Snapchat Ads Guide

With social media getting easier to use and access, it has become increasingly important for businesses to place an emphasis on capturing customers and audiences on social platforms. Interactive social advertising is a vital outlet for businesses looking to engage with consumers directly. 

Snapchat continues to be a fan favorite amongst the younger population in the US, reaching 90% of all 13-24 year olds and 75% of all 13-34 year olds. If you’re growing a business and would like to capture this demographic, it's no secret that Snapchat is a ripe opportunity.

In this guide, we will explore how you can advertise your business on Snapchat, as well as address the many details that go into making a Snapchat Ads campaign a success!

Breaking Down Snapchat

What Is Snapchat?

Before we dive into Snapchat ads, let’s start with a little background. Snapchat is a global multimedia messaging app. Users can not only send automatically expiring photos, but also interact with content that brands put up on the “Discover” page in the app itself.

Between Q2 and Q3 2019, Snapchat added 7 million daily active users (DAU), boosting their total DAU count to 210 million. Snapchat users are not only spending time connecting with friends and contacts, but also interacting with the Discover page, where the potential to see promoted content dramatically increases. The total daily time spent watching the Discover page increased 40% year over year, and the amount of users perusing the Discover page has increased 35% year over year.

With over 80 million daily active users in North America and roughly 70% of the user base being female, this platform is comprised of a critical portion of some of the key advertising demographics for businesses. This makes advertising on Snapchat a viable way for businesses looking to communicate with these groups. 

Many companies who try their hands at advertising on Snapchat follow the strategy of getting a “swipe up,” the equivalent of clicking on a link to branded content, in 6 seconds or less. This is why strategizing a correct campaign strategy is incredibly important when brainstorming your first Snapchat Ad.

The Lowdown on Snapchat Ads

A Snap Ad is a full screen, in-app ad that can be used for any advertising purpose. Your ads can be fine-tuned to either increase awareness of your brand or to encourage someone to make a purchase. 

Instead of simply applying pictures or online banners, Snap Ads can take many fun, creative forms, like videos, photos, looping gifs, or cinemagraphs. An essential part of these fun ads is that you can embed a link into each one, allowing your audience to immediately take action just by swiping up. The link can be a direct path to your website, an app download link, or a video of your choice.

Snapchat’s strengths in advertising are in these full screen ads tailored to a mobile-first generation. With up to 10 seconds to make an impression on audiences, it can often be a fun challenge to get your message across under the constraints of the platform.

Types of Snapchat Ads

Snap ads will be placed between snapchat stories, which can drive Snapchatters to your website, app, video, AR Lens, or app store page. The main point of action that Snapchat Ads drive is a single swipe.

1) Collection Ads 

Collection Ads are the newest ad format from Snapchat. These ads allow advertisers to showcase a carousel of products they want to promote. This format gives Snapchat users an easy to navigate screen that makes shopping and buying fun and seamless. Most Collection Ads are formatted with a basic Snapchat video ad, but includes a ribbon of thumbnails at the bottom that link to specific products. 

2) Story Ads 

In the Discover page of the Snapchat app, Story Ads occupy a few tiles. These branded tiles open into a collection of ads, anywhere from 3 - 20 in total. This ad has a predetermined format from Snapchat, based on the content you provide them. A few of the critical information they need includes: A headline, a brand name, attachments, and individual files for specific ads. 

The key with story ads is that you are essentially bringing your users into your narrative. These story ads are the most interactive, and require the most interaction to move past. Make every second and every page worth it!

3) AR Lenses 

Branded AR Lenses are another way that a classic Snapchat feature can be monetized. When Snapchat introduced AR features like face-swapping, many users were drawn to the platform for these unique, interactive features. 

When creating your own branded AR lens, make sure you’re including your company name and brand logo. The key is to not make these pieces of information intrusive, as Snapchat themselves recommend putting them in the top corners of the ad. Usually, these lenses will have a “Sponsored” tag that disappears after 2 seconds.

4) Filters 

One of the most iconic features of Snapchat is putting a filter on a photo or video. You have likely seen the dog-face filter, just one of the many ways Snapchat users put a personal touch on the photos they send.

Filters should be minimal in design, and represent your brand in a relevant way. Always ask yourself: where and when will my target demographic be using these filters? Why should they use them? As a whole, the more minimal the filter, the more likely it is to be used by Snapchatters.

5) Commercials 

Commercials are six-second, non-skippable videos that are placed in between premium in-app content. These are a great opportunity to get as much information across as possible, in a short amount of time!

Launching Your First Snapchat Ad

Step 1: What's Your Objective?

