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Snapchat Advertising: The 10 Things You Need to Know

Snapchat has quickly morphed into a dynamic must-have app with hundreds of millions of users. It's the perfect environment to personify your brand and give it a voice. With Snapchat's flexible advertising tools, you can roll out an ad campaign in just minutes.

Why Your Brand Needs a Snapchat Advertising Presence

With over three million users and growing, social media has become one of America’s most popular modern pastimes. One of the most consistently popular social media platforms has been Snapchat. This makes Snapchat advertising an essential part of any successful social marketing plan.

These platforms are the new cool hangouts, especially Snapchat. Snap, Inc. launched the app in 2011 as a new mobile-centered way to communicate.  Since then, Snapchat has created a huge, and still growing, usership. 

Snapchat quickly morphed into the dynamic must-have app it is today with hundreds of millions of users. The app is now bursting with everyone from tweens just dipping their toes in social media to millennials that have been creating snaps for years.

Your brand can be part of this popular communication tool. Snapchat is the perfect environment to personify your brand and give it a voice. 

Snapchat is one of the most flexible advertising tools. Amazingly, you can roll out an ad campaign in just minutes. You can also get pretty helpful instant feedback and adjust quickly. 

Here, we’ll go over all of the 10 most important tips you need to create an effective Snapchat campaign. 

This guide will teach you how to target the best audience and optimize your campaign for your objectives. You’ll gain the know-how to create engaging ads and make bold statements that get noticed for great advertising on Snapchat. 

What Makes Snapchat So Popular?

Why is snapchat so popular

The original draw to Snapchat was that the photos and messages could only be viewed for a snapshot in time. This sense of urgency kept users constantly frantically engaging with the app.

Over the years, the developers over at Snapchat have mixed it up a bit. Today, it looks a ton different than the original app with more features, fun abilities, and even curated content. 

Snapchat has transformed online communication, making it more conversational. You can instantly send pics and videos to your connections, they few it, then it’s gone. 

The whole interaction is much closer than an in-person conversation than scrolling through a feed. 

Snapchat’s popularity is only increasing as it hones its craft. It’s 238 million usage-ship continues to rapidly grow. 

This growing popularity means that you’ll have access to a huge audience. The format also allows for exponential exposure. 

The frequency that users hop on the app to check-in is another win for Snapchat as a marketing tool. In fact, users have been found to spend more time on the app than scrolling through the super-popular Instagram.

This sheer number of users and their consistent usage, not to mention the cost-effective ads, makes Snapchat a savvy place to toss some of your advertising budget. 

Understand the Types of Snapchat Ads

Depending on your objective and budget, Snapchat has a variety of ad types that will work best. Some are best for different purposes and to communicate different messages. 

Story Ads

These are simple to roll out and capture the audience’s attention. They are clickable from the “Discover” tab then fill the screen. They can be anywhere from three seconds to two minutes.

What They Are Best For: These ads include a call to action. They are a great tool to drive traffic to your website or drive app installs. All a viewer has to do is swipe up and they are connected with your company. 

The longer, video format allows for a more detailed message. You can use this to communicate who your brand is or significant updates. 

Helpful Hints: The key here is grabbing the attention of Snapchat users and getting them to click on your ad. You then need them to hang around long enough to soak up your message. 

Your ad should begin immediately and have the energy to engage viewers. Be clear, to the point, and end with an encouraging call to action. 

You can have up to twenty photos or videos as part of your story ad. It’s a good idea to keep the same voice but mix it up a little to avoid users getting ad fatigue from your content.

You’ll have to follow Snapchat’s guidelines when creating your ad:

  • • An aspect ratio of 9:16
  • • Resolution of 1080px x 1920px
  • • A 25 character limit on brand names and a 34 character limit on headlines

You’ll want to make your headline clear and catchy. That might be the only way to entice users to click on your video.

Check out this ad for Invisalign. It grabs the user with the temptation of a contest. Then, the video ad clearly states the benefits and ends with a clear and concise call to action:

Types of snapchat ads
type of snapchat ad

Collection Ads on Snapchat

These are unique ads that provide Snapchatters with a seamless purchase experience. Collection ads have similar guidelines and the same three-second to two-minute length restriction.

However, these ads consist of tiles that users can click on and buy your products right from the app. This allows you to showcase multiple items and users can click on the one that appeals to them.

What They Are Best For: These ads can be super effective at driving purchases. By showing a number of options in one place, buyers can make an impulse decision about buying your products. 

Helpful Hints: Again, being engaging is key here. You need scrollers to stop and check out your offerings. 

An eye-catching image or video can tell users why they need your product. This is your chance to create a feeling of need that will lead to the buy.

Be smart about the tiles you display. Make sure they look cohesive and organized. Clear product photographs with consistent backgrounds look crisp and refined.

Make sure to end with a call to action. You want to clearly encourage users to shop your site and buy your products.

Single Image or Video Ads

These ads appear in between stories on a user’s feed. They can be a still image or a short video. 

