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Snap It Till You Make It

A dozen rules for a winning Snapchat advertising strategy

The greatest advantage of Snapchat for business is its unique audience of millenials. These users are digital natives: fresh, trendy, highly involved. Another big benefit: you cannot come across 40% of them on any other platform.

Aitarget became a Snapchat marketing partner in 2017, which opened easy new ways for brands to advertise in Eastern Europe. Our client BetterMe – a fitness app with Ukrainian roots – then utilised Snapchat Ads to leap into the Top 3 apps by revenue in the American App Store within six months.

With the help of Aitarget, the BetterMe app drove new audiences and doubled traffic by way of winning creatives and meticulously configured automations. The cost per purchase decreased by 30%, and conversions from app installs to purchase increased by one third.



Snapchat ad for BetterMe. Source: Snapchat Success Story.


Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Snapchat has 186 million daily active users spread across the world. In the US it is the most popular social network among teenagers, ahead of Instagram. Imagine promoting your business through Snapchat to this hungry audience. Yet many advertisers are unaware of the best ways to leverage this funky messaging service.


Some rules for winning Snap-creatives

The nature of Snapchat ads means there are no random clicks or swipes for users to interact with your creative. A user’s intention to communicate with your business through your ad is always deliberate, and therefore interest in your product immediately turns into the target action of a potential client. This makes Snapchat ads more profitable, providing you with a much higher conversion rate.

Through our many experiences with Snapchat advertising, Aitarget has been collecting and analysing various practices and experiments from our clients. We present our findings and advertising tips to encourage you to thrive through Snapchat.


Tailor your Snapchat content

Re-formatted or cropped videos from Instagram do not work as well as tailor-made content. The maximum length of a Snapchat ad is 10 seconds, but we recommend that your message should be no longer than three to five seconds.

To begin with, show your brand, logo and call to action. First impressions are key: make an attractive brand image, otherwise the audience will not be interested.


Keep your objective in mind

Your message must serve the objective you’re trying to achieve with your advertising campaign. What is the overall purpose of the campaign and what are you trying to achieve? Be direct in showing what it is all about. Remember that a CTA is just a way to get the audience to complete the goal you’re aiming for. Use a simple visual way to bring it to life.



Ad Formats for Snapchat. Source: Snap Business.


Feature a singular message

After sorting out your objective and CTA, you’ll now need to communicate that in a simple, singular message. Keep it short and sweet! Five seconds is too little to cover all the advantages of your product. Choose the main benefit of your product, and stick to it.


Encourage users to take the right action

The whole idea of running any ad campaign is to achieve a certain goal. You must provide clear straightforward direction on what you want your audience to do next. Whether it is downloading an app, purchasing a product, or visiting a website.

A Sumpto study showed 67% of university students want to receive more brand discounts and promotions on Snapchat. Encourage the audience to visit your website or social media profiles, and reward those that engage with a special filter or competitive prices.


Use purposeful sound design

Many people overlook the power of sound, especially in social media ads.

According to Snapchat, more than two thirds of Snapchat videos are viewed with the sound on. Pay attention to this small detail and produce a purposeful sound design along with creative visuals. Remember, your ad might look great, but it must also sound great!


Snapchat content has to be exquisite and appealing

The audience will not engage with simplistic designs. Millennials love VR and Snapchat is quite good at it. The more impressive your content is, the better your chances of obtaining positive results. The creation of a “cool-looking” vibe includes the use of various engaging effects, like Glitch.



Source: Snapchat Lens Studio News


Play with the audience

Snapchat users aren’t afraid of ads

On the contrary, they despise dishonesty.

With all due respect to vast VR options for advertisers, natural ads from influencers are no less effective – just don’t try to pretend it’s not an ad.

Creatives with emoji and drawn elements attract more attention and increase viewing time. Selfie videos are also worthwhile tools to consider.


Don’t disregard the mature audience

It comes as no surprise that a typical user on Snapchat is relatively young. For example, in the United States 78% of Internet users under 24 years old use Snapchat. However, it’s not just for teens – more and more adults are showing greater interest in the platform.

In 2017 about 15% of all American accounts on Snapchat belonged to those over 35 years old. According to forecasts, by 2021 the number will reach almost 23%.


Snapchat’s core audience is hyper-engaged

On average, users spend about 30 minutes per day on Snapchat, creating a total of 3.5 million snaps daily.

Snapchatters have the courage to share their daily life because of the embedded ephemerality feature. One can see a snap only once within 24 hours after it was published. Videos up to 10 seconds long are not kept in the accounts and automatically disappear after playback. This enables users to relax and not care about content quality. They can be more informal and it prevents the accumulation of meaningless and potentially embarrassing content.


Snapchatters like exclusive content, and surprises

Show them something only they can use and then boast about to their friends. Create geofilters that can be opened in a specific location (e.g. near your store) or 24-hour lenses that will vanish afterwards, etc.

Your marketing creativity in Snapchat is unlimited: take note of pet lens as an example.



Source: Snapchat Cat Lenses

Geofilter, it’s worth it!

Geofilter is a special overlay for Snapchatters that reflects the geographic location where they are at the time of sending the message. It’s a unique Snapchat trait. Try a custom Geofilter for an event, promotion, or location of your business.



Business filters. Source: Snapchat Support.

Use “moments”

Try to engage a specific audience segment at a set time (e.g. at around 7.45 am show your creative to young moms with a branded cereal lens, because at that time they will most likely be making a breakfast).


Patrick Luk
January 26, 2019

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