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December 17, 2020

4 app marketing tips to win the new year!

Leverage Snapchat Ads to reach Snapchatters actively looking for new apps to install and capture a valuable audience that can be tapped into throughout the year.
App downloads have reached an all-time high in 2020. In Q3 alone, we saw 36.5 billion app downloads worldwide, which is a +23.3% YOY growth compared to Q3 of 2019.1 This comes as no surprise, given the impact COVID-19 has had on the world. With the majority of the population being asked to stay at home and socially distance, smartphone usage has spiked as people use their phones to keep busy, shop online, place food orders and stay in touch with loved ones. Because of this, app usage is not only growing, but the Snapchat community is growing alongside it. To date, we have 249 million daily active users on average,2 with Snapchatters spending an average of 30+ minutes on our app every day.3
Snapchatters love apps, and are big app users throughout the year. In fact, 40% of Snapchatters say they typically download one to five apps per week.4 This behavior is amplified during the holiday season, with Snapchatters in the US activating 5x as many new phones on Christmas Day than any other day of the year.5 And with new devices comes new Snapchat downloads -- last year during Christmas week, we saw an increase of 30% in new Snapchat iOS downloads than an average week.6
The holiday season gives app advertisers the opportunity to reach Snapchatters when they are most engaged on mobile. Use these 4 app marketing tips to acquire and re-engage Snapchatters and win the New Year:
Tip 1: Plan Beyond December 25th
As the holiday season starts to taper off, app downloads start to rise. In 2019, we saw 25% more installs on Snapchat during December 25th through January 7th vs. the two previous weeks.7 This spike led to efficient app acquisition through Q1 of 2020, which drove 5% more installs than December 2019.8
Snapchatters are a valuable audience for your acquisition during the holidays, as well as throughout the year. Not only do they download, they transact in-app as well. Snapchatters are 2x more likely to make an in-app purchase compared to non-Snapchatters9 and over 49% of Snapchatters say they are “impulse shoppers,”10 making them a valuable group for last minute holiday deals and offers into the New Year. In addition to building your holiday-focused campaigns on Snapchat, you should also be thinking how you can nurture these new users once the holiday season ends.
Tip 2: Don’t Forget Gen Z
Gen Z is the definitive mobile (app) generation. They haven’t even known a world without smartphones. In fact, 55% of Gen Z uses their smartphones for five or more hours a day, and 26% uses their smartphones for 10 or more hours a day!11 Gen Z’s buying power is growing as well, now commanding $323 Billion in direct buying power and $1.2 Trillion in indirect purchasing power.12 Don’t overlook this demographic when planning your ad campaigns. 
Tip 3: Re-engage Users As They Change Devices 
Smarphones are some of the most popular gifts during the holidays, and Snapchatters are no exception to this trend with 42% hoping to receive one.13 This presents a natural opportunity for marketers to run device-targeted campaigns or paid re-engagement efforts. Highly engaged Snapchatters with new phones means more opportunity for app downloads and in-app monetization. Capture new users from the holiday season, drive repeat purchases, and increase retention beyond the New Year.
Tip 4: Cut Through With Engaging Ad Formats
Given the holidays are hectic for consumers and businesses alike, start running app install and re-engagement campaigns before the holiday rush. Early campaign learnings will help you plan, optimize, and scale up your best performing ads in January when the Snap Auction competition decreases. When you’re competing for Snapchatters’ attention, the best way to cut through the noise is with full-screen, sound on, vertical ads that are made for mobile. That’s why Snapchat's ad formats are so effective - your ad gets 100% of the screen, 100% of the time.
For ultimate impact, follow these three best practices when creating your ads:
  • Be timely and relevant: Keep the creative contextual. Lean into compelling headlines and imagery and drive urgency with limited time offers if you have them. 
  • Show off your app or products: Show don’t tell. Highlight products, shopping pages, or core functionality from the beginning. Hero the products consumers want, or use a screen recording of your app for easy yet effective creative.
  • Provide a clear CTA: Use a clear call to action to tell your audience exactly what you’d like them to do next, and deep link into the exact page you’d like to drive Snapchatters.
  • Optimize, optimize, optimize: We recommend you wait until the ad set has 30 - 50 actions that align with your objective. This can sometimes take a few days, especially for “lower” funnel goals, like purchases. If you find that you are having trouble reaching enough conversions, we suggest raising your bid or broadening your audience. 
No matter what your business objective is, now is the time to start planning your holiday campaigns to drive business impact. Snapchat’s latest formats, targeting, and optimization tools give you everything you need to drive sustainable success in December and into the new year.
Get started today with as little as $5 on Snapchat’s Instant Create, the workflow that lets you create ads in less than five minutes. Simply log into Ads Manager, and choose your objective as App Installs or App Visits depending on your goal. For step-by-step instructions on how to get started on Instant Create, check out this blog post.

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1Sensor Tower, "Global App Revenue Grew 32% Year-Over-Year in Q3 2020 to More than $29 Billion", October 1, 2020. Available at:
2Snap Inc. internal data Q3 2020
3Snap Inc. internal data Q3 2020 vs. Q3 2019. See Snap Inc. public filings with the SEC.
4Snap Inc. survey of US Snapchat users, November 15–19, 2019. Age and location data subject to restrictions. See for details. Question: “How many apps do you typically download in a week?” 3407 respondents.
5Snap Inc. internal data Q4 2019 & Q1 2020.
6Snap Inc. data from iTunes Connect, October 1, 2019–February 29, 2020
7Snap Inc. internal data, December, 11 2019 - January 8, 2020. Ads with attributed installs, 7 day click and 1 day view through attribution. See more at
8Snap Inc. internal data, December 1, 2019 - February 1, 2020. Ads with attributed installs, 7 day click and 1 day view through attribution. See more at
9GlobalWebIndex, US 2018 regarding behavior in the past month vs. US non-Snapchatters. Snapchatters are defined as individuals who use the app at least once weekly.
10U.S. Murphy Research commissioned by Snap Inc., 2017
11Forbes, 50 Stats All Marketers Must Know About Gen-Z, 2020
12Cassandra an Engine Company. Generational Spend Research Q1 ’19
13Snap Inc. survey of US Snapchat users, May 23–27, 2020. Age and location data subject to restrictions. See for details. Q: Last question! Thinking about gifts you may receive during the holidays, do you hope to get a new smartphone this year?; 721 respondents.
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