you’re:
- Wasting money by targeting non-consumers
- Creating a bad rep for your business
2.3. Interest-Based & Device Targeting
This is where things get interesting. Of course, advanced targeting always is, but Snapchat takes it to the next level. Just play around with the categories you see under the “Interests & Custom Audiences” section.
For example, the “Arts & Culture Mavens” lifestyle shows you subgroups, including:
- Hipsters & Trendsetters
- Home Decoristas
- Investors & Entrepreneurs
- Math & Science Enthusiasts
- Meme Watchers
- New Phone Seekers
- And many more
Fiddle with the “Devices” option after selecting your audience based on their most likely lifestyle, fiddle with the “Devices” option. This part allows you to choose the following:
- Operating System (Android or iOS)
- Device Makers (Apple, BMobile, Casper, etc.)
Pro tip: Unless you’re advertising a specific app, click on the “All” option.
2.4. Budget and Timeline
This section is essential because you have to set your campaign’s beginning and end dates. Alternatively, you can run your ad indefinitely–skip filling in that end date.
Then there’s the budget part, which is nobody’s favorite.
Luckily, Snapchat advertising cost options are very flexible:
- First, you set your advertising budget.
- You can select a:
- Daily budget. This option is best if you want to ensure ad spending consistency. Otherwise, Snapchat could burn through your budget in a day or two.
- Lifetime budget. This option is best if you trust Snapchat’s ad price/day decisions. For instance, some users may be more active during some days of the week when your ad needs to shine.
Pro tip: You only need $5 to start advertising on Snapchat.
At this point, you have to choose your bid. Pick the auto-bid option to get the lowest CPC if you’re new to this platform.
Now, take a peek at the bottom right of the screen to check your Delivery Estimates. This section tells you the estimated:
These numbers are shown per day and for the duration of your campaign.
Remember: The figures you see here are just ballpark estimates. You can get lower results than that, but your numbers will be better most time.
3. Choose Ad Format
After selecting your audience, it’s time to get your message to them.
First, Snapchat will prompt you to choose between:
- Instant Create is best for beginners; it only takes about five minutes to finish your ad
- Advanced Create: best for more precise targeting because you have more options
Next, you’ll have to choose your campaign goal from these options:
- Website visits to get more visitors. Choose this option for informational blogs or e-commerce websites.
- Promote a local place. Setting this objective guarantees more on-site customers to your local business (e.g., make-up boutique, clothes store, or café).
- App install. This goal suits you if you’re trying to get more people to download your app.
- Calls & texts. This option is best if you need more people to get in touch with your business, for example, a consultancy company.
- App visits. Choose this goal if you want to gain more returns to your app.
After that, you’ll need to insert your website URL and create your ad. You can:
- Import photos from your website. This alternative is worthwhile if you have fantastic images that make compelling ads on your website. It could also be an excellent strategy to popularize a particular shot associated with a specific value or movement.
- Use this option to create an effective ad based on what moves your audience.
4. Create a Snapchat Ad
Decide on which type of ad would work best for your audience.
4.1. Single Image
This option lets you publish a still photo that:
- Includes a swipe-up button with call-to-action
- It is best for getting more conversions, downloads, or newsletter sign-ups
Filters are a great option because they promote UGC marketing. As a result, these ads:
- Elicit more trust
- Are less intrusive
Here’s how Filters work:
People in your selected locations can see and use your filters when taking Snaps of themselves. That means:
- You’ll get a larger reach because users share these photos with friends in other locations.
- You create a connection between your brand and specific events or values.
- Use Smart Filters for live updates and increased ad customization.
- Add artistic filters to attract more users.
- Make sure people’s content is still visible when using your filters.
4.3. Story Ads
Story ads appear as branded tiles, and people can see them in their personalized Discover section. The purpose of story ads is to get people to click immediately, so:
- Choose a high-quality, suggestive image.
- Write a catchy, comprehensive, yet short title. No pressure.
- Focus on offering quality content that responds to people’s needs. Make sure your content lives up to the promise in the ad. So, don’t spam people to get more clicks.
Lenses resemble UGC too. Using facial recognition software, you’ll apply an augmented reality animation to your photos and selfies.
This ad format is best if you’re:
- Trying to create rapport with your audience
- Promoting an app, software, or other techy products
Pro tip: Follow Snapchat’s rules about using these lenses.
