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Imagine presenting your new business idea at a board meeting where good ideas get a vast amount of funding, while bad ideas see you ejected from the stage. You have a matter of seconds to capture your audience’s attention before they get bored, push the trapdoor button, and you and your business idea disappear forever.

What are you going to do that is so captivating, so attention-grabbing, and so irresistible that you can convince your judges to keep hearing you out, and avoid what might be under that trapdoor?

You’re considering your opening lines, your outfit, your collateral, sound effects, an accompanying magician, even a grand entrance on the back of a majestic unicorn. All you know is that you have 8-12 seconds for the panel to decide whether or not you’re worthy of more time.

Doesn’t sound like much time, does it?

That’s how long you have to capture the “distracted generation’s” attention with your advertisements and brand. As Oberlo found, millennials have an attention span of 12 seconds, with Generation Z at just eight seconds.

And with so many saturated advertising platforms, and a constant stream of stimulus every second of every day, it’s a struggle for businesses to understand how to stand out from the crowd.

However, a unique opportunity lies within Snapchat.

It may be a relatively new marketing platform compared with Instagram or Facebook, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less of a powerhouse. With 238 million active daily users opening the app 30 times a day, Snapchat has an ever-increasing potential for your brand or business to unearth marketing gold.

We’re going to show you why Snapchat might be the ultimate tool in your arsenal to reach and influence everyone in your target market, not just millennials or Gen Z’ers. You might just be surprised.

Table of Contents

What’s The Problem?

As a business in a technological age, it’s harder than ever before to break through the clutter, reach your audience, and make an impact that translates into revenue.

Snapchat Ads can help you with this. Many companies, however, are running Snapchat advertising just because they’ve been told they should, but they have no real strategy to meet specified objectives. As such, they are seeing poor results and wasting considerable money.

By not having campaigns focused on key metrics, ROI, ROAS, and business objectives, or not being on Snapchat at all, your company could be missing opportunities, and customers.

You might think that Snapchat Ads is just a tool for “trendy” companies to reach their millennial audience. And with Snapchat only offering temporary videos or images that last a few seconds, you might see this as another reason to write this off as a valuable marketing tool.

But Snapchat has a lot of broad potential. Don’t let your beliefs stop you from advertising successfully through this platform, and reaping rewards your competitors are missing.

Why Does This Matter?

Imagine having the potential to get in front of your specific target audience in a fun, engaging, and uncluttered way. If done effectively, your business could gain the advantage by getting in the Snapchat Ads door ahead of your competitors.

You can boost your company’s bottom line through a strategy that includes implementing and optimising ROI-driven campaigns.

Whether your goal is event promotion, app downloads, online food orders, or eCommerce, Snapchat Ads can help you successfully achieve your business goals.

Is Snapchat Ads Right For Your Business?

As a mobile-only platform, Snapchat is an incredibly powerful advertising tool for many different target markets.

According to SproutSocial:

  • 62% of users are between the ages of 18-29
  • 25% are between 30-49
  • a surprising 9% – or more than 20 million users – are between the ages of 50-64

While Snapchat may be viewed as only appropriate for the younger generation, this data tells us otherwise.

Although there is a much vaster demographic available through Snapchat than typically perceived, it’s also important to remember that the primary Snapchat generation has serious purchase influence, direct buying power, and are still forming brand preferences. It’s a great opportunity to provide value to this audience and attract their loyalty.

In fact, these younger users have incredible influence over their parents. By marketing to them strategically, your advertising value can increase dramatically.

According to Cassandra Research:

  • 87% of Gen Z say they influence their family’s purchase decisions
  • 92% of parents say their children influence the purchase decisions at home
  • $63million of incremental sales come from households where only purchase influencers saw advertising.

Regardless of what demographic your end consumer is, if you’re not using Snapchat Ads, you could miss reaching a vast segment of your target audience.

And Snapchat isn’t just for kids. While the platform’s largest segment is 18 to 29 year olds, a lot of them are no longer living at home, have full-time jobs, and have a lot more disposable income than you might think.

Are you starting to see the untapped marketing potential Snapchat could have for your business?

The Solution

The solution is to create compelling, objective-driven Snapchat campaigns designed to attract and convert your target market.

Here we’ll cover the types of Snapchat ads available, as well as a high-level overview of how easy it is to set them up. You’ll learn how to harness these tools to create a successful campaign no matter your objective, and the golden rules for success in the wild world of Snapchat.

Snapchat Features To Take Advantage Of

1.      Different Creation Options

When it comes to setting up and managing your first Snapchat Ads campaign, there are two options: Instant Create and Advanced Create.

Instant create allows you to create a single image or video ad in about five minutes. It’s a great way to simplify the process and get your message out as quickly as possible.