Snapchat Ad objectives can be grouped into three categories, which are:

  • Awareness: Branding
  • Conversions: App Conversions, Website Conversions and Catalog Sales
  • Considerations App installs, App Traffic, Website Traffic, Engagement, Video Views, and Lead Generation

Thankfully, when creating a Snapchat Ad, you can click and choose the objective of your ad, and Snapchat takes care of optimizing the rest. If you’re looking to get inspired on what kind of ad you’d like to create, Snapchat has curated an inspiration page just for you. These ads are classified based on their products, actions, industries and regions. 

Step 2: Targeting Your Audience

With tons of data sources and a massive user base, Snapchat Ads can help you reach the most relevant audience in your campaign. You can reach Snapchatters based on their:

  • Interests & Behaviors: Specifically targeting the things your audience does and likes, both on Snapchat and offline too.
  • Demographics: Targeting Snapchatters by age, gender, or classifications like household income, parental status, and more.
  • Locations: Targeting Snapchatters by country, university, or radiuses around specific zip codes or addresses.
  • Custom Audiences: Targeting Snapchatters who have already seen a few of your ad campaigns already, and tailoring it towards them.
  • Lookalikes: Expanding your reach by targeting Snapchatters in related demographics to your existing customers.

A huge benefit of using Snapchat Ads is the wealth of data you have access to when targeting your audience. Snapchat Ad Manager will give you metrics on exactly where your data is coming from, including sources like Comscore, Nielsen, Placed, and Datalogix, to name a few. 

What this enables you to do is be extremely granular in your targeting, like CNN viewers, families with high school kids, recent visitors of a local ice cream shop, or people who love burgers. The possibilities are endless with Snapchat’s data in your hands.

Step 3: Being Budget-Conscious

Snapchat divides ad budgeting into two categories: a daily budget and lifetime budget. Each Ad Set will have its own budget.

  • Daily Budget: The average amount your budget allows on an Ad Set per day.
  • Lifetime Budget: The total amount your budget allows during your campaign.

At this point in your setup process, Snapchat Ad Manager will also give you two ways to track your spending. 

  • Pacing: Snapchat Ad Manager will monitor how your campaigns are performing throughout the day, making sure you’re spending your daily budget more efficiently. The metrics tracked are Snapchat usage, auction completion, and actual vs. expected delivery. Your ad bids may be dynamically adjusted in order to create better value for your ad campaigns. 
  • Delivery Types: Snapchat also gives you 2 different delivery speeds for how quickly your ads are served to your audience.

            ○ Standard Delivery: A standard pace that delivers your ads throughout the duration of your campaign dates, in order to steadily meet your goals. 

            ○ Accelerated Delivery: A substantially faster pace that spends your campaign budget as quickly as possible, without risking over-delivery. This could be a game-changing                 option for those with time-sensitive campaigns. 

Once you’ve finished executing the three steps above, you’re all set and ready to launch your first Snapchat ad!

Snap Pixels

What's a Snap Pixel?

If you want to get a better understanding of your cross-device campaign impact, a Snap Pixel is worth looking into. A Snap Pixel is a few lines of JavaScript code that enables you to see what actions on your website were from Snapchatters who saw your ad. 

Snap Pixels are important because it is a direct way to understand your engagement, drive leads, analyze subscriptions, or track sales. The metrics you collect from having a Snap Pixel on your site allows you to go beyond a single user, session, or device.

How Do They Work?

The Snap Pixel will allow you to track conversions, attribute them to your campaigns, and re-engage Snapchatters who have visited or taken action on your site. The Snap Pixel codes can be applied to different types of ad events/ website activities:

  • Purchase 
  • Page View 
  • View Content 
  • Add Cart 
  • Sign Up 
  • Multiple Event (page view and purchase) 
  • Additional Parameters ‍  

After setting up your Snap Pixel code, you can click back into the Snap Pixel section from the global navigation where you can see your aggregate statistics and detailed dashboards for your pixel data. These pixel stats are associated with all of the events on your site not only the ones driven by your Snapchat campaigns to see attributed conversions from your Snapchat campaigns visit the manage ads.

For more Snap Pixel code examples of events and instructions to install Pixel code, please visit here

Snapchat Ads: In Conclusion

Hopefully, you've been able to tell from our guide that Snapchat is an amazing way to laser-focus on advertising to a specific demographic. With a seemingly endless way of targeting potential audiences, Snapchat Ads are more robust and mature than one may think. Better yet, users will have fun with your ads, since they span the entire feature set of the app, from stories to filters to AR lenses. Get started with Snapchat Ads today!

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