The world of social media is a wild, ever-changing frontier of possibilities for advertisement. And if you’re a marketer, you know how important it is to keep up with the latest online trends and platforms. Enter Snapchat, one of the leading social media networks in the world – and one of the youngest as well.
With over 46 million active monthly users in the US, Snapchat has certainly made a case for being the hottest social media platform of the year. But should you, as a marketer, take it seriously? Should your business use Snapchat to advertise? Read on to find out!
How does Snapchat work?
Before you decide if Snapchat is the right advertising platform for your company, it’s beneficial to delve into the functionality of the app. In other words, how do you use Snapchat, and for what purpose?
Snapchat’s main draw is that it uses a format called “Stories.” Stories can be images or videos taken directly from your phone and updated for all of your followers to see. Unfortunately, Stories are only available for a 24 hour period, after which Snapchat deletes them.
In addition to Stories, there is also a feature called “Discover.” With the Discover feature, brands can showcase ads in the form of Stories with short-term content. Users can subscribe to a brand’s stories to instantly see the latest updates from your business.
The pro’s and con’s of Snapchat Ads
To help determine if Snapchat is the right fit for your business, you may find it beneficial to weigh the positives and negatives of advertising on the platform.
One of the most exciting things about Snapchat is the wide audience that would be available to your brand. As mentioned before, the platform hosts over 46 million monthly users in the US and nearly 200 million active users worldwide – talk about a crowd!
Not only do a lot of people visit the app, but those same people stay on the app for a long time. According to a study by Forbes, users visit Snapchat an average of 18 times a day, spending around 30 minutes on the app. Additionally, 48% of those users follow snaps and Stories posted by brands and were interested in advertisements.
Another positive aspect of advertising on Snapchat is that the platform is ever-changing and constantly improves its services. In 2020 alone, Snapchat added over 20 new features and tools. Things are guaranteed to stay fresh with improvements like that!
Even the best marketing tactics have their flaws, and Snapchat Ads are no different. Ironically, the main drawback to advertising on Snapchat is best in line with the platform’s core function — all content is static and erased after a 24 hour period.
While this can be irksome for a long-running campaign, it can certainly be helpful to building a brand with an audience that has a shorter attention span.
Determine your target audience
Like what you see and ready to move forward with advertising on Snapchat? The first step is to determine who you want to target your ads to.
A recent Statista study found that over 85% of Snapchat users are under the age of 34. If your brand or service is something that a younger audience would be interested in, Snapchat is the perfect place to advertise. Adversely, if you specialize in a service for middle-aged or elderly individuals, you may want to consider a different platform.
Now that you’ve narrowed down your target age group, take a look at gender. A recent study found that more females use Snapchat than males – but not by much. As of 2021, 57% of users identified as female, and 41% identified as male. The good news? No matter your brand’s targeted gender, Snapchat has millions of people who will be interested in your business, one of the benefits of having so many users!
Plan your campaign’s goals
You’ve narrowed down your target audience — now you need to figure out what you want the result of your Snapchat advertising to be. Go into your Snapchat Ad experience with the end goal in mind. What do you want viewers to do after viewing your Story? Become aware of your brand? Visit your website? Complete a purchase? Set your end goal in stone and build out your custom Snapchat Ad campaign to reflect that goal.
Additionally, it’s essential to set a campaign budget. This will keep your goals in line with what you’re willing to spend and stop serving ads after hitting your max spend.
Consider the six types of Snapchat Ads
One of the most exciting things about Snapchat is the variety of ways that you can reach your target audience, with different options that can be beneficial based upon your campaign goals.
Here are six of the most popular types of Snapchat Ads to consider for your brand —
Snap Ads are full-screen videos, photos, or GIFs that allow users to take immediate actions such as clicking on your website or installing an app.
These ads can be up to three minutes long, but are proven to be most effective when they are kept short and sweet — usually between three and five seconds.
Snapchat Filters are custom, stylized text and images that target specific demographics. These Filters appear in the form of overlays that users can add when they take a Snap and swipe left or right. Added to millions of Snaps each day, Filters can highlight neighborhoods, businesses, holidays, and more!
Snapchat also offers GeoFilters, which are Filters targeted to specific geographic areas rather than demographics. So, for example, if you’re visiting Hersheypark, a Hersheypark GeoFilter will be available on Snapchat when you’re within a certain distance of the location.
One of the most fun Snapchat features, Lenses allow users to transform their selfie into, well, pretty much anything. An AR experience that offers a powerful way to connect with consumers, Lenses can range from puppy ears to giant tacos. They’re sure to be unforgettable and fun — two things that every brand can benefit from in an advertisement.
Similar to regular Stories, Story Ads are a collection of your Snap Ads that can be viewed in succession. In addition, story ads will appear in a user’s “Discover” feed, complete with a cover photo and headline designed to lure viewers in.
Designed to showcase products and services that you sell online, Product Catalog Ads are shoppable formats of your catalog available to Snapchat users.
According to Snapchat, there are three main types of Product Catalog Ads —
- Collection Ad — A single image or video with four tappable tiles to feature products.
- Single Image or Video Ad — A single image or video that allows users to swipe directly to a location within your app or to your mobile website.
- Story Ad — A branded tile in Snapchat’s Discover section that opens into a collection of 3 – 20 images or videos.
Commercials are six-second ads that are non-skippable. They allow you to drive awareness of your brand in a traditional format.
Consider the cost
Just like the wide variety of Snapchat Ad types, the cost of advertising on Snapchat is broad. The good news is that each ad set that you create has its own budget.
According to Snapchat, the minimum daily spend requirement is only $5, which can help with setting a budget that works for you and your business.
With so many different Snapchat Ad types to choose from and a flexible budget that works for most businesses, advertising on Snapchat could be the right move for your business and brand. For more information, view Snapchat’s complete guide to ads here and get started today!