Snapchat isn’t dead. Not by a long shot. In Q2 2020, Snapchat added 9 million users, and an additional 11 million joined in the previous quarter. There’s no denying that Snapchat is steadily growing and is an invaluable marketing tool for reaching the Gen Z demographic (13-24 years old) who make up 90% of Snapchat’s daily active userbase.
Content marketing professionals can’t afford to ignore Snapchat advertising in 2020. At a discount, Snapchat for Business lets you easily create interactive and targeted ads that drive app visits, installs, and website visits.
Does Snapchat marketing like the solution you need to reach a new, younger audience? In this article, I’ll go over the fundamentals of Snapchat for Business and will walk you through the process of creating and publishing your first Snapchat advertising campaign.
If you ask me, the main benefit of Snapchat marketing is that it feels genuine. Whereas Facebook and LinkedIn advertisements feel formulaic and in-your-face, Snapchat ads usually don’t take themselves too seriously and offer a real behind-the-scenes look at a brand. They reveal a business’s personality and aren’t afraid to have a little fun.
Snapchat marketing gives your business a chance to be authentic. Over two-thirds of Gen Z, Snapchat’s key demographic, believe that “being true to [one’s] values and beliefs make a person cool.” The same is true of brands. If a small business brand is unique and unapologetically themselves, they’re more likely to appeal to a younger crowd.
Snapchat advertising is exclusive to Snapchat Business accounts and specializes in full-screen digital ads designed to drive a CTA to a particular website, app, or platform. There’s no room for lengthy walls of text or picture collages, which forces advertisers to cut to the chase and provide a succinct “sell” in their ad. These snapshot-style ads appear to targeted users in between receiving photos or videos from their friends. With the swipe of a finger, users are then sent to your conversion page directly from the advertisement.
Below, I’ve laid out the process of creating and publishing your first Snapchat advertising campaign.
To access the Ads Manager interface, you must first have a Snapchat Business Account. You can create your account online or via the Snapchat app. To do so online, visit the Ad Manager’s sign-in page, click “Sign Up” next to the “New To Snapchat?” text, and follow the registration steps before accepting their terms and conditions.
Before you enter the Ads Manager on your newly-verified business account, take a few minutes to complete your profile. To customize your profile, click the ghost icon within the Snapchat app and then select the gear icon in the top-right corner. Once you’ve access the Settings tab, I recommend doing the following:
In the Ads Manager, you’re given two choices to get started creating your first Snapchat advertising campaign. If you want full creative control over the ad design, choose Advanced Create. New users without extensive design resources should opt for Instant Create mode, which is a simplified process that lets users utilize templates and preloaded design elements.
For the sake of example, let’s choose Instant Create mode. Here you’re prompted to choose your campaign’s objective:
Your campaign’s design will vary depending on the type of objective you choose. Each option will generate a CTA in the ad, but, for example, the “Website Visits” objective will take users directly to a URL of your choosing. On the other hand, “App Installs” will drive users to your app listing within the Google Play Store or iOS App Store.
In the Instant Create interface, users can upload full-screen photos with a 9:16 aspect ratio and a maximum size of 1080 by 1920 pixels. You can also upload other media such as slideshows, .GIF files, stop motion graphics and live motion graphics between 3 seconds and 3 minutes.
Currently, Snapchat only accepts images in .JPG or .PNG file formats, and videos in .MP4 or .MOV formats encoded in H.264. Video files are capped at 1 GB and images at 5 MB. Audio files (stereo only) can be overlaid provided that it is compressed with a PCM or AAC codec.
Pay considerable attention to the Headline section of your ad. This is one of the few instances where you can incorporate text into ads created within Instant Create mode. Therefore, it’s crucial that you use this one short sentence to show a little personality and send an on-brand message.
Here’s a quick glimpse at Instant Create’s interface. As you can see, it’s relatively barebones. More sophisticated ads will require you to use Advanced Create to add in other elements.
Source: Snapchat for Business
If you want to add some more flair to your advertisement, consider hiring infographic marketing designers or content marketing professionals. A reliable team of designers and marketers can take all the legwork out of your ad creation process so you can stay focused on core business operations.
Next, you’re prompted to set your campaign’s budget and duration. The higher your daily budget, the more guaranteed impressions your ad will make. You can choose to start and end your campaign on specific dates, or to run your ad indefinitely.
Importantly, you’re given the option to target users according to their gender, age range, and language spoken.
Last, you’re taken to a secure checkout page where you finalize and pay for your order. Payments can be made via PayPal or a credit card, which can be linked to your Snapchat Business account so you can checkout with ease when paying for subsequent campaigns.
Note that you won’t be charged for your order until Snapchat approves your ad design. Once you’re notified of the approval, your campaign will officially publish and go live on their platform.
Compared to Google and Facebook advertising, Snapchat advertising costs are relatively low. Since Snapchat’s daily rates start at only $5, there’s room in every business’s budget to experiment with Snapchat ads.
Snapchat marketing is an invaluable resource for businesses looking to attract younger audiences that might not be as in-tune with Facebook-owned social platforms. Using Snapchat for Business’s Instant Create interface, you can publish your first Snapchat advertising campaign in 15 minutes or less, and for as little as five dollars.
For those who want a more personalized Snapchat ad campaign that goes beyond the basic limitations of Snapchat’s Instant Create platform, consider hiring professional social media management. With their assistance, you can create truly unique, conversion-driving ads without having to swipe a finger.
Liam Hunt, M.A., is a writer and digital marketing specialist whose writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, Asia Times, and US News and World Report.