Don’t Get Ghosted: The Best Ways to Use Snapchat to Advertise Your Business

Snapchat is a widely underused tool in the marketing world.

It only accounts for 0.6% of the ad market in the United States. Compare that to Google and Facebook, which together (according to the same source) boast a combined 57.7% of ad spending.

Clearly, Snapchat has a way to go before it joins the big boys.

However, avoid this platform altogether and advertisers risk missing out on serious marketing potential.

This underused platform is also undervalued, as it offers many unique opportunities and advantages.

However, why should you use it for your advertising campaigns? Exactly how do you do it successfully?

The Best Ways to Use Snapchat to Advertise Your Business

Why You Should Advertise on Snapchat

Before we explain exactly how you do it, let’s quickly address why it’s in your interest.

Here are some of the top reasons every business should consider Snapchat ads.

It’s Getting More Affordable

Snapchat hasn’t always made it easy to advertise on its platform.

When they eventually opened their doors to ads, the prices were so high that only the biggest companies could afford to use it. Times have changed though, and Snapchat is now making it easier to advertise on the platform.

That makes it as good a time as any to get started.

It’s Where the Youth Hang Out

Being relevant is central to all marketing endeavors.

All advertisements must be of specific interest to your target market. Accordingly, you need to have a presence in the places (physical and/or digital) where they spend their time.

Why are we telling you something you already know? Because Snapchat is where young people hang out.

The tides are turning. No longer is Facebook the social media platform for everyone. They’re rapidly losing teenage users who are jumping ship to Snapchat.

Consequently, Snapchat is now the most popular social media platform for people between the ages of 12 and 17. Millennials are spending an abundant amount of time on there too. Brands with a youthful target audience can’t afford to miss out.

In terms of buying power, engagement, and influencer impact, this age bracket is of utmost importance to marketers.  

The Sound is Turned On

Snapchat users watch video with the sound on.

That might not sound too important but consider the implications. Knowing that people watch unmuted video means advertisers have a whole new means of communicating with an audience.

Contrarily, the vast majority of Facebook videos are played with the sound off.

In fact, the statistics reveal that as much as 85% of Facebook video is muted when people watch it. Millions of hours of video are watched each day, but the vast majority is in silence.

Advertisers must alter course accordingly. Imagery becomes the most compelling factor. It becomes more difficult for Facebook advertisers to engage an audience.

That isn’t a challenge for Snapchat ads.

Augmented Reality is Available

The key USP for Snapchat advertising is its augmented reality feature.

We’ve all seen and been amused by those images of our friends and families with bunny ears and dog noses, right? It turns out everyone’s doing it. A large proportion of users are sending images and videos with the AR feature in play.

Why is that important to your ads?

Well, it opens up a whole range of possibilities. For one, you can get fun and creative with your ads. More importantly, you can now ad a “buy now” button to the lenses at your disposal. Users see a cool, funny video and get to buy what they see at the push of a button.

Engagement is High

People love watching video content, that much has become clear in recent years. Hence the spike in video content being created by marketers around the world!

That interest drives engagement, and the same is true of Snapchat.

Snapchat is king of engaging its audience. Both snaps and vids are opened and interacted with. Compared to email marketing open rates, the number of people who will watch your Snapchat story is exponentially higher.

It’s a captive audience at your disposal. They actively enjoy watching your content and consuming your ads.

Tips for Successful Advertising on Snapchat

On to the nitty-gritty.

Here’s a quick how-to guide on how to get advertising on Snapchat. From start to finish we’ll walk you through some tips to be successful on this platform.

Professional Fails

The room for slick, professionally produced video advertisements is getting increasingly small.

People don’t want to see them. It feels fake, forced, generic and sales-y.

That’s definitely the case for Snapchat ads. Users won’t respond well to videos with high production quality. It sounds backward, we know. but videos shot on a smartphone will work better than slick, pro-quality glossy vids.

A good rule of thumb is to make your content less like an ad, and more like a home video.

Be Genuine and Authentic

The reason traditional-style video ads fail is largely that they feel disingenuous.

You watch them and know you’re being sold to. The video isn’t for your benefit, it’s for the company.

Successful marketing requires trust. Your audience must trust you to buy from you. That develops over time, through the provision of value and avoidance of typical sales approaches. It goes in this order: provide value, develop trust, and make sales.

Make your Snaps as real as possible. Don’t try and fake it to make it. Provide genuine insight, with actual people, and offer actual value and interest.

Solve a Problem

Here’s a quick one: great Snapchat ads often solve a problem.

Take that ethos into your campaigns.

What problem is your business solving? How can you portray that through tiny snippets of video content? Problem-solving is a sure-fire way to keep people engaged with your ad.

Include Humor

The best Snapchat videos are funny.

Remember, this is a young audience. Serious, somber content is unlikely to be received as well.

That’s good news for you, as there’s leeway to show a bit of personality in ads. Be silly, foolish and have a bit of fun with them. Play pranks, tell jokes, point out humorous observations, and so on.

Mix it Up

Snapchat users are likely to open and watch your ad.

However, they’re also more likely to tire of it quite quickly.

This is sometimes referred to as “ad fatigue.” Everyone gets sick of an advert over time. After a certain point, the more it’s played, the worse it’s received. However, the time it takes for that to happen differs between platforms.