From here you can choose from four goals: Calls and text, website visits, app installs, and app visits. Depending on your desired outcome, you can choose the best goal for your overall objectives.

Advanced Create provides increased control when choosing your budget, bid, and optimisation techniques, allowing you to create an ad that’s more highly tailored to your objectives.

2.      Lens AR Experience

This is where things get exciting. It allows you to create interactive experiences with augmented reality (AR). It’s a fairly new feature created in 2020 and allows users to take part in a memorable experience that they can share with their friends. The ‘Lens Web Builder’ allows advertisers to create an AR experience using Snapchat’s unique animations and objects so you can produce an experience that is truly exclusive.

3.      6 Second Non-Skippable Commercials

A brilliant way to drive awareness of your business and engage your audience is through commercials. This fantastic feature focuses on ads that run for up to three minutes but can’t be skipped for the first six seconds.

Considering the average attention span of a millennial is 12 seconds, the quicker you can get your key message across to the audience, the better. Once produced, a commercial on Snapchat will appear in Snapchat’s curated content section.

4.     Filter fun

Who doesn’t love a filter? The target audience that uses Snapchat certainly does. If you’re unfamiliar with filters, they are overlays that appear once you take a photo. This feature allows you to create a custom filter that represents your brand and engages users – promoting and raising awareness of your brand. The trick is to create filters that relate to your product or service. For example, a filter that shows what different lipstick colours look like on the Snapchat user is a clever way for a make-up company to advertise its products and drive sales.

Take a look at the results some of the world’s largest brands enjoyed through adding Snapchat to their marketing arsenal.

SHEIN expand to reach new audiences

Shein, a unisex, global fashion brand was looking to expand its reach to untapped new audiences. With Snapchat, the company created immersive, full-screen ad experiences designed to drive purchases. This campaign resulted in a 20% increase in ROI compared to the original goal. Shein saw a 50% lower cost per purchase and 20% lower cost per app install on Snapchat compared with its other channels.

Ralph Lauren’s AR lens experience

The iconic fashion brand combined the AR lenses Snapchat feature and Snap Ads to drive a 19% increase in sales on its website. With 24 seconds average lens playtime, and 7.3 points increase in ad awareness, this creative solution saw powerful results. The immersive game experience gave users the ability to play as the iconic Polo Bear, chasing gifts across different cities of the world. The Lens redirected users to a game that gave direct access to the website to buy clothes from the Holiday Collection.

McDonald’s Recruitment Campaign

This initiative received more than 42,000 “snaplications” in Saudi Arabia. Using an Augmented Reality Lens and Snapchat Ads, users were prompted to tap through after the lens experience and apply for a job. To boost awareness and engagement, McDonalds worked with five influencers to play with and post themselves using the lens. In addition to this, their snap ads ensured the campaign was fully integrated, capturing users through camera and content. In 24 hours, the application numbers were 4x the anticipated rate – producing 42,972 applications.

Types of Snapchat Ads

As we’ve touched on. there is a great range of advertising tools, including filters, lenses, and commercials, to reach your target audience through Snapchat Ads For Business.

  • Single Image or Video Ads: These are full-screen ads that display in between stories.
  • Collection Ads: These are also full-screen ads that display in between stories however, showcase a series of products, giving users the ability to tap, browse, and shop. The example from Adidas featured below shows how enticing this feature can be. Users can simply click through the carousel to be guided to the website to shop on the Adidas website.

Rob Seidu, senior director, media activation, Europe, at Adidas, said that within weeks of a test in the UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands, the brand saw 52% growth in return on advertising spend and it has since grown its investment in this service. – Campaign Live

  • Story Ads: An arrangement of snaps (3-20) placed alongside popular content, tailored to user preferences in the discover section.
  • AR Lenses: Allow advertisers the ability to create interactive moments using augmented reality experiences that users can enjoy and share with friends on the platform. They can augment the user’s face or the world around them.
  • Filter Ads: Overlays that are applied to Snaps already taken, allowing advertisers the ability to take part in user conversations.
  • 6 Second Commercials: Identified within Snapchat’s curated content section, commercials are video ads that are non-skippable for the first six seconds and help drive brand awareness.

How To Setup Snapchat Ads

When they first came out, Snapchat ads were more expensive in comparison to similar advertising platforms – making them highly inaccessible for most businesses.

Since then, Snapchat’s self-service Ads Manager has allowed businesses of various sizes and budgets to be able to advertise on Snapchat, opening the window of advertising opportunity to a broader demographic. Rather than working through an auction partner, businesses were allowed to directly manage their ads through the app or website.

So, let’s get stuck in – how do you go about setting up your Snapchat Ads?

