Snapchat also serves as a marketing tool for businesses. If they have a proper strategy and conduct extensive monitoring, advertising on Snapchat will benefit small and medium-sized enterprises. We explain what you should consider when doing so and the best way to proceed.
What is achieved, and who is reached with advertising on Snapchat?
Advertising on Snapchat can be beautiful, especially for a younger target audience and companies with a modern image. In Snapchat, content is played quickly and successively, so although advertising messages reach individual users immediately, advertising on Snapchat has specific, unique characteristics. The ads are seamlessly integrated into the overall content of the platform and can be optimally adapted to the desired target group. Many possible advertising methods are interactive and offer users a specific added value. However, this advertising is only suitable for some companies.
Whether or not it makes sense to add Snapchat to your combined marketing strategy depends on several factors. In addition to those above, the advertising format is decisive. While Snap ads appearing as videos among regular content are straightforward to produce, this differs from the Lenses format. It is considerably more expensive and must also be created by Snapchat or one of its partners, which often increases the budget of small and medium-sized businesses. In the following article, we introduce you to the different formats, overview costs, and targeting options and offer a step-by-step guide to Snapchat advertising.
What ad formats are there?
The first paid ad for this mobile app was published in 2014. Since then, Snapchat has been developing other advertising methods, besides video advertising, that businesses can use to advertise or promote specific products on Snapchat. There are currently six different types of ads, some of which differ significantly from advertising on other social networks such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube:
Snap Ads: Snap Ads are ads (generally videos or animations) that take up the entire mobile screen. They appear between snaps (images and videos) from other channels and are always displayed vertically, like the rest of the app’s content. In addition to the typical advertising video, a snap ad can contain interactive elements. This way, users can, for example, swipe and see more information about the advertised product or the option to download an app.
Snap Ads are the most common advertising format on Snapchat.
Story Ad: Story Ads look like typical Snap Ads. However, they are placed in the Discover function and are especially suitable for high-quality content.
Story Ads are displayed in the Discover section.
Collection Ad: A Collection Ad lets you show users a direct link to different products. It can take you directly to your online store.
Collection Ads display products and link directly to your online store.
Commercial: Unlike Snap Ads, Commercials cannot be skipped. To not alter the user experience, these advertising clips last a maximum of six seconds.
Commercials cannot be skipped.
Lenses (Sponsored Lenses): Lenses are composed of an animation and a brand reference inserted on and around a person’s face using augmented reality. The mobile camera recognizes the person’s face and adjusts the graphic. Snapchat lenses are one of the most creative and, at the same time, most expensive advertising mediums in the app.
The lenses use augmented reality to connect a company with its target group.
Filters (Sponsored Geofilter): Filters are brand-related illustrations that users can use to decorate their snaps. Filters can be offered in specific locations (for example, within a certain radius of a store or restaurant).
How do the different Snapchat advertising methods work?
If you decide to advertise on Snapchat, you must choose between the above formats or combine different options. Below, we explain how each format works, their options, and how to launch a good campaign yourself.
Snap Ads and Commercials
The content of these ads is displayed as a video, animation, slides, or similar on a full screen on a smartphone. Like the rest of Snapchat content, they are viewed vertically. Each Snap Ad has a soundtrack that starts playing when the ad begins. The content presented is identified as an advertisement with a small text overlay. Snap Ads can be skipped by tapping on the screen, just like the other Snaps that play in the app. Only Commercials should play for six seconds.
Snap Ads occasionally appear among the app’s (public) content, for example, between stories or contributions from Discover channels. Ads typically last up to 10 seconds. However, offering users interested in the product more information within the app is also possible. These are the four available Snap Ad formats:
- Simple Snap Ad: Video of a maximum of 10 seconds with a sound that starts automatically; It is the basis for the other three ad formats.
- Snap Ad with web display: In this format, during the advertising video, users can swipe and open a web page within the Snapchat app. This generally contains more information about the advertised product.
- Snap Ad with app installation: If you want to promote an app, you can redirect through another window directly to the corresponding page of the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. Users do not have to leave Snapchat to download and install the promoted app.
- Snap Ad with Long Video: You can use this ad format on Snapchat to feature a video longer than 10 seconds. This feature also opens a new window on the screen by simply swiping.
Story Ads work like regular snap ads. They consist of boxes displayed in the Discover section next to the content. If the user selects a box, a collection of between three and twenty boxes that tell a story will open. There is also the option of including a link to your website.
Collection Ads also play between two snaps but are constructed differently. They also contain a video or a photo but add up to four small images displayed in the lower frame. Products are represented in these boxes. If a user selects one, they will see information about it, and a direct connection to the product page in your store will be generated.
A trendy format that will add significant value to your company is the geofilter. This is a sticker that users can put on their content. Geofilters are location-based and are only available in a specific area. For example, you can use a geofilter to advertise your restaurant, store, or concert on Snapchat. Visitors will use it over their photos and share them on their account. This way, your ad is broadcast to other profiles, and you automatically gain visibility.
