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Snapchat Ads: A Complete Guide for Digital Agencies

If you’re running paid ads for clients, you may have asked yourself: are Snapchat ads worth the investment?

Whether or not you’ve tried the social media platform for yourself, there’s no question that it's incredibly popular within the 18 to 30 year old demographic. In fact, a study from Pew Research found that 46% of users visit the app several times a day.

In this guide, we’ll discuss everything that marketers need to know to get started with Snapchat Ads, all the way from campaign set up to automated reporting, including:

Let’s get started.

Key Snapchat statistics

Before we dive into setting up a Snapchat Ad campaign, let’s first look at a few key statistics to make sure the platform is right for your audience. As mentioned, by far the most prominent Snapchat users are in the younger demographic. A few of their most impressive statistics include:

  • Snapchat reaches 90% of all 13-24 year-olds and 75% of all 13-34 year-olds in the US - source
  • As of Q3 2020, 48 percent of U.S. internet users aged 15 to 25 years used the platform - source
  • 238 million people use Snapchat every day - source
  • Snapchat users spend an average of over 30 minutes a day on the platform - source
  • Roughly 61% of users are female and 38% are male - source

Looking at these statistics, if your target audience is under the age of 30, Snap ads are likely worth considering and investigating further.

6 Different Types of Snapchat Ads

Before we look at setting up a campaign, let’s first review the different types of ads you can create. In the case of Snapchat advertising, there are six different types of ads you can create, these include:

1. Single Image or Video Ads

A Single Image or Video ad is a full-screen ad that can be used with nearly every ad objective. These ads allow you to add an attachment and enable users to swipe up and take your desired action.

2. Collection Ads

A Collection Ad has four tappable tiles that enable you to showcase a series of products and give users a seamless way to browse and buy products.

3. Story Ads

Story Ads are a series of ads that are displayed in Snapchat's Discover section. This feature lets you show a series of 3-20 single image or video ads:

4. Lenses AR Experience

One of Snapchat's most unique advertising options is its augmented reality experiences. Using their Lens Studio, you can easily build AR experiences with a set of built-in features such as custom shaders and advanced tracking.


5. Commercials

Commercials are ads that appear within Snap's curated content and are non-skippable for six seconds but can last for a total of three minutes.

6. Filters

Finally, Filters are artistic overlays that are displayed after you take a Snap and swipe left or right. This option is best utilized if you're running a local marketing campaign as they can be displayed after users visit neighborhoods, parks, restaurants, or shops.


Getting Started with Snapchat Ads

Now that you have an idea of the different ad formats available on Snapchat, let’s review how to start creating a campaign.

1. Navigate to Snapchat Ads Manager

To get started, first navigate to the Snapchat Ads Manager and either sign in or create a new account. From there, you’ll need to choose between “Instant Create” and “Advanced Create”.  Instant Create is a much more simplified way to create a Single Image or Video Ad in five minutes or less, whereas Advanced Create gives you more control over your bidding, budget and optimization goals. In this example, we’ll go with Advanced Create to see everything that Snapchat has to offer.

2. Choose Your Advertising Goal

Next, you’ll be asked to choose your advertising goal. If you go with Instant Create, there are five options available:

  • Website visits: This will send Snapchatters to your website
  • Promote local place: This will send nearby Snapchatters to your local business
  • Calls & texts: This will drive Snapchatters to call or text your business
  • App installs: This will offer Snapchatters to download your app
  • App visits: This will drive Snapchatters to return to your app

Since we chose Advanced Create in this example there are a few more advertising objectives, including:

  • Awareness: There’s only one option here that focuses on audience reach in order to increase awareness for your brand.
  • Consideration: This option includes app installs, driving traffic to website or app, engagement, video views, and lead generation.
  • Conversions: Conversions can include both website conversions or catalog sales.

For this example, we’ll go with Website Conversion and set the daily or lifetime budget:

3. Define Ad Set Details

The next step is to build your ad set, which allows you to group ads by audience, budget, and goal. As mentioned, there are six different ad types, although for website traffic you can only choose between a Single Image or Video and a Collection Ad:

4. Define Placements, Location, and Demographics

Next up, we will define our placements that can either be automatically done for you or you can choose to place your ads Between Content” or “Within Content”, which means ads are watched within professional and curated content.

5. Define Your Audience, Devices, and Delivery

Next we can define our audience. Here you can either use a custom audience or Snapchat’s predefined audiences, which are:

Audiences that have been built and packaged using Snapchat and Third-Party Data, allowing you to reach people based on their online and real world interests and behaviors.

In terms of delivery, just like other ad platforms we can set our bidding based on Auto-bids, Target Cost, or Max bid:

6. Design Your Ad Creative

Finally, it’s time to design our ad creative. Snapchat is a highly visual platform, but luckily they offer a number of templates to choose from where you just have to add your brand logo and ad copy:

All that’s left to do after this is review our campaign setup, publish it, and start measuring the results.

Snapchat Ads Reporting

Now that we’ve reviewed the process of setting up an ad, let’s look at the various metrics we can report on from our Snapchat Integration. In particular, the integration includes the following four tabs:

  • Campaigns
  • Ad Squads (Snapchats version of ad sets)
  • Ads 
  • Demographics

At the campaign, ad squad, and ad level, we’ve included a number of key metrics for your client reporting, including:

  • Impressions
  • Spend
  • Swipes
  • Screen time
  • View completions
  • Video views
  • Swipe up percent
  • eCPSU (effective cost per swipe up)

Finally, on the demographic tab we’ve broken each of these metrics into their corresponding age group. As you can see below, each of these demographic charts include intuitive data visualization widgets that anyone can understand, regardless of technical expertise:

Summary: Snapchat Ads

As discussed, Snapchat offers a robust advertising platform that’s often overlooked for larger platforms like Facebook and Google. That said, if your audience is under 30, there’s a good chance they’re on Snapchat. With unique features such as their AR lenses, this platform can really make your brand stand out from the competition.

At the end of the day, if you’re managing Snapchat Ads for clients you need to show them exactly what results you’re getting them and what their ROAS is. With our new Snapchat integration, you can connect your ad account, build intuitive dashboards, and report on your results in minutes. If you want to see an example of a prebuilt dashboard, check out our PPC template here.

Written by Peter Foy

Peter Foy is a content marketer with a focus on SaaS companies. Based in Montreal, QC, when he’s not writing or managing ad campaigns he’s usually studying data science and machine learning.