It just so happens that Snapchat has one of the highest rates of ad fatigue going. Counteract the problem by mixing up your ads. Regularly post different versions to prevent your audience from getting sick of it!

Ways to Advertise on Snapchat

Now let’s turn to the actual types of ads at your disposal.

Snap Ads or Top Snaps

If you already advertise on Instagram, then you’ll be familiar with this style of ad.

A maximum of 10 seconds in length, it fits the entire phone screen in vertical format. The sound is always on.

A web-view version means that users can swipe upwards. Doing so takes them to a webpage. This URL expands on the ad. You could provide additional information, offer a full-video version, blog articles, and landing pages, etc.

These are great for sparking interest and stimulating traffic to a site, offer, or additional piece of content.

Long Form Video Ads

These videos can be much longer (10 minutes max).

Use them to highlight longer video content. For instance, a brief snippet of a longer film-trailer might be enough to stimulate interest. The shortened version of the ad takes a user to the full version.

These ads can have a useful call to action if required.   

Story Ads

These ads enable you to feature in the Discover section of Snapchat.

You place a branded tile there that users can choose to click upon. Once they do, they come across your collection of 3 to 20 placements there-in. These are great for telling a story and getting people actively engaged in some brand-related content.

Collection Ads

These ads are a powerful tool for driving sales.

It’s a relatively new feature that enables you to highlight a selection (or collection) of your top products. You create what’s essentially an ordinary Snapchat video ad. However, at the bottom of the screen, there’s a bunch of your products (shown in thumbnail form) available for purchase.

It’s more complicated to set up in ads manager, but the rewards are surely worth it. People get to enjoy your video and possibly buy a product all at once.

Deep Links

Deep links were a game-changer in the world of advertising.

They’re used to direct a user to a specific part of a piece of online content. More often than not, they’re directed to a particular page of a mobile app.

Remember, effective marketing makes a user’s life easy. There’s nothing easier than being able to swipe up to purchase, subscribe to, or install something. One swipe and they’re exactly where they want to be.

Augmented Reality Lenses

Lenses have always been a fun Snapchat feature.

Kids and adults alike have fun with them.

These animated additions to a screen enable users to personalize their snaps. They inevitably add a dynamic, humorous nature to a selfie. The dog-faced filter is arguably the most famous. Millions upon millions of dog-faced selfies have circulated online since its creation.         

Advertisers have the ability to build a sponsored lens to enhance their brand image. The more the lens is used, the greater the awareness that’s created.

Now, it’s worth mentioning that lenses have the best potential with B2C businesses. Selling products and services to consumers is made easier with an engaging sponsored lens for them to play with. It’s arguably harder for B2B companies to do the same.


These graphic-overlays for Snaps are another prime example of a great Snapchat advertising opportunity.

Indeed, the potential reach they provide is staggering, as 1 billion filters are viewed per day on Snapchat. They work in a similar way to sponsored lenses. The graphics are applied to a person’s screen to provide a novel way of seeing themselves or the world.

Companies create them to match the particular location its users are in the world. Again, they’re effective tools for spreading brand awareness.

Make something great and expect shares on other social media platforms too.

On-demand versions are popular among advertisers as well. These geo-filters are simpler overlays used for specific locations and shorter time periods, and you can do it for as little as $5.

How to Advertise on Snapchat

A final note on the Snapchat Ads Manager.

It’s through this platform that you’ll go about creating, managing, and analyzing your ads. It’s free to use once you’ve created your account.

Thankfully, it’s fairly intuitive to get started with as well. Here’s the process in brief:

– Open the dashboard in Ads Manager to create a new campaign.

– From there, you set about deciding upon your objective, schedule, and audience.

– You can decide the particular location you want to target (only one country allowed), as well as the demographics of your target audience. You can opt for either a predefined or custom audience based on your needs.

– Next, set your budget and optimization goals.

– With that done successfully, you create the ad itself by clicking New Creative. Here’s where the ad types above come into play.

– Select your desired format and proceed through the following pages accordingly.

– Finally, press ‘publish’, then launch the campaign.

Voila, you’re up and running!

Time to Get Snapchat Advertising

Snapchat is an underused resource in the advertising world. It’s been slow to gain traction and favor.

However, as we’ve seen, this platform provides a whole host of advantages over other, more popular advertising platforms such as Google and Facebook. For instance, advertising opportunities to a youth audience don’t get much better.

Hopefully, this article has provided all the information you need to start leveraging Snapchat for your advertising needs.

Looking for support? Click here to get your free digital marketing review.

Owner and Chief Marketing Officer, Jason Hall, and his team specialize in creating brand awareness / traffic and lead generation / marketing funnel and conversion optimization, while utilizing the appropriate marketing channels available within your industry. With diverse clients throughout the world, Jason's team is well connected within many industries to assist with your marketing strategies. With no long term contracts and various levels of service, Jason's team will increase the quality of your online traffic, leads, and sales.

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Located in the heart of the Emerald Coast - Destin, FL, founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Jason Hall, and his team specialize in creating brand awareness / traffic and lead generation / marketing funnel and conversion optimization / and PR campaigns, while utilizing the appropriate marketing channels available within your industry.

With diverse clients throughout the world, Jason's team is well connected within many industries to assist with your marketing strategies. With no long term contracts and various levels of service, Jason's team will increase the quality of your online traffic, leads, and sales.

Jason Hall

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