How to advertise on Snapchat: The Beginners Guide
Read Time: 5 Minutes

How to advertise on Snapchat: The Beginners Guide

10 Oct, 2018 Read Time: 5 Minutes
Published by
Sarah Kerrigan
Social Media Trainer & Evangelist
Inspire Inform Ignite

You understand your audience, and you’ve realised that one of the places to reach them is on Snapchat. How do you get started?

Advertising on Snapchat can help you reach a new audience in a creative way. As with every social platform, you need to understand:

  •  How the platform is used by your audience
  • What ad formats are available to you
  • How the media buying process works

Snapchat advertising is a great way to reach its largely teenage audience. You can find out more about Snapchat on our social media training courses.

To start advertising on Snapchat you will first need to sign-up for a business account.

Advertising on Snapchat

There are different ways you can advertise your business on Snapchat. We can break the ad types down into the following four types of ads.


    1. Snap ads. Snap ads are 10-second, full-screen, vertical videos and can offer some type of interactive element, such as a call to action to visit a specific link. Two-thirds of all ads include audio, which play automatically with the sound on. The short clip should provide information about your company and what its products and/or services are.


Snap ads

    1. Sponsored geofilters. Sponsored geofilters allow users to send Snaps from specific locations. The lenses can cover a specific location, like coffee shops or department stores. If you're familiar with the platform, you'll notice major cities and its boroughs have different filters, like Brooklyn and Manhattan in New York City. Additionally, a geofilter can be also applied nationwide under a certain theme or holiday, like Cheerios' National Cereal Day and Michael Kors' National Sunglasses Day filters. Many brands utilise geofilters to promote events. In June 2017, Snapchat made it easier for all users to design a custom geofilter. By going to settings and selecting On-Demand Geofilters, there are dozens of templates. You can customise it with colours and words. With pricing starting at £5.99, this is an affordable marketing option for many businesses.


Snapchat geofilters

    1. Sponsored lenses. Sponsored lenses are more interactive than geofilters. Filters are applied after a video or picture is taken, prior to sending to friend(s) and/or adding to a Snap story. Lenses have special facial recognition technology, which allows users to become dogs, pretend to be Santa Claus, turn into demons, wear flower crowns and even puke rainbows through the app. The company says this product is their most popular, driving on average three times higher brand awareness than mobile norms and two times lift in purchase intent.


Cadbury UK Sponsored Lenses

    1. Snapchat Discover. In January 2016, the platform unveiled a new corporate feature: Discover. It's an entirely different part of the app. With it, users view content created by prominent media organisations like Vice, Cosmopolitan and ESPN. Similar to the Stories feature, Discover stories compile both audio-video and photo content, which links to articles and graphics, through a Pinterest-like dashboard. While brands have the opportunity to advertise within Discover stories, the costs are out of reach for many small business owners. These ads begin at £50,000 for daily rates. Plus, the spots, which get premium placement by the app, are already reserved for publications and well-known brands.


Snapchat Discover


Tell me the quick and easy way to advertise on Snapchat

Once signed in to Snapchat Ads Manager the first screen you will see will be the 'Quick & Easy’ create workflow, where you can create an individual advert without needing to set up Campaigns or Ad Sets — This is a great way to explore your first campaign.

For your Quick & Easy campaign, you can choose between three different ad formats:

  • Snap Ads
  • Story Ads
  • Filters

Snap ads. If you have selected a Snap Ad, you will need to fill out the basic parameters of your campaign. Fill out your Ad Name, Brand Name, and Headline. After filling out that information you will be able to attach your existing media asset as the Snap Ad. This could be an image or a video.

If you are uploading a video your video assets must use H.264 encoding and meet the minimum required dimensions of 1080x1920.

If you are uploading an image, it should

  • be formatted as either PNG or JPEG
  • meet the minimum image size of 1080x1920 pixels
  • meet the minimum aspect ratio of 9:16
  • not exceed 5MB in size.

 Finally, you can select if you want users to take an action from your Snap Ad. By clicking the “Select Attachment Type” you will see a drop down of different options:

  • Website
  • Longform Video
  • App Install
  • Deep Link
  • AR lens

 Snapchat Ads Manager

Story ads
. You will need to fill out the basic parameters of your campaign as well as the following.

Story Ad Tile: This image is used for your tile creative. Users will click on this tile to open up your Story Ad. The image should be formatted as a PNG file and have an aspect ratio of 3:5. The required dimensions are 360x600.

Build Your Story: Now it’s time to build your story. Remember a Story Ad is a collection of 3 to 20 snaps, which could be a combination of both images and video assets.

Finally, you can select if you want users to take an action from your Story Ad just like your Snap ad.

Snapchat Ads Manager

Filter ads
. You will need to fill out the basic parameters of your campaign. Fill out your name and brand name, then upload your creative for your Filter.

You can design your own filter with creative looks like Photoshop or Illustrator. Files should be either 1080px wide by 2340px high or 1080px wide by 1920 px high, and under 300KB in size. Don’t forget to save it as a PNG file with a transparent background.

Snapchat Ads Manager

Targeting your audience

No matter what type of campaign you decide to run (Snap Ad, Story Ad, or Filter), you will need to decide which Snapchatters you want to see your ads. Adding targeting parameters can help make your campaigns more effective.

Choose which locations you’d like to reach. Locations will automatically populate based on the country tied to your organisation. If you edit the country, the form will refresh and load with the new valid targeting dimensions.

Select an age group and which genders you’d like to target

If your creative or the product being advertised has required age-restrictions (e.g. gambling related content, alcohol, etc.) please check the box next to 'Regulated Content.’

You have the option to select any interests you’d like your ad to target

You can also choose to select what custom audiences, operating systems, device make, connection type, and carriers you’d like to target. The estimated size of your audience should appear in the ‘Audience Size’ panel and update upon any changes you make to your targeting.

How long will your ad run and how much do you want to spend?

Choose the status of your ad (active or paused), choose start and end times or to run your ad indefinitely, input your daily budget and bid. To give you a reference point when setting your bid, a suggested bid amount will display. This recommendation is based on average platform performance.

Snapchat Duration & Budget

Creating multiple ads

If you want to create multiple ad sets and ads within one campaign and assign multiple admins to work on the campaign at once select the advanced create option.

Snapchat Ads Manager

This will take you through a similar campaign set up to Facebook. You will select what you want your campaign to be optimised for before creating your ad sets and ads.

Snapchat Objective Setting

At ad set level you will select your audience, placement and delivery options.

Placement options

All Snapchat
. All of Snapchat includes the Publisher Stories, Snapchat Stories, Shows, and User Stories. Please Note: This is recommended for scale. Removing placements may reduce reach.

Run Everywhere Except. Prevent your ads from running in the types of story and show content that is not contextually relevant to your brand or product. This option enables you to limit your placement to All of Snapchat except for the specific content types you exclude. For example, you can choose "Run Everywhere, except 'News'.

Publisher Stories, Our Stories, and Shows. Limit your ad delivery to our curated content. You may also control the context in which your ads appear by including or excluding specific content types, like entertainment or news.

User Stories. Limit your ad delivery to user-generated stories content.

Camera. Your ad must be a lens or filter to select this placement

At the ad level, you design your ad.

Snapchat Design Your Ad

Stay tuned for part two of the Beginner's Guide.

Find out more about Snapchat and Snapchat advertising on our social media training courses.

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