Snap Ads: a guide to Snapchat advertising


Image to support a post on Snap Ads by social media agency Clarity Comms
Snap Ads are a fairly recent addition to Snapchat’s advertising portfolio. Launched in May alongside a self-service ad module, they open the social network to smaller advertisers. Advertising on Snapchat used to be the preserve of big brands with prices to match. With an entry level spend of £50 per day it’s a big step forward.

So how do Snap Ads compare with the ad offerings from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter? Here’s our thoughts following a couple of test campaigns.

Getting Started with Snap Ads

Setting up Snap Ads is easy enough. Once business and payment detailed have been entered you’re good to go.  

Image of Snap Ads self service ad module

The ad module is easy to use with options ordered as per the above. Creating ads is simple and follows a similar pattern to Facebook and Google Adwords.

Campaigns: step 1 is to specify the objectives with five options:

  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Drive app installs
  • Re-engage with app users
  • Drive video views
  • Grow awareness

Advertisers also specify the campaign duration and daily spend limits. The good news is that this is now just £50 per day with no fixed duration specified. This is a real boost for smaller brands who can test the channel for minimal spend.

Ad Sets: Step two is to define the ad sets. This is where advertisers choose audience and targeting data. It’s also where the creative type is specified. As well as short videos (called top snaps) you can pick long form video, web views and now camera filters. This latter brings much more flexibility to Snapchat’s geo-filters.

The rest is fairly self-explanatory starting with key demographics (age, gender and languages). There’s an option called “Regulated Content” which alcohol brands should select. This seems to lower the audience slightly and flags up the creative for additional review. Alcohol ads will need a responsible drinking message throughout the creative.

This is followed by location and interest targeting before the final step which is to add the ads themselves. Approval is slower than Facebook & Twitter though email support is available if required (and both prompt and helpful).

Snap Ads: Feature Comparison

Image showing how Snap Ads' compares to the other social networks

Snapchat’s advertiser options are good and in line with the other social networks. The offering continues to evolve too. In the last week or so camera filters have appeared as a creative option. The ability to add demographic options to location is a welcome addition.

There’s less age flexibility than Facebook and Instagram. With Snap ads, you choose by bands. Location targeting is good letting you choose from postcodes, TV region, city or county. City targeting doesn’t seem as detailed as Facebook. There’s a range of consumer/lifestyle interests you can pick too. As with Twitter, these match users to hobbies, etc using third party data.

Conclusions: Snap Ads have potential

Snap Ads are a welcome addition to the social media advertising sphere. The Snapchat ad manager is simple to use yet comprehensive. It’s still fairly new so it’s no surprise that isn’t quite as feature rich as Facebook’s Adverts Manager.

The initial pricing is very promising. The CPM costs for Snap Ads were very competitive. In fact, it was our lowest cost channel for a heavyweight October campaign. Ignore the corporate/IR criticisms of Snap Inc. Pricing its ad options low is exactly the way to tempt smaller brands and businesses to use it. This was Twitter’s weak spot: ads were just too expensive especially compared to Facebook.

Getting the creative right is a challenge. Fitting existing ads into Snapchat isn’t enough as this will impact on response rates. That said, there’s more than enough positives to recommend it for brands who want to reach 21 – 34 year olds. Small brands should definitely take advantage of the low pricing whilst it lasts.

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