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Types of Snapchat Ads, How they Work, and Why You Should Use them

Katie Sullivan Porter
|
August 24, 2022

There's no reason to put all your social media advertising eggs in one basket when there’s a whole world of low competition and high ROI advertising opportunities out there. If you’re ready to branch out, consider giving Snapchat a chance. 

Snapchat demographic statistics

With a recent resurgence in popularity, the platform is experiencing a new fleet of users among teens and young adults. As of the second quarter of 2022, the app had 347 million daily active users worldwide, which is an 18% increase from the previous year.

Snapchat reaches 75% of Gen Z. If you’re trying to reach a younger demographic, Snap ads might just be your secret weapon. Many of today’s teens even use Snapchat over their phone’s native messaging platform for chatting with friends. While these users might also use social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, the fact that many advertisers sleep on Snapchat means less competition for your ads. 

Take the airline-booking app Hopper, for example. A recent case study from Snapchat’s inspiration page revealed some pretty impressive stats:

  • Snapchatters were 37% more likely to watch a flight on Hopper vs users acquired from other social platforms. 
  • Snapchatters had a booking rate 4 times higher than users acquired on other platforms. 
  • The brand achieved a 50% decrease in cost per install (CPI) by using radius targeting on Snapchat.
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What sets Snap apart from other social media platforms

Now that we’ve piqued your interest, let's find out what Snapchat ads are all about. Snapchat started as an app used solely for sharing vanishing images. Soon after, they added the ability to send direct messages and send short videos. They led the pack when it came to the Stories concept, lenses, and geofilters. 

Nowadays, they’ve expanded to include a Discover Page filled with news, articles, and stories by featured creators. That Discover Page is your ticket to advertising success. It houses Stories at the top. Scroll down a bit to see the featured content.
Snapchat ads are similar to the ads you’re used to on popular advertising platforms like Facebook and Instagram. They appear between Stories, on the Discover Page, and in the form of branded lenses and geofilters.

Ad types available on Snapchat

Below are all the Snap ads formats you can use to reach your target audience:

Single image or video ad

This is Snapchat’s basic ad format. It displays a single image or video full screen and can be used for most any brand objective. Videos can be up to three minutes long, but the platform recommends keeping them between 3 and 5 seconds for the best results.

These ads take up the entire screen, meaning they don’t have to compete for the viewer’s attention with other content. They appear between content in the following sections: User Stories, Publishers, Creators, and Our Stories. 

Here are a few use cases:

  • You can attach your website to the ad so that the CTA swipe-up link lets users make a purchase without leaving the Snapchat app. 
  • Generate more app installs by attaching an “Install Now” swipe-up CTA to the bottom of the ad screen. This allows viewers to download your app without leaving Snapchat.
  • Long-form video is also an option. Snapchat will play a 10-second preview of your chosen video. The bottom CTA will have a swipe-up link directing users to watch the full video. 

On-Demand filters

Create an On-Demand geofilter for users visiting your location of choice. This is a good option for brand awareness campaigns. There are a few different types of geofilters:

  • Event geofilters: Become available at the time and location of your event.
  • Shared Spaces geofilters: Appear to users in communal areas like malls, airports, parks, etc. 
  • Chain geofilters: Available to your brick-and-mortar store customers.
  • National geofilters: Available to everyone in your chosen country.

Filters can be made smart to serve ads with real-time updates based on the user's location, name, time, etc. 

Lenses

Snapchat really paved the way for TikTok and Instagram filters. I mean, how could we forget the OG puppy ears? Snapchat’s lenses are its AR filters. 

Face lenses manipulate the user's facial features to make them appear different in some way or another. They can be used to transform users into a character relevant to your brand or as a way for users to try on your products without leaving the Snapchat app.

World lenses appear on the outward-facing camera (aka the back camera). They detect the user’s environment and allow users to interact with 3D objects overlaid on their world. These filters are also an effective method of showcasing products. 

Branded filters allow brands to advertise inside user interactions. Most of the other ad types offered by the platform live on the Stories/Discover Page. Branded filters show up when a user goes to send a Snap to a friend. 

Creating these filters is a great way to build brand awareness among users who might not have clicked your ad on the Discover Page.

Story ads

Snapchat story ads are a series of images or videos that appear in between user stories or in the Discover Feed. They can display a collection of between 1 and 20 images or videos. These are pretty effective considering many Snapchat users watch their entire Story feed multiple times a day.

You can also advertise an article via the article ad format. It will pop up in the Discover section amongst other featured Stories and Articles. 

Product catalog ads

Display a series of products with this shoppable ad format. These catalog ads can display as collection ads, single image/video ads, or story ads. They allow users to purchase without leaving the Snapchat app. 

Commercials

Commercial ads are non-skippable 6-second video ads. The actual video can last up to 3 minutes, but the ad is only non-skippable for the first 6 seconds. 

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Wrapping up

Now that you understand the basics of Snapchat ads, it's time to get to snapping. Snapchat's ads manager has a pretty nice suite of analytics where you can find what segments interact with your ads (including segments you didn't choose to include in your campaign). This is super helpful when it comes to improving your campaign relevance and reducing your advertising costs.

Paired with MarinOne's Snapchat integration, you can see all your advertising campaigns in one place, making it easier to identify budget by channel, successful products, and successful audiences that can be tested across various platforms. Speak to one of our marketing experts for a free consultation to get started with am omnichannel advertising strategy, featuring Snapchat.

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