What They Are Best For: These are great for increasing brand awareness. They can also drive traffic and increase your app downloads. 

Because they are within the feeds of users, they are pretty unavoidable. Consider this when planning your image or video.

Helpful Hints: The fact that these are in between stories is both a plus and a factor to consider. You’re battling users mindlessly scrolling right past your ad. 

Grab their attention and pique their interest. Your ad should have an energetic and engaging first second or two. 

Make your message clear, exciting, and include a strong call to action. Your goal is to distract users from their feed and transition to your site. 

Lens AR and Filter Ads

These are content created by you that users can add to their snaps. These are some of the most unique and fun ways to advertise on Snapchat.

A lens creates and augmented reality within a user’s content that they can then send to their friends. Adding your logo to the top of the lens allows your brand to be part of their snaps. 

Filter ads are overlaid graphics that users can add to their snaps. Again, adding your brand name and logo to the graphic is a great way to get integrated into their content. 

What They Are Best For: These have the potential to boost your brand awareness big time. As users utilize your lenses and filters and share them with friends, you’ll get exponential exposure. 

This is a perfect way for other users to be exposed to your brand organically. When they see their friends and influencers connection to their brand, it can spur them to want to learn mow.

Helpful Hints: For these ads to work, users have to want to use them. Your design is super important to your ad’s success.

Make sure you create lenses and stickers that are fun and relevant. You want them to match your brand, but also the preferences of Snapchatters.

Think of ways that users can use your lenses to express their likes and interest. The goal is for them to both engage with your brand’s message and use it for their creative content.

Check out this lens AR ad for the 2020 NFL Draft. Users can choose their favorite team to show off their fandom. At the same time, their friends are being reminded to tune in to the draft. 

Snapchat lenses for Snapchat advertising.

Snapchat Commercials

Snapchat now has a whole collection of curated viewing content. These shows consist of everything from celebrity gossip to hobby tutorials. 

Within these shows are ad spaces. You can create a commercial to run during a Snapchat show.

What They Are Best For: These commercials are best used for the same purposes as traditional television commercials. They can help you raise brand awareness and create demand for your product.

Helpful Hints: There are two options for Snapchat commercial ads:

  • • Standard Commercial: Non-skippable and three to six seconds long
  • • Extended Play Commerical: Three seconds to three minutes, but can be skipped after six seconds of play

Now obviously, with those time parameters, the first six seconds of your ad is extremely important. 

You’ll need to fit your whole message in six seconds for a Standard Commercial. You have more time with an Extended Play Commercial, but that content is pointless if a viewer skips through after six seconds.

Creating a dynamic opening is essential to grab the viewer’s attention. Catchy music, energetic images, and bold graphics get your message across quickly and can engage viewers.

Decide on Your Brand’s Voice

No matter what kind of Snapchat ad you decide on, the first step of your campaign should be deciding on your brand’s voice. 

What are you trying to say? How do you want your brand to be perceived?

It’s important that your brand’s voice be strong and consistent. You want consumers to feel familiar with your brand, whether they encounter it on Snapchat or elsewhere.

Make sure all of your marketing communications have a cohesive feel. From color to energy, they should be similar enough that they mesh well. 

If you are a newer brand, you have the opportunity to personify your brand with a blank slate. You can decide on the feel and overall look you want for your brand and market it with that message.

Even if your brand has been around for a while, diving into Snapchat advertising can be the perfect opportunity for a revamp. Update your image and share your new brand identity with the world.

Determine Your Snapchat Ad Budget

Determine your Snapchat ad budget

Your marketing budget and Snapchat line item will determine the course of your campaign. 

Fortunately, you can get started advertising on the platform for as little as $5 a day! They also make it super easy to control your spending.

You can set a budget for the entire span of your campaign. You can also set a daily budget for each set of ads. 

Also, you can set bid goals based on the reactions of Snapchatters to your ads. This allows you to focus on your objectives and optimize your campaign to your goals.

Things like the number of impressions, app installs, and the number of time users view your video can all come into play with goal-based bidding. 

Set a Clear Snapchat Advertising Objective

It’s important to ask yourself, what are you trying to get out of this campaign? What’s your ultimate objective?

What’s awesome is that Snapchat has built-in tools to help you reach your objectives. This takes the guesswork out of ad creation and placement.

If you are simply trying to get customers to reach out to you or visit your website, the Instant Create tool can help. It can also create ads that drive users to install or visit your app.

Do you have more complicated objectives in mind? The Advanced Create tool can give you more control so you can create a more complex campaign.

This tool can help you create ads to increase your brand awareness and expand your customer base. It is also a great tool to drive sales and engagement with buyers. 

Target Your Snapchat Audience

It’s also important to consider who you are targeting and their demographics. This will help you not only select your placement better, but you can also create messaging that will appeal to the group. 

Obviously Snapchat is the place to be for the younger crowd. If you are looking to grow your market share amongst the next generation of consumers, you’re in the right place. 