Firstly, you need to choose your objective, schedule (how frequently and when you run your ads) and a daily spend cap. This allows you to stay on track and on budget, as you wouldn’t want to blow your budget in one day, three days, or one week if you’re looking to run a month-long campaign.

Once you determine all this, you can choose your ‘goal-based bidding’ using objectives such as:

  • Swipe ups: This function allows you to optimise your ads toward users who will most likely swipe up on your ad using a specific ‘cost-per-swipe’.
  • Impressions: Based on a specific CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions), this feature allows you to deliver your ad to as many users as possible.
  • Install: This feature allows you to develop your campaign towards Snapchatters who are most inclined to install your app – at a specified cost-per-install this time.
  • Filter (share): The filter (share) option allows you to tailor your campaign towards users who will likely share your branded filter at a specific cost-per-share.
  • Snap Pixel: When you choose the ‘Website Conversions’ function, you’ll see a ‘Snap Pixel’ prompt. This is a piece of code that allows you to measure your campaign impact across multiple devices. By installing this piece of code on your website, you’re able to track how many users take a specific action on your website – for example a page view, or a purchase. This piece of code is required for any advertising campaign that has a conversion goal.

Your Snapchat Ads Campaign

In the final section of your campaign setup you will include all the high-level details that are required:

  • Campaign name
  • Status – Active/Not active: If you want to develop all of your ad campaign content, but not go live until a week or two later to coincide with a new product launch, for example.
  • Split test: Otherwise known as an A/B test, this is a strategy used to determine which of two elements will deliver the best results. For example, you may have two versions of a landing page – the control (the original landing page) and a variation to see which converts best. This is a great way of determining what elements users find most appealing and ultimately, what gives you the most conversions and revenue at the best cost.
  • Start and end time: This is where you choose when to begin and end your campaign. You can run it indefinitely and keep an eye on it to tweak as required, or you can choose a specific finish time. This all depends on what you are promoting and the timeline of such.

How To Build Your Snapchat Ad Sets

In this section, you’ll choose your ad format, attachment (URL link), who you are targeting, your final budget, and your delivery options. In other words, this is where you decide where your ads are going to run, which audience is going to see them, and at what specific times Snapchat will deliver them.

You can create multiple ad sets within one campaign and choose varied targeting and delivery options for each, making it easier to keep track on multiple campaigns under one roof.

target audience with snapchat ads

How To Target Your Audience With Snapchat Advertising

The Three Golden Rules For Snapchat Ad Creative

It pays to keep these rules in mind when developing your creative.

1. Design based on objective
Now you have determined your objectives, it’s important to create your ads based on this business goal. For example, if your objective is sales or lead generation, consider a swipe-up ad designed to lead Snapchatters through to the landing page on your website where they can easily complete this goal.

We talk more about how Snapchat can help achieve specific objectives later.

2. Design for mobile

 You must create your ads for a mobile audience. Snapchat is an app, after all, and needs to be optimised for mobile devices. Snapchat Ads use the full vertical screen with sound on, so it’s important to design with this in mind.

Keep your content short – up to six seconds maximum for videos to avoid losing a user’s attention.

3. Native content is king

Ads work best when they don’t feel like ads. Developing your creative so it looks like organic content can help increase your viewership and ultimately, your conversions.  

How To Use Snapchat Ads To Achieve Your Marketing Objectives

The objective you choose is critical to the success of your Snapchat Ad campaign. Objectives in Snapchat operate similarly to other advertising objectives and are responsible for steering the direction of your campaign toward your goal.

Snapchat officially has three objectives to choose from, however we’re going to discuss a potential fourth closely intertwined with ‘Conversions’.

Objective: Awareness

As the name suggests awareness is designed with the intent to increase the knowledge of your brand or product.

For many companies, brand awareness campaigns often run concurrently with more ROI-focused campaigns. Snapchat can be a fantastic tool for reaching those at the top of the sales funnel – otherwise known as the awareness stage.

Snapchat’s Advanced Targeting features allow you to reach and introduce prospective customers to your brand, as well as showcase new services and products. By having some form of engagement, whether it’s a swipe up or filter, you are increasing the likelihood of somebody remembering your brand as opposed to just passively seeing it.

The best types of Snapchat Ads to achieve brand awareness are single image or video ads, collection ads, story ads, filter ads, and AR lenses.

See how Gucci brought their shoes to life with this epic shoppable AR experience. It is the first of its kind to deliver a try-on shoe lens on the Snapchat platform. Gucci featured four pairs of shoes with two different lenses, providing users the opportunity to see how they looked with the shoes on, allowing the user to click through and purchase the footwear.

Over 75% of Snapchat users engage with augmented reality daily (180 million in Q2 2020) –Snapchat

Your focus should be on driving your message home to your target market without pushing a sell. In other words, style your creative as native content. This way the flow for the user remains consistent – because remember, ads work best when they don’t feel like ads.