If you want to create filters, open the Creative Library. There you will find the templates. Then, you must choose which geographic area you want the filter to be available, influencing your price for this advertising medium.
Lenses are another much more complex filter option. They use augmented reality to place certain features on the user’s face. However, you cannot create these filters yourself; you have to order them from Snap Inc. or a partner company, and they produce them. This means that the processing time is considerably longer, and the costs are comparatively high. It is not possible to create Sponsored lenses yourself.
Start an advertising campaign with Snapchat
To create your own Snap Ad, you have two options: entrust the task to Snap Inc. or to an agency, in which case you would agree on the characteristics with the creator of the corresponding content, and in the end, you will receive a finished product. Another option is to take care of the planning and creation yourself. In that case, Snapchat offers a good tool for this, the Ads Manager. To use it, follow these steps:
- First, create a new campaign in the “New Campaign” option.
- Select the objectives you want to meet with your campaign. If you want users to enter your website, choose “Website conversions.” If you want the app you promote to be downloaded, select “App Installs,” and to improve your visibility, choose “Awareness.” Then, click “Next.”
- Choose the name of your campaign. This is especially important if you want to launch multiple campaigns.
- The status will be “active” automatically. You can leave it like this as long as the campaign is current.
- In the next step, choose the execution period for your campaign. If an action expires, it is advisable to add an end date.
- Then, determine the campaign budget.
- Under “Placements,” choose where and to whom your campaign should be shown. You can have the platform itself decide this automatically, or you can specify your ad’s location. Next, determine which countries the ad will be displayed in. Here, choosing the target group more precisely is also possible and advisable. Under “Devices,” specify the end devices your Snap Ad should run.
- Now, choose how exactly you want your ad to display. This will influence costs. Below, we explain how they are broken down.
- The next step is to edit the video or image that will be the center of your campaign. To do this, first select the advertising format you want to use.
- Now, give this advertising medium a name.
- Link the campaign with a brand profile in the “Public Profile” point and add this profile as a username.
- Use “Headline” to give your campaign a title.
- Decide if users can share your campaign.
- Upload your image or video and edit it. Keep in mind that all Snapchat content must always be vertical. Additionally, videos can be up to ten seconds. You can create a new image or search your Creative Library for already-used content.
- Add a call to action.
- When you’re done setting up your campaign, click “Review & Publish” to see all your campaign settings again.
- If everything is fine, click “Publish Campaign”.
- Ads Manager also allows you to check your campaigns later. Extensive tracking helps you plan future advertising campaigns more specifically.
How much does advertising on Snapchat cost?
The cost of Snapchat ads depends on the format you choose. You determine the budget, but the money is used differently depending on the advertising strategy.
Snap Ads Cost
With regular Snap Ads (and similar ad formats), you set a maximum budget before publishing. Once the funds are used up, the ad will automatically stop showing. The budget is allocated through goal-based bidding and goal-based auctions. Available advertising space on Snapchat is allocated to advertisers using an automated bidding system that operates in real-time. This means that you do not reserve a fixed advertising space, but through the same system, you automatically bid on the windows of your target audience.
When a user’s profile matches your campaign and a Snap Ad loads, in a fraction of a second, your maximum bid is compared to all other bids for that ad space. The ad campaign that bids the highest wins the auction, and their ad will appear on the profile. Due to this objective-based auction, the costs of a Snap Ad always depend on those of other advertisements that compete with yours for the same display.
Cost of geofilters
The cost of filters depends on the period you have chosen and the geographical area you specify. If you only want to offer the filter in a location that is the size of your home, the price will be about $5 per day. The larger the area and the longer you offer the filter, the higher the costs. However, if you use a filter for specific events, you can save a lot by activating the filter at the exact time of opening hours.
Lens prices have decreased slightly in recent years but are still Snapchat’s most expensive advertising medium. It’s hard to say how much they cost because the amount will depend not only on the length of the campaign but also on the quality of the filter itself. There is no official data, but creating this type of ad takes time, so assume at least five figures, an infeasible amount for most companies.
What segmentation options are there, and what are they for?
As mentioned above, there are multiple targeting options with which you can better tailor your Snapchat advertising to your target audience. Although you can hand this task over to the platform, taking care of these settings yourself is much better. These are the most important options:
- Location: If you want to advertise a local business, a restaurant, or similar establishments, it is advisable to specify it. This way, you reach people who would get you on their own. If, for example, you offer a service only for your country, it is irrelevant to advertise it on profiles in other countries and unnecessarily lose part of your budget.
- Demographic data: This point is also of vital importance. Younger people mostly use Snapchat, but more precise settings guarantee better results. You can configure the ad to appear only to people over 18 or define a specific age group or gender. If you represent a target audience, Snapchat advertising will be more effective.
- Audience: Here, you can select the target group based on their interests. Narrow it down a little, but if you explicitly include some groups, the people you’re looking for will be more likely to see your ads.
- Devices: At this point, you decide what type of device the ad has to appear on. Not only the operating system but also the kind of linkage is essential here.