However, even if you are looking to target a wider segment, you can still see success on the app. Nearly a third of Snapchatters are between ages 36 and 55. So with hundreds of millions of total users, you’re still reaching a ton of people in your target age range.

What’s great about your Snapchat ad campaign is that you have some pretty cool tools to set your target. You can hone in on some specific details to pinpoint your target audience as specifically as you would like. 

You can start with the basics and target users by their age and gender. You can also narrow your scope and further refine your audience by their interests and in-app behaviors.

If you are looking for a geographical approach, you can select a prime location for your target audience. You can be as broad as a whole country or metro area.

Trying to draw customers into a physical location? You can even narrow your ad targets down to radius surrounding a specific address.

Identifying and selecting this target audience will get your the most bang for your Snapchat ad campaign budget.

Engage with and Expand Your Snapchat Base

Another great aspect of the targeting feature is that it gives you the ability to engage with your current customers. It also allows you to smartly expand your customer base in strategic ways.

Customers often need to visit a site several times before making a purchase. A vast majority of website browsers fail to buy anything on their first visit. 

That’s why it’s vital to get those browsers to come back. Snapchat allows you to target your ads towards your past website visitors so you can remind them to come on back. 

Engaging with your current customers is essential to developing brand loyalty. Match your customer list to those on Snapchat and you can target your ads to them so they are regularly reminded how awesome your brand is.

Expanding your customer base is important to growing a business. And what better way to do that than by using what you know about your current customers?

Snapchat allows you to target what they call “Lookalike Audiences.” These are segments of their users that have similarities to your current customer base. This is a great way to appeal to the consumers that will most likely have an interest in your brand.

Stand Out But Be Authentic With Your Snapchat Advertising

Be authentic with your Snapchat advertising

You’re advertising on a social media app, so it’s best to both stand out and fit in. We know that seems confusing, we’ll explain.

Standing out is how your ads will get noticed. It’s how you earn the click and engage users. Making creative content that draws in Snapchatters is how you avoid being scrolled right by.

However, it’s also important to blend seamlessly with the platform’s content. You don’t want your ads to scream, “I’m an ad!”. Your goal is to make ads that look like they naturally belong on the app.

To do this, authenticity is key. Keep your ads light and personable. They should be fun and mirror other content on Snapchat while finding ways to stand out. You want your brand’s amazing personality to shine through and appeal to the emotions of Snapchat users.

Play By The Snap Chat Rules

It’s important to create your ads by the book. Snapchat has some pretty extensive policies with regard to ad content. Make sure to review them for a smooth uninterrupted campaign. 

Obviously, ads that promote unethical and illegal behavior are prohibited. As are ads that include adult products, violence, and drug use.

There are also some industry-specific requirements. So if your brand falls into one of these areas, it’s important to review them.

Ads promoting alcohol have specific guidelines and rules about targeting audiences. As do ads about pharmaceutical and healthcare products. Check them out carefully to avoid unknowingly breaking a rule.

Generally, Snapchat requires products to be advertised in a responsible why to an appropriate market. Their efforts to protect their youngest users show in these strict rules. 

Don’t Beat Around the Bush

Again, social media users are fickle. They are quick to move on from an ad if it’s slow or confusing. The best strategy with your message is to get to the point, and quickly.

Have a clear message in your ad. Especially if you are using image or video or story ads. Remember, you only have a few seconds to get your point across.

Within seconds of seeing your ad, users should know what you’re selling and why they need it. Your message should clearly contain the most powerful benefits of your brand. 

You need to fit a ton of information in a small space. Narrow it down and focus on what will generate the most impact.

If your goal is to drive traffic to your site or increase app downloads, a strong call to action is a must. Leave users wanting to learn more about your brand.

Evaluate Your Snapchat Advertising Results

Another great feature of Snapchat campaigns is the ability to evaluate effectiveness. You can see and analyze extremely helpful data to help you adjust your ad strategy. 

Being able to track the number of impressions you receive is valuable knowledge. You’ll also be able to view the number of swipes and user activities like website visits and app downloads that are related to the objective of your campaign.

The Snap Pixel tool is an awesome part of Snapchat advertising. This helpful dashboard allows you to track the number of conversions your ad receives. You can also adjust your target audience metrics and further optimize ad placement for your objectives.

This easy-to-interpret data will help you not only with your current campaign, but when planning future ones. You’ll gain the knowledge to create more effective strategies with each advertisement.

Snapchat: Here to Stay

Snapchat advertising

With the steadily increasing number of loyal Snapchatters, it seems that the app is certainly not going anywhere anytime soon. Grabbing yourself a slice of the Snapchat advertising pie is definitely a smart move. 

It’s smart to dive in now while advertising prices are still reasonable. As you create, test, and evaluate campaigns, you’ll become a Snapchat advertising wiz.

How can you start using dynamic Snapchat advertising to boost your brand?

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