Objective: Consideration

If marketers consider ‘awareness’ to be the top of funnel objectives, then ‘consideration’ is most certainly the awkward middle of the funnel strategy.

Perhaps the most difficult to pursue, consideration is all about engaging, educating, and exciting after awareness has been raised with your audience.

Consideration for your brand allows users to discover the benefits of your products or service. It’s less about talking about yourself and more about demonstrating where you fit into the audience’s life.

The consideration objective allows you to achieve this by focusing on a series of sub-objectives including;

  • App installs – sending users to the app store.
  • Drive traffic to website – send users directly to your website.
  • Drive traffic to app – send users to your app or a third-party app.
  • Engagement – encourage users to engage with your ad.
  • Video views – generate more video views of your ad.
  • Lead generation – generating leads for your business.

There’s a lot of variation in this objective. Therefore the strategies you choose to implement will differ vastly. Video views might be considered quite a soft consideration, whereas generating a lead is far more concrete.

Dependent on what you want to achieve during this stage of your marketing endeavours you’ll need to update your messaging and ad style.

Objective: Conversions

Conversions are your most defined form of objective and are focused on getting prospects to the bottom of your sales funnel. This might include anything from downloading a brochure, purchasing a product, or expressing interest in your service.

Unlike other Snapchat ad objectives, conversion campaigns directly correlate to your revenue stream. That means your campaign needs to be ROI driven and you need to retain constant visibility over your cost per goal. All the hard work you’ve put into the previous two objectives has led you to this point and you deserve to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

It’s very important you adopt a slightly more persuasive and more urgent approach to your messaging. You’ve spent time growing your brand presence and educating a potential demographic – it’s time to get paid.

Make it known what you want users to do, whether that be make a purchase or sign up to your site. Now isn’t the time to be subtle. Using a discount or promotion to leverage your campaigns will achieve far greater results than going to market empty-handed.

Remember though the golden rule – ‘native content’. Ensure that the majority of your Snapchat Ad looks and feels like natural content, with the hook coming in just after you’ve attracted their attention. Being too ‘salesy’ straight out of the gate could have the opposite affect and lose potential customers before they’ve even had a chance to note your offer.

If you’ve managed to achieve some success in your consideration and awareness stages, then generating conversions should be the easy part. All your objectives have built up to this point in your Snapchat marketing journey and the benefits should become apparent – lower advertising spend and high conversion rates.


Snapchat presents a great opportunity to get in front of your current audience – or a fresh one – in a new, engaging way. And it’s not just limited to brands whose target market are millennials or Gen Z’ers. With the brand influence and purchase power these demographics have over their parents and grandparents, they can be a great gateway for many companies.

If your company’s target market is directly in this demographic, advertising on this platform can help you gain a competitive advantage, and achieve a range of business objectives from brand awareness through to conversions and revenue.

Afterall, Gen Z is increasingly becoming the most important generation for marketers to reach. They are still forming their brand preferences, exploring the kind of services and products they want to engage with and buy from, and are directly influencing what their families spend money and time on.

snapchat ad audience as of January 2020

Snapchat Advertising Audience as at January 2020. Data source: Hootsuite – Snapchat For Business Guide

By running Snapchat advertising campaigns with a strong strategy, and focusing on key metrics such as ROI and ROAS, you can find another great revenue source through Snapchat.

If your company hasn’t tried it, isn’t it worth a shot? By employing the right strategies or working with an experienced agency, the likelihood of success grows considerably, as does your opportunity for additional business revenue through a new channel.


Snapchat might not be the right social media channel for all brands and business – but, what if it’s right for yours? Imagine the untapped market waiting to experience your product or service, all while driving awareness and increasing ROI.

Data shows that Snapchat is an engaging platform for this younger audience. On average, users spend 30 minutes per day using Snapchat.

Users that interact with their friends on Snapchat are also likely to interact with your business – in fact, they’re 60% more likely to make an impulse purchase on Snapchat.

So, if you’re ready to delve into the world of Snapchat, break through the clutter, reach your audience, and make an impact that translates into revenue – what are you waiting for?

See how we delved into additional social channels to discover their marketing potential in our article: Experimenting With Snapchat, Quora, Reddit, & Pinterest: Uncovering Untapped Opportunity For Social Media Advertising.

Partnering with a Snapchat Ads agency like Living Online will ensure you’re at the forefront of the latest trends. We have vast experience with Snapchat marketing and can tailor your marketing solution to ensure you get the best impact with your Snapchat advertising as part of a total multi-channel strategy. Contact our friendly team of marketing superstars today to ensure your next campaign delivers.