Commercials are an excellent choice if you want a captive audience because Snapchatters can’t skip these 6-second videos. For instance, you can use commercials if you’re going to:
- Gain awareness
- Remind potential customers of a specific product/deal/discount
- Increase sales
However, you have to be a selected Advertiser to use this feature.
4.6. Collection Ads
Collection ads are best if you have an e-commerce store. This feature allows you to create Snapchat stories featuring various products, each appearing in a separate tile.
Snapchatters see these photos and then tap on their preferred products to see more details. Thus:
- Choose the most popular products in your array
- Optimize your photos
- Use a caption that creates desire and augments FOMO
- Create compelling CTAs that lead users to complete the desired action (e.g., visit your website, sign up for a webinar you’re hosting, subscribe to your newsletter, or purchase those products)
Creating Snapchat videos is intuitive enough. However, it would be best if you considered this advice before beginning:
- Don’t publish videos longer than 17 seconds because Snapchatters’ attention spans work against you.
- You need about five scenes in your video, each three seconds long.
- Your ad must begin with specific insight into your customers’ needs. For instance: “Can’t lose weight even if you’re in the gym 24/7?” or “Struggling with your make-up?”
- Use captions to follow up with a practical and easy solution in the next scene. According to Snapchat, over two-thirds of its users watch ads with audio on. But for the other third, you need a solid caption to get your message across.
- Show customers how your product can meet those needs, focusing on the main benefits. Make sure those advantages set you apart from the competition.
- Finish up with a powerful call to action and make sure your logo is visible.
Here’s how to create a Snapchat Video:
- Log into your account on InVideo. If you don’t have one, now’s the time to create it.
- Go to the “Pre-made Templates” section.
- Choose the 9:16 video format because Snapchat clips are vertical.
- Choose a suitable template according to your niche. For example, if you’re selling beauty products, a potential keyword for choosing your template could be “fashion.”
- Select the time for each scene. As we said before, the optimal period is three seconds. Thus, input 03 at the “ss” section and change the rest to 00.
- Repeat step 5 for all your scenes or duplicate the previous step and delete the other scenes.
- Tap the music icon to search for the right piece depending on your audience’s likes.
- Choose the proper footage from your library or InVideo’s stock database. Of course, it would be best to customize your ad with images representing your specific products or scenes from your workplace.
- Use drag and drop plus trim video to adjust the clip.
- Add captions by selecting the text box, which you can move and adjust to your heart’s desire.
- Select the font, preferably the same one you used on your website/app, for the sake of consistency.
- Write your caption.
- Animate your writing by selecting “Scene” and then “Timeline.” Use the toggle bar for animation.
- Choose “logo” on your dashboard to upload and add your logo.
- Select the text box to add a powerful call-to-action such as “Join Now” or “Apply here.”
- Add a swipe-up sticker.
- Click on “play” to review the video you’ve created.
- Continue editing the parts you don’t like, or tap on “Download and Share” to save your video.
- Go to your saved video section in Snapchat, select the clip ad you just created, and upload it.
Final Advice on How to Advertise on Snapchat
Paid advertising on Snapchat doesn’t have to appear paid. Make your customers forge about that and blend it with user-generated content created on this platform.
Your ad shouldn’t be uptight, spammy, or pushy. So:
- Create your campaign with your audience in mind.
- Take enough time to research the platform and understand how users are thinking.
- Try to immerse yourself in the trends, memes, and language to create organic ads.
- At the same time, don’t dissolve your brand’s identity. Your company and products should still be recognizable.
- Leverage storytelling to bond with your potential customers.
- Don’t reuse your Instagram stories or your TikTok videos because you have a different user pool on Snapchat, plus different best practices. For example, TikTok videos are more extended, whereas Snapchat clips have to be “snappy”–meaning catchy and strong CTAs.
You can do all that if you start your campaign with a clear goal. You need this objective to define your strategy and KPIs.
Also, remember always to test different variables to optimize your ad. Don’t be afraid to change your demographics or interests to see what works best.
Nothing is set in stone.
After finding that effective combo, your ads will become more persuasive, and conversions will start flowing in.
Take it one step at a time. Snapchat allows you to create convincing ads even if you’re a beginner. But, if you don’t want to waste time tweaking a perfect ad, choose an online platform that assists you from A to Z.
David Morneau is the co-founder and CEO of inBeat, a hybrid micro-influencer marketing agency that helps brands scale their marketing efforts. He has helped over 200 DTC